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Because of Horses

Jun 28, 2019

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, is an international leader in veterinary medicine, providing specialized medical and surgical care to all equine breeds and disciplines. Dr. W. Thomas Riddle and Dr. Bill Rood founded the full-service equine hospital in 1986 and, ever since, it’s known throughout the world for its commitment to quality care and relationships with clients and the surrounding community. Its talented staff has provided full-service medical and surgical support to some of the most famous equines in the world, earning the practice the nickname of “the Mayo Clinic for horses.” Now owned by 26 shareholders, Rood & Riddle has satellite campuses in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Wellington, Florida.
Rood & Riddle is actively involved in owner education and outreach. In recognition of their connection to the Thoroughbred racing industry and the need for aftercare programs, Rood & Riddle established the RR Thoroughbred Sport Horse Awards, given annually to the top Thoroughbreds competing in dressage, eventing, hunter and jumper classes at US Equestrian Federation shows. In addition, the practice presents the Rood & Riddle Comeback Award to the equine athlete who conquers a major health complication and ultimately returns to elite competition after receiving care by the Rood & Riddle staff.
Veterinary medicine is a family tradition in the Riddle family. Riddle is the son of a veterinarian and several of his children have connections to the field. Riddle is originally from Greenville, South Carolina, and attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia. He relocated to Kentucky after graduation to intern with Dr. Dan Witherspoon at Spendthrift Farm.
Riddle has been the president of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, the Society for Theriogenology and The Theriogenology Foundation. He was awarded the Steiner Award for Excellence in the Practice of Theriogenology and is an honorary member of the American College of Theriogenologists. He currently has a busy breeding practice in central Kentucky and is the director of public relations for Rood & Riddle.


In this episode, Elise and Dr. Riddle discuss his experience as the first veterinarian to discover Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS), which ultimately cost the industry over $100 million and put him in an unexpected international media spotlight, but also lay the groundwork for an unprecedented collaboration between veterinarians around the globe. Dr. Riddle also shares his perspective on Rood & Riddle’s evolution from its early days to its recognition as The Mayo Clinic for Horses; offers advice to current and aspiring veterinarians; and discusses his perspective on the future of veterinary medicine and science in the next 20–30 years. Elise and Dr. Riddle also talk about his typical day, the types of cases seen in their reproductive practice (the LeBlanc Reproductive Center), and recounts some of his best memories delivering amazing news to horse owners.


Tune in to hear it all!


Topics of Discussion:

[:25] About today’s guest.

[1:05] When Dr. Tom Riddle thinks back to the very beginning of Rood & Riddle, what experiences stand out to him most?

[3:32] Dr. Riddle reflects on how remarkable it is to have far exceeded the goals he and Dr. Rood set for the practice.

[5:19] Dr. Riddle speaks about the more than 10,000 cases they see annually.

[7:35] Dr. Riddle offers advice to current veterinarians and veterinarian students aspiring to someday work at Rood & Riddle.

[12:47] Dr. Riddle speaks about the importance of collaboration and truly working as a team at Rood & Riddle.

[15:56] What is it about horses that inspires such devotion?

[18:29] Why veterinary medicine is a mix of science, art, and instinct.

[21:02] Dr. Riddle’s experiences and insights into Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS).

[25:14] As a veterinarian, working with the world’s finest practitioners and staff, how important is collaboration, excellent communication, and rapport?

[28:45] Dr. Riddle’s predictions for veterinary medicine breakthroughs over the next 20–30 years.

[34:20] At the heart of Rood & Riddle’s reproductive practice is the LeBlanc Reproductive Center. Dr. Riddle discusses the types of cases that are seen there and the differences between a general practice veterinarian and a theriogenologist.

[39:10] A typical day for Dr. Riddle and the aspects of being a practicing vet that mean the most to him.

[40:45] The milestones for mares that reproductive specialists look for, measure, and manage.

[46:40] Dr. Riddle recounts some of his favorite memories delivering great news to horse owners.

[47:38] What experiences from Dr. Riddle’s father’s vet practice fed his own interest in veterinarian medicine? And what is it like to share that legacy with his dad?

[50:41] As a self-described “horse nut,” one of Dr. Riddle’s favorite places is in the saddle, riding with his wife. 

[52:02] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses.

[53:23] Where to learn more about Rood & Riddle.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital

Dr. Tom Riddle

Dr. Bill Rood

Mayo Clinic

Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS)

EquestFile (Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)

The LeBlanc Reproductive Center at Rood & Riddle

“A Day with Dr. Tom Riddle” Video

Next week’s episode of Because of Horses


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