Jay Halim’s top horse Bart VI has been sidelined for the rest of the summer following colic surgery.
The Wiltshire-based showjumper partnered the 10-year-old gelding to victory in the grand prix at the Blue Chip Championships in April. However, while competing at Wales and West at the end of April, Jay noticed his stable star was not quite himself.
“I had ridden him at Bury Farm the week before and had been placed in the grand prix, but at Wales and West he seemed hotter to ride than normal and didn’t jump brilliantly,” said Jay.
Once back at the stables, Bart — who is owned by Helen Rees — showed signs of discomfort and Jay drove him straight to the vets.
“They initially thought he was okay, but then did a variety of tests that revealed he had an impaction in his small intestine and they operated on him that night,” Jay told H&H.
The son of Lord Z remained at the equine hospital for 10 days before being allowed home.
“The vet was happy with how the operation went and it is great to have him back home now,” added Jay, who has been competing Bart up to 1.55m classes and grands prix.
The gelding is on box rest for three months before he can get back into work and is being hand-grazed and walked out four-times a day.
“They’ve said it shouldn’t affect him in the future so I have no concerns about his comeback, as he loves his job.
“He’s never had colic like this before — what caused it remains an unsolved mystery. I’m so fussy and particular when it comes to the management of my horses staying away at shows. I always take my own haylage and keep them on the same feed,” he said. “It has been a huge blow to me — Bart is my main man so it was a stab to the heart.
“I guess with him being off it gives me time to concentrate on my young horses, but I feel like I’ve been doing that for a while now — I was ready to go to the bigger shows this year. But I am trying to find a positive in this bad situation and maybe three months off and a good break will be the best thing for Bart.”