| Published in Sunday Independent on 16.08.2020 | A Touch of Frost |

This week I want to encourage everyone who is healthy enough and sensible enough to do so with social distancing, to take advantage of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Illustration for Touch of Frost, 16.08.2020

Eat Out to Help Out

With so many businesses in the hospitality trade facing financial disaster, the scheme not only makes the luxury of eating out affordable to more people, it really helps support local hospitality businesses.

My 60th birthday was held at the Eastern Eye Curry House in Newton Abbot. It was not so long ago, although long enough for it to have been legal to have as many guests as desired. It was one of the most memorable of nights of my life with friends organising a surprise ‘This is Your Life’ style event with relatives and friends from my past travelling from all over the UK to join me to celebrate. Our son Hadden who was working in the USA at the time, wanted to be part of my celebration so as an additional surprise he Facetimed the restaurant and became a virtual diner. It truly brought a tear to my eyes. I was so touched by the effort taken by everyone involved and the restaurant will always be one of my favourite places to eat.

Now the restaurant has opened up again we are planning a get together with friends, many being Frost Racing Club owners. Looking to play their part in supporting local businesses I am meeting up with Colin Whitbread, Colin Lee, Jim Parker and Chris Coward. All local business owners who I have a great deal of respect for. Talking to Chris, we both feel very strongly that wherever possible we should support and encourage others to use and shop at local businesses. We all need to do our part towards getting this country’s economy back to some state of normality.

Not so normal this week was when one of our horses – Antidote, went down badly with colic.

We are still not sure what caused it but one of the stable hands noticed he seemed uncomfortable. I went to look at him and he showed typical symptoms of colic; one minute he was lying down the next standing up and then lying down again. We called the vet in and within a couple of minutes an examination showed his intestines were inflamed and he needed emergency intervention. Immediately he was given pain killers and we transported him to the Western Counties Equine Hospital in Cullompton. Within 20 minutes he had been admitted and scanned. Unlike with humans and most other mammals, the horse cannot vomit or get rid of toxins or food that it can’t digest so colic can be highly dangerous even fatal for them.

Our horses are our family, and just as the thought of our dogs or cats being admitted overnight for treatment would be stressful, we felt no less stress when Antidote was admitted. At this stage there was no guarantee he would survive. For the next 24 hours the whole family were worried about the outcome. Finally, the hospital rang and told us that he had impaction and fortunately they would be able to sort it. Impaction is like a severe case of constipation. A horse has over forty feet of gut for food to pass through, and whilst we have no idea how it happened as we avoid all potential hazards, poor Antidote had not been able to properly pass what he had eaten. It took three days in hospital before he was well enough to be discharged. He is now on a soft food diet which will help the gut get back to normal. On behalf of the family, I would like to thank the wonderful team at Western Counties who not only helped Antidote but kept us updated throughout and demonstrated total compassion.

Colic can kill a horse therefore anyone who thinks a horse is showing signs of it they should seek emergency veterinary help.

Until we catch up again next week, keep safe, support local businesses and importantly be kind to each other.