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UGA Vet Med has unique tie to 2018 Tournament of Roses parade

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Three years ago a horse owned by David Helmuth of Milledgeville, Georgia, was referred to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a broken bone in his front leg. Today, Rusty is preparing to lead the first-ever six-horse stagecoach team for Wells Fargo in the 2018 Tournament of Roses parade.

Rusty is a 10-year old Belgian who works as a member of the Wells Fargo Bank stagecoach team. In 2014, Rusty was kicked in the shin by another horse right before pulling the stage in the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade. It didn’t appear serious at the time, but the next morning his leg was very swollen so David contacted his local veterinarian who referred them to the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Once in Athens, Rusty's veterinary team determined that extensive medical care and surgery would be required to treat the injury, but the prognosis wasn’t great. David was told that it was possible that Rusty may never be sound again.

Despite the risks, David decided to go ahead with the surgery. Rusty came through with flying colors thanks to the dedicated team at the VTH and now, three years later, Rusty can boast a 100% recovery. He hasn’t been lame a day since the surgery. 

Tune in to watch the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day to cheer on Rusty and David before the Dawgs take on the Sooners in the Rose Bowl!