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Story #31Rood & Riddle Equine HospitalLexington, KY

One of the things we’re most proud of at Rood and Riddle is our culture. Everyone wants to provide the best service for their horses and provide the best service for our clients.

Kentucky’s horse industry was valued at $3 billion in 2013, and is home to more than 240,000 horses — 50,000 of which are thoroughbreds. Caring for this valuable population – and their owners and trainers – requires a special brand of skill and dedication. Housed amid the lush green pastures of Lexington, Ky. is Rood and Riddle, one of the top equine hospitals in the country.

Doctors/business partners Thomas Riddle and Bill Rood have grown from a small office garage to a 24-acre state-of-the-art facility, employing 250 equine health professionals and capable of caring for up to 150 horses. Fifty veterinarians are on staff at their primary location in Lexington, with another eight at a newer facility in Saratoga, N.Y.

Growing up in South Carolina as the son of a veterinarian, Riddle shadowed his father in his youth. He not only bonded with horses, but also learned the value of diligence and perseverance– lessons that still inspire him.

“[My father] was very dogged,” says Riddle. “He was going to get something done, even if it meant I couldn’t get home when I wanted to. He would persevere. That was firmly ingrained in me in my youth. And I think I, to a point, have carried on that tradition.”

Dr. Riddle moved to Kentucky, became a veterinarian focusing exclusively on horses, and eventually became friends and business partners with fellow horse expert Rood. Riddle still actively practices medicine, focusing on his special interest– reproduction. He spends most of his days on the road, traveling between farms. Rood, on the other hand, is more interested in “hands-on management” of the business, and has done so full-time for the last 15 years.

Their practice has expanded steadily, adding new veterinarians every year since they moved into their facility in 1986. Dr. Riddle openly welcomes change and expansion as a necessary piece of maintaining a business.

“We’re continuing to move forward and have always been of the opinion that you have to keep moving forward,” says Dr. Riddle. “You have to keep trying to provide the very best. It’s a competitive industry and while that competition is sometimes uncomfortable, it does encourage us all to do our best and to provide the best service because if we don’t somebody else down the road will.”

Photos by Ed Kashi

  • In order to make it home to his family in the evenings, Dr. Thomas Riddle often starts his days at 5:30am. "It's important for families to be together and so we've been able to do that pretty much throughout my career most nights," says Dr. Riddle.

  • Dr. Thomas Riddle and his staff during a house call in Lexington, KY.

  • Lexington, KY is home to a large number of breeding farms, most of which now focus on thoroughbred reproduction.

  • Veterinarian and co-founder of Rood and Riddle, Dr. Thomas Riddle focuses primarily on breeding and makes daily house calls to local farms. His assistant drives, which allows him to get office work done between farm visits.

  • Workers in the podiatry unit at Rood and Riddle.

  • In the last 10 years, Rood and Riddle has added a stem cell labratory and compounding pharmacy.

  • Rood and Riddle founder, Dr. Thomas Riddle, focuses primarily on breeding. Their office has a prenatal unit and he typically visits breeding farms daily.

  • A sick horse and its prematurely born foal at the prenatal ICU at Rood and Riddle's Lexington office.

  • The founders of Rood and Riddle, doctors Bill Rood and Thomas Riddle, are most proud of the company culture they have created at their small business. Their employees are passionate about their professions and strive to provide the best service for their horses and clients.

  • A thoroughbred horse post-surgery at Rood and Riddle in Lexington, KY.

  • As one of the premier hospitals in an area with a large horse industry, Rood and Riddle must be able to manage a large number of horses. Their 24-acre facilitiy can house up to 150 horses at a time.

  • A thoroughbred horse undergoing surgery at Rood and Riddle in Lexington, KY.

  • Since Rood and Riddle expanded to their current facilities in 1985, they have consistently added one to two veterinarians per year. They currently employ 60 veterinarians and a total staff of 230 equine professionals.

  • As the horse capital of the world, Kentucky is home to 240,000 horses-- 50,000 of which are thoroughbreds. Rood and Riddle is one of the premiere equine hospitals in the area.

Business Details

Proprietor: William A. Rood, DVM and W. Thomas Riddle, DVM
2150 Georgetown Rd. Lexington, KY 40511
PH: 859-233-0371 / Website
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