Borders vet’s equestrian role at Greenwich

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A BORDERS vet is one of the team providing support to horses taking part in the London Olynpics

Colin Tait of Equitait Veterinary Practice in Duns has been in London all week and has been on site for the first horses arriving at Greenwich on Monday.

He was at the site earlier this month for an orientation day at the Greenwich Park venue and commented “This is the first Olympics where the squestrian events have taken place in the centre of the host city. The backdrop of the Queens House in the beautiful Greenwich Park I’m sure will provide some of the iconic images from these games. Given the weather conditions the ground staff and build team have and are continuing to do a fantastic job.”

Greenwich Park is home to the National Maritime museum and is host to the eventing, dressage and show jumping competitions and three modern pentathlon events.

Colin applied to work at the Olympics two years ago and was selected as a field treating vet. He has been a treating vet at Hickstead and a variety of racecourses including Goodwood. He recently qualified as a treating vet with the international governming body for Olympic equestrian events, the FEI.

The field vet team will be providing veterinary cover to all the competitive and training areas as well as veterinary services 24 hours a day including a monitoring service in the stables overnight.

They will have a role in ensuring that drugs used by the horses comply with the FEI equine anti-doping and controlled medication regulations. Their scope will include the care in emergencies and when horses become ill or are injured

A state of the art veterinary clinic has been built on site.

The training grounds and a four-furlong all-weather gallop will be under constant veterinary supervision during the training sessions before the main competition and this will be an area where Colin will be heavily involved. On the cross-country day of the eventing, vet numbers swell to provide cover for the 28 fences.