After nearly five years of fund-raising and a £1 million grant from the Home of Rest for Horses, the Equine Diagnostic Unit, which includes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, is up and running at Cambridge University.
Prince Philip was guest of honour at the opening at the John Hickman Equine Surgical Suite at the end of last year. Since then, the clinic’s four vets, one intern, one resident and 12 students have been making use of some of the most advanced equine surgical technology in the country.
Cambridge’s MRI scanner can be used on a standing sedated horse, in contrast to some others, where the horse lies down under anaesthetic. The difference between the methods has been a subject for much discussion among vets.
Staff believe the new equipment will have a significant impact on the number and quality of referral cases they can now take on.
Surgeon Dr Jessica Kidd says: “It will really make a huge difference. We see so many kinds of cases here, not just in one area of horse care, and now we have the facilities to deal with everything, which is exciting for the staff and students.”
The Home of Rest for Horses has a strong commitment to help finance research into equine diseases, with its grants programme providing funding for the building and equipping of equine hospitals throughout the country.
Brigadier Jepson, chief executive of the Home of Rest for Horses, which is based at Speen, Buckinghamshire, says: “The Home of Rest for Horses is deeply committed to improving equine welfare and veterinary treatment.
“This new diagnostic facility at the nucleus of one of Britain’s leading veterinary universities will enable future equine veterinarians to have access to the very latest equipment and will also benefit the horse population which depends on the skills offered at this site.”