An owner of a horse who was “ripped open” as she went through a partly open gate has urged others to be aware of the injuries protruding latches can cause.
Susan Bloodworth’s 12-year-old part-bred Connemara mare Fifi rushed through the field gate as she was being brought in from the field on Friday evening (22 February) when Susan’s other mare, Mary, charged at her.
Susan told H&H: “I was out at the time. Shaun Malpass who helps bring in the horses opened the gate and Mary charged at Fifi. I’ve only owned Mary since September but she has become the boss, has been bullying her sometimes in the field and will chase her away. Fifi panicked, knocked Shaun over, went through the gate which wasn’t fully open and caught herself on the latch where the pin protrudes.
“When Shaun saw the injury, he rang me and said we need to get the vet – I owe him a debt of gratitude for acting so quickly and phoning me straight away. Time is of the essence with wounds.”
Fifi, a former eventer who is retired following a suspensory ligament injury, avoided any damage to the muscle but required stitches.
“It was a really big area. The vet managed to stitch and staple it and put two drains in. She is on box rest and antibiotics for two weeks,” said Susan.
“Since retiring she has put on a bit of weight and is on restricted grazing but the fat prevented too much damage to her side – it would have been a lot worse if it had cut through the muscle. The vet warned there is always the risk of infection with these things but touch wood things are looking good and all going well, he will be back soon to take out the stitches and she can go out again.”
‘A lot of people hack out and see a gate and think that’s normal, and landowners think because no one
The overambitious horse was winched to safety after attempting to jump the gate and becoming stuck
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Susan’s husband Walter has now adapted the gate but Susan wants others to be aware of the risks latches can cause.
“Walter has screwed a piece of wood down the side parallel to the gate post so the pin isn’t protruding anymore and can’t catch anything. I posted online what happened because I wanted others to see what can happen and how dangerous it can be,” said Susan.
“I’ve been astounded by how many people have responded about similar injuries and thanking me for making them aware. I’ve caught my jacket on the gate before but hadn’t heard of this happening to a horse, you don’t think it will. I don’t want it happening to anyone else’s horse.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.