Thursday, July 7, 2011
TRAINING THE EQUINE CHAMPION
Carl Jamieson has been a household name in Ontario for over three decades now, and has conditioned (and often drove) his pacers and trotters to victory in virtually all the top stake races in harness racing.
But Up The Credit’s powerful effort in the North America Cup was a perfect Father’s Day gift to three generations of Jamieson paternity.
“The North America Cup is the race that everyone wants to win,” remarked an ecstatic Jamieson after the race. “It’s a very special race, and even more special that Jody (Jamieson) was driving him. My dad (Frank) turned 85 yesterday. He’s here, and my mom (79-year-old Pauline) would’ve been here, but is in the hospital after surgery.”
Up The Credit (p, 2, 1:51.4; 3, 1:49, $923,440) took his two-year-old record in just his second start in 2010, unleashing a 26.2 final quarter to defeat Big Jim in the Dream Maker leg at Mohawk. However, his juvenile campaign was stopped after five starts due to injury.
“Up The Credit had an issue in his right knee,” explained Jamieson. “We knew they had some sesmoiditis, and we were dealing with that. But then he started getting on one line and wouldn’t train properly. I knew he had a ton of speed, but we found a chip that was too large to be taken out, so we stopped with him. We used magnets and a cold laser machine to help heal the knee.”
Cold laser machine?
“It’s called a Theralase TLC — a cold laser machine that I bought for $15,000. I use it all the time on all my horses. Basically, it promotes healing by stimulating cell reproduction in an affected area. It can be used on humans as well. My mother fell last autumn and scraped her arm so badly that we had to cut the skin off. The Theralase has settings like ‘003 for sutures’… ‘004 for wounds’ and so on. I set it at ‘004’ and treated mom’s arm for three minutes each day, and after three days it was pretty much healed.
“The Theralase has both a ‘People Chart’ and a ’Horse Chart.’ If you are treating a human’s knee, you’d set it for ‘038’ and for a horse’s knee at ‘059’.
So, we used all the traditional treatments in terms of rubbing and applications and added the use of magnets and the Theralase. This year, he’s been sound and the knee is good, though I expect there’d be some calcification as a result of the chip.”
This scribe has always been fascinated by technological innovations in the treatment of our light harness equine athletes. ‘Cold laser treatment’ has been used for many years among human athletes, including professional baseball, hockey and football players. Increasingly, cold laser systems have found their way into physiotherapy, dentistry and medicine. Jamieson is one of a number of Ontario trainers that use laser therapy to assist their equine athletes to recover from the stress of racing.
Between the North America Cup elimination and final, Up The Credit was found to be sick.
“We took his blood on Tuesday, and his white count was 10.53,” Jamieson said. “The normal range for the white count is 5.5-9.5, and his ‘differentials’ were high as well, indicating he was probably fighting a bug of some kind.
Because it was so close to race time, we couldn’t treat him with a number of preferred medications. I treated him with sulpha pills, which are antibiotics with no cut-off time.
“Jody told me that Up The Credit had been carrying on the left line, and on Wednesday we found a little bit of a curb, not very big, but it was hot and pinching him. We treated that enough to get him through the race. Since we’ve got three weeks until the Meadowlands Pace, I’ll start treating the curb tomorrow (Monday).” With the Theralase?