California Riding Magazine • January, 2010

Pioneer Equine Hospital
Established full-service hospital stays at the forefront of lameness, surgical and breeding services.

Even as it nears its 40th anniversary, Pioneer Equine Hospital has never chosen to rest on its laurels. Last year, Pioneer Equine built a new facility on its property in Oakdale to better accommodate increasing demand for its lameness, surgical and breeding oriented services.

Two new surgical suites, a standing surgery room, a full complement of exam rooms and a complete lab enable Pioneer’s excellent staff of veterinarians to deliver what they’re known for: cutting edge veterinary care made possible by cutting edge knowledge, expertise and equipment.

With a clientele fairly evenly split between english and western performance horses, Pioneer’s team sees all manor of lamenesses. It’s an ever-evolving specialty, notes the hospital’s owner Brad Jackman, DVM. “We’re a competitive society and we are asking these equine athletes to do more in more competitive environments. The horses are bred for their athletic prowess, of course, but they are also being used harder and you could say we are seeing ‘new’ lamenesses as a result of that trend.”

Increasing sophistication in diagnostic abilities is another trend that keeps Pioneer’s vets on their toes. “We are able to diagnose things that we’d not been able to diagnose in the past and, therefore, we have a better chance at helping the horse.” Effective treatment, Jackman continues, has always been contingent on a good diagnosis. “We have cutting edge capability here to do that kind of diagnostic work.”

A high-field MRI machine is one of Pioneer’s newest tools in this effort. Compared to a low-field MRI, the high-field version produces more and clearer images of the area in question. “If you want to look at joint cartilage, for example, you can’t really get it with a low-field MRI,” Jackman explains. It will also reveal small lesions that may cause or contribute to a lameness. In general, MRI is the gold standard for assessing injuries involving soft tissues and the high-field MRI takes the technology’s capabilities to the next level.

Having a full team of veterinarians is one of Pioneer’s big advantages. “We very much work as a team, and we don’t let our egos get in the way of anything,” Jackman notes. “At any given time, we have multiple qualified individuals on hand. Any of our board certified veterinarians can get a second opinion on something at the drop of a hat.”

The high number of veterinary students seeking internships at Pioneer is good gauge of how the hospital is viewed by fellow practitioners throughout the country. “We even have vets who have graduated and run their own practices come to spend time with us because of what we have to offer,” Jackman says.

Breeding Services

In keeping with its full-service mission, Pioneer converted its original building to serve as the headquarters for the breeding services it provides as a Select Breeding Services affiliate lab. Associated with SBS for close to 10 years, Pioneer prides itself in being at the forefront of everything involved in producing the most viable equine semen. Pioneer’s reproductive services include collection, preparing semen for storage and transport in cooled and frozen modes and, generally, doing all possible to “maintain the semen quality and optimize its success rate,” Jackman explains. Mares get equal attention at Pioneer, where individualized mare care is administered along with the latest techniques in collecting and transferring embryos and embryo freezing (vitrification).

An online pharmacy for Pioneer clients is a recent addition that’s been popular with horse owners. “We’d been concerned about the quality of medications available online,” says Jackman in explaining the catalyst for this service. “What’s available through our online pharmacy is provided by distributors that we’ve been working with for a very long time and we are comfortable with their quality controls.”

The Pioneer staff of 10 veterinarians is complemented by two farriers, several technicians and an efficient and cheerful office staff. Together with the latest technology, they enable Pioneer to offer the very best in diagnosis, treatment and overall care for their clients.

For more information on Pioneer Equine Hospital, visit or call 209-847-5951.