Written by Ben Root
Oakhurst Thoroughbreds (Oakhurst) was originally founded as a thoroughbred horse farm in 1996 by owners Dr. Jack and Margaret (Cookie) Root. Jack and Cookie were drawn to the Chehalem Valley by the beautiful landscape, rural feel yet close proximity to immediate family, growing agricultural economy, and to be near equine enthusiasts like themselves. The Roots have owned, raised, bred, and raced thoroughbred horses, as well as earned recognition as one of Oregon’s leading commercial thoroughbred breeders since their arrival to Newberg. Oakhurst is currently home to two Kentucky Derby winners (Grindstone 1996 and Giacomo 2005), one son of legendary Seattle Slew, a son of one of the greatest sires ever in Giant’s Causeway, along with dozens of other personal and client horses.
Over the years, Oakhurst Farm has morphed into Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services (Oakhurst Equine) which uses parts of the 60 stall barn and 140+ acre property as an equine hospital and ambulatory practice which has grown to six full-time veterinarians.
Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services offers full-service equine veterinary care in sports medicine, advanced reproduction and services for stallions and mares, lameness diagnosis and treatment, digital x-ray and ultrasound, pre-purchase examinations, general medicine and surgery, podiatry, video endoscopy and gastroscopy, equine dentistry, and shock-wave therapy. Oakhurst Equine is a one-stop shop for equine veterinary wellness, with a team of doctors providing top-notch veterinary care. Dr. Root is an industry leader in Kissing Spine Surgery.
Outside of the bustling six doctor Veterinary Practice that employs 16 full-time staff, Oakhurst is also home a 9/16 mile licensed thoroughbred training track that is used seasonally to prepare young horses for racing, Oregon’s famous heritage tree the Ewing Young Oak, and Ewing Young Distillery which is owned/operated by Jack and Cookie’s sister-in-law, Beverly Root.
History of Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services
Over the years, there has been a natural progression from a “one-man” Oakhurst Farm (dba Oakhurst Thoroughbreds) to the business Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services is today and desires to become in the future.
Barns, fences, roads and outbuildings were originally constructed for the intent of being a top private thoroughbred breeding farm, where Jack and Cookie would breed and raise their own horses and breed client-owned mares to the farm stallions to see them taken home. To that extent, goal achieved. However, with the facility, experience and knowledge, opportunity for breeding other breeds both natural and AI ensued. The farm required additional labor to include another veterinarian to assist in breeding, foaling, and general care.
As clients came to do their breeding, their requests for other veterinary services increased. Jack and Cookie quickly found a local need for equine veterinary services that focused on not only veterinary knowledge, but client and patient compassion and availability.
Oakhurst Equine veterinarians come together to combine a full range of quality services in a Team environment. Oakhurst is a place where they can grow their personal brand while having the opportunity for work-life balance through nominal on-call schedule and good access to personal time off.
Dr. Jack Root, Jr. and Margaret “Cookie” Root
Dr. Jack Root, Jr. and Margaret “Cookie” Root met through friends in college, and fell in love at first sight. Their love of horses and passion for family has bonded them together for approaching 50 years. Jack and Cookie are the proud parents of four boys, six grandchildren, and are the co-owner/operators of Oakhurst Farm and Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services.
Dr. Jack Root, Jr. has earned his status as a highly-regarded horseman and accomplished equine veterinarian. Jack’s lifelong passion for the science and practice of horse health and care developed from over nearly four decades of hands-on work as an owner, breeder, trainer and equine veterinarian.
Jack owned his first horse at age six and by nine was firmly committed to his career path to become a professional equine veterinarian. Throughout his childhood and youth, Jack became an established venerable horseman. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1974 with two degrees – a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in General Science and the same year began his studies at Iowa State University where he graduated with his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. Dr. Root originally founded Equus Veterinary services in Redland, OR in the early 1980’s but eventually sold over a decade later to pursue other business and racing interests, until starting the Oakhurst brand.
If you can locate Jack when he is not performing veterinary work, you may find him introducing farm visitors to both Kentucky Derby winners, sharing his love of breeding 4H Pigs, at an Oregon State Beaver football or basketball game, attending veterinary conferences, or putting up hay. The words “day off” and “it cannot be done” do not exist in his vocabulary.
Margaret “Cookie” Root was born to city dwellers, but quickly found herself in love with farm life. Cookie was the primary parent at home to raising four boys while Jack worked long hours. As the boys moved out, Cookie switched her focus to the needs of the growing farm. She quickly became the backbone of the operations side of the business, specifically leading HR, Accounting, and Purchasing for the farm and veterinary practice.
Cookie’s love for the farm can be partially attributed to having room to roam with her two golden retrievers and jack russell, in addition to watching the mares and babies grow in the front field. While Jack’s passion may be the breeding and genetics of horse racing focusing on the mares and young foals, Cookie is drawn to the action and racing side, and the camaraderie of partnerships with family and friends. When she is not in the office or on the farm, she can be found supporting grandkids at their sporting and arts events, or spending time with her mom, who at 93, still lives on her own in nearby McMinnville!
To learn more or to contact Oakhurst Veterinary Services, visit their website: www.oakhurstequine.com