Lameness/Injury Prevention & Care – EXCLUSIVE TO RACING – Winter ’20

Mar 23 – May 12

2 weeks (5-10 hrs/wk)

Learn how to prevent injury and manage lameness

In the 2017 Ontario Horse Racing Industry Survey conducted by Equine Guelph, ‘injuries/lameness’ was ranked the number two health issue of concern after respiratory issues.

Racehorses are elite athletes and best performance can only be achieved with optimal health.  Given the demanding life of the equine athlete, racehorses are at risk of lameness and injury every day of their life.  There are daily practices that can be done to reduce the risk.

This online short course can be of benefit for all racehorse trainers and grooms in order to help prevent injury and how to manage lameness – improving your horse’s performance on the track!

Never taken an online course before? No worries! This course takes a common sense, practical and flexible approach to training – no prior online learning experience required.

Equine Guelph thanks the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for providing education, training and awareness project funding in support of AGCO licensees.

This course is available exclusively to AGCO licensees.


Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion from Equine Guelph – the horse owner’s Centre at the University of Guelph.

Time Commitment:

  • Occurs over a 2-week period
  • 5-10 hour time commitment is required during this period
  • No set times to be online!  Log in at your own convenience and learn at your own pace.
  • Recommended you visit the course site at least 5 times a week, preferably once or more each day
  • Course is entirely online, so travel to the University of Guelph is NOT required


  • All materials are provided online within course site


  • 16 years of age or older
  • Valid AGCO licence holders only!

For more information, please email [email protected]

Phone: 519 824-4120, ext. 54205

Course Instructor – Dr. Darryl Bonder

Dr. Darryl Bonder had a lifetime interest in becoming an equine veterinarian. From the earliest memories, he had a passionate love for horses. Growing up he volunteered (cleaned stalls and rode in exchange) at a sport horse facility just to be near the animals he found so intriguing. As a summer job from university, he exercised horses at Woodbine Race Track. Veterinary medicine seemed to be the perfect vocation for combining his love for horses and his interest in the biological sciences.

He was accepted into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. He graduated with honours in 1977 and was the recipient of the Fowler award for highest proficiency in equine medicine and surgery. Dr. Bonder has constantly striven to expand his knowledge base by completing certificates in internal fixation, arthroscopic surgery and nuclear medicine. He has a keen interest in arthroscopic surgery, equine sports medicine and nuclear medicine. He is a past president of the Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners (OAEP) and a member of the Federal Drug Advisory Committee to Racetracks Canada. Dr. Bonder has a longstanding commitment to equine welfare through his continued association with the Long Run Program.

Course Facilitator – Gayle Ecker

Gayle Ecker is the Director of Equine Guelph and played an instrumental role in its birth and ongoing development as a Centre for the horse owner at the University of Guelph. She has dedicated her energies to advancing the equine industry through education and communications on health, welfare and safety. Gayle continues working on a ‘pyramid of education’ model – an educational approach that provides learning pathways for career development at all levels (youth education > industry skills > Equine Science Certificate and Diploma >leading to higher education) in the equine industry. In collaboration with the Office of Open Learning, Gayle developed the Equine Studies program targeted to the equine industry to provide over 20 online courses that can be combined for Business, Science and Welfare Certificates or an Equine Studies Diploma. She also acts as an instructor in many of the courses, and also for several courses on The Horse Portal.

Dr. Orlaith Cleary graduated with a veterinary degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, in June 2003. She then completed a Large Animal Medicine and Surgery internship at the University of Georgia, followed by an Equine Medicine and Surgery internship at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala, Florida. In the summer of 2005 she lectured at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin and traveled to observe equine surgery in Sweden. She then worked as a resident veterinarian at Adena Springs South in Williston, Florida, until July 2006. In July 2009, Dr. Cleary completed a 3-year residency in Large Animal Surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville with surgical externships in private practices in Florida, Kentucky, and New Jersey. This was followed by a clinical instructorship at the University of Florida. She moved to Ontario to join the teams at Milton Equine Hospital and Allen Equine services in July 2010. From 2017-2018 she worked doing elective and emergency large animal surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She joined the Ontario Equine Hospital team in April 2019. Dr. Cleary’s special interests are in advanced imaging (MRI, CT, scintigraphy), as well as all aspects of soft tissue and orthopedic surgery.

These individuals have provided their expertise and assistance in developing course videos and other content:

Dr. Jeff Thomason


Dr. Jeff ThomasonOntario Veterinary College

Well known for his ability to bring anatomy to life, Dr. Thomason teaches anatomy to veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College.   Dr. Thomason is a researcher conducting internationally recognized research on the equine hoof.

Natalie Elliott

Natalie has been in the Standardbred industry in southwestern Ontario for 16 years in varying degrees as a groom, owner, trainer, racing under saddle rider, employed with O.H.H.A. for youth camps, and the Hands on Horses Program.

“It’s an honour to be an Industry Ambassador for free online courses offered by Equine Guelph. By encouraging industry learning of the best practices and newest research available, our equine partners will receive leading edge care when the knowledge is applied to real-life situations! Of the courses I’ve taken in the past, I find the content very transferable to daily care and safety in the barn and hope everyone that participates will enjoy the lessons as well.”

Cameron Lago

Cameron, who has cared for livestock his whole life, developed an unexplainable addiction to horses and in particular the racing industry in the past eight years after attending a youth camp put on by Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) at Flamboro Downs. This launched a career working in the harness racing industry and a commitment to advocate animal welfare whenever possible.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be an Industry Ambassador, promoting Equine Guelph and the short courses offered. The racing industries in Ontario always have lots of room to grow and embrace new knowledge. The short courses offered exclusively for the racing industries have the ability to strengthen individuals and industries as a whole. I am excited to take on the Industry Ambassador position and connect more individuals with ways to expand their knowledge regarding their equine athletes.”

Lee-Anne Moffatt

Lee-Anne was born into the horse racing industry in Ontario and has been licensed with the ORC/AGCO since the early age of 10. She has over 40 years of experience in the equine industry ranging from hot-walker, groom, trainer and owner in all three sectors – Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse racing.

“I’d like to thank the University of Guelph, for providing me with the opportunity, to represent the racing Industry for the promotion of Continuing Education. Whether it is initiating first aid in an unexpected situation or improving daily practices to decrease the incidence of colic, with improved assessment skills we are better able to prevent our animals from injury. Through acquired knowledge, we are better equipped to make needed modifications, to keep our equine athletes from the unthinkable – perishing in a barn fire. Whatever the takeaway, it is most certain that we will leave better prepared, with the tools to apply what we have learned to our unique situations. I look forward to connecting, encouraging and sharing with our collective group of racing enthusiasts, the available opportunities, which will further promote and enhance our sustainability. Knowledge has a beginning but no end.”

AGCO Licence Holders Only

access until May 11, 2020 12:00 am