Page 23 - Chiron Autumn 2018
P. 23

1 May 18 saw a successful horse castration clinic held at the DATR’s Old Dalby Canine Training Area (ODCTA). Castration clinics run eight times a year covering all parts of the country and are a British Horse Society (BHS) initiative supported ably by members of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). The aim of the clinics are to health check, microchip and castrate equines across the country who would otherwise not have easy access to veterinary treatment. With a valid passport and microchipping now a legal requirement for all equids, these events also provide a chance to ensure that owners are compliant.
The OCDTA site provided an ideal location for one of these clinics thanks to the proximity to cities such as Newark where there are a large number of horses. However as the OCDTA site is away from the main DATR attendance of horses at the clinic would not compromise biosecurity of the military working horse herd.
The event is staffed from volunteers including veterinary surgeons, nurses and welfare staff from various organisations including charities. Holding the clinic at OCDTA enabled multiple personnel from DATR and 1MWD to be involved throughout the day. This gained personnel valuable skills with a procedure not
commonly used within the military as MWHs are procured already castrated. The majority of castrations were done standing under sedation as is common in equine practice, however due to the size and temperament of some of the patients a few horses were anaesthetised in the field allowing further skills to be acquired monitoring field anaesthesia.
Over the course of the day over 30 horses were castrated with an additional 60 horses receiving health checks, wormers, microchips and passports. This brings the total of horses now castrated at these clinics to over 400.
Horse Clinic in Dalby
Maj Caz Whiting
    Parachuting Foundation Training in Cyprus LCpl Kerry Baxter, RAVC
LCpl Miln and I were selected to attend the Parachuting Foundation Training course held in Akrotiri, Cyprus in the Summer which was both challenging and thoroughly enjoyable.
On day one, we were all given our kit for the week which included our jump suit, helmet, altimeter and most importantly the correct size parachute for our weight and size. We then spent the whole day until 1530hrs conducting ground training. This taught us everything from the position you get in at the door of the plane to the way you rolled on the ground if your landing was too hard. It also covered the emergency cut away drill if the main parachute was to fail.
On day two we had a couple more Power Point lessons on everything that could go wrong after you got the courage to push yourself out of the door, and how to deal with these things if they occurred. Then it was time for our first jumps.
There were 2 flights up due to the number of people on the course, I was in the first lift and was the only female on the course, therefore I would always be jumping last, as it was done by weight. As we made our way up to 4000 feet I felt very sick. I have done a tandem jump before but you don’t have much of a choice if you jump or not once you’re at the door with an instructor, so the thought of me pushing myself out had just kicked in. After I had watched everyone else do it there was no way I wasn’t going to. I shuffled to the front and pushed myself out, after this it’s easy as we had a radio and the experts on the floor guided us all the way down, telling us when to flare the chute to land.
After everyone had jumped we had to learn how to pack the parachute away. Something that takes the course instructors 10 minutes took us nearly 2 hours. This was because we knew we would be the ones jumping with this parachute the following day.
Days 3&4 we went straight in went over our ground training and got our kit on, our first jumps were completed by 0930 and our packing was a bit quicker so I managed to fit 2 jumps in.
On the final day we did one last jump, packed the parachutes and finished the day with a video the instructors had put together with their GoPro’s. We were then handed our jump books to take with us if we wished to continue with the intermediate course.
In total I completed 5 jumps and LCpl Miln completed 2. We both really enjoyed it and were definitely pushed out of our comfort zones. What better way to test our adventurous training prowess.

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