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August 2012

Cassie’s Column – August 2012

Wow, what a cool month this has been!

The-veterinary-team-at-Fence-12Working at the Olympics was an amazing experience. I had a variety of roles from working on a fence on cross country day, to working night shifts with the modern pentathalon horses.

The equine clinic was brilliantly designed with everything you could possibly need, equipment-wise. On cross country day I was based at fence 12 – The Chess fence, alongside vet ,Ali Butler, from Gloucestershire; a doctor and three fence judges. I can’t really describe how amazing this experience was. Every time a competitor would start, a Mexican Wave of cheers would roar round the park with the horse. When a British rider came through the noise was incredible. We were very lucky to have no incidents at our fence and everyone went clear. HorseHage-sponsored rider,Mary King, flew over our fence to huge cheers.
The veterinary support for the whole of the Olympics really was superb. Specialist horse ambulances had been designed and were in excess particularly during cross country. The stables were by far the best show stables I have ever seen – luxury!

My night shifts were during the modern pentathalon. The horses were lovely and a few were from a yard local to us – Elite Sport Horses. Alongside the stable manager, we checked the horses throughout the night. The vet clinic was staffed 24/7 and security around the park was very strict.

I think I could write all day about my experience, and I would recommend that anyone interested would look into applying to work at Rio. I volunteered as a vet tech at many BE events to help get my role, but there are many roles available for a variety of experiences.

It was so amazing to be part of London 2012 – not only working at the vet clinic, but also seeing our teams do so amazingly well!

After the Olympics it was back to reality…..

Rupert’s debut!
Rupert-with-his-first-rosetteRupert has been to his first show. We went to a dressage competition and entered the Intro Class. He came 9Th out of 19 entries which I was very pleased with. He got some good comments and the judges thought he was a lovely horse. He had been very tense in the warm up arena as it was the first time he has ever schooled with other horses, so I was very proud that we came home with a rosette!

His jumping is improving. This is definitely his strong point and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he is going to be like cross country schooling, which I plan to do next weekend. Our big aim for this year is a local Express Eventing competition at the end of September and so far we are on track for this!

David’s had a setback…
Poor David has had a bad couple of weeks. He has had more diagnostic tests including a kidney and abdominal scan but still no definite diagnosis. We know that he is losing a lot of protein as this is showing as the only issue on his blood results. Unfortunately one of the causes could be damage to his small intestine from his long-term medication as I discussed before. Other causes may be cancer of his small intestine or chronic inflammatory changes in the small intestine associated with old age. The last week he has picked up again, with the help of lots of small feeds, carrots and lots of attention. He is also been treated with steroids to help reduce any inflammation in his gut. For anyone that struggles to get their horse to eat medication, Mollichaff ShowShine which is flavoured with cherry is a great way as the cherry flavour hides the taste of the medication.

Cassie-and-David-in-their-younger-yearsAs David was feeling a bit down, I’ve included a picture of the two of us competing when we were both little! In this photo David was five and I was only nine and we were by far the smallest competitors in the class!

Poppy’s Rehab…
Poppy had her back x-rayed again and we found that her kissing spines had progressed. I had noticed that she was slightly tense to ride and wasn’t quite using her back properly. We have medicated her back again, but long term now we need to make a decision whether she should have surgery to permanently correct the issue. Hopefully we will have made this decision next time I write. In the mean time she is back to controlled exercise which includes pessoa work, which she really enjoys!

Henry the lawn mower!
Henry is just being Henry, getting up to the odd bit of mischief here and there and keeping Rupert in check! Rupert is very similar to Henry in many ways, but especially to ride. They are both a bit sharp but very genuine.

Henry was a very proud supporter of team GB and had his own flag outside his stable during the Olympics. I think the others were very jealous of this! He has also been doing a grand job of keeping down the grass as its really growing loads at the moment.

Hope you have all enjoyed the Olympics as much as I have and I hope the Paralympics have as much success!