Dr. Mark Dedomenico

Pegasus is the vision of Dr. Mark Dedomenico, who contributes an impressive medical background as a preeminent heart surgeon – who helped play a major role in developing the coronary bypass surgery, the Guided Flow Aortic Heart Valve and the Bionit Arterial Grafts that are used around this world. He is the founding member of Hope Heart Institute in Seattle, Washington – as well as over 40 years in the equine business. Following in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Dedomenico started going to the track over 60 years ago. He purchased his first race horse at the age of 30 from his father Paskey Dedomenico. Dr. Dedomenico has owned the Woods Creek Training Center in Monroe, Washington since 1970. Pegasus realizes his dream of a premier spa for horses -- devoted to the highest medical standards, supporting the latest training methods, and staffed by experts who share his passion for these magnificent athletes.

Dr. Dedomenico has not only been successful in opening his dream facility, but he has transferred success to the race track. His accomplishments on the track have skyrocketed over the past few years and he has much to show for it. Some of his big winners include: Washington Bridge, City to City, Wonderlandbynight, Cathy’s Crunches and recent 2010 Eclipse 3-Year Old Filly of the year, Blind Luck. These horses have exploded in the racing world winning and placing in many Graded stakes races. Dr. Dedomenico has partnered with trainers Jerry Hollenforfer, Kathy Walsh, Ronny Werner and Mike Reavis to develop these highly competitive horses.

Mike Puhich – Trainer/Director of Horse Operations

Mike hails from a large racing family which educated him in the many facets of thoroughbred racing. He began his career as a trainer in 1984 at Longacres Race Track and raced horses there until the track closed in 1992. Setting his goals higher, he ventured to other race tracks in New York, Chicago, Kentucky, Texas, and Southern California. This experience provided him with a vast working knowledge of both dirt and synthetic racing surfaces.

Among his many achievements is winning the Precisionist Stakes at Hollywood Park with Stolen Gold, he saddled the Kirkwood-owned Daros to win the Del Mar Derby before running in the Breeder’s Cup Turf, and won the Lone Star Derby with Southern Africa. Mike was also instrumental in helping Eclipse’s award-winning jockey, Tyler Baze, break into the sport of horse racing. He is highly respected for his expertise by horse trainers and owners such as; Kathy Walsh, Bob Baffert, Mike Pegram, Gary Tanaka, John Saddler, John Sherriffs and many others.

He continues to work with young people interested in horse racing by providing advice and encouragement to grooms, riders and new trainers. Mike brings to Pegasus a working knowledge of developing young horses through the breaking process and early development. His experienced eye helps horses develop to their full potential.

Jason Orman – Rehabilitation Manager

Jason grew up around horses, living on a small farm and working on race tracks in Alberta and Arizona. After college, Jason followed his family to California where he worked with his father developing and training Graded Stakes winners “Laura’s Lucky Boy” and “Rock Hard Ten”. Jason has also gained invaluable experience as a trainer and an assistant trainer in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Turkey. Jason’s vast experience in the horse world brings unique knowledge to the Pegasus Training and Equine Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith – Consulting Surgeon

Dr. McIlwraith holds the position of University Distinguished Professor, Barbara Cox University Endowed Chair in Orthopedics and is Director of the Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State University. Dr. McIlwraith consults world-wide in equine orthopedic surgery, and has received national and international recognition for his contributions to orthopedic surgery and joint research. He is the author of four textbooks and has authored or co-authored over 400 referred publications and textbook chapters, as well as presenting over 500 seminars, both nationally and internationally to equine practitioners, veterinary specialty groups and at human orthopedic meetings.

Dr. McIlwraith received his veterinary degree with distinction from Massey University in New Zealand in 1971 and did his surgical residency at Purdue University, as well as MS and PhD degrees in the area of joint disease (arthritis). He is Board Certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He is Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Veterinary Orthopaedic Society.

His honors include honorary doctorates from Massey University in New Zealand (2003), the University of Vienna (1995), the University of Turin (2004) and Purdue University (2001), as well as the Founder’s Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (2006), the Schering-Plough Award for Equine Applied Research for outstanding research work in equine locomotor disorders (1995), the John Hickman Award for Equine Orthopaedics from the British Equine Veterinary Association (1997) and the Tierklinik Hochmoor Prize at Equitana, Essen, Germany for international contributions to equine orthopedics (1993). He also was inducted into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame in 2005 and was the Frank Milne lecturer (lifetime contribution award) from AAEP in 2005.


 

Becky Witzman-Somerville - Operations Manager

Becky came to Pegasus from HRTV where she previously worked as a producer, analyst, and on-air personality. She produced the network's daily show, Race Day America, as well as the Saturday and Sunday editions of Westrock Coffee First Call, The player and The Horizon.
Her on-air work included co-hosting the weekly Across the Board show, featuring interviews with key personalities in the sport of horse racing. Also, during her tenure at HRTV, she contributed to on-site coverage of all three Triple Crown races years and the Breeders' Cup.


Becky grew up in Minnesota, and remembers being drawn to the sport after watching Ferdinand's Derby win in 1986, and credits her mother in piquing her interest. When she turned 16, she obtained her first racetrack job as a hotwalker for noted trainer, Richard Mandella at Del Mar. She also spent summers at Canterbury Park working for Tony Rengstorf and David Van Winkle.


A graduate of the University of Arizona, majoring in Animal Sciences with a minor in Business Management, Becky focused on the Race Track Industry Program. Upon graduating, Becky returned to working win Mandella, and eventually became an assistant trainer. While working of the Hall of Fame trainer, she was around many top horses, including: Pleasantly Perfect, Halfbridled, Johar, Gentleman, and Siphon. She fondly recalls being part of Mandella's historic Breeders' Cup Day in 2003, when he saddled four winners. The acclaimed documentary, "On The Muscle," chronicled the highly-successful Mandella stable in 2002, and Becky was prominently featured.


Becky is married to Graeme Somerville, a teacher at Lakeside Middle School in Seattle, and the mother of her son Dylan.

Pegasus Thoroughbred Training Center is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing a professional, productive work environment. We provide all employees with fair compensation appropriate to the experience, training and responsibility required by each job and on par with the industry as a whole. Well-appointed on-site housing is available for full-time employees. After six months of employment, every full-time employee receives group medical insurance coverage and paid vacation.

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