SCENE & HEARD: Some trainers in the backstretch at Hastings good-naturedly – and we emphasis good-naturedly – refer to Dianne Peacock as ‘The Track Vampire’.
It comes with the territory of being a racetrack veterinary technician in charge of injecting Lasix to horses with a history of bleeding.
In the trade, it is known as the EIPH program as in Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage.
“It’s a precautionary exercise that involves a tiny needle going into the jugular vein of the horse,” Dianne says. “The trainers and grooms restrain their horse because it frightens some of them. The common denominator to a horse bleeding is strenuous exercise.”
Another area of Peacock’s responsibilities is the testing of blood levels for the Total Carbon Dioxide process: TCO2. She has a fellow veterinary technician – Sylvia Drew – who works the TCO2 program as well. The two are the closest of friends.
That’s the technical side of Dianne Peacock, a single mom of a son and daughter. She also runs the desktop publishing departments for both Hastings Racecourse and Fraser Downs producing live racing programs … and it doesn’t stop there.
She’s also the official timer at Fraser Downs and coordinates finish line photos for Ontrack Media and Entertainment.
Dianne’s love for animals and particularly horses as a little girl growing up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, led to taking riding lessons on a horse named Potter. When the family moved west she became a veterinary technician at small animal hospitals after finishing high school.
“I got to know people in the horse racing industry and started riding again after meeting trainer Shawna Van Oostdam,” Dianne says. “That’s when I got interested in horses all over again.”
She went back to school and acquired a certificate as a Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant. Shortly after, the opportunity came up to do blood testing for the thoroughbreds at Hastings and what unfolded were the multi positions she now juggles year-round.
On race days at Hastings I walk at least 10 miles because I go to the horses, they don’t come to me,” she says. “I work to a tight time frame. Sometimes things can get a little tense.”
Her multi-faceted duties clearly do not go by unnoticed from within the racing industry.