Vets treat horses in the heart of horse country

CAPTION: Dr Lotte Cantley explains to local horse owners the proper method of administering injections.

A team of six volunteer vets from Kiwi Care, New Zealand have conducted a successful vet clinic treating over 50 horses on day one of the two day clinic along Sigatoka and the greater Coral Coast region.

The vets operated the free clinic at the Outrigger on the Lagoon ? Fiji?s Navure parklands on Friday, 13 and Saturday 14 June.

Team vet Charlotte Cantley said they were in Fiji to provide their expertise to treat working horses.

?We come as volunteers, so we aren?t getting paid to do this. We?ve given up our jobs at home to be here for a period of time. We have sponsorship from quite a few companies that have given us equipment and we are really grateful for the Outrigger hotel for the support. It?s been absolutely wonderful for this paddock and for the accommodation which has so kindly been provided. We feel that we want to help anyone that has horses here. We?ve been in touch with a woman who has some rescue cases that we?re about to go and see at a beach?, Dr. Cantley said.

On day one of the clinic the vets treated horses from Maui Bay to the heart of horse land (Nadroga), in the valley of Sigatoka. Dr. Cantley said their clinic was very successful in the valley and they were only limited by the fall of night.

The group has conducted similar clinics in India and Egypt but said Fiji was a relevant choice because of the proximity to New Zealand and the already existent relations between the two countries.

?The Kiwi Care Team started two years ago and the first trip was to Egypt. But we feel that being New Zealanders Fiji is our neighbour, we work very closely together and Fiji is a long way from Britain and the US where a lot of aid come from for countries like India, Egypt and Africa. We feel that as New Zealanders, we?re in the best position to help our neighbours,? Dr. Cantley stated.

?New Zealand and Fiji have a great relationship and we really want to promote that association and for us it?s not far, it?s a 3 hour flight and it?s the same time zone. We don?t have to be away from home for long, we can come here and do a short trip, see a lot of horses and make a difference?, she continued.

Dr. Cantley said judging from the horses that they had treated on the first day, the state of the working horses in Sigatoka were in reasonable body condition.

?They have good access to grass, so feeding doesn?t seem to be a problem. As for their feet, our farrier has seen some long toes that need some trimming but we haven?t seen any horror cases. Within the constraints that the local people have here, things are not too horrendous?.

Team nurse Michelle Horan said they were overwhelmed by the support from the Outrigger Fiji management and staff for accommodating the team for their weeklong stay.

?Kiwi Care is really touched and impressed by the response the Outrigger has given us which is all for your people. It?s wonderful that the hotel is so supportive. We don?t often see this. We?ve travelled around the world and we?ve never had such help as we?ve had today. We can?t believe it, we thought that we had arrived at the wrong place, as we nearly drove straight past because we thought that this hotel was not for us?, Ms. Horan stated.

Outrigger on the Lagoon ? Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood said the resort is a part of a community that depends on horses for their livelihood and it is a social responsibility of the Outrigger Fiji vuvale (family) to provide assistance to the community.

?When we were approached to host the clinic, I didn?t think twice about it, because I know how important working horses are to the communities in Nadroga?, Mr. Hopgood stated.

?Outrigger Fiji is very proud to be associated with Kiwi Care and we are glad to have assisted many farmers in the hinterlands have their horses treated by experts?, he continued.

Outrigger on the Lagoon ? Fiji was recently recognized as the Best Deluxe Accommodation in Fiji at the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism awards, as well as the Best Fine Dining Restaurant.

The resort prides itself on delivering all the luxury of a five star property with the unforgettable warmth only found in a traditional Fijian village.

Visit the Outrigger on the Lagoon ? Fiji website (www.outriggerfiji.com) to find out more about our premium services.

PRESS RELEASE