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SyncThermology Blog

Team Story: Lucy Challis

Thursday, July 03, 2014  ‹ Back To Latest News List

Every month we share one of our team's stories. Here is a bit about Lucy!

People often ask me how I got involved with Syncthermology. It’s a long story, and I don’t want to bore you but……….

 For those of you who don’t already know me I will just give you a brief background.

 I left school aged 16, and really didn’t enjoy my time at school at all, all I wanted to do was ride horses, and all I wanted to be was an International 3 Day Eventer and ride for my Country. I spent 2 years as a working pupil for Nicky and Jonny McIrvine, during which time Nicky won Badminton and I won Windsor 3 Day Event and so my Eventing career started to take off, riding/training several horses up to Advanced 3* level.

In 2000 I became very ill with M.E ( Cronic Fatigue ) following a serious riding fall crushing and breaking my right leg in over 35 places, 2 of which were compound fractures, 3 ops and a year later I was back in the saddle and quickly Eventing again. 6 months later I had another fall and broke my right ankle, a clean break and only 6 weeks in plaster, but the doctors feel that my original fall shattered my immune system, and following bad flu I ended up with M.E and totally house bound, unable to do anything.

 In 2006 I was back on the Eventing Circuit again, but had several horses with lameness issues, which proved hard to diagnose, very expensive not to mention FRUSTRATING !  I felt I was way behind in my career and my piers who I had come through Juniors and Young Riders with were way ahead of me due to all the time I had had off through illness and then my horses being lame, and felt realistically I only had a maximum of ten years Eventing ahead of me, so I needed to get cracking if I was to achieve my own personal goals in life.

 As a side line to my Eventing and due to all the contacts and trust I had built up in the Eventing World and the fact that people often asked me if I knew of any decent horses for sale, I started up an agency for sourcing Top Class Eventers. Unfourtunately I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me, put it this way, I struggled with the dishonesty I came across and really didn’t want to be a part of it.

In the back of my mind has always been “ what will I do when I don’t Event anymore “……

 Then I bought 2 new young horses, a mare and a gelding. Both with the breeding, athletisism, and temperament to be Top Class Eventers in the future. The gelding I spotted at Bramham while he was competing in a BYEH class, he oozed class and was exactly what I was looking for, so with much arm twisting I managed to buy him from one of Britain’s top riders. The first 2 months I had him he didn’t put a foot wrong, a total gent who had the best brain of any horse I had ever trained. He won every competition I entered and all was going well until I took him to a BYEH class ( which I have to admit I thought we had in the bag ! ) …..How wrong could I be ! My perfect gentleman of a horse suddenly turned into an absolute lunatic, fly bucking, bronking and basically it was as though he was being stung by a thousand bee’s, totally unrideable and very embarrassing, I literally couldn’t do a thing with him. On lookers, family and friends were telling me to get off, send him back, or send him away to a strong man who would sort him out, and that he was dangerous. But, I knew something was wrong, a horse doesn’t suddenly totally change his character over night, and so my investigations started. It turned out ( finally ) to be his patella ligaments which were flicking over his stifles and he was in agony, bucking and bronking to try and flick them back…..Poor boy ! All I could think was thank God I didn’t send him away to be sorted, it could have finished him forever.

The mare was with me for 2 weeks when she spooked at the end of my lane and fell onto her knees. A year later she was still lame and we didn’t have a solid diagnosis. Probably 40 nerve blocks, several x rays later still no diagnose, it was at this point that I started to look into other forms of diagnostics and this is how I found Syncthermology. My mare had 2 MRI scans and the Syncthermology camera helped correlate with the MRI findings, but it was the thermographs that actually gave us the full picture, which we could then treat.

 So the 5 years I had with all sorts of different lameness issues, followed by a year with no horses of my own to ride/compete sent me down the path of Syncthermology. If my horses hadn’t gone lame I would never have had the time to train, so I’ve tried to turn all the negatives into one big positive.

 The fact that you can collect the data for a Full horse body in about 30 minutes and have a full picture as to exactly how the horses body is functioning without any direct contact with the animal, no drugs, no injections, non invasive and pretty stress free to me was something I was very interested in. The horses voice of pain, eliminating wondering if a horse has a behavioural problem that needs “ sorting “ or whether in fact it’s in pain.

 I spent a lot of time researching different companies that were advertising, none of which ticked all the boxes so I kept looking and found by chance Syncthermology.

They ticked every box and more.

  • Medical grade made sense to me
  • Used in human medicine
  • Working with vets
  • Straight, honest and great work ethics
  • Work in education and research
  • Own team of specially trained vets

Everything I was looking for. Then I had a meeting with Sophie, and the rest is history.

I’m now a trained Veterinary Thermographer Technician and want to help people, work with vets and animals and share this amazing new medical grade advanced technology with everyone.

I’m NOT a sales person, I just totally ( through my own experience ) trust and have huge faith in this technology and want to share my journey and this technology with you. I am also very proud to be associated with this company.


Click here to contact Lucy.