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Dakota Holmes Joins the Team at Highlander Training Center

Holmes comes to HTC from a ten-year tenure as a veterinary technician


Dakota Holmes Joins the Team at Highlander Training Center
Dakota Holmes

Highlander Training Center (HTC) has added to its strong employee roster of horsemen, as Dakota Holmes has joined the team as the Director of the Highlander Fitness & Therapy Center.




Holmes comes to HTC from a ten-year tenure as a veterinary technician at Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery (ESMS), a state-of-the-art equine medicine and surgery facility with 12 full-time veterinarians. While at ESMS, Holmes worked closely with Dr. Ali Broyles, DVM, DACVS-LA who also serves (since 2019) as the attending veterinarian at Highlander. The Highlander Fitness & Therapy Center offers a complete suite of services for the care, fitness, and physical rehabilitation of Thoroughbred racehorses. Modalities offered at Highlander include both in-ground and above-ground aqua-treadmills, a cold saltwater spa, vibration plate floor stalls, regenerative laser therapy and Therapulse blanket therapy. The Fitness & Therapy Center is a major component of the overall services offered at Highlander Training Center, including breaking and early-training of young Thoroughbreds, layups and turnouts, training of Thoroughbred racehorses returning to the races after a layup, yearling sales preparation, and a two-year-old in training sales program led by Pike Racing (Al & Salley Pike). A native of Weatherford, Texas, Holmes is a lifetime horseman as well as an accomplished farrier. His tenure at ESMS included extensive experience in racetrack, surgery, ambulatory and clinic environments. He has a high level of expertise in sports medicine and equine lameness issues. His expertise and familiarity with the Highlander program provide for a seamless transition as Shannon Ritter steps away from her day-to-day oversight of the Fitness & Therapy Center to focus on other initiatives in the Thoroughbred industry. Highlander and Ritter will maintain a close professional relationship going forward. “We are very pleased to have Dakota join the Highlander team,” said Jeff Hooper, Chairman & CEO at Highlander. “We have seen first-hand over the past four years his expertise with horses. He is well-versed in the technologies and treatments and good old-fashioned hands-on horsemanship that aid in the early-detection, evaluation, and treatment of equine injuries. I am confident that our clients will enjoy their interaction with him. He’s a down-to-earth good guy who always puts the horse first.” Dr. Ali Broyles of ESMS echoed the sentiments expressed by Hooper. “I am very pleased for both Highlander and Dakota,” said Dr. Broyles. “It has been a pleasure to work with him every day during his time at ESMS, and now with him being on the Highlander team, it allows us all to maintain a high level of communication and consistency in the care of horses in the Fitness & Therapy Center. It’s a win/win for clients, Highlander, ESMS and most importantly the horses.” “I’m very excited and ready to get started,” said Holmes. “Highlander is a special facility with a top-notch team – from management, to trainers, riders, grooms, therapy center staff and facilities maintenance people. To be in a leadership role at Highlander is a dream come true, and I look forward to contributing to their growing success and positive results for the horses in their care.”
 
Highlander Training Center rests on 190 acres near Sulphur Springs, Texas, 80 miles east of Dallas. Highlander was founded on the core principle of forging champions. We invite you to visit us at Highlander Training Center, meet our team and explore the possibilities of incorporating Highlander into your racing program.
For additional information, please contact Highlander Training Center at (903)485-8440
Jeff Hooper at (817)992-0609 – cell
The Highlander Fitness & Therapy Center offers a complete suite of services for the care, fitness, and physical rehabilitation of Thoroughbred racehorses. Modalities offered at Highlander include both in-ground and above-ground aqua-treadmills, a cold saltwater spa, vibration plate floor stalls, regenerative laser therapy and Therapulse blanket therapy.   The Fitness & Therapy Center is a major component of the overall services offered at Highlander Training Center, including breaking and early-training of young Thoroughbreds, layups and turnouts, training of Thoroughbred racehorses returning to the races after a layup, yearling sales preparation

Laurence E. Hirsch Owner

Jeff Hooper Chairman & CEO Cell: (817)992-0609 jhooper@htc-tx.com
Jon Newbold General Manager/Trainer Cell: (903)413-3222
Shannon Ritter Senior Consultant Cell: (502)817-1929
Dakota Holmes Director Fitness & Therapy Center Cell: (817)771-1877
Highlander Training Center is also the home of: Pike Racing Al & Salley Pike Cell: (817)304-0556
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