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Fracture Can’t Dull Hidden Gem’s Shine
By nature, dressage riders become very aware of and familiar with the way their mounts move, so when Cody walked out of his stall one morning with a sudden lameness, Willette Brown knew just who to call.
October 25, 2014

“Cody was 18 years old when he walked out of his stall one morning limping on his left hind leg,” says Willette Brown of the now 20-year-old Trakhener gelding. “There was no swelling, no obvious injury, nothing.”

After radiographs showed nothing and rest did not improve his soundness, Cody’s primary vet referred them to Tufts Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center for help.

A bone scan revealed a minute stress fracture on his fetlock, and together, Willette, her primary vet and Tufts Hospital for Large Animals clinicians decided surgery was the best option for Cody. “The surgery at Tufts to repair and secure the fracture was completely successful, and Cody went back to work after three months of rest and rehabilitation,” Willette says.

“Cody is a Grand Prix dressage horse with a heart as big as his 17.2-hand frame. We worked together for five years, training and competing through Intermediaire I. His role was to teach me to patiently work to discover the gems that are sometimes hidden beneath the surface—to push sometimes, and wait sometimes,” Willette reminisces.

“My proudest moments with Cody were when people discovered his age and were amazed at how much he was doing and how great he looked. He is the poster child for the value of older horses! Thank you, Tufts, for keeping him going strong.”