A long distance journey from Australia to Britain turns into a marathon for owner of dressage horse

The prospect of travelling a horse to Britain from Australia may be daunting enough.But for Australian vet, Kylie Brkusich, owner of six-year-old dressage horse Morticia, it turned into a nightmare.

Kylie, an Australian vet working in Chingford, Essex decided to bring her horse over to this country earlier in the year. But it was just at the start of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

She put the travel arrangement in the hands of a livestock shipping agency.

Kylie said: “I’d hoped to be able to share a crate in which horses travel in threes, but because of the FMD crisis many people cancelled flights because they weren’t able to compete.

“It took three months to find someone to share with.”

However, Kylie’s drama was only just starting.

After a three-day lorry journey from Perth to Sydney, Morticia had to wait inSydney for a further two weeks. First, there were problems with the blood test for her companion horse, then a pilot strike in Hong Kong delayed the flight twice.

Those delays meant the mare had to be stabled for another four days in Germany to waitfor a lorry to take her to England.

Kylie says Morticia, a 16.1hh dark bay, had lost weight but apart from that is “fine”. She doesn’t blame anyone for the problems. “It was just a combination of circumstances,” she said.

It cost Kylie thousandsof pounds to bring her over but her owner believes Morticia who she has owned since she was a foal, was worth every penny. She said: “It was worth it – I knew I couldn’t buy a horse like her here.”

Kylie, who has been living in England since 1997, says she now plans to stay in Britain.