Gold Medalist Finds the Life Aquatic at The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy Center

Gold Medalist Finds the Life Aquatic at

Gold Medalist Finds the Life Aquatic at The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy Center

Ocala, FL (April 18, 2013) – “I choose to condition my horse at The Sanctuary because it is a state-of-the-art facility with helpful and knowledgeable staff. Their aquatic services provide an excellent conditioning modality, which increases my horse’s stamina, while reducing the concussive forces experienced when racing and training. I believe this contributes to Jack’s performance and soundness,” says Denise Secino, of Oakhill Farm in Ocala, Florida, who has logged more than 1,400 endurance miles and 11 Top Ten finishes in 29 competitions with her 12 year-old Arabian gelding, Windstalker (aka, ‘Jack’).

Gold Medalist Finds the Life Aquatic at
Denise Secino and Windstalker, aka Jack, are a top endurance pair that use swimming at The Sanctuary to keep Jack in top form. (Photo courtesy of Denise Secino)

Ten of those 11 top finishes have been since conditioning Jack at The Sanctuary Equine Sports and Rehabilitation Center, also in Ocala.

“Fortunately, Jack hasn’t needed ‘formal’ rehabilitation but utilizing The Sanctuary swimming pool has enabled him to stay fit while recuperating after a traumatic fall during competition last November,” added Secino, who began riding competitively in 2006. The dynamic duo have competed in some of the most difficult and challenging endurance races in America, including The Vermont 50, Old Dominion (VT) 55, and Biltmore Challenge FEI 50 in North Carolina where, in 2011, Jack was fourth out of 93 starters and earned the AHA Best Arabian award.

“Jack was also 2012 Arabian Horse Association (AHA) National Reserve Champion in the 50-mile race, as well as being part of the Gold Medal team at the Adequan AERC/AHA National Championship at the Biltmore estate in Asheville, North Carolina last September.” More recently, the pair were fourth in the Charlotte’s Webb 50-mile race in Punta Gorda, Florida.

“The Sanctuary is proud of the great success it has earned over the years helping to rehab horses and get them back in the ring or condition horses that are competing,” says The Sanctuary’s general manager, Brenda McDuffee. “The great thing about our therapies for horses is that they are based on methods used for human rehabilitation. Just like human athletes who work hard to condition their bodies, our horses deserve to be in the best condition so that they can compete at the top of their game.”

In addition to Jack’s favorite, the swimming pool, The Sanctuary’s services also offer The Aqua Pacer, an above-ground underwater treadmill with a revolutionary design that allows for safer, more effective exercise than comparable machines. The Aqua Pacer provides 40-60% buoyancy while giving horses an easier range of motion than traditional exercise. The mild impact of an underwater treadmill stimulates bone and cartilage growth while allowing for a low-impact, full-body exercise with natural resistance that is lighter on legs and joints, making the Aqua Pacer a safe alternative to post-surgical hand-walking, with reduced risk of recurring injury, better healing, and a speedier return to normal activity.

“The reduced concussion and controlled movement make it an excellent intermediate step before proceeding to full weight-bearing exercise. It is the perfect exercise when low impact conditioning is needed,” added McDuffee.

Endurance racing is the ultimate test of peak performance. The Sanctuary provides top-shelf rehabilitation and conditioning for equine athletes at a world-class facility featuring some of the most advanced conditioning and rehabilitation equipment in the world, including Pegasus Laser Therapy, cold saltwater leg spa, Aqua-Pacer treadmill, Electro-magnetic Pulse Therapy, Respiratory Therapy (Transpirator II) and equine pool. For more about The Sanctuary, visit

Photo: Denise Secino and Windstalker, aka Jack, are a top endurance pair that use swimming at The Sanctuary to keep Jack in top form. (Photo courtesy of Denise Secino)

Brenda McDuffee (General Manager)    The Sanctuary Equine Sports

Therapy & Rehabilitation Center  1-352-369-HEAL (4325)