Feb 13, 2018 1:00 PM


With the high cost of veterinary care often on the forefront of players’ minds, Dr. Stephanie Massey Colburn, Team USPA member and Equine Veterinary Intern at Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, Florida, saw the need for an open line of communication between local professional players on Team USPA and veterinarians at the clinic. Dr. Paul Wollenman, founder of Palm Beach Equine Clinic and Dr. Scott Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic, opened their doors to Team USPA members for an evening tour of the facility and round table discussion.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic staff and Team USPA players at the round table discussion.
Palm Beach Equine Clinic staff and Team USPA players at the round table discussion.

Dr. Swerdlin led the group of players on a detailed tour of the state-of-the-art facilities at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The clinic is constantly acquiring new technology and improving their facilities to accommodate and treat horses from all disciplines. Dr. Colburn’s motivation for strengthening the relationship between Team USPA members and Palm Beach Equine Clinic stems from the notion that players often only make contact with their vet during emergency barn calls and may not be aware of the specialists, imaging technology and regenerative treatment options available in Wellington for an affordable cost. Dr. Swerdlin fielded questions from the players on surgical procedures and facilities, reproductive services and new equipment for MRIs.

MRI machine at Palm Beach Equine.
MRI machine at Palm Beach Equine.

Following the tour, Dr. Colburn gave a short presentation on “When to Call a Vet.” Dr. Colburn’s mentor, Dr. Wollenman, spoke candidly with the players, “For $150 you can create a vet kit for the barn that will solve most small, common problems, but you also need to know when to call the vet so a little problem doesn’t turn into a big, expensive problem.” Dr. Wollenman is revered in the polo community for his extensive knowledge of polo horses and best practices for maintaining polo horses throughout their career. The players took advantage of his wealth of knowledge and undivided attention for the evening, asking questions ranging from preferences on treating with bute vs. banamine to splitting tendons and regenerative medicine. Dr. Wollenman dispelled several old wives tale treatments and offered advice on specific cases presented by those in attendance.

Colic presentation
Palm Beach Equine staff member gives a presentation.

Dr. Colburn was selected for Team USPA in 2012 during her tenure at Texas A&M University as an undergraduate student. Colburn continued her education in College Station and received her doctorate degree from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. After meeting Dr. Wollenman during Team USPA summer training in Sheridan, Wyoming, Dr. Colburn pursued an externship at Palm Beach Equine for several months. Following her graduation, she was extended an offer to continue her training as an equine veterinary intern at the clinic. Dr. Colburn and Palm Beach Equine Clinic have two additional programs planned for Team USPA in the coming months.