A LONG-serving employee has has dedicated 25 years to the smooth running of one of the largest equine veterinary practices in the north of England.

When Lorraine Colgan joined Rainbow Equine Hospital in Malton in November 1996, her duties included answering the phone, general office admin and bookkeeping.

Her skills proved so influential in helping the hospital provide an excellent service to clients, she was promoted to practice manager in 2010, which involves managing the veterinary and support teams, looking after client relations, marketing, budget management and ensuring the hospital maintains the highest possible standards.

Lorraine says the biggest change she’s seen in the past quarter of a century is how Rainbow has grown from a small veterinary practice employing eight people to a state-of-the-art hospital with a 64-strong team.

Rainbow has become one of the UK’s most advanced and high-tech hospitals, with purpose-built surgical and intensive care facilities. It is the largest fully equipped RCVS Tier 3 Equine Referral Hospital in the North of England, offering the most advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques.

Lorraine, who is from Norton, said her longevity in her role is due to the pride she takes in being part of a team that is dedicated to providing the best possible care for its equine patients, which travel to Rainbow for treatment from all over the UK.

She said: “It is an honour to be part of such an exceptional team and we have the most incredible facilities to treat horses and diagnose health issues. My most memorable moments of the past 25 years involve our brilliant veterinary team helping seriously injured or sick horses.

“I remember one patient who speared itself on a 6ft wooden fence post that went all the way through its body and just missed its heart. Our surgeons were able to remove the post and save the horse’s life.

“I’ll also never forget a rescue horse called Cinders, who came into our care after being horrifically burned in an acid attack. She was the first horse to be treated with a revolutionary form of plastic surgery involving fish skin and it was very rewarding to be involved in her recovery.

“It really has been an amazing 25 years, and I couldn’t wish for a better place to work. Rainbow is such a great place, my daughter, Kiera, works here too and helps care for horses on the stable yard.”

Lorraine’s special milestone was celebrated with a surprise party at The Mount Hotel in Malton, where she was greeted by friends and colleagues past and present.

She was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a pair of Fairfax & Favor shoes and a voucher for Parnaby’s Saddlery and Country Store.