Katie Jerram had more reason to celebrate than usual when Woodfield Indo took his Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) ticket at Ashbourne Show. The middleweight hunter has endured 18 months of serious health problems, with vets at one point advising that he be put to sleep.
The 8-year-old Power Blade gelding suffers from what Katie describes as “raging allergies”, leaving him in a constant state of stress and itchiness.
Vets were trying to establish the cause when, last November, the horse suffered an accident out hacking. After whipping round and losing his jockey, Indo was galloping home when he slipped off a concrete bridge, falling several feet into the river below.
“How he didn’t break a leg or his neck, I don’t know,” Katie told H&H. “We sent him straight to Newmarket. He had injured his foreleg and on the inside of his thigh — it [a gash] was right down to the bone.”
Indo could not be operated on as he was too traumatised.
But his wounds healed — without surgery — and, after other vets had exhausted alternative therapies for his allergies, Mark Hillier of the Newmarket Equine Hospital put him on antihistamines.
The drugs, combined with an immune system booster called Fight Back and the weekly disinfecting of his stable, have helped him turn a corner. As antihistamines are not permitted in the showring, he comes off the drugs seven days before a show — with no ill effects.
“Many horses would have been turned sour by the constant itching or box-rest, but Indo has been so treatable and understanding that we are trying to help him,” said Katie.
“Here’s hoping the rest of his season is as successful as it deserves to be,” she added.
To read more about Woodfield Indo’s amazing story, plus understanding allergies and how to manage them, don’t miss H&H magazine’s vet pages in 5 September issue