Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), of Wellington, FL, is located in the epicenter of the world’s leading winter equestrian destination. With horses and riders traveling from around the globe to compete in various disciplines, the top equestrians need look no further than PBEC’s state-of-the-art hospital for all of their sport horse needs. PBEC has been the premier surgical facility in Wellington for over three decades and continues to expand!
PBEC serves as the official veterinary hospital of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, and is proud to serve as the local headquarters for emergency services and equine diagnostics.
During the 2015-2016 season, PBEC added a support Annex Veterinary Office located on the show grounds at the Winter Equestrian Festival. The wooden barn located at the beginning of the north grounds entrance offers an on-site office space, a pharmacy for supplies and medication pick up, as well as examination areas. Veterinarians from PBEC are always on the grounds when competition is underway, and are always available for daily lameness evaluations, pre-purchase examinations, medical assessments, or any other needs.
The Referral Relationship
Palm Beach Equine Clinic has a team of 30 veterinarians, which includes three Board-Certified Surgeons, one of the world’s only Board-Certified equine Radiologists, and numerous other experts in their fields. All competitors and their traveling veterinarians are welcome for consultations and other services throughout the season.
Dr. Richard Wheeler and many of the vets from PBEC travel around the country and the world to provide support services for clientele throughout the year. While abroad, PBEC veterinarians consult with various veterinarians and utilize the support services from their home base clinics. As the veterinarians of the world have shown generous hospitality for PBEC into their home locales, PBEC reciprocates the hospitality to all visiting veterinarians in Wellington.
“In our travels, we work with veterinarians around the world,” Dr. Wheeler explained. “We may share clients with people who spend their summers in Europe or the northeast, some of which we will fly to take care of throughout the year. We often consult with other veterinarians, and it is always interesting and rewarding to share views on different cases. We get to meet people from different countries with different opinions and techniques. I think it is always beneficial for all of us to broaden our horizons a bit by working together with people in different areas of the world. We are able to glean expertise from them and hopefully help them out with their clients as well.
“At PBEC we welcome a lot of team veterinarians and veterinarians from around the country, and we work alongside them with their clients,” Dr. Wheeler continued. “We reciprocate what we do over the summer. The equine vet world is pretty small, so we know most of these veterinarians pretty well and have worked with them a lot. It is a good relationship that goes both ways.”
The referring relationship between veterinarians is most commonly seen in the specialty departments of surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, and radiology or diagnostic imaging. At PBEC, the advanced imaging and surgical technology is unmatched, and the three Board-Certified Surgeons are skilled in many procedures that require high levels of expertise and advanced equipment. Therefore, many veterinarians refer their clients to the facility for specialty services.
One equine professional that PBEC works with closely is Dr. Kit Miller, of Miller & Associates, based in Brewster, NY. Dr. Miller travels to Wellington each winter to work with his many clients that are there to compete, and he maintains a great relationship with PBEC. Alternately, when the veterinarians of PBEC are in New York, they are always welcomed to the support of Miller & Associates.
“I have worked with PBEC since I started going to Wellington in the early 90s. They are a valuable resource; they are good friends and good colleagues,” Dr. Miller stated. “Mainly, we refer horses in for imaging and for surgeries. PBEC has been very progressive in getting some of the best imaging equipment available. It helps our practice provide better care for our clients in terms of the quality of the diagnostics, and also just the resources in terms of veterinarians there.”
Dr. Miller added, “We have a facility in New York, and we do make it available to any of PBEC’s veterinarians when they are in the area. Ours is not a full hospital, so it is really more of an outpatient facility, but just as PBEC’s doors are open for us in Wellington, our doors are open for them when they are up here. We collaborate well. If we have clients that are in locations that we are not, then we routinely call on PBEC vets. If they are available, then we are happy and comfortable to have them taking care of any of our clients, and vice-versa.”
Sport Horse Maintenance
Top international competitors are happy to have the amazing resources of PBEC at their fingertips while competing in Wellington.
Top professional show jumper Georgina Bloomberg uses Palm Beach Equine Clinic to keep her horses in the best shape for the Wellington winter season and year-round.
“Palm Beach Equine Clinic is incredibly helpful in keeping our horses healthy and sound. We work very hard to make sure they feel good and are happy in their jobs, but if any lameness or issue does come up, they are always there to get a quick diagnosis and a plan to treat them. Proper preventative maintenance is key for our equine athletes,” she said.
In addition to her equine athletes, Palm Beach Equine Clinic also cares for the rescue pig and goat that Bloomberg has at her Wellington and New York farms.
Australian top professional dressage rider Kelly Layne moved to Wellington in 2009 and stables her horses at the Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex at PBEC. From the central location, Layne has easy access to both the clinic and the show grounds of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.
“It is such a luxury to have all of their services available,” Layne stated. “If I have an ill horse at 5 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, I just walk it over to the clinic, and I know that the horse will be taken care of amazingly. There is always someone available. You’re not staying up all night worrying and checking on the horses. That is just such a nice service that they have, and it is definitely one of the advantages of being in this location.”
Layne continued, “Palm Beach Equine has amazing equipment for completing MRI, bone scans, and of course they have Dr. Sarah Puchalski, who is absolutely one of the best in the world for Radiology. To have her here during the season is incredible. She is a very knowledgeable horse person because she rides high level show jumping horses herself. We are so spoiled to have everything in one location. In the summer, I went to Germany for three months and we were so isolated. I would have to travel to get an MRI or I would have to travel to a certain vet that maybe had a shock wave machine. You couldn’t get everything in one location.”
Layne also appreciates the many experienced veterinarians that PBEC has to choose from, with various specialties and areas of expertise.
“I think it is just amazing to have so many great minds all in one place,” she acknowledged. “One of the reasons I moved to Wellington is because the resources are amazing. At Palm Beach Equine Clinic, you have a lot of veterinarians to choose from. You have a vet for every different specialty. I use a lot of different vets at the clinic – a certain vet for lameness, another vet for internal health, and it is nice to have that variety.”
Among the extensive list of services offered by PBEC, on-call veterinarians are available for 24-hour emergency coverage and intensive care, 365 days a year. The state-of-the-art hospital features comprehensive surgical and medical resources, including the latest in surgical technology for less invasive operations that result in faster recovery times for the horse. The advanced on-site diagnostic imaging resources are also unparalleled, including a standing MRI unit, a Nuclear Scintigraphy gamma ray camera, ultrasonography, radiography, and a bevy of additional equipment.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for its clients. Make Palm Beach Equine Clinic a part of your team! To find out more, please visit www.equineclinic.com or call 561-793-1599.
photos by Jump Media