Horses across Essex & Suffolk have dental work in aid of charity.
A vet took on a charity challenge with a difference as he rasped 50 horses’ teeth across Essex and Suffolk in just 24 hours.
Tony Lock, a director at Paton and Lee Equine Veterinary Surgeons in Rivenhall End, took on the challenge to raise funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
In particular Mr Lock is supporting an appeal for Olivia Coughlan, 16, who had to have her left leg amputated last November after suffering a severe form of bone cancer.
Olivia, known as Livvy, was diagnosed with the condition days after her 15th birthday but unfortunately did not respond to chemotherapy.
So far Mr Lock has already raised £4,523 for the cause with the challenge, to add to the more than £50,000 raised by others in support of Livvy over the past few months.
Teeth rasping is a routine procedure for vets to keep horses healthy, but because it is physically challenging vets only usually take on a maximum of ten sets of teeth in any one day.
During the challenge Mr Lock covered 326 miles, beginning in Stoke-by-Nayland at 8am on August 20 and visiting locations including Stebbing and Chelmondiston.
He was joined on the finish line by Livvy and her family, as well as numerous other supporters who cheered him on during the 50th and final rasp.
Mr Lock said: “It was a fantastic team effort.
“Our clients were absolutely fantastic in the support they gave and how organised they were, even in the middle of the night when some were having to wake up and get their horses out at 3am.
“Everyone was ready and organised with cups of tea and coffee, along with cake, so I was well fed all along the way.
“At the end I was totally exhausted but really exhilarated by the experience, and the reception at the practice for the last horse was fantastic.”
All in all he visited 50 yards and rasped 1,199 teeth – with the 2,000th being removed as it was loose.
Ben Portus, a fellow director at the veterinary practice, added: “Tony worked really hard and his arms were ready to drop off by the end.
“This was a clinical procedure as well and it was important it was not just about the raspathon and that standards remained high.
“To help with this we had vets with Tony, taking it turns on a shift system, checking his standards and making sure he was doing a good job.
“The welfare of the horses was paramount.”
Mr Portus also thanked office worker Georgina Ingleton for all her efforts organising the event.