Tyre blowout and pony with colic? No problem

When Orchard Scurry Team, who are sponsored by Equine Rescue Services, were on their way to the New Forest Show, they had a tyre blowout and had to call us. Then, when they were on their way home again, one of their ponies developed colic and they had to call us again. Chris and Paul Orchard wrote to tell us all about it:

“The New Forest Show; there and back in a day; to include three scurry driving classes (all HOYS qualifiers); no problem we thought!

Read on to hear about the trauma on the way there and the nightmare on the way back, and how Equine Rescue Services saved the day.

Chris Orchard calls Equine Rescue Services from the hard shoulder of the M3 after a tyre blowout, as lorries whizz past

4:00am
An early start at the stables and breakfast for Carriagehouse Insurance “Touch & Go” and “Rough & Tumble”.

6:00am
All four ponies loaded onto the lorry and ready to go, and we were on our way.

7:40am
Southbound on the M3 – disaster strikes, the nearside front tyre explodes! Having pulled over and set hazard lights flashing, with our fluorescent tabards on we run down the hard shoulder to put out warning triangles. Ponies then checked, all OK (in fact very cool as usual).

7:45am
Chris grabs her mobile to call Equine Rescue Services (Chris keeps the number in her contacts so it’s always to hand). All details taken carefully by the operator, they spring into action.
The tyre fitter sent by Equine Rescue Services gets the horsebox going again, 80 minutes after Chris’s call

8:45am
Mobile tyre repair vehicle arrives with a replacement tyre on board. 20 minutes later we are ready to go.

9:10am
Equine Rescue Services phone back to check our progress. “We’re already on the road,” we reply. “Thank you for your brilliant work.”

On to the show, where Touch & Go win their class outright and Rough & Tumble notch up a very respectable 4th.
Now we could all have a relaxing journey home… NOT.

7:30pm
We leave the showground, expected journey time 2 hours.

8:40pm
On the lorry CCTV we notice Tumble (stable name Grommit) seems very distressed, rearing & bucking, not like him at all. We pull into the next services and unload Grommit as we suspect colic.

8:55pm
We call Equine Rescue Services. “It’s us again!” They were very surprised. After 10 years of membership we need them more now then ever before. All our details taken as before with complete professionalism. “I’ll call you right back with a vet ETA”, the operator told us.

We are now thinking: OK, it’s almost dark, we are northbound on the M3 at Fleet services, how long will it take a vet to get to us? and here we are walking Grommit up and down between the HGV lorries, with colic, it’s your worst nightmare! (Made bearable to some small degree by the kindness of the lorry drivers and another horsebox passing through providing constant coffee top ups to keep us going!)

Within minutes Equine Rescue Services phone back to say they have found a local vet and he will be with us in 30 minutes!… Amazing!

9:25pm
Within 25 minutes the vet arrives, who is brilliant. He assesses the situation immediately, checks Grommit thoroughly, and confirms that Grommit only has mild colic. He administers the necessary drugs, and after another 20 minutes assures us that it will be OK to travel Grommit the rest of the way home.

11:30pm
We all finally arrive home Safe & Sound!
We are so grateful to Equine Rescue Services for their excellent service on the day; we would not have been able to cope without their fantastic support. Both Colin and Brian [Incident Managers] were brilliant. The vet arrived right on time. He was excellent and had Grommit sorted out very quickly. I don’t know how on earth we would have found a vet and had him with us within thirty minutes!”

The advice from Chris & Paul Orchard, “Touch & Go” and “Rough & Tumble”, who are Orchard Scurry Team, to anyone travelling with their horse would be:

“Don’t even consider leaving home without membership of Equine Rescue Services, you could have a day as bad as ours and without Equine Rescue Services cover it may not have such a happy ending.”

You can find out more about Orchard Scurry Team at: http://www.orchard-scurry-team.co.uk/