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Riding With A Backstretch Vet


Published: August 25, 2011 2:12 pm ET

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In an up-close and personal account, come take a step inside the world of a horse-racing veterinarian.

The vet in this case is Dr. Brian Van Arem, whose firm, according to a detailed report by the Toronto Star, has tended to 20 Queen's Plate winners in its more than four decades in the business.

Dr. Van Arem brought The Star's Joseph Hall and Colin McConnell along with him on one of his morning rounds of Woodbine Racetrack's backstretch, which houses many of the country's top thoroughbreds.

The result was a fascinating, first-hand look into the world of a horse-racing vet.

The doctor, who was toting a shockwave machine and some loaded, unmarked syringes as part of his gear, discussed tubing, and doping in the industry.

The report cited Dr. Van Arem as saying that cheating in the Ontario industry has deterred 'almost entirely' by large purses, and that nobody wants a doping conviction to get between them and the lucrative purse money.

To view the pictures taken during the morning, click here.

To read writer Hall's account of the morning, click here.

(With files from the Toronto Star)

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