“A 50% chance he wouldn’t return to eventing”
JUSTINE PARKER knew something was wrong with her beloved three-star eventer Alfie (pictured, above) by the way he was standing in the field one morning last May.
Scans revealed the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse had damaged the sheath of the deep digital tendon flexor in his right fore and he was given a 50% chance of returning to eventing.
“I was devastated as not only do I adore him but it has taken me five years to get him to that level,” says Justine, who is national director of sport at British Showjumping.
Alfie underwent treatment, which included platelet-rich plasma therapy and a stay at a hydrotherapy spa, and Justine meticulously followed rehab instructions from vet Spike Milligan.
However, in October it was determined that Alfie wasn’t progressing as desired so he underwent tenoscopy surgery at Newmarket Equine Hospital.
Justine’s insurance policy with SEIB Insurance Brokers covered all of Alfie’s treatment and included £1,000 cover for alternative therapies, which Justine used for the cold water therapy at the spa and radiofrequency treatment. The excess was £300.
“These situations are stressful and emotional enough without the worry of whether your insurance is going to cover the best treatment,” says Justine. “I was relieved to have a good insurance provider which was quick to process the surgery preauthorisation paperwork, pay any invoices and settle the balance at the vets directly.”
Justine pays £75 per month for her policy, which includes £5,000 for veterinary cover.
Alfie is currently sound and resulting scans have been positive. Spike is pleased with how the horse’s leg looks and is optimistic Alfie will be able to resume his eventing career this year.
“I would have had to put Val to sleep”
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