The following information was requested by the Village of Wellington and posted at https://www.wellingtonfl.gov/767/Equestrian-Information
By Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic
For the health and safety of ourselves, our loved ones and the horse community, we must adhere to the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are fortunate that Wellington, specifically the Equestrian Overlay Zoning District, is not a high-density area. The Village offers picturesque idyllic weather beautiful horse farms and an abundance of expertise in all facets of the equine industry. Now is a unique opportunity for those who had been occupied by hectic schedules to take a step back, de-stress and even enjoy social distancing while saddling up.
Let’s make the most of this time while awaiting the demise of the novel coronavirus by continuing to ride and train our horses. Let’s try to keep a degree of normalcy in our daily routines at the farm and use this time wisely by improving our skills as horsemen. Let’s use this time to ensure that our horses and riders are healthy, fit and ready to resume competition when the appropriate time arrives.
Adjusting to Riding and Horse Care While Staying Healthy and Safe
Spending time riding and caring for your horse is a productive use of time. However, it is imperative that we proceed safely. Suggestions that I would make to help equestrians adhere to local, state and national health recommendations include:
- Make Social Distancing mandatory at the barn. Everyone at the barn, including riders, parents, trainers and grooms, must practice Social Distancing by keeping six feet away from others. No exceptions! Do not permit individuals to congregate in the tack room or aisle ways. While in the saddle, please keep a safe distance away from fellow riders. Many facilities are limiting the number of people allowed at the barn or in the riding ring at any one time. Establishing scheduled riding times may help to streamline this while allowing everyone to participate with their horses. In addition, riders should severely limit the number of guests that they bring onto the property.
- Be vigilant with cleaning and sanitizing protocols by including surfaces and everyday objects often overlooked, such as whiteboard markers, doorknobs, stall latches, grooming brush handles, and crossties. Be mindful of disinfecting reins, saddles, and stirrups and washing brushes, polos, wraps and saddle pads. Barn staff should implement a routine of wiping down barn cleaning tools, such as pitch forks, wheelbarrows, etc.
- Make sanitizers, alcohol spray bottles or disinfecting wipes available throughout the barn. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of this disease, so try to wash your hands upon arrival at the barn, before leaving, and insist that your staff wash their hands between handling different horses.
- Make suitable arrangements for reliable backup care in the event that you or your horse’s caretakers become sick. Organize detailed written instructions on feeding, medications and general care of your horse and provide these written instructions to the barn manager.
- Meet with your staff and grooms regularly to make sure everyone is being consistent in safety and cleaning protocols and has the most up to date information. Have them self-monitor for any signs of fever, coughing or sickness. If anyone experiences any signs of COVID-19, they should be required to remain in their homes and self-isolate to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Work with your staff to ensure they are taken care of and compensated, if possible, during sick time. Likewise, if anyone suspects that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or has travelled to areas where the virus is active within the past month, then they should not go to the barn for 14 days.
Our horses are blissfully oblivious of the pandemic, and we must remember that they still need daily attentive care. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we must adjust to help flatten the curve while remaining dedicated to the health, training and care and of all our horses. Should anyone have any questions or need assistance with caring for their horse’s health, please call Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599.
Dr. Scott Swerdlin talks COVID-19, equine veterinary medicine, and horse industry impacts with The Horse Radio Network host Glenn the Geek.
Listen to the Horse Radio Network’s interview with Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. At about 4:30 into the video, Dr. Swerdlin talks about how veterinary clinics and equestrians are adjusting to life amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Horse Radio Network is the leading online radio (podcast) network for horse lovers worldwide.
Dr. Swerdlin is a Florida native whose family raised cattle and horses. After attending Tulane University, he pursued a master’s degree in equine reproduction at the University of Florida, and graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1976. Dr. Swerdlin was then appointed Chief of Clinical Services at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
Following his tour in the military, he started a private practice in south Florida. He served on the state Board of Veterinary Medicine from 1981-1987, and received the Gold Star Award for outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine in the state of Florida. In 1999, he became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is licensed to practice in Great Britain
More Coronavirus News & Updates
Dr. Scott Swerdlin Discusses His Thoughts on Being Strategic About Your Horse’s Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As we all know, the United States Equestrian Federation has suspended all points and ratings for the immediate future as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This unfortunately resulted in the cancellation of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and major equestrian competitions around the world. However, this does not mean that all riding and training must come to a halt.
For the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, we must follow recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are fortunate that Wellington, specifically the Equestrian Overlay Zoning District, is not a high-density area. Wellington offers picturesque bridle paths, idyllic weather and an abundance of expertise in all facets of the equine industry. Now is a unique opportunity for those who have been occupied by hectic schedules to take a step back, de-stress and even enjoy social distancing by saddling up and exploring the endless miles of excellent bridle paths.
Let’s make the most of our time in Wellington while awaiting the unclear future of the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to ride and train our horses. Let’s try to keep a degree of normalcy in our daily routines and use this time wisely by improving both horse and rider health and well-being. Let’s use this time to ensure our horses remain in peak performance and ready to resume competition schedules when that time arrives.
Avenues for Enhancing and Maintaining Optimal Equine Health
It is vital for teams to have a veterinarian by their side keeping a close eye on the equine athlete’s health, performance and well-being. Closely monitoring a horse’s condition is key to catching potential injuries before they progress into issues that require more serious treatments. Here are some recommendations to consider incorporating during this break in competition that may benefit your horse when its time to step back into the show ring.
Now is a perfect time to update your horse’s vaccinations and make sure your horse is ready to step back onto the showgrounds when competition resumes. Spring equine vaccinations to consider include:
- Encephalomyelitis, Eastern (EEE) and Western (WEE)
- Rhinopneumonitis (Herpesvirus)
- West Nile Virus
For horses returning to areas where Potomac Horse Fever exists, a booster for that disease is highly recommended. Ensuring your Coggins test and records are up to date is always beneficial. For questions regarding equine vaccinations, please call Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599 to speak with a veterinarian.
Maintenance & Regenerative Medicine
Allowing our equine athletes to thrive while extending their performance careers may require Sport Horse Medicine to improve their comfort, well-being and performance. Many horses benefit from having their hocks, stifles, and/or coffin joints injected. Horses must be thoroughly evaluated by a sport horse veterinarian to determine the necessity and potential benefit of maintenance medicine before any corticosteroid injection is administered.
To further address the wear and tear incurred from intense training and competition, Regenerative Medicine is a non-steroidal option for activating and enhancing the horse’s innate bodily healing process. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers advanced regenerative therapies for treating musculoskeletal injuries, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
- Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP)
- Autologous Conditioned Serum
- Pro-Stride Autologous Protein Solution
Employing a holistic approach to treating patients, Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers veterinarians with a wealth of expertise in Alternative Medicine. Alternative therapies are often used in conjunction with traditional medicine and can be uniquely tailored to enhance a horse’s performance and overall health.
- Equine acupuncture and electroacupuncture
- Veterinary chiropractic manipulations
- Laser therapy (from low-level to regenerative laser options)
- Shockwave therapy
- Chinese Herbal Medicine
Reproduction & Fertility
Now may be the perfect time to plan for a future competition partner by breeding your horse. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to offer highly successful Embryo Transfer program. Utilize this time to begin the breeding process by having your mare safely bred through artificial insemination, with the embryo collected 7-8 days after pregnancy. A detailed Breeding Soundness and Fertility Evaluation can jumpstart your future show ring champion. Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides veterinarians with expertise in Advanced Reproductive Services and Fertility Solutions, including:
- Stallion or Mare Breeding Soundness and Fertility
- Embryo transfer: an ideal option for mares with busy competition schedules
- Genetic cloning (geldings, mares or stallions)
- Artificial insemination and semen collection, freezing, storage and shipping
Palm Beach Equine Clinic remains open and fully equipped with a team of 40 veterinarians, 60 technicians, fully stocked pharmacy, all-inclusive equine hospital and surgical suites. Speak with a PBEC veterinarian about your horse’s health and performance by calling 561-793-1599.
Equine Veterinary Care Available at PBIEC Showgrounds Annex Office
One of the world’s premier veterinary facilities, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, will return as the Official Veterinarians of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) running January 8 through March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
With the health and welfare of equine athletes a top priority for the upcoming winter show jumping and dressage competition seasons, Palm Beach Equine Clinic will continue more than three decades of service to both the year-round residents and visiting horses of south Florida. The clinic’s world-renowned facility is conveniently located at the intersection of Southfields Road and Pierson Road in the heart of Wellington, just minutes from PBIEC, the Equestrian Village, and the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Palm Beach Equine Clinic comprises over 35 veterinarians, with board-certified surgeons and internists, and robust support by knowledgeable technicians and staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers exceptional veterinary care and an innovative approach to help each horse achieve their full potential in and outside of the show ring.
In addition to at the full-service equine hospital, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians will be available each week to all competing horses at WEF and AGDF thanks to an annex office located adjacent to the WEF stabling office on the PBIEC showgrounds. Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians are on call daily at the annex office to assist competitors throughout the shows with diagnostic evaluations and treatments, as well as emergency and standard horse care needs. Equestrians are always welcome at the annex, where they have the opportunity to discuss their horse health needs with Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
“Combining the unique offerings of our imaging department, renowned surgical talent, diverse veterinary expertise, and overall high standard of treatment allows us to provide services and care that are akin to the Mayo Clinic for human patients,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin. “The Winter Equestrian Festival and [Adequan®] Global Dressage Festival attract some of the world’s top horses to south Florida. Whether we are treating Olympic level athletes or a trusted companion pony, they will receive the most advanced, dedicated healthcare. It takes a team to achieve success in the competitive arena, and we provide one of the best in the world at Palm Beach Equine Clinic.”
Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinary advances – available to new, returning, and referred clients – include:
Advanced Diagnostic Offerings
- Computed Tomography (CT) Machine
- Standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan)
- Board-Certified Radiologist on Staff
- Digital Radiography and Ultrasonography
- Three boarded surgeons skilled in performance-related injuries
- Standing surgery pit
- Surgical residency program
- Advanced surgical suite
- Internal medicine specialists
- Quarantine facilities with secure isolation and individual airflow systems
- Alternative medicine specialists focused on chiropractic, acupuncture, and Chinese herbals
- Renowned sports medicine specialists
- On-site hospital with 24-hour staff
- Dentistry, ophthalmology, and farriery expertise
In addition to being the Official Veterinarians of WEF and AGDF, Palm Beach Equine Clinic will again participate in WEF’s popular Lunch & Learn education series during the 2020 season. Mark your calendars for a presentation entitled “Modern Medicine for the Competitive Sport Horse: How to Gain and Maintain a Healthy and Sound Show Horse” on Thursday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. in The Wellington Club at the WEF showgrounds. Admission to the Lunch & Learn series is free for riders, trainers, and owners and includes the opportunity to learn how to help the competitive sport horse achieve and maintain optimal health through advanced technology, innovative approaches, and specialty therapies; a buffet lunch; and a chance to win exciting prizes.
For more information on what Palm Beach Equine Clinic has to offer horses competing at WEF and AGDF, stop by the annex office located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.
Feature in the March 2019 issue of Wellington The Magazine
The horses at the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center perform miracles every day. Whether by carrying a person coping with a physical disability to a sense of independence, providing comfort to a soul suffering from emotional trauma or teaching a child beyond the confines of a classroom, the Vinceremos horses are heroes. But they aren’t the only ones wearing capes. A local group of dedicated and passionate equine veterinarians share in the magic.
The veterinarians of the Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), based in the heart of Wellington, have been caring for horses in South Florida for decades. Founded by Dr. Paul Wollenman in 1981, PBEC has grown to include a staff of 40 veterinarians, with five boarded specialists and the most state-of-the-art facility in the country. Situated in the winter equestrian capital of the world, Palm Beach Equine Clinic treats the top-performing show jumping, dressage, polo and racing athletes throughout the year.
Official Veterinarians of Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center
In addition, the clinic is a saving grace for the horses of Vinceremos. The 23 specially selected horses stay true to the nonprofit’s mission of conquering disability and hardship in people of all ages. Founded in 1982, Vinceremos, based in Loxahatchee Groves, serves people from all stations in life with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities through the power of equine therapy. The treatments they offer include therapeutic riding and carriage driving, hippotherapy, equine-assisted learning and equine-assisted psychotherapy.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic does its part by keeping the horses healthy and happy with pro-bono veterinary care.
“We have the people and, most importantly, the horses, of South Florida to thank for the success that PBEC has enjoyed over the years,” said Palm Beach Equine Clinic President Dr. Scott Swerdlin, who spearheaded the clinic’s involvement with Vinceremos in 2011. “It is our honor to give back to that community through our work with Vinceremos. The whole team is dedicated to each and every horse we treat, as well as to the riders who love them.”
While their commitment to the nonprofit is extensive, it’s not about the hours spent or the cost of time and supplies. Swerdlin and his team focus on a bigger goal; healing horses so they can heal people. “There’s no greater reward than seeing how the horses of Vinceremos benefit their riders,” he said. “You see the riders light up and how excited they are to be on those horses.”
Swerdlin is proud of the clinic’s work with Vinceremos. “I continually remind my team that it is a privilege to treat the caliber of horses we have in Wellington and that should compel us to give back to the community,” he said. “The response from Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians has been overwhelming. The entire team has volunteered to be involved.”
From routine treatments and services, such as vaccinations and health exams, to emergency care, Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians are available to Vinceremos night and day. Last summer, such emergency care was called on, and one Vinceremos horse got a second chance at life thanks to a group of devoted veterinarians.
Vinceremos favorite Clark Kent — a sturdy black mount with an eye as kind as they come — suffered an injury to his right front leg. The laceration extended into his tendon sheath, which is a layer of membrane around a tendon on the back of the lower leg. What could have been a simple cut on the surface was much more serious.
Initially treated on-site at Vinceremos by Dr. Marilyn Connor, Clark Kent was then transported to PBEC for surgery to repair the injury. The case turned into a team effort and involved the work of surgeons Dr. Weston Davis and Dr. Michael Myhre, as well as Dr. Janet Greenfield.
After surgery and a recovery period at PBEC’s onsite equine hospital, Clark Kent returned to Vinceremos to recover. He was back to his therapy work by fall, giving riders a sense of independence and confidence with his skills on the lunge line and his forward way of moving.
“This treatment was no easy feat, but the veterinarians and staff of Palm Beach Equine Clinic took a tragedy and turned it into a miracle. Clark Kent was surrounded by extraordinary veterinarians and technicians throughout his care,” Vinceremos Director of Development Susan Guinan said. “The diligence of this team makes miracles happen every day. We are so appreciative of Palm Beach Equine Clinic and their team of veterinarians. They give so much support to Vinceremos and the horses here. They keep them in top shape so we can impact our community in such a special way through equine therapy.”
Rewarding for Horses and Humans
For Connor, it’s cases like Clark Kent’s that convinced her to pursue veterinary medicine. Growing up around horses, she spent time volunteering with a therapeutic riding program before attending veterinary school at Texas A&M.
“It was a very rewarding experience to be able to give back to a cause that is important to me. And even more so now that I can do that in a different capacity as a veterinarian,” said Connor.
She can often be found checking on the horses of Vinceremos while on the job. “Being able to help horses as special as the ones at Vinceremos and the people who love them is what ultimately made me realize I wanted to be an equine veterinarian,” Connor said.
To find out more about the Palm Beach Equine Clinic, call (561) 793-1599.
As the official veterinarians of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL, Palm Beach Equine Clinic welcomes all veterinarians, local and worldwide, to utilize their services and facilities throughout the winter season.
Locating Riding Distance from the Horse Show
Located just down the road from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), PBEC offers state-of-the-art surgical tools, highly advanced diagnostic imaging equipment, three board-certified surgeons, one of the top board-certified equine radiologists in the country, and 28 accomplished and knowledgeable veterinarians available to treat clientele of any discipline.
During the winter season, the veterinarians of PBEC donate their time and services to the world-class competitors of the Winter Equestrian Festival. Week eight of the 12-week WEF circuit is currently underway with CSIO competition, and PBEC welcomes the international team veterinarians to make use of their services as horses and riders compete in the prestigious Nations’ Cup classes.
Horse and rider teams from all around the world will be competing in the esteemed senior Nations’ Cup on Friday night, March 4, beginning at 7 p.m. Hollow Creek Farm will be hosting the Children’s, Junior and Young Rider FEI Nations’ Cup team events on Saturday evening, March 5, 2016. The teams have flown from over ten different countries throughout South America, North America, and abroad to compete this week.
Proud to be Part of Prestigious Competiton
For PBEC President, Dr. Scott Swerdlin, the Nations’ Cup events provide some of the most exciting competition of the circuit and he is proud to have his veterinarians well-represented.
“Those two nights that we have the Nations’ Cup classes, everyone is so competitive and proud of their country and proud of the horses in their country,” said Dr. Swerdlin. “Nations’ Cup week is one of the highlights of WEF and we really appreciate having the opportunity to be supportive of all of the teams. For us, it is just a privilege to be a part of such a special competition. We enjoy working with the different veterinarians and they are always welcome to come to PBEC if they are traveling with a team. Our motto is ‘Make us a part of your team,’ and we hope that visiting doctors will take advantage of the world-class services that we have to offer.”
All-Inclusive Equine Hospital, Imaging and Emergency Services
PBEC’s Dr. Richard Wheeler spoke of the support that the clinic is able to provide to the teams as they compete throughout the week in Nations’ Cup classes.
“Being a full-service facility, we are proud to provide support to the international teams,” said Dr. Wheeler. “It is great to see the international horse community come together and it is fun for us to build relationships with vets from all over the world. We often have vets come to visit us and spend time in our hospital, and likewise, we visit them in their facilities.
“We are here to support them,” Dr. Wheeler continued. “In an emergency situation, we are here to provide hospitalization and ambulatory services. We offer advanced imaging services such as MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy, we have a fantastic team of internal medicine specialists that includes three board-certified surgeons, and we have one of very few board certified equine radiologists in the world.”
Dr. Wheeler added, “PBEC always has a veterinarian on the show grounds any time competition is going on. We also have a new Annex office on the show grounds this year so that the doctors can quickly and safely treat horses in a clean environment. The hospital is then ready for emergencies 24/7, with specialists, equipment, and personnel ready to handle any situation.”
Surgical Services Available When Needed
PBEC Staff Surgeon Dr. Jorge Gomez serves as the team veterinarian for Colombia and Venezuela. Dr. Gomez finds his partnership with PBEC very important throughout the season.
Dr. Gomez explained his responsibilities as team vet, stating, “I am in charge of the health and soundness of the horses in the team. Before the events, and once the horses for the team are chosen, I look at all of the team horses individually to make sure the horses are in good condition to compete. We check all the health papers and passports to make sure they are up to date. During the competition days, I perform horse inspections before and after every class. In conjunction with the grooms, we also make sure that the horses are in normal condition with no modifications of their normal behavior.”
If there are any concerns of a horse’s well-being, Dr. Gomez and all of the team veterinarians have the diagnostic services of PBEC at their fingertips. Along with the advanced imaging capabilities and emergency surgical services, teams can make use of PBEC’s niche offerings, such as chiropractic care or acupuncture as well.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for the horses of Wellington. Have them be a part of your team!
Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) proudly serves as the official veterinarians of the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Adjacent to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in the heart of Wellington, PBEC’s state-of-the-art facilities and world-class team of 28 veterinarians are there for every equestrian’s needs throughout the WEF and AGDF circuits. PBEC is proud to work for its multi-discipline clientele with the aid of the most advanced technologies and medical treatments available.
Official Horse Show Veterinarian
“Wellington is a fabulous place, and I have watched the growth of WEF as well as AGDF over the years, and it has been exponential,” said Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. “For us to be part of that growth, and part of the explosion of the sport horse industry here in Wellington is a real honor. We want to give back to the community, as well as contribute to all of the great things that Mark Bellissimo has done for the horse show world.”
“I love to see the good horses return, and every year it seems like better and better horses are competing from all over the world,” Swerdlin added. “The quality of horses and the quality of competition always continues to improve. To watch these fabulous horse and rider combinations in all of these different disciplines is such a treat.”
Global Satellite Services
With top horses and riders from around the world spending their winters in Wellington, PBEC is proud to have veterinarians on the team that represent many different countries. PBEC currently employs veterinarians from Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia. It is a privilege for the team at PBEC to work together with many of the best veterinarians from all over the world as they travel to Wellington with their clients.
All-Inclusive Equine Hospital
Palm Beach Equine Clinic features its full-service surgical center and intensive care hospital located only minutes from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center show grounds. Board certified surgeons, primary care veterinarians and hospital technicians are scheduled for emergency on call assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat, monitor and care for critical cases. With exceptional veterinarians and a staff of highly trained hospital technicians, PBEC’s surgical suite and staff are prepared to handle all kinds of emergencies, day and night.
The Palm Beach Equine Clinic facility houses the most advanced imaging technologies available, including a standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan), Ultrasonography, Digital Radiography and Endoscopy. PBEC is unique in that a Board Certified Radiologist is on site to interpret images and assist with diagnosis for rapid results. PBEC’s on-site, full-service laboratory equipped with hematology, chemistry, and microbiology equipment provides veterinarians with the ability to quickly evaluate blood tests for critical cases.
The newest addition this year for PBEC is the 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 is now an office space, pharmacy for supplies and medication pick up, and examination areas.
For more information on the facility or in case of an emergency, please call (561) 793-1599 to contact an on-call veterinarian.
A leader in sport horse medicine, Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) is a mainstay in the equestrian-centric Village of Wellington in South Florida. Known as the ‘Winter Equestrian Capital of the World,’ Wellington welcomes equestrians from around the globe to compete. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is the Official Veterinarians of events such as the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). PBEC is dedicated to providing exceptional care to the horses and equally committed to strengthening relationships within the local community.
PBEC President Dr. Scott Swerdlin strongly encourages his veterinarians to share their expertise and get involved in philanthropic community relations in Wellington. Many of the veterinarians generously donate their time and energy to many different projects throughout the community each year.
Official Veterinarians of Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center
One local organization that PBEC annually supports in various ways is Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC). Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation that provides therapeutic horseback riding to those with disabilities and hippotherapy in Palm Beach County since 1982. Dr. Swerdlin sits on Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center’s Board of Directors and also serves on the organization’s Executive Committee.
“Vinceremos is an exceptional organization,” Swerdlin stated. “There is nothing that you can possibly do that will make you feel better than spending time at Vinceremos and being involved in that organization. It is horse oriented, but what they are doing is providing solutions for children who are disabled. The way they light up and how excited they are to be on those horses is amazing to see. All of a sudden, that disadvantage disappears. You see it in their faces, you see it in their smiles. And, you see it in every aspect of their well-being. To see the improvement in the health and the capabilities of these children is amazing.”
All of the doctors at PBEC have been involved with Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in some way, but two women who have gone above and beyond for the program are Dr. Janet Greenfield-Davis and Dr. Jordan Lewis.
“Janet just had her second child and Jordan just had her first child, and they both put a lot of time and energy into helping other children,” Dr. Swerdlin noted. “What I try to do is coach a philosophy, and that philosophy is how fortunate we all are to be here in this community taking care of these kinds of horses and clients, and that we owe something back. We need to appreciate what we are doing and try to give back to the community.”
For Dr. Greenfield-Davis, donating her time and expertise at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center is fun and rewarding work. She serves as the primary veterinarian to VTRC, treating the horses on an as-needed basis and helping with pre-purchase exams and evaluations of donated horses. As Official Veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic offers the talents and knowledge of all its doctors, who are called upon when needed.
“It is a spectacular program,” said Dr. Greenfield Davis. “I have been working with Vinceremos for the last four years, and I have learned so much. What they provide is a huge benefit for those kids. Even the kids who volunteer that are shy or have communication problems, they, too, just blossom there.
“I think it is important for us to give back to the community,” Dr. Greenfield-Davis added. “We are a rather large fixture in the community. We are one of biggest equine hospitals in the area and for us to help and contribute to their program is important for all of us.”
She continued, “Everybody at the clinic has been there at one point or another; everybody chips in. The clinic foots the bill for all of the horses there and all of the official veterinarians and surgeons donate their time and services. It is fun, too. They invite us to their horse shows and events, and we all have a good time.”
Additional Charity Involvement in Wellington
In addition to PBEC’s contributions with VTRC, the clinic donates to JustWorld International, an organization of equestrians funding and sustaining education, nutrition, and health programs for children in Cambodia, Guatemala, and Honduras. PBEC has supported JustWorld International since its inception.
Other charitable work includes donations to the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), which is hosted each year during the Winter Equestrian Festival. The pro-am team competition has distributed more than $7.5 million to over 150 nonprofits in Palm Beach County over the last six years. Founded in 2010 by Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige, the Great Charity Challenge has seen the equestrian community take charitable giving to a new level through their love of horses. PBEC is proud to be a part of such a fantastic event.
“The Great Charity Challenge is so much fun. You see these riders just barreling to try to win for their charity,” said Dr. Swerdlin. “Vinceremos was chosen (as a charity recipient for the GCC) this year, so we are very excited and hope to have a big turnout. I enjoy the competition and the mystery of who is going to win and what the charities will get. The way they have it devised so that it is such a win-win for all of the charities is wonderful. It is just fun for everybody, and it is such a good cause.”
Local Veterinary Educational Opportunities
Official Veterinarians for Wellington High School Equine Pre-Vet Program
Education of the public is also on the forefront of PBEC’s community involvement. Currently, through Wellington High School’s (WHS) Equine Pre-Vet Program, PBEC has a hands-on program for students looking to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Wellington High School seniors that choose to pursue the Equine Pre-Vet Program have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips with one of the most advanced equine medical centers just down the road. Through the program at WHS and the generosity of the veterinarians at PBEC, students in the Equine Pre-Vet Program have the unique opportunity to learn all about the profession by shadowing the very best.
Knowledge from the entire Veterinary Team
Dr. Janet Greenfield-Davis is also very involved with this program and mentors the senior students. “We try to play an active role in our community, and we really enjoy having the kids visit the clinic,” Greenfield-Davis stated.
Dr. Swerdlin added, “We have board certified radiologists, we have three boarded surgeons, we have boarded internal medicine veterinarians, and we have boarded
radiologists, we have three boarded surgeons, we have boarded internal medicine veterinarians, and we have boarded ophthalmologists. We also have the most high-tech diagnostic equipment, so for a young veterinarian, PBEC is paradise. We like spending the time to teach American veterinarians as well as foreign veterinarians. I think we are improving the success and the health of horses all over the world by offering those opportunities.”
Palm Beach Equine Clinic enjoys getting involved in the community and looks forward to continued involvement in 2016. Palm Beach Equine Clinic provides experience, knowledge, availability, and the very best care for the horses of Wellington. Have them be a part of your team! To find out more and speak with an official veterinarian, call 561-793-1599.
The Growth of Palm Beach Equine Clinic
Jump Media interviewed Dr. Scott Swerdlin, DVM, MRCVS, and President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic to learn more about the Clinic’s simple beginnings and evolution into one of the largest veterinary practices in the United States.
What was the genesis of Palm Beach Equine Clinic? Why was it started, how big was it, how many vets worked in the beginning, what kinds of services were offered?
In 1979, Dr. Paul Wollenman came to Wellington, Florida to principally care for Lion Country Safari’s exotic animals. Dr. Wollenman started to build the physical structure of Palm Beach Equine Clinic in 1981. I joined PBEC in 1983 and it was the beginning of a remarkable partnership. Mine and Dr. Wollenman’s strengths complemented each other well. I had recently resigned my Captaincy in the United States Airforce Veterinary Core and was excited to come back to where I grew up.
In 1991, we enticed Dr. Robert W. Brusie to join us from his successful surgical practice in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Brusie joined us to build the modern foundation of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. I was extremely fortunate to have these two extraordinary veterinarians as mentors. Shortly after Dr. Brusie joined us, we had an exceptional surgical service routinely treating colic cases and performing orthopedic surgeries. The final piece of the puzzle was to bring on a remarkable veterinarian from the next generation. We found that missing piece in 2003, when Dr. Richard Wheeler joined the team.
When did PBEC evolve into its current state?
The evolution of Palm Beach Equine Clinic has been constant and ever increasing. The growth of Palm Beach Equine Clinic mirrored the growth of the show horse industry through 2005. Ten years ago, we witnessed an exponential growth in the dressage discipline. From our simple beginnings, we now have twenty-eight veterinarians. What I take great pride in is my job is to keep twenty-eight veterinarians happy and explore additional opportunities to continue to grow and improve. Almost 30 years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic bought the first ultrasound for equine practice in South Florida. Twenty-five years ago, Palm Beach Equine Clinic installed the first gamma-ray camera to perform bone scans (Nuclear Scintigraphy). Twenty years ago, we developed Computed Radiography (CR) for horses. Currently, Palm Beach Equine Clinic has the most advanced state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment for the horse. Onsite, we have a Hallmarq standing MRI unit, MiE gamma ray camera, Digital Radiography, Video Endoscopy, and a bevy of additional diagnostic equipment. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional veterinary service for the horse.
What are the most important parts of PBEC?
No question, it is our staff. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing a culture of respect and excellent communication. Palm Beach Equine Clinic encourages every technician and employee to embrace their position not just as a job, but as a career. Many of our technicians and administration staff have been a part of Palm Beach Equine Clinic for over 10 years. I want every person who works here to feel as though they are part of a team. Unequivocally, the most important part of Palm Beach Equine Clinic is its family of employees.
How was PBEC changed in the past several years?
Over ten years ago, we were fortunate to have Dr. Bill Patterson, Dr. Gary Priest, Dr. Bob Smith, Dr. Hilary Clayton, Dr. Jordan Lewis, and Dr. Kathleen Timmins join Palm Beach Equine Clinic to contribute to the culture and the success that we currently enjoy. In the past several years, we have added multiple, additional extraordinarily talented veterinarians. Dr. Jorge Gomez, Dr. Weston Davis, Dr. Sarah Puchalski, Dr. Bryan Dubynsky, Dr. Janet Greenfield, Dr. Tyler Davis, Dr. Daren Tamplin, Dr. Natalia Novoa, Dr. Ryan Lukens, Dr. Selina Passante-Watt, and Dr. Sarah Allendorf have all recently joined the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team within the past five years. We have updated all of our technical capabilities and we have added an Annex Office on the WEF show grounds in Wellington, Florida.
What do you see PBEC adding in 2016?
For Palm Beach Equine Clinic, 2016 will be an exciting year for expansion of our physical facility. Palm Beach Equine Clinic plans on adding an additional 4,000 square feet of air conditioned examination areas, an additional surgical suite and recovery stall, as well as climate controlled isolation quarantine stalls. Under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Puchalski, our in house Board Certified Radiologist, Palm Beach Equine Clinic hopes to add the first equine Computed Tomography service (CT scans) to our diagnostic imaging expertise.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Palm Beach Equine Clinic owes all of its success to the horsemen and horsewomen of South Florida. We thank you for trusting our Doctors and staff with your precious family member, your horse. PBEC Veterinarians volunteer their time for many projects in our community. It is our pleasure to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Charity Challenge, One World, and many other local charities. Our doctors also contribute their time to providing veterinary care for the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival as the Official Veterinarians. Palm Beach Equine Clinic is dedicated to providing exceptional care to your horse and is committed to improving our relationship with our clients, as well as our community.
Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic was asked to judge trainer, Charlie Moorcroft’s annual Halloween Pony Parade and Costume Contest on Sunday afternoon, October 27th. Each contest won a prize for various categories. The final prize given was two $50 gift certificates to Palm Beach Equine Clinic for the Best of Show awards. The winners were Sophie Studd and Eliza Guero. Congratulations kids and have a Happy Halloween!!!