History was made in Chinese veterinary surgery last month when the first stifle arthroscopy (keyhole procedure) was carried out.

A team led by specialist equine surgeon Cedric Chan, who runs his own practice NW Equine Referrals Ltd, travelled to Shanghai on 27 October to perform surgery on one of China’s top showjumpers, Heraldo.

London based Mr Chan was assisted by anaethetist Claire Booth and Michelle Barber as head nurse, both from the Towcester Veterniary Centre Equine Clinic, Northamptonshire.

“[The surgery] was a complete success for the Chinese and Western veterinary teams,” Mr Chan told H&H.

The procedure took place in a modified stable with the addition of hay bales, a gymnastics mat, ropes from the ceiling and local manpower to move, position and recover the anaesthetised horse safely.

Nonetheless, the actual surgical equipment used was state of the art.

Ms Booth said: “It was very exciting to be involved in the first steps of development of equine surgery in China.”

There are now plans for a hospital similar to the Towcester Equine Clinic to be built at the Shanghai Equestrian Centre, where some of China’s best competition horses are in training.

Equestrianism in China is rapidly expanding alongside the overall wealth of the country.

However Mr Chan added: “The level of equine veterinary care overall in China is similar to Western standards around 20 years ago.”