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Mysterious Lameness No Match for Lucy Thanks to the Help of Tufts Team
Lucy made a long journey from the racetrack to enjoying her current career as an eventer, but none of it would have been possible if it weren’t for the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center clinicians’ ability to pinpoint a misunderstood back injury.
October 25, 2014

Lucy3Lucy, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred, raced as a three-year-old—running 15 times and winning one race, along with just over $10,000. Kate Taylor of North Kingstown, RI, then bought her as a late three-year-old, and they began their journey together. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with her, but decided to let her show me what she was good at and what she liked. We tried hunters and she was too hot for it, so we did a lot of trail riding, jumpers, and tried eventing,” says Kate.

But not long after, and just two days before they were scheduled to ride in a show jumping clinic at Equine Affaire, Lucy slipped and fell on pavement. When X-rays and multiple attempts for explanation turned up nothing, and Lucy still wasn’t quite right under saddle, a trainer suggested her issue might be pain related. “I opted to ship her to Tufts to have a bone scan and a full work-up done,” Kate says.

After observation under saddle, Tufts Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center clinicians immediately suspected Lucy was suffering from a back injury—the bone scan confirmed that she had torn a ligament in her spine. “She was prescribed six months of turnout, and when she came back into work, she was better than ever,” says Kate. “I rehabbed Lucy very slowly and she is now back in full work, including jumping some pretty impressive cross-country fences, and she has no issues from her injury. She is now in Massachusetts with an eventing trainer and loving it!”