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Cryotherapy adds new string to Thorough Care SA's bow

Retired racehorses in South Australia now have access to Equine Cryotherapy treatment as they make the transition from the race track to their new home thanks to a partnership between Racing SA’s welfare arm Thorough Care SA, and Apex Therapy, which is the first business in South Australia to offer the service for horses.

The cutting edge treatment has been added to the Retired Thoroughbred Racehorse Assistance Package, which Racing SA provides free to new owners.

“Cryotherapy is basically a human treatment that has been developed for the equine side of things, and there are great reports coming out about what it can do for horses,” said Racing SA’s Industry Operations Manager John Cornell.

“Our Thorough Care SA assistance package is predominantly for horses that are coming off a racing program where they have been undergoing a training regime and can have little niggly issues – just like people do. So adding this cryotherapy treatment to our program adds another string to our bow in terms of how we care for these horses.

“We already offer nutrition advice for these horses and provide supplements to make sure they are looked after on the inside, and this will be a great fit for looking after them on the outside,” said Cornell. 

After working with human athletes for years in sports management, Apex Therapy Director Katherine Grantham’s passion for horses led to her becoming the first provider in South Australia to offer cryotherapy for horses.

“My passion is the prehabilitation and rehabilitation of horses and since importing the InstantCryo machine from the UK I have been travelling all over SA helping horses from all walks of life feel and perform their best,” said Grantham.

“Cryotherapy has the ability to change the game of equine care; every week I’m seeing tendon & ligament injuries heal faster, wounds cover with no impingement of scar tissue, fractures clear with speed, inflammation vanish, laminitis disappear, haematomas dissolve, muscles relax with range of movement improve astronomically and the list goes on.

“The treatment is for all horses; whether they’re the arthritic lawn mower, pony club champ or elite performance horses and everything in between; however to be able to offer this treatment to racehorses as they transition off the track is something truly special to me & close to my heart.

“I am honoured to be working with Racing SA and Thorough Care SA to make it happen,” she said.

Equine Cryotherapy is picking up popularity at rapid speeds overseas with top stables such a Godolphin in the UAE and Cian O’Connors stables Karlswood in Ireland both now using the same InstantCryo machine Apex Therapy performs treatment with.

The mobile InstantCryo machine works by releasing C02 gas at minus 78 degrees Celsius at a high pressure of 756 psi, delivering both an icing and compression effect simultaneously.

This initiates what is called the ‘cryotherapeutic effect’ and can help all sorts of ailments including but not limited to post-operative rehabilitation and acute injuries, to increasing natural recovery in race horses, preventing injuries in performance horses or simply helping an elderly horse be more comfortable and pain-free in the paddock.

The free targeted Cryotherapy treatment can be applied for via the Racing SA website as part of the Retired Thoroughbred Racehorse Assistance Package.


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