While a laminitis diagnosis often signals the end of the road for a show horse, one Welsh section D has well and truly come back from the brink, putting the condition behind him to qualify for the SEIB Search for a Star amateur ridden finals.
Taking top spot in the Mountain and Moorland class at Bury Farm’s 2018 SEIB Search for a Star qualifier (10 June) was Hanna Garner with Margaret Burrows’ Welsh cob Winwood Tigers Eye (Tigger).
The pair will compete in the first ever final, which is to be held at Your Horse Live in November.
Despite this victory, in 2015, the 11-year-old gelding was struck down with a bout of severe laminitis.
Hanna, who works for Margaret at Sandridge Bury riding school and livery yard, was thrilled with the victory.
“It means so much to us all,” said Hanna of the bay. “He was nearly put down in early 2015 as his laminitis was so severe. The vet said to feed him 15kg of hay a day, I misunderstood and soaked the hay before weighing it so Tigger was being fed really very little — the vet then said it was this that saved his life.”
Tigger is now going from strength to strength but is maintained on a strict daily routine. He lives in at night, also being exercised in the morning. He then goes out for three hours in the afternoon with a muzzle on.
Hanna added: “Our feed manufacturers have been brilliant when it comes to Tigger’s feed — any problems and we ring them straight away.
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“We basically treat him like a diabetic. We feed him stuff that will give him energy but that is completely sugar-free. He has the biggest personality in the world and there is already a plan in place to hire a coach for all the supporters from the yard to come down to Stoneleigh to watch him at the final.”
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday.
In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on 28 June, is a full report from the Hickstead Derby meeting, a six-page report from Royal Ascot, a feature on the much-discussed whip rules and, in this week’s ‘vet clinic’, find out how to spot the signs of sand colic.