We have had a very eventful month at Parkfield Breeding. We have learnt how important it is to have the very best vets, as you never know when you may need them. We are lucky enough to be in the right location near Lambourn, with Valley Equine Hospital (VEH) (http://www.valleyequinehospital.co.uk/) close by. The vets and nurses are second to none, and they know our horses well.
It all started at feeding time. When checking the foals we noticed an enormous lump on Parkfield Little Phoenix’s (Phoenie) stifle. We had never seen anything like it and she didn’t look overly uncomfortable either, she was walking round and weight bearing on her leg, a little stiff but otherwise happy. The vet was called urgently and after having a good look at it to make sure there was nothing in the lump, she was given antibiotics and painkillers whilst we all decided what to do. After a few days our stud vet Millie Stewart-Wood came and scanned the mysterious lump to check once more that it was just filled with fluid and nothing worse. Millie came to the conclusion that it was a very large haematoma, and because of the place it was in we would have to leave it to settle, and then drain it. A week later, Phoenie and her mum went into the hospital to have the haematoma drained. We were all very worried about little Phoenie, as in order to drain a haematoma of this size, she would need to be put under general anaesthetic which is risky for a foal at just 4 months old, and if that wasn’t enough worry, the risk of infection once a haematoma is drained is very high. We once again have to thank everyone at VEH, Millie and Alastair Kay for doing an incredible job on the surgery, and of course all of the nurses that cared for her through her stay at VEH.
Phoenie was then sent home with strict after-care instructions which included a cocktail of medicine all to be syringed into her mouth, and cold hosing the wound twice a day. We are so very thankful that our little Phoenie is such a good foal, because I cannot imagine any of our other foals standing in the wash bay whilst we cold hosed an open wound. She is such a sweetie! We are so lucky that she didn’t develop any further infections, and the wound healed up incredibly well, and you would almost not know it was there at all now! She is a very happy foal and we are a very happy team! ☺
Unfortunately then came a really, very horrible case of colic in one of our 2 year olds. Little Parkfield
Distinctive (Dizzy) became very unwell one day and went downhill very fast, which resulted in her having to be rushed to VEH to undergo major colic surgery overnight. She had a dangerous and highly complicated type of colic, which required complex bypass surgery. She was given just a 50/50 chance of surviving the surgery. We received the call in the middle of the night from Alastair Kay who was the main surgeon performing the operation, to say that the operation went as well as they could have hoped, and Dizzy was still alive. We were all so relieved but we knew we were not out of the woods, as the complications that could arise after complex surgery like this were many and varied and she would have to be monitored intensely over the next week. After the surgery, Alastair said to us ‘the pipework is repaired but the horse has to decide whether to fight or not’. At this point we were all praying that Dizzy was as much of a fighter as we thought she was.
A week on from what can only be described as the most horrific ordeal, Dizzy seems to be going from strength to strength. We are treating each day as it comes but the vets are pleased with her progress, and at this point they are just starting to increase her hay intake to see how she gets on with digesting forage. She has come off the first course of antibiotics, and gone onto a different type just whilst her body is healing on the inside. We are very hopeful and have all of our fingers and toes crossed that she can come home this week! We will need to keep a very watchful eye on her and monitor her progress very closely but it would be really lovely to have this brave little horse home again.
In other news, we have just had our last event of the season for the Parkfield horses. Gladstone I PFB (Gladys) our lovely 4yr old mare qualified for the KBIS 4yr old championships at Osberton by winning at her very first outing at Homme House in August. She unfortunately missed a run at West Wilts – not the most ideal preparation plan we would have chosen, but these things happen! We headed off on the long drive to Osberton on Friday morning, where Gladys did a nice dressage test, and jumped a lovely showjumping round just for 1 unlucky pole down due to a baby mistake. We were pleased with her going into the cross country – however she is now on the naughty step after getting the big E after taking a disliking to one of the fences on the course! We are not too disheartened though as this was only her second ever event, and a very big ask! She is a really lovely, very eye-catching, smart young horse with a very big future ahead of her, so we are just going to watch this space as we think she will come into her own next year as a 5 year old. We may even try to embryo transfer from her next year as we like her very much.
As the season is drawing to a close we are very busy moving horses around and putting them out on their well-earned holidays. Please all keep your fingers crossed for lovely Dizzy and for all of our horses to remain happy and healthy! Next on the agenda is weaning!