Racehorse Injury/Lameness Prevention & Care – Winter ’22

Feb 21 – Mar 29

2 weeks (5-10 hrs/wk)

Archived, Exclusively for the Horse Racing Industry!

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.

FREE for AGCO Licence Holders!   

  • Click “Enroll” in the registration box below.
  • On the Registration page, fill out the required fields, then under “Have a coupon?”, enter the code InjuryCareCOSA and click “Apply”
  • The cost of the course will now be free of charge.  Agree to the Terms and Conditions and click “Submit.”
  • You are now registered for the course!


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. Melissa McKee, McKee-Pownall Equine Services

Dr. McKee grew up in the local horse industry. As well as coaching, training horses, and competing in many disciplines, she worked in a saddlery and apprenticed with a local farrier. She competed to advanced level in 3-day eventing throughout the United States prior to attending veterinary school.

After graduating, she worked in New Jersey at a large equine referral hospital that provided surgical care, lameness, medicine, emergency, and ambulatory practice, followed by a year in equine practice in Alberta before returning to Ontario as a founding partner of McKee-Pownall Equine Services. She is certified in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy through the COAC. Melissa has served on the American Association of Equine Practitioners Scholarship, Racing, Education, and Ethics committees, and is an Equine representative for the Ontario Animal Health Network.  Dr. McKee’s professional interests include lameness, diagnostic imaging, MRI, VSMT, and racehorse/sports medicine practice.


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.

Ruleen Lilley

I started working with Standardbred horses 40 years ago at Mac Lilley Farms.  In the 1980’s it was not considered lady-like to be present in the barn when horse breeding was taking place.  Boy, have we women come a long way! Now we have women handling the stallions, training, driving, and owning these marvelous animals. I’m married to a fulltime, lifelong Standardbred horseman, Jeff. We have two sons, Alex and Gerald. You would think after dragging them to every racetrack as children, they might have turned off the sport, but both are fulltime horsemen too. I guess we have all caught the horse bug. My favorite time of the year is Springtime, witnessing the miracle of birth.

In 2022 we celebrate Mac Lilley Farm’s 50th year of breeding Standardbreds. In those years we have stood over 50 stallions, and bred more than 12,000 mares. We have raced at tracks from PEI to Edmonton and many tracks across the USA. This life has shown us: struggles, and thrills, and I wouldn’t have chosen any different path. I look forward to being your Standardbred Ambassador and learning even more about the horses we are privileged to work with each day.

Renée Kierans

My involvement in the horse racing industry has spanned close to 40 years, and covers many facets of the industry. My involvement with horses in general has been life long.

Jobs throughout the years have been those of an exercise rider, pony rider, outrider, starting gate crew, trainer and owner. I worked for 12 years doing on air broadcasting and handicapping for Woodbine and Mohawk, covering both thoroughbred and standardbred racing. I have also been an instructor for the Woodbine presented groom school on several occasion.

Aside form working with race horses, I love the time I get to spend working with show hunters and, when my schedule allows, competing in a few horse shows throughout the season.  My partner is a Hall of Fame standardbred trainer, so racing, and horses in general, are really my life not just my job, and I wouldn’t change a thing.