The recent open day at Sussex Equine Hospital in Ashington, West Sussex, was a fine opportunity for the general public to see its outstanding state-of-the-art facilities and learn about the expertise of the 20 dedicated equine vets based there.
The hospital was originally founded in 1951 and was known as the Arundel Equine Hospital until it moved to Ashington in 2017. It is an impressive facility, with 20 dedicated equine vets covering different horse disciplines with the back-up of a large team of nurses, grooms and office staff -all with the aim of achieving a standard of excellence.
It covers an area extending from East and West Sussex into Surrey and Hampshire, caring for all types of equines- ranging from children’s ponies through to racehorses and sport horses.
The equine hospital has state of the art facilities which include 20 standard stables, including two mare and foal stables, seven bone scan stables and two additional care units. Full surgical facilities are always available along with 24 hour supervision of all in-patients.
External trot up strips, both hard and soft, along with a sand school and hard surface lunge pen and an indoor trot up strip are available, along with an enclosed farriers’ area.
Visitors were able to use microscope facilities at the open day Photo: John Periam
The hospital itself has an HBLB accredited laboratory, MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy facilities with three examination rooms available.There are full digital diagnostic services available, including radiography, ultrasound and endoscopy, including dynamic endoscopy.
The practice has 11 ambulatory vets out on the road providing routine and emergency care for clients across West and East Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Another excellent feature is that all ambulatory vets have up-to-date mobile digital imaging equipment, which reduces the inconvenience of owners having to take their horses to the equine hospital for the majority of diagnostic procedures.
Bone scanning demonstration for visitors
Photo: John Periam
In stud work, there is a team of dedicated vets- Ed Lyall, Paula Broadhurst, Simon Staempfli, Noelle Baxter and Una Boyle- which provides a wide range of stud medicine services as well as thoroughbred mare and young-stock management. It also provides an out of hours service 24/7 and is the only practice in the South of England to do this.
The hospital is accredited to deal with mares requiring assisted foalings and caesarean sections as well as nursing sick foals in critical care units.There is specialist veterinary care with accredited laboratory facilities available 24 hours a day.
Fire Brigade’s horse rescue demonstration at the Open Day Photo: Jeannie Knight
A further team of four dedicated stud vets operates a separate on-call rota providing a specialist service to mares and foals during the stud season. Vets from the hospital can also carry out a wide range of procedures at owners’ premises. These include dentistry, vaccinations, health checks, medical investigations, lameness assessments, reproductive medicine, including artificial insemination and embryo transfer.
A new service that has been introduced this year is semen collection, with stallions travelled to the hospital for collection, ready for chilled shipping of semen.
Thoroughbred mares can be managed for walk-in covers and the hospital laboratory can handle all requirements.
Also present at the well-attended open day were members of Sussex Fire Brigade technical rescue service, based at Horley, who spring into action to rescue horses in difficult situations.
These range from all road rescues, to horses in difficulty when trapped at height, in water or in confined spaces.
The Brooke Charity, which supports action to improve conditions for working horses and donkeys, was also at the Open Day with several ponies.
Ponies representing Brook charity, pictured with firemen and Marie-Anne Olivier of Brook charity at the Open Day
Brooke has been chosen as the official charity for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, and it will also receive all money generated from a giant raffle on the veterinary hospital open day .