Dr Peter “Pedro” McDonald, a keen hunting surgeon, is grateful for a nugget of comfort in this unpleasant new world of viral supremacy as he takes solace in his horse, Galway, away from the horrors at the hospital
We riders are luckier than most in this pandemic. We are likely to live in the more rural areas of the UK. We may have space around us and our horses nearby. While the rest of the country is told to lock down, we have an excuse to be out in the fields. We have a duty of care to our animals. We must see them fed and watered and sometimes even ridden to keep them healthy. Like dog owners, who must exercise their canines, this gives us a sense of purpose at a time when the world is full of miserable stories and economic distress.
This virus as far as we know is not bold enough to take on equines. Our fields are not full of animals breathing their last breaths as the patients are in my hospital in north-west London, where the epicentre of the British pandemic seemed to start. Luckily for me, when I got the job in Harrow nearly 30 years ago, my wife insisted in her forceful way that she was “not going to live inside the M25 under any circumstances”. Thus we have a good measure of breathing space around us in our rural idyll and it is here where we keep our horses.