Wellington, FL (February 26, 2015)—When dressage competitor and trainer John Zopatti won a raffle at the Plantation Field International CIC and Horse Trials, he didn’t think his prize — a two-month trial of the UltrOZ Equine Ultrasound Therapy device, distributed by Hamilton BioVet and manufactured by Zetroz — was something he would ever need to use. “I originally told them I didn’t need it because I didn’t have any horses with injuries,” said the USDF Gold Medalist and four-time Gold Coast Dressage Association Trainer of the Year. But when Zopatti returned to Wellington, Florida for the winter dressage season, he discovered a client’s horse with a minor tendon injury— and immediately put the device to use.
“I used the UltrOZ on the injury, which was in the final stages of healing— but we wanted to speed it up,” he explained. “It’s very easy to use— actually, after supervising it just once or twice, the owner was able to put it on her horse every day for a couple of hours. It’s a low-intensity ultrasound, which helps increase circulation and speed healing.”
Ultrasound therapy has been used by veterinarians for decades to treat soft tissue and bone fracture injuries, but it typically requires active administration and large, clunky machines. The UltrOZ, developed by researchers at Cornell University, makes ultrasound therapy quick, easy, and safe to administer. Preparing the device — which is applied near the injury using ultrasound gel and specially engineered neoprene wraps — takes just a few minutes, and no active supervision is required during the up-to-four-hour treatment time. Internal fail-safes prevent over-treatment and eliminate the risk of thermal injury. The UltrOZ can be used to relieve pain and treat a variety of issues including minor strains, bumps, bruises, inflammation, tendon and suspensory injuries, splints, muscle strains and tears, and fractured or chipped bones.
Zopatti, who has decades of training experience, was impressed with the effectiveness of the device and the quick recovery of his client’s horse. “The horse is almost back in full work, and to this date, everything looks good,” he said, adding that he would definitely recommend the use of the UltrOZ to other riders. “It’s a great way to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to help the horse heal as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Though he would readily use the device again, Zopatti of course expressed a hope never to need it. The sought-after clinician is currently preparing several horses for national and regional championship events. While he spends winters competing with his horses and clients in the Wellington dressage circuit, he will soon be returning to Pinehurst, North Carolina where he has spent the past fourteen summers coaching Eventers in dressage — including some of the top winning dressage amateur and young riders on the East Coast. “We’re gearing up the Eventers in North Carolina and starting to prepare them for their show season, and we are going to make it to Rolex with a couple of horses,” he promised.
Photo: John Zopatti wins an UltrOZ Equine Ultrasound Therapy trial (Photo courtesy of JRPR— no photo credit necessary)