Our Katie and TJ at Badminton

Brilliant fun, amazing memories and huge disappointment – that’s horses and unfortunately sums up my first Badminton!! But we will be back….

To actually get to my first Badminton was such a massive privilege and I was so excited and thrilled to be there with my very special horse. Just arriving and walking through the archways to the historic and beautiful stables is a feeling I will never forget!!

First step – trot up and this has become a serious fashion parade!! I was kindly made a beautiful outfit (plus given boots and hat) and managed to match up to TJ, who my grooms had looking divine! The trot up is always a bit nerve wracking but a very excited TJ was accepted by the ground jury and we were officially starters at Badminton Horse Trials – wow!

Dressage next and a personal best is all you can ever wish for – we did just this in a big atmosphere and I couldn’t have been prouder of him. No we weren’t troubling the leaders but we both did our best and looked forward to our favourite part to come…

Next amazing experience was drinks reception in Badminton House, a huge privilege that didn’t disappoint – it is absolutely beautiful. Great chance to relax with friends and family, plenty of champagne in celebration and we were glad of a day off the next day!!!

So XC day arrived and I still remained more excited than nervous, having walked the course 4 times I had my plan and was confident TJ and I could do it – yes it was huge and tricky but he is the most amazing XC horse and I have total faith in him. After a perfect warm up there was a delay to our start and TJ got over excited and managed to pull a shoe off….talk about bad timing, mass panic and the farrier having to nail it back on in a hurry to a very excited horse minus a big chunk of hoof. Anyway mission accomplished we set off and TJ was awesome, simply foot perfect over everything until suddenly he stopped! Taken by surprise I presented him to the jump twice more but he wasn’t interested and we were eliminated, such mixed emotions of disappointment, confusion and most of all worry that he was injured as it was just so unlike him.

We quite quickly discovered that the shoe he lost had been nailed back on a bit tight and after 6 minutes of galloping and jumping he must have been feeling sore and very sensibly opted to go no further. Absolutely gutted but so relieved that this was obviously the problem.

I am pleased to say that after a week off, a new shoe from my brilliant farrier and he was right back to form and plans started for the next event. Easier said than done with on call to swap and days off needed but thanks to my amazing colleagues at Milbourn for making it work – next stop Bramham….

Vet React Colic Champions Survey

Milbourn Equine Vets is one of The British Horse Society’s Vet REACT Colic Champions (www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/our-campaigns/react/vet-react-colic-champions). We will be working closely with the University of Nottingham and the BHS over the next 12 months to share some of their information and resources on colic. If you own or care for a horse, we would be very grateful if you could help us by completing this survey about your horse, any experience you’ve encountered with colic, and emergency planning. Please click on this link to access the survey https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/vet-react-colic-champions-horse-owner-survey-2019 The survey has been reviewed and approved by the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham. Your responses will be completely anonymous – nobody at the University of Nottingham or here at the practice will know the identities of the people who completed the surveys. Anonymised results will be shared with the vet practice, so we can plan which information and resources will be most useful to our clients over the next 12 months of the Champions scheme. Thank you for your help!

Milbourn Equine NEW Healthcare Plans

At Milbourn Equine we want to help you give your horse or pony the best care possible. We know that prevention is better than cure and want to make this approach as simple and convenient for you as we can.

Health Plans are not insurance, instead they provide regular checks along with preventative medication to keep your horse’s day to day health in the best possible condition.

As part of our commitment to your horse’s wellbeing we offer more convenient monthly payments and as a reward for your commitment to preventative care, we also give you discounts on selected treatments and products. Our plan is available for horses, ponies or donkeys from any age.

You can also pop in to your local branch, speak to your vet or give us a call and a member of our team will be happy to discuss the details of the plan further.

When you are ready to sign up you can complete our application form available from your vet or the office or alternatively call 0800 1699958 to set up your direct debit.


All of our Milbourn Equine Healthcare Plans provide your horse with:

  • Annual health check to include weight check and trot up assessment for lameness
  • Annual Zone Visit
  • Dental check and routine rasp including sedation (one per year)
  • Annual flu vaccination
  • Tetanus vaccination every 2 years
  • 25% off worm egg counts (Essentials plan only)
  • Free insurance form completion

Additional benefits of our Extended Plan:

  • Tailored worming advice, 4 worm egg counts (per year)
  • Equisal tapeworm test (saliva) and 10% discount on wormers required
  • One ACTH monitoring test and blood sample per year
  • 10% off Milbourn supplements and fly repellents
  • 10% off lifetime care medication

*(The above discounts can not be used in conjunction with other offers)

 Milbourn Equine Healthcare Plan Leaflet

Our Sanne’s Gambia Adventure


After the success of the first two BEVA Trust volunteers, Sara Fleck and Christine Fuchs, visit to the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) in December last year, another opportunity was given to me, to visit the charity in the beginning of February. I had volunteered with the charity at the end of my time at university and was very excited to be given the opportunity to visit the charity again. The GHDT, which is run by the director Heather Armstrong and managed by the two long term volunteers, Katana Ashby from the UK and Karelhia Garcia-Lopez from Venezuela, has two bases. One in Sambel Kunda which is the original site of the charity and Makasutu which is located only 30 minutes from Banjul airport. Because I had seen the start of the building of the Makasutu centre on my previous trip, it was incredible to see how large a clinic it has become. 

The centre in Makasutu is run by the two long term volunteers and they play a vital role in giving the short term volunteers the ability to hit the ground running when arriving at the centre and to ensure that they work well together with the para-veterinarians and the apprentices to be able to make the most of their time there. This showed as the moment I arrived, we were called out to a foal with tetanus. I was able to go with the team to visit the foal straight away. The foal was admitted the next day and has been slowly improving. 

The para veterinarians and apprentices are responsible for the care for the patients that are admitted to the clinic. As a volunteer, the goal is to help the team at the centre in any way possible. Mostly this involves helping the GHDT team treat the current patients in the clinic and to teach and discuss every aspect of veterinary medicine. This also works both ways as many problems that the team deals with are diseases that are unknown to veterinarians working in Europe like trypanosomiasis, epizootic lymphangitis and fistulous withers.

Because a working, healthy donkey or horse can be a valuable asset to farmers and can increase their income by 500% in The Gambia, education is a critical part of the GHDT. They teach owners about correct harnessing, bits and how to keep their animals healthy. Part of this is done on the road, when visiting animals or when mobile clinics or ‘treks’ are run, but the GHDT educates students as well, which is done on a regular bases on Saturdays. This includes talking about wound management, performing a clinical exam and many other subjects.

There are many challenges to the life at GHDT. One of the challenges is getting to the animals that are in need. Because veterinary care is limited in The Gambia, sometimes the animals in need can be very far away. An example was a donkey, that was noticed by a tourist, that was most likely hit by a car, had been unable to stand and had a possible broken leg. The time it took to travel to the poor animal was 4 ½ hours. Sadly the animal had already died when we arrived. Even with these difficulties it is inspiring to see how determined the team at the GHDT are to try a support all the animals that are in need of veterinary care and to improved their welfare.

I had a wonderful time working with all the people involved. I hope the team at GHDT will continue the important work of reducing poverty by improving the health, welfare and productivity of working animals and that more people will take the opportunity to support this great charity.. 

Special Offer throughout April – £10 Off Dental Rasping

We recommend that all horses undergo a dental examination at least once a year.  Some horses such as those expected to perform at a high level and those with specific dental abnormalities might benefit from more frequent examinations.

Our vets have all received full dentistry training during their time at University and are more than happy to carry out dental treatment on your horse. In addition they can also administer drugs such as sedatives, local anaesthetics and pain killer drugs allowing safer more comfortable treatment. Rasping can also be combined with one of our £10 Zone Visits making us very competitively priced. Why not call us to find out more!

Fit To Succeed – Horse & Rider Evening

Our vet Katie relives her success at Burghley International horse trials last year and shares the trials and tribulations of keeping a horse fit on the road to Badminton 2019. Whilst qualified personal trainer and local horse rehabilitation expert Rebecca discusses rider fitness and how this impacts your horse’s performance at all levels.

Monday 15th April 7pm (doors open 6.30) @ Bodiam Arena. TN32 5UJ

Refreshments provided

Book your free seat for this inspiring and interactive evening on 01580 752301 or hawkhurst@milbournequine.co.uk

Equestrian Planning Evening

Free Evening Talk 13th March Doors open 6.30pm for a 7pm start

Come along for a free informative evening at Bodiam International Arena TN32 5UJ.

Eyesore to Eyecatching
Planning permission for your arena and stables
Change of use for your barn and farm buildings or land
Holidays – Glamping – Commercial – Leisure – Residential

Raffle with excellent prizes raising funds for Kent Air
Ambulance and World Horse Welfare

The Batcheller Monkhouse planning team have been successful in securing consent for a wide range of interesting projects including: a cookery school, riding facilities for the disabled, glamping sites and shepherds huts, holiday lets, residential conversions, fishing lakes, farm shops and even a takeaway pizza business!
Presentation from Kirsty Castle MRTPI AIEMA of Batcheller Monkhouse

Our vet Howard Newitt will be talking about sarcoids and treatment options. Food and drink will be provided.

Call 01580 752301, email hawkhurst@milbournequine.co.uk or facebook us to book your place.


BEF advises horse owners after equine flu outbreak

Following British Horseracing’s decision to cancel all racing today (7 February) the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is closely monitoring the situation. Veterinary experts have advised that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time, but we will issue a further update once the full extent of the outbreak is known.  

In the meantime, we recommend that all owners follow the guidelines below as a precaution and ensure that all vaccinations are fully up to date. If your horse is currently vaccinated, we recommend a booster if it has been longer than 6 months since your horse’s last vaccination.                                                                                         

Actions for owners to take:

It is crucial for all horse and pony owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.

Look out for signs of disease which can include high temperature, cough, snotty nose, enlarged glands (under the lower jaw), swollen or sore eyes, depression, loss of appetite and swelling in the lower legs.

If you see any of these signs, isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.

It is essential that any horses showing signs of possible equine flu, or horses that might have been in contact with possibly infected horses, do not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses. If your horse has been in contact with an infected horse we suggest that you should take immediate veterinary advice.

We advise that horses are vaccinated with a booster for equine flu with a vaccine that contains the Florida Clade 1. There are two such vaccines currently licensed in the UK, ProteqFlu and Equilis Prequenza. If your horse is currently vaccinated, but it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we recommend that you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon.

The BEF also has guidance on its website regarding equine infectious diseases and is urging owners to take the necessary precautions to avoid their horses becoming infected.

Further information

Follow @equiflunet