Lives of two vets

The track veterinarian: ”my duty is to be ready”

It´s action, high stakes, and exciting final spurts.

But in the middle of the high pace at the racecourse in Bro Park, there´s a whole battery of officials, ready to uphold the security and make sure the horses are safe.

Susanna Staaf is one of the track veterinarian and spokeswoman for the animals during race days.

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Almost every day at the course is a good day. But even days that seem calm can suddenly change into the opposite.

Then, it's a real-life situation and quick decisions to be made by a veterinarian.

– My function is to make sure the racecourse is safe for the horses and also make sure the horses are in shape for racing. I watch them in a short pace and in trot to decide whether they're good to start or not. Gallop is a high-risk sport where anything can happen. A horse can scamper, horses might run into each other, and my function is to be ready when accidents occur, says Susanna Staaf.

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Recently, in harness racing, a driver was fined and suspended after illegally whipping his horse. If anything similar should happen at the galloping course, are you the one making that kind of decision?

– It might be. There’s a lot of officials taking care of those things and I’m one of them. Scandals of that kind are very unusual, though. I have never seen a horse getting treated that bad. The rules are getting tougher and tougher, and shortly, I hope beating will be totally forbidden in gallop racing.

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In Sweden, horse racing is nearly the only sport that allows competitions during the corona outbreak. What differences do you notice?

– Since April, every race is without attendance. Only a limited number of people are allowed in the arena and the facilities. There are new rules about prize ceremonies and lots of other moments around the race. Still, the principles of treating injured and ill horses remain the same. The main difference is the logistics. Just the fact that shaking hands is not allowed is a weird feeling.

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Working at a galloping course means working at an open place with strong winds and harsh temperatures. Warm, flexible clothes are necessary for not having the day spoiled due to cold. As a ”Uhiper,” Susanna Staaf is a real veteran. Ever since Uhip was founded, she has worn our clothes.

– I love Uhip´s clothes! Standing on the course is often freezingly cold, and going from the comfortable indoor climate to the cold outside, you have to dress right. Then, it doesn't hurt that Uhip´s clothes are not only warm but beautiful as well. Actually, one of my Uhip coats is for parties and fine dining only, says Susanna Staaf.

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Except that the clothes keep you warm, what other advantages do you see?

– Uhip designs smart clothes overall, especially for me as a veterinarian. Most of the garments come with lots of pockets, which is perfect for me, who wants to keep things in different places. I like the thumb-grip that holds the sleeve in place and the long sleeves with hand-warmers you can fell down. They´re very comfortable.

Any favorite Uhip garment?

– Being a leisure horse rider myself, I have to say the skirts. I love them! They´re outstanding because you no longer have to get your legs cold. We have been freezing our whole lives, but now, thanks to Uhip, we don't have to freeze anymore.

ISABELLE – RESPONSIBLE FOR 100 HORSES

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She tells us that she almost grew up in the backseat of her father’s car. Thanks to her father Hans Berhandsson, she got an insight into the veterinary profession and early started dreaming about a future job as a veterinarian. Today Isabelle Fredricson carries a huge responsibility for a hundred horses at the national equestrian center in Flyinge.

– I have a big interest in medicine, and I love horses. It feels amazing to be able to combine my profession as a veterinarian with my passion for horses. I am very thankful for this opportunity. Working as a veterinarian is lovely, Isabelle Fredricson says.

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The restrictions we live within today’s society due to the coronavirus means that Isabelle has to make both small and big changes in her life. Usually, she and husband Jens Fredricson, equerry of Flyinge, combine their work at Flyinge with competing in showjumping during weekends. But even though competing isn’t allowed at the moment, life is almost the same for the Fredricson family.

– For me, as a vet, nothing has really changed since we still run our school at Flyinge. The theoretical parts are being held on distance, digitally, but we’re teaching the practical parts almost in the same way as before. I work as much as usual, maybe more. My job is to keep every horse in shape, and these days, when either Jens or I can compete, I get more time working prophylactic with the horses.

What are the most rewarding thing with your job?

– To get a chance to set-up a whole package of management together with coaches, farriers, and the stable manager. Preventing injuries is my real passion, but get a broader base of knowledge and expertise, I have learned chiropractic during international studies and also, learned about the horse's mouth cavity. Because I’m an equestrian myself I can take advantage of my knowledge of training and competing and get a better understanding of how to ride your horse to maintain it’s health.

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Isabelle Fredricson is one of av Uhip's team riders. Usually, her working days are long and include both horse riding and horse care at Flyinge, she thinks it’s important to wear functional clothes with smart features. Uhip provides all that, according to Isabelle.

– Uhip's Functional Stable Pants is a typical veterinarian pant. They fit nicely and are made in a stretchy material that allows you to bend down without feeling uncomfortable. You can easily put a scissor in the pocket if you need to. I also like the vests, matching the pants with a vest is perfect when you need to dress properly.

The jacket/skit-combo gets the highest rating.

– A marvellous thing about Uhip's clothes is that you never have to freeze in them. I love coats and skirts; they are both stylish and customized for riders, but can also we worn on other occasions. The skirt is more feminine compared to big thermal pants if I can say so (laughter)

Isabelle also appreciates Uhip's new Trench collection.

– Growing up with an interest in fashion, I've always loved trench coats. I'm pretty tall myself, and therefore the long trench coats suit me well.

Farrier – A Tough But Important Profession

Punctuality and accuracy is key for Johan Klang. He strives to maintain the best possible service. A professional practice pays off for a farrier.

- I usually stick to three or four complete shoeings during an average day. More than that, I know will be challenging for me. For example, if I get sick or want to take a vacation in the summer, it will be harder to make up for it. That's why I make sure to work with some margins, Johan says.

His profession is stressful and tough

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Working as a farrier is tough, not to mention dangerous when coming in close contact with heavy horses of different sizes with high temperaments, several times a day. The accidents occur when they are least expected

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- The accidents happen often with calm and kind horses. When dealing with young horses, who often are nervous, you are on your guard. But with the calm horses, you can sometimes slacken and relax a bit. I've done well though; I've had a few stitches done on a few of my fingers and once in the calf, but nothing serious, says Johan.

Horses has always been a part of Johan's life

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Jacket Hybrid Iontex Edition and Stable Pants

Johan grew up with horses. He competed as a pony-rider up to 15-years-old. He has won a team gold and individual silver in the Nordic Championships and a fourth-place at the Swedish Championships. Johan then competed big horses for a period of time before taking a break for a few years. When serving the military as a riding police in Stockholm, he regained his interest in horses.

- I felt the urge to come back to a horse life. I bought two horses, one four-year-old and one seven-year-old. With the four-year-old, I rode the championships, and was in the final in Falsterbo when it was six-year-old.

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When SAS announced in the mid-00s that they were closing down their business at the airport in Växjö, Johan thought about what the next step in his life would be. He realized he wanted to work in the equestrian industry, and shortly after that, he started the farrier school in Uppsala. Since then, the time has passed, and Johan can count for 15 years as a full-time farrier.

- There are many horses out there, and if you care for your job and show up in time, there will always be a lot of work opportunities for you.

Enjoys his profession as a farrier

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What do you think about your job?

- I love it. Every horse is an individual, and I am there to give every horse the best possible conditions. I am privileged to work with something I both manage very well and love to do.

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Working as a farrier is though, especially tough on your body. Do you have any tips for future farriers?

- I work out every morning, a short and simple routine that takes about five to ten minutes. I do exercises like leg bends, push-ups, and stretching to be warmed up when it's time for my first horse of the day. On cold days, I make sure to dress warm.

Johan works in Uhip's Stable Pants

The stretchy material gives freedom of movement
The stretchy material gives freedom of movement
The Stable Pants has large pockets with zippers
The Stable Pants has large pockets with zippers

When it comes to clothes, Uhip's idea of the new Functional Staple Pants is that they should be the obvious choice, both for those who live an active horse life, but also for farriers and veterinarians. Johan is amazed at how well the Stable Pants fits him.

- They fit really well. The first thing I noticed, is the freedom of movement and how soft they feel on my body. It almost feel like I don't have them on, compared to my traditional work pants.

A warming horse life in a rainy winter

With a checklist long as a marathon race in the middle of winter with snow, rain and sudden temperature changes, you have to be in sync as horse parents. The cold can be a tough opponent but Uhips smart and functional products give you the tools to defeat it.

For Tobias and Malin Jonberg it´s all about planning to get away with their horse projects. Daughter Alicia, 12, is already competing at the elite level while competitions for little brother Casper are a fairly new phenomenon.

For me who is out a lot in all weathers, it’s a must to wear clothes that are windproof and water resistant

For the most part, the Jonberg family has five horses in training. That follows long days that usually do not end until after 9 PM. Tobias and Malin do a lot in common but some tasks they divide. Tobias keeps the riding track in shape, retrieves pellets and hay silage, alfalfa, minerals, and other feed. He is also responsible for the water replenishment, ensures that the horse truck is fueled and washed, shops and prepares most of the family´s food. An active life demands the right clothes.

The fact that Uhip now launched a men´s collection is something Tobias makes a big thumbs up for.

Uhip has turned it around and understood that it is important to manufacture clothes even for dads

Without committed parents, no competing children. Tough, but true. Equestrian sports require high demands all year round, especially during the Nordic winter climate, A och O is to stay warm to handle all the long days in and around the training and racing courses.

– Super nice, the pants fit really well. I use them every day and among many advantages, I have found out that they´re almost completely dirt repellent. They’re very easy to brush. The trousers withstand wind and are made of a nice material that keeps me warm, says Tobias.

Your hands are particularly vulnerable when you hold the reins and the adjustable sleeve is a really clever idea

Malin trains and coaches the children in dressage and groundwork, cuts horses, fixes and buds manes, showers horses, change bits and keeps the stable clean. She drives the children to and from the stable, attends training, runs the family´s social media and regularly trains herself to better help the children. For several years, Malin has been using Uhip’s clothes.

– First and foremost, the clothes are nice; without good design, you don´t want to buy them. But what you also see at Uhip is there is a meaning along with the riding. For me, who is out in a lot of weather, it is a must to have clothes that are windproof and water resistant, says Malin.

As an optimal everyday combo, she and Alicia have a skirt and jacket, perfect layer-by-layer garments. In case of cleaning the stables, for example, the jacket can be easily removed, while the skirt still keeps you warm. Similarly, a pony parent can easily help remove the skirt if the rider gets hot while riding.

– A smart function I have discovered is the zipper, that you can drag from the top down. It makes it easy for me with undressing when Alicia sits on the horse. The leg cords also hold them in place and make sure to keep warm, says Malin.

– The hands stay especially vulnerable when holding the reins and the adjustable sleeve is a really neat idea. The other day, when it was rainy and wet, Alicia lowered her sleeves and stayed warm as she rode. Casper stood next to her and froze his hands despite wearing gloves, says Malin.

The fold-down sleeve function is perfect for their everyday life.

Tobias’ latest addition to his wardrobe is Uhip´s new men´s jacket, also with smart functions in the sleeve.

The jacket is just like the pants; nice, hearty, withstand wind, hold heat and sit well

– It´s perfect for me when, for example, I have to lengthen the leather or stretch a saddle. It feels like a function that I will find more and more the longer I use the jacket. The jacket is just like the pants; nice, solid, can withstand wind, keeps warm and fits well. When a was cleaning the stable the other day I had to remove it because it was t-o-o warm. That´s a good rating for the jacket, says Tobias.

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