Stories of Star Horses
Hogan's Story by Debbie Drummond
Hogan (also known to us as ‘The Bear) is a 16.2 Irish Draft crossbreed. When we got him he was called Winston but he looked like a ‘Hulk Hogan’ so we immediately re-named him and we could never have known how he would live up to the name.
Our concerns started within 24 hours of getting him when he appeared lame. We felt secure as we had a 5-stage vetting under our belt (unfortunately not from Scott Dunn) and we had bought from a dealer so we had ‘Sale of Goods Act’ protection.
Unfortunately, despite the dealers insistence he must have injured himself in being transported, he was diagnosed with long-standing ring bone in both front leg pasterns when he was first examined by Alistair and then a further examination and x-rays by Simon.
We were advised that he could be hacked out and decided to focus on enjoying our ownership of our old boy for as long as we could. He was our first horse and a 40 year long dream to me personally.
We quickly found that the dealer wasn’t interested and had no funds to claim our money back and the ‘5-stage’ vet was considered not at fault though they no longer care for horses.
We had just over 2 years (including taking part in ‘Horses for Heroes’) of fun with Hogan but this was shattered one autumn day when he stumbled as my eldest daughter rode him. It was immediately clear that he was struggling and our worst fears were realised when Carmel from Scott Dunn attended and diagnosed a fractured Pastern Bone.
Many would have ended things there but with Carmel’s/Simon’s support we decided to give the Bear a chance. This had to be at our expense as the insurer refused to cover the costs as it was considered to be linked to the pre-existing ringbone. Scratch one New Zealand trip to see family.
The vet bills were reduced, as the week before Hogan’s accident I had signed him up to the’ Healthy Horse Scheme’ where by you pay a monthly fee but you get a number of benefits per year including annual jabs, 2 worm counts and 10% off veterinary care/equipment/bandages used in treatment. I certainly had my monies worth.
I really feel as though Hogan was adopted by the staff at Scott Dunn as they calmly took my frequent calls and Carmel visited him ‘off the books’ when passing to check on his progress.
Seven months of box rest, frequent cast changes and his endless patience saw the day that we were able to walk Hogan down the lane. After many weeks this progressed to longer walks. There were those who felt we should not have put Hogan through the long period of recovery but I know how wrong they were as Hogan himself proved when he jumped a 4’0” fence onto a concrete area without anything more than some grazes from the fence - silly bugger doesn’t know his leg won’t ever fully heal.
So where are we now – Hogan has been retired to a lovely riverside field where he can swap old warhorse stories (he looks just like ‘Warhorse’) with the younger horses he shares a field with. He has been replaced from a riding point of view by a beautiful (if temperamental) grey mare, but he will never be replaced in the family’s heart as our first and most precious horse. This is thanks to the support of one person in particular, Carmel – a wonderful vet and caring friends to Hogan and our family.