"If you love and care for Thoroughbreds, if watching them gives you pleasure, then help us make the effort to protect them." —SCEF

he Southern California Equine Foundation (SCEF) was conceived and developed twenty years ago by a group of men who realized there was no existing organization whose sole functions was to protect the interests and promote the welfare of the equine athlete.

    SCEF, Inc. owns, operates and offers these services in the following Equine Hospital Facilities at the racetracks in these locations:

Santa Anita, CA
Nuclear Medicine
Hollywood Park, CA
Del Mar, CA

Below: Dr. Rick Arthur performs
Orthopedic Surgery

Foremost among the accomplishments of the Southern California Equine Foundation is the building and operation of the Equine Hospital, located on the backstretch at Santa Anita.
    Dedicated in March 1981, and constructed at a cost of $400,000, the facility became a reality through the cooperation of Santa Anita, which donated the land, and Oak Tree, which was responsible for 80 per cent of the funding. Aside from those in use at several universities, the facility was without equal.
    According to Dr. Ferraro, It was the hope of the foundation to provide a research-oriented, as well as an operational first-rate facility for the conducting of studies, as well as care of the present day equine athlete.
    The success of the facility is marked by its acceptance and usage by veterinarians from all sections of the country; also by practitioners who have used the $150,000 radiology unit. Many veterinarians have put to use the well-equipped operating facility and have developed new surgical techniques. In 1993 the monies left by Dolly Green helped the Foundation build a Scintography facility at Santa Anita (a diagnostic tool to find injuries not found on x-rays).
    Rewards for these veterinarians, and the horseman they serve, have been many. Saving a horse for stud duty, returning a thoroughbred to competition, saving a broodmare, or saving a thoroughbred for show or a riding horse is always a goal for all involved. Veterinarians, through the hospital, have discovered that immediate, on site repair of fractures has greatly increased the chances of the racehorses’ recovery.
    As a result of having the hospitals, many technicians have been trained at the current facilities. Some stay, such as the current administrator, Karen Klawitter, and others go on to other facets of the industry.

Surgical Facility at Santa Anita Race Track

    Twenty years ago, the SCEF’s first dream was built at Santa Anita. This facility was built on a low budget and consisted of two mobile trailers. It was, at that time, an experiment with the majority on the SCEF board to prove their dreams could become a reality, that a cooperative effort providing racetrack veterinarians with diagnostic and surgical facilities would, despite the competitive nature of veterinary medicine on the backside, work and could financially sustain itself.
    It is time to replace the "temporary" structure. The SCEF is working with the new management of Santa Anita, which has approved the concept to build a new facility. Funding is now needed and we are reaching out to the racing industry to help us in our goal. Santa Anita has provided us with the initial building floor plans and will work with the city of Arcadia’s planning group for approval of these plans.
    We anticipate a building budget of $800,000, with additional funds needed to upgrade the diagnostic capabilities and state-of-the-art surgical equipment. Projections for this equipment are on a case-by-case basis, with our limitation based on funds donated by the racing community.

   The SCEF and racetrack veterinarians recognized the need to develop improved methods of transportation and provide immediate medical attention for a traumatized horse. Thus, they developed an equine ambulance specifically designed for the equine athlete.
   Under the direction of Dr. Roy Dillon, the first of these modern ambulances was introduced in the fall of 1979 following a three-year study into the requirements of such a vehicle. Dr. Dillon and John Kimzey combined their efforts to produce the present-day horse ambulance, with Oak Tree Racing Association providing funding of $35,000.

    The ambulance proved so successful and so popular with horsemen that a second, more sophisticated model was produced in 1981. This time a road-legal tractor was included that could move the new ambulance from track to track. Oak Tree Racing Association once again provided the $72,000 in funds for this unit.
   Oak Tree generously paid for a third unit in 1999. This allows the SCEF to maintain two ambulances at the track conducting live racing and one ambulance at the "off track." The SCEF also provides an ambulance for use at the Pasadena Rose Parade every New Year’s Day, in the event of a horse emergency.
   All three equine ambulances can be lowered completely to ground level, allowing maximum ease in loading an injured horse. They incorporate a hydraulic "squeeze" apparatus to help an injured horse stand without causing further damage. A wench-driven stretcher allows for easy loading of an animal that is recumbent and unable to rise and the unit can accommodate two animals at one time. The ambulances can operate in any type of weather and on any type of track surface or condition.
   At the same time, the Kimzey Splint was developed. The splint stabilizes a horse’s limb and minimizes any damage a horse might incur during transport and before surgery is performed.
   The success of these two innovations is magnified by their adoption by racetracks throughout the country. Replicas of the ambulances and Kimzey Splint are now seen at leading racetracks around the world.

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