Five Questions With... An Equine Physio
October 28, 2021
Similar to a human physio, an equine physio addresses and treat musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain by manually manipulating joints. They play a key role in a keeping horse feeling fit and well. Recently, we chatted to Tom Simpson who began life as a human physio but shortly realised he’d prefer to swap out the humans and treat horses instead, gaining himself a Masters degree in Animal Physiotherapy. Fun fact: to be an equine physiotherapist, you need to work as a human physiotherapist first.
1: What is your earliest or favourite memory of horse racing?
There are a number but two stand out to me. The first was being a part of and watching Chautauqua win in Hong Kong, simply a once in a lifetime experience that I will never ever forget. The other equally as memorable was Winx winning her last cox plate. Just the most amazing animal and incredible to see her win four!
Winx won her last Cox Plate in 2018 and is still the only horse to win four.
2: If you could meet any horse or racing personality dead or alive, who would it be?
Kerry Packer, listening to some of his stories from that era of racing when he would decide to bet would be something else.
3: If you had one tip about attending the races, what would it be?
Get to the pre-parade and see the horses in what I call the ‘dressing room’.
Also known as the Theatre Of The Horse at Royal Randwick, or the Parade Ring at Rosehill Gardens, Canterbury Park and Warwick Farm, where Thoroughbreds parade before each race.
4: What is the favourite thing about your JOB?
Without doubt being around the horses, it is such a privilege to be part of the stables that I am and to be able to spend so much time with such elite athletes truly is an incredible position to be in.
5: we know you worked closely with winx (pictured) so… rather importantly, what was your favourite winx moment?
Apart from being able to spend so much time with her, one of the memories that stand out for me was walking into her box before her Cox Plate show down with Hartnell (second Cox Plate) and it was almost like she had read the newspapers- I would normally do a pre-race stretch the day before and as I walked in she went up on both back feet turned and told me in no uncertain terms she didn’t need my help and to basically p#s$ off- and it was pretty obvious she didn’t! It was the one and only time she said no to me but she really was in the zone and like any athlete preparing you needed to read the signs and let her do her thing!!!! She really did prepare for race day mentally like any sporting great and I think people would love to know that.
…And as an extra bonus question, if you were a racehorse, what would you be called?
Tom hates people
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