Posted: 17th September 2014 | Back to news feed

SHOWJUMPING fan Sarah Smith has owned her chestnut Irish Sport Horse, Benjamin for three years.

 At the age of 10 and very much a family pet, Benjamin has a huge jump and is loved by everyone.

 Throughout the three year partnership, Sarah has become a focused showjumping competitor.

 Taking full advantage of his scope and ability she has competed at BSJA Discovery and Members Cup level.

 Benjamin suffered with intermittent lameness in his right front limb for a few months, but Sarah competed him occasionally when he was sound.

 However all this came to an abrupt end when, following a jumping event, he became acutely lame.

 The clinical examination showed that Benjamin had moderate forelimb lameness that was not affected by flexing the hoof, but did worsen when walking in circles in either direction. There was some localised swelling around the pastern in the right forelimb which was not sensitive to touch.

 An X-ray was the initial approach to try and diagnose the problem, but more advanced imaging was required after the cause of lameness was undetected.

 Scintigraphy, which involves monitoring localised adsorption of injected radio isotopes as a tracer, showed some signs of damage in the collateral ligament. The bone examination did not find anything wrong.

 After advanced examinations and conventional methods everyone was still at a loss with the cause of Benjamin’s lameness remaining a mystery.

 The vets were none the wiser to why he was lame and Sarah was desperate to achieve a diagnosis to see if anything could be done for the horse she loved.

 Standing Equine MRI Scanning was the last hope in trying to achieve the diagnosis, and so help Benjamin on the road to recovery.

 This enabled the problem to be accurately diagnosed with Benjamin suffering from acute desmitis of the medial collateral ligament of the distal interphalangeal joint in the right fore limb.

 He was treated with shock wave therapy on the coronary band and had an autologous conditioned serum injection into the coffin joint to diffuse into the collateral ligaments helping to repair it.

 A rehabilitation programme was planned, which started with total rest, moving to light walking and slowly increasing movement as he improved.

 The MRI helped vets to accurately diagnose the lameness, which subsequently led to precise treatment and a full recovery enabling Benjamin to return to his career in the showjumping arena.

 With such a revolutionary scanner available to every horse, help is at hand when lameness problems arise. 

 Hallmarq MRI scanners have imaged nearly 47,877 horses worldwide, and are only used at veterinary practices by trained veterinary staff.

 For further information contact Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging on (01483) 877812 or visit

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