“If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Dr. Mark Revenaugh is president of the Equine High-Performance Sports Group and a renowned veterinarian. He’s been in practice for over 30 years, has served as U.S. Team Veterinarian, and has established two highly successful sports medicine practices. All of this knowledge has contributed to his unique perspective on sport horse health and created a desire to seek new therapies and management approaches to enhance wellness and performance.
It’s ultimately what inspired him to form the Equine High-Performance Sports Group, a platform for like-minded individuals in the equestrian industry to come together to share best practices for managing sport horses (both from a sports and veterinary perspective).
“If you do this long enough [being a sport horse veterinarian] you begin to look for ways to improve and do things better,” shared Dr. Revenaugh in the fourth installment of the Sport Horse Podcast.
“We started out as a small group holding closed-door meetings with the goal of figuring out how to do better for U.S. Team horses and riders. When we got the right people under one roof and began talking, we realized how many opportunities to improve there were—provided we were willing to think differently about how we manage our horses and run our programs. So it really was a shift in mindset.”
The first meeting was held 10 years ago, and since this time the group has grown and become a formal entity. Toward the end of 2020 the Equine High-Performance Sports Group (EHPSG) was officially created to fulfill the mission of fostering a community for innovative education and research in sport horse care, focusing on learning and improving the health and performance of athletes.
“We were identifying problems but not coming up with solutions,” noted Mark. “With this newly formed Equine High-Performance Sports Group, we are launching projects that actually look for ways to find tangible methods, techniques and products to take a different approach—much more similar to how they manage human athletes as compared to how we have traditionally managed our equine athletes.”
The EHPSG has launched a number of initiatives to tackle questions that have long plagued the industry and slowed advancement. For example, projects are underway to examine the efficacy of different treatment approaches to treat sport horse injuries, rounds that discuss challenging rehabilitation cases and outcomes, and developing a library of high-quality information to help trainers, riders and owners make the best management decisions based on scientific evidence. The Sport Horse Podcast is another output from this group.
Listen to the full episode to hear Dr. Revenaugh discuss these projects as well as his approach to innovation and looking for the best solutions for everyday sport horse issues.
Share your thoughts about the current state of equestrian sports in the comments. What do you think the sport does well and what needs to change when it comes to sport horse management?
About the Expert
Dr. Mark Revenaugh, DVM is the Founder and President of the Equine High-Performance Sports Group, Owner of Northwest Equine Performance as well as Seattle Equine Performance, and a renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of lameness and performance issues. He runs a vibrant practice and attracts clients from all over the northwest and has worked as a U.S. Team Veterinarian, beginning in the late 1990s. His greatest professional joy remains being part of a winning team; helping horses and owners make good decisions to advance equine health and maximize performance.