Princess takes tour of North Yorkshire horse hospital

Staff at a purpose-built hospital for horses have finally received the royal approval they had hoped for.

The Princess Royal watching a horse dental examination by vet Dr James Roxburgh and nursing assistant Francesca Ware during her visit to Hambleton Equine Clinic. Picture by James Hardisty.

Princess Anne was a welcome visitor at Hambleton Equine Clinic in Great Ayton today, months after a late helicopter hitch prevented her from attending the clinic’s official opening.

The clinic’s founding partners, vets Caroline Blakiston, Philip Cramp and Alison Walters greeted the Princess Royal and gave her a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities which have been used to treat horses ridden by some of the region’s most successful riders.

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Princess Anne took a look at the clinic’s diagnostic imaging suite, standing surgery room, large operating theatre and recovery rooms. The hospital has an on site vet 24 hours a day to observe their patients round the clock, the latest nuclear scintigraphy equipment for scanning bones and the most recent Hallmarq MRI scanner.

The royal guest also saw the facilities in action, observing a horse having a leg scan, watching a gastroscopy and meeting European gold medallist Nicola Wilson with one of her up and coming event horses.

She saw Celtic Fortune, a horse ridden to success by Durham’s Jamie Atkinson, as it underwent an MRI scan and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit.

Mr Cramp, whose three-year-old daughter Amelia presented the Princess Royal with a posy, said he was delighted to have received the royal.

“For the staff and everyone here it was fantastic. It had been very disappointing when she couldn’t make it for the main opening (in January) but she more than made up for it. It’s very kind of her to come back.

“We are looking to do a lot of nurse training here and she has a lot to do with the Animal Health Trust and was keen to hear how we are trying to educate people.

“Her attitude and the way she conducted herself was amazing. She was an absolute pleasure to welcome to the clinic.”