Farriers put best feet forward in contest

Enjoying the sun this weekend I spent it at the Yorkshire Showground, supporting a local team in the National Farrier Competition. This was the second year our practice had sponsored the team, which included Graeme and Stuart Moran.

We work closely with all the farriers in our area. Keeping horses healthy and sound is what both our roles are and the opportunity to give something back to them in sponsorship is a measure of our gratitude.

Last year the team finished sixth, which was a fantastic achievement given that there are teams from all over the country, some of which have some of the best farriers in the world. Over two days of competition there are different categories and marks given, not just for making the shoes, but also for the trimming and fitting of shoes within a given time period. Competition is intense and hard work.

I was lucky enough to go on Saturday. The competition was held during the Countryside Live event so I took my nephew and niece along. They were fascinated with the farriery, but there were so many other attractions that we spent all day there. It was a small version of the Great Yorkshire Show, with classes for sheep, pigs, cattle and horses. We had a great day and although our team didn’t manage to build on their success, they did a sterling job and represented this region with credit.

On the equine side of the practice we had several testing cases recently, which all now seem to be improving. I’ve seen several nasty wounds, one of which was a horse that as it went in to the sale ring caught its shoulder on a door.

Our client bought it despite the wound and on its arrival at the yard, I examined it and found several small fragments of bone from a deep penetrating tract. I removed these, flushed and sutured the wound. The filly is now sound and making a remarkable recovery.

Horses never cease to amaze me, and it’s often the case of the larger wound, despite it looking dramatic, the better. Time and again it’s the small, sometimes not even visible wounds over joints that are the most worrying, with the implications for joint sepsis being a major concern.

We are having a client meeting on November 27, titled Vaccination – why bother? This will be an informative and hopefully fun meeting about vaccination for equine flu, tetanus, herpes and strangles. Anyone interested in attending should contact the surgery.