Wick & Thurso based DS McGregor & Partners recently shared in the success of a campaign to help support owners of older horses which scooped a major veterinary industry award. The ‘Old Friends’ initiative was developed by XLEquine to help horse owners to provide the best care possible for their ageing companions.
The award was presented last month at a Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA) ceremony attended by 370 industry professionals at the prestigious London Lancaster Hotel.
Rachael Gregson, a vet in the Thurso branch explains the aims of the campaign: “There are a lot of older horses out there and XLEquine practices wanted to raise awareness among horse owners of the importance of routine and regular checks for mature horses. It is very easy to overlook the signs of ageing in your older horse, but their needs do change over time. It’s all about providing the best quality of life.
“The Old Friends campaign is a typical example of the collaborative teamwork that makes the XLEquine group so successful. Once all the materials were in place our practice ran an independent campaign providing offers looking at key health areas and providing health checks,” she adds.
“The response to the campaign was phenomenal. Clients appreciated the specific focus on preventive healthcare for older horses. Many ageing horses have been in the same ownership for a long time and they are part of the family.
“The campaign enabled us to promote uptake of a healthcare package that includes examination, in-depth discussion about the horse or pony’s history, blood tests and worm egg counts so that we can recommend treatments and individual management programmes to help maintain the animal’s health,” she says.
“It’s about changing people’s attitudes and expectations of older horses – not everything is inevitable with old age and there are lots of things we can do to optimise the health and wellbeing of our old friends,” she adds.
The marketing materials really boosted awareness of the campaign, explains Wendy. “Many clients said they loved the striking imagery. Furthermore the educational booklet has proved an invaluable information source to leave with horse owners for ongoing reference,” she concludes.