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An owner's experience...

How one plucky mare beat ulcers to reach competitive stardom

Professional groom Shaun Malpass is the proud owner of nine-year-old chestnut mare, Boomerang, stable name ‘Boom’.

Early last season the pair were all set to start their competitive season when Shaun noticed a change in Boom's behaviour. "Boom is generally amazing, but I began to notice that she seemed stressed in her daily life and when I rode she wasn't comfortable at all.

“I felt her performance had dropped off, and as she started to lose weight and condition I knew there must be something wrong, so decided to call my vet.

"They suggested a gastroscopy examination, via a video endoscope, to see if Boom had ulcers - and sure enough she did. She was immediately prescribed a six week course of omeprazole and her behaviour changed overnight for the better!

“Since completion of the treatment, Boom has surpassed all expectations and is competing at a higher level. We did our first BE Novice recently and we flew round which would have been impossible before her diagnosis.

"I feel like I've got my horse back and we are back and we are out doing what we love again. Now I can think about schooling and competing instead of wondering ‘what's the matter’?”

The pair recently qualified for the BE100 regional final in Skipton and for the Blenheim Palace eventing derby in September.

And Shaun knows that if ever Boomerang loses form again, a simple re-scope and a course of omeprazole should get her back on track.

Photo: Boomerang and Shaun at Bishop Burton earlier this year competing at Novice level

If you think your horse may have stomach ulcers, contact your vet as soon as possible. 

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