From Hunters and Jumpers... to Dressage and Polo
Equestrian Marketing, Public Relations and Event Management

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterist
Equestrian Photography
Join our Mailing List
Powered by ConstantContact

Phelps Media Group is a public relations and marketing firm dedicated to the promotion and success of the equestrian industry.

Press Release


Karen Lucca and Spice

Click on the above photos for details and a high resolution version.

Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Horse Owner’s Experience With Laminitis Emphasizes Importance of Education

Written by: Sue Weakley
Client: International Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot
Release Date: 2013-08-26

Laminitis Conference Open to Owners, Trainers, Veterinarians, and Farriers

Wellington, FL – August 26, 2013 - Karen Lucca of Loxahatchee, FL, believes that her horse, Cinnamon Spice, is alive today because of an educated veterinarian and farrier, but she said she wished she had known more about the laminitis the mare suffers from before it had become so advanced.

The International Equine Conference of Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot will offer an in-depth educational program for owners, managers, trainers, and technicians in West Palm Beach, FL, from November 1-3. It will be a valuable experience for owners like Lucca who are interested in learning how best to care for their horses.

Lucca said she became interested in horses later in life and did not own one until she was in her 40s. “I didn’t realize that the symptoms she was showing was laminitis,” Lucca said. “I thought she had a [foot] abscess.”

“I’ve had her for eight years and never had a major issue with her,” Lucca said of the 14.2-hand Arabian Quarter Horse mare. “She did have a [foot] abscess back in December and we took care of that and then she was back to normal. Then, she started acting kind of the same way so I thought she had an abscess again. Her hoof didn’t look right so I called the farrier, Bill Tisnower, out.  He said, ‘It looks like there’s a white line. You need to get the vet out here.’  So, we called the vet, and that’s when he did the x-rays and she did have some rotation.”

Spice had foundered on both front feet. 

“If I had known how to recognize it, I would have gotten the treatment a lot more quickly,” Lucca said.

Organizers for the Laminitis Conference scheduled for Nov. 1-3 in West Palm Beach, FL, believe that education for horse owners, trainers, veterinarians, and farriers is the key to helping horses go on to lead happy, healthy lives after suffering from laminitis or other diseases of the hoof.

“Education would help vets and farriers, but it would be helpful for just the general horse owners too,” Lucca said. She has been involved in horse rescue and said she was worried after learning Spice’s diagnosis that the mare would have to be put down.

“It was scary,” she said. “I have been around rescue horses and often by the time they come to the rescue, they have to be euthanized. That was my biggest fear.”

And that’s where her veterinarian, Dr. Axel Beccar-Varela of Reid and Associates Equine Medicine and Surgery in Loxahatchee, FL, came in. He calmed her fears and educated her. “He thought outside the box,” she said. “His first priority was her comfort.”

That’s exactly what his goals were. “With laminitic horses, the main thing is to get them stable and minimize pain, Beccar-Varela said.  “Then, there are different kinds of support we can use to get them comfortable. We are more likely to try the standard types of support, and if that doesn’t go anywhere, then we go to more complicated and expensive ways to treat them. In her case, the first thing we tried were those Easyboot® or Soft-Ride® boots. They are simple to use, reasonably priced and reduce the pain associated with sore feet. She initially responded pretty positively and then, after a week or week and a half, we had to move on to the next option.” 

After they tried the boots, Dr. Beccar-Varela and Lucca’s farrier trimmed the mares hooves and put wooden “clogs” on her to allow the ability to adjust her weight so she could ease some of the pain of standing. 

Her prognosis is good. Spice now eats a low-carbohydrate feed and soaked Timothy hay. The mare is also on a weight-loss regime so she can regain her once girlish figure.

 “He thinks we will be able to ride her,” Lucca said.

Lucca said that she learned so much about laminitis and believes that not only horse professionals, but all horse owners could learn a lot from the Laminitis Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida on November 1 to 3rd.

About the Laminitis Conference
The Laminitis Conference provides innovative and useful programs for veterinarians, farriers, horse owners, managers, trainers, and technicians. Attendees receive the latest, most advanced scientific and practical information, including the newest research and techniques used in the treatment of laminitis and other diseases of the foot. It is a valuable opportunity to network with colleagues and peers. Plus, new this year— the Horse Owners Program with a focus on the wellness of the horse provides an opportunity for owners, trainers and barn managers to talk to the experts. All the Conference's events, activities, entertainment and meals are included in the registration.

The mission of the Laminitis Conference is to engage veterinarians, farriers, caretakers and the greater equine community in a collaborative effort to advance, expand and disseminate knowledge through research and collective experiences to effectively prevent and treat Equine Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot.

The conference will include:

  • The latest research and scientific information on laminitis
  • A clinical focus on moving from the laboratory to the horse
  • Attendee poster session for the "sharing" of new ideas for future innovations by attendees
  • Scholarships and competitive poster program for the next generation of veterinarians from Schools and Colleges of Veterinary Medicine across North America and around the world
  • A dedicated foot segment for farriers, veterinarians and others interested in the current trends and treatment of foot problems
  • An in-depth program for horse owners, managers, trainers and technicians

Fast Facts: 2013 International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot

When: November 1-3, 2013

Where: Marriott Convention Center
1001 Okeechobee Boulevard · West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 USA

To Register Now: Click here

For more information about the Laminitis Conference go to:


Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic

Castle Bay Farm


Thoroughbred Charities of America

Cherry Knoll Farm


Iron Spring Farm

Penn Veterinary Medicine

The University of Georgia


Home | What We Do | Our Clients | Releases | Meet the PMG Staff | Contact Us
Photo Gallery | Featured Articles | RSS |

© 2020 Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 201, Wellington, FL 33414

All photography may only be used in conjunction with a related press release.

We do not sell our email lists or share our lists with other companies or individuals.