Sport Horse Services

We have a wealth of experience and knowledge in caring for high performance sport horses and ponies

Sport Horse Services

The veterinary team at Oakham Veterinary Hospital have developed a wealth of experience and knowledge in caring for high performance sport horses and ponies. These include eventers, showjumpers and racehorses that are performing at the highest level, both nationally and internationally.

Managing the modern day sport horse involves working in close conjunction with riders, owners, trainers and para-professionals to optimise fitness and performance to enable the horse to perform at a high level. Our vets understand the demands of competition and the desire to peak for specific events. 

We offer our clients a detailed pre-season evaluation to establish a baseline of performance and formulate a plan for the coming season. This allows us to plan routine maintenance treatments and assessments throughout the season.

  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment
  • Pre Purchase Examinations
  • Young Horse Production
  • Gait Analysis


We understand that early detection of injury is key to giving the horse the best chance for recovery. Our expert interpretation and experience is essential for injury interpretation to understand whether an injury is ‘manageable’ with treatment or if it requires a period of rest.

Full range of diagnostic imaging is available in the hospital:

  • MRI
  • Scintigraphy (Bone Scan)
  • CT
  • Digital radiography & ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Gastroscopy

Latest portable diagnostics are available for yard visits.

  • Digital radiography & ultrasonography.
  • Overland Endoscopy
  • Endoscopy & Gastroscopy 

In addition to orthopaedics, medicinal issues can also be performance limiting. Our expert team of medics can investigate causes of poor performance such as breathing/respiratory problems, stomach ulcers and heart conditions.


We have available all the latest sports medicine treatments including in-house regenerative medicine.

  • BMAC – Bone marrow concentrate
  • PRP – Platelet rich plasma
  • IRAP® – Interluekin-1 receptor antagonist protein
  • Stem cells

All of our vets are familiar with FEI and BHA withdrawal and detection times for competing horses requiring treatment.

The team work closely with rehabilitation centres, physiotherapists, farriers, nutritionists, chiropractors and other paraprofessionals to provide a complete care package for the performance horse.

Pre Purchase Examinations

The buying and selling of sports horses is essential to the industry. Our vets are experienced at looking after and understanding the demands of competition horses from young horse classes through to international competition.

  • Our vets regularly travel throughout Europe for pre purchase exams
  • Full Xray/ultrasound/MRI imaging available for pre-purchase examinations
  • Full 5 stage and 2 stage vettings are available

Young Horse Production

The future of competition success lies in the young horse production. These formative years of development require considered veterinary input to help ensure optimal training and development of young horses. Our team can offer advice to sport horse breeders and producers including:

  • Farriery
  • Training
  • Growth
  • Nutrition
  • Treatment of conformational issues that may limit future performance
  • Xray assessment for pre-purchase exams
  • Insurance vettings

We also offer a full range of reproduction services and are very experienced at semen imports and exports from around the world, along with embryo transfer. To see our full range of of services please go to the stud services section of our website.

Gait Analysis

The field of equine biomechanics research is very active and growing; by understanding more about the way horses move (both in health and disease) gait analysis can help clinicians to better diagnose, treat and manage the equine athlete for both improved welfare and optimised performance.

The veterinary clinicians at Oakham Veterinary Hospital and the University of Nottingham are using the EquiGait system. The system includes either 5 or 8 inertial measurement units (IMUs) which are attached to various part of the horse's body during a lameness examination. Data from the sensors is wirelessly streamed to a laptop for processing and analysis. The system quantitively measures the degree of asymmetry shown during the examination, which correlates to degree of lameness. It is noteworthy however that symmetry does not always equate to soundness and asymmetry does not always correlate with lameness. Because of this, it is extremely important that the results of analyses are interpreted and acted upon with sound clinical reasoning.

In the hospital the system is able to detect asymmetries which are not visible to a clinician's eye. It can be a particularly useful tool when working with low grade or multi-limb lameness cases where it is able to suggest a starting point to the clinician and confirm the responses to diagnostic analgesia (nerve blocks). The data from examinations is stored for comparison with any future examinations so as well as quantifying response to diagnostics on the day the system can also quantify the response to treatments.

It is expected the system will prove useful in analysing the progression of horses over the course of a season. January/February is the perfect time to establish a baseline gait analysis before a horse enters the competition season and can then be used to monitor small changes in gait as the year progresses. This information can then be used to plan the timing of treatments around your season goals.

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