BHS Safety Symposium discusses MoD low-level flying
Leading officials from the Ministry of Defence discussed the results of their review into low-level training
flights at The British Horse Society’s
Safety Symposium held on the 17th of September.
Key changes as a result of the review include:
· the routine helicopter low flying height being raised from 50ft. to 100ft. above ground level
· the introduction of designated helicopter training areas
· an enhanced free-phone advisory service providing details of military helicopter activity
· a joint ‘Be seen, Be safe’ campaign between the MoD and The British Horse Society to improve
With regards to rider safety, Wing Commander Jon Taylor stressed the importance
of riders wearing high visibility clothing. The use of high visibility clothing significantly increases visual detection range
of the pilot, giving the helicopter crew increased time to avoid over-flight. He
explained that if helicopter pilots did not see riders when they were more than half a mile away, they would avoid changing
route because the additional noise, from the late manoeuvre could scare horses.
Wing Commander Chrissie Taylor stressed that it was important that riders communicate
with their local RAF base and phone in details of their riding routes or of any events that are happening in the area so low-flying
helicopters can avoid them. She said: "Two-way communication was needed between
riders and the RAF to ensure that each side knew what the other was doing" and advised that riders and equestrian establishments
should try to contact their local base first before contacting the main Ministry of Defence office. Contact details will be
found on their websites or from the council.
The next step for the BHS is to approach those who potentially pose low flying
risks such as the Police, the Air Ambulance Service and the MoD with respect to fixed wing aircraft.
Other topics of the day included a lively session
on the controversial road surface Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) and the launch of the BHS’s Safety Department’s new
interactive Safety Training CD-Rom.
Read more about
the Symposium from the BHS
Find out more about low-flying initative from MoD
Military Helicopter Low-flying Safety: A Guide for Riders (PDF 577Kb)
Ministry of Defence moves military
low flying information
The Ministry of Defence website has recently undergone modernisation which has resulted in the Military low
flying information being moved to a new page. The new address is:
New Horse Safety training programme
in partnership with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have recently updated their award winning distance learning
training course "Health and Safety with Horses" which provides recognised qualifications in equine safety.
The programme is suitable for all
those involved in any equine related activity including full or part-time students, clients, trainees and school work placements,
as well as those employed working with horses.
Read more from the HSE >>>
Find out more details about the course from Warwickshire
or contact Equi Study: Telephone 01926 651085 /
A Riding Safely special report on this training
programme will appear in the next Riding Safelynewsletter.
Source: HSE Agriculture E-bulletin – Issue No. 2
Water company brands hosepipes ‘hazardous’
Legislation covering the use of hosepipes could be a ticking time bomb for
yard owners, warns Horse & Hound.
A Dorset yard owner's dispute with her local water company
over use of hosepipes around horses has uncovered longstanding but little understood legislation that could cost the equestrian
Gillian Makey-Harfield, a List Three British Dressage judge, had no idea she
was breaking the law by using hosepipes directly from the water mains at her private four-horse yard until she was inspected
by Wessex Water Ltd on 7 July.
She contacted Horse & Hound after being issued with a contravention report
telling her to switch to a water storage cistern by 15 August or remove hosepipe fittings.
“These regulations could put so many other people's livelihoods at risk
and affect the horse world as we know it,” she said.
According to DEFRA and the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS), using
hosepipes from the mains exposes public drinking water to potential contamination from animal waste due to “backflow”.
Read more from Horse & Hound online >>>
Source: Horse & Hound Online 11 August
Further Information on the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
from Defra >>>
Hosepipe regulations under review
The threat facing the horse world revealed in Horse & Hound (news, 11 August),
linked to the costly impact of hosepipe restrictions at every stable in the UK,
is up for review.
A 4 October meeting has been scheduled for British Horse Society (BHS) representatives
to raise concerns with DEFRA and the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. The BHS expressed extreme concern at revelations about
strict application of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
The legislation dictates that any hosepipe used in a non-domestic situation
falls into the highest public water contaminant risk category. As a result, even the smallest stable complex represents the
same risk as abattoirs or zoos, due to the presence of animal waste, which authorities claim could be sucked as "backflow"
through hosepipes into public drinking water.
The issue was aired in H&H after Dorset yard owner
Gillian Makey-Harfield was sent a Wessex Water contravention report telling her to run hosepipes off storage cisterns or remove
the fittings due to backflow contamination concerns.
Two hosepipes were found to be in breach. However, Wessex Water revisited Makey-Harfield's
property and agreed she could instead comply with regulations by constraining one hosepipe so its end never touches the ground.
Horse & Hound Magazine 18 August 2005
New guide for hosepipe use
Constructive talks dealing with concerns linked to hosepipe restrictions at
every yard in the UK have resulted in a promise by authorities
to produce specific guidelines for the equestrian world. The issue was first raised in Horse & Hound (news, 11 August).
Chris Doran, the British Horse Society's senior executive (approvals department),
said the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) promised to produce an advice leaflet detailing "all the regulations and
guidelines for possible cost-effective solutions".
The WRAS booklet should be available early next year.
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 20 October 2005
The BHS achieves Umbrella Body status with the Criminal Records
The British Horse Society has achieved Umbrella Body status with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
enables the Society to facilitate disclosure checks for staff in BHS-Approved Establishments, British Equestrian Federation
Member Bodies and other equestrian organisations.
Christine Doran, Senior Executive for Approvals, said this is a huge
step forward as children often make up a large majority of the client base at riding schools. "The BHS is committed to ongoing
child protection and this will help to ensure the safety of young people," she said.
BHS Scotland and BHS Northern Ireland
have also registered with Disclosure Scotland and The Dept.
of Health, NI and already provide this service.
This is now available UK-wide for all those working with young people both
in a professional and voluntary capacity.
The BHS has instituted strict procedures in accordance with the Data Protection
Act and recruiters will be able to contact the BHS when they require a potential member of staff or volunteer to be checked.
is hoped this will work to safeguard children and vulnerable adults at Riding Schools and at Equestrian events throughout
For further information, please contact: Chris Doran or Jo Wilson, Approvals Department, The British Horse
Society, 01926 707821 or email email@example.com or j.Wilson@bhs.org.uk
Have your say on equestrian facilities
A new National Equestrian Institute and a database of equestrian facilities
are among the proposals in the BEF's draft National Facilities Strategy.
The British Equestrian Federation is looking for views from the public on the
proposals within its draft strategy to support and help improve equestrian facilities around Britain.
The deadline for comments using the feedback form is Friday 21 October 2005.
Read more >>>
Horse & Hound Online 28 September 2005
Dismay at Jockey Club's
The Jockey Club has decided against introducing a mandatory requirement for
stable staff to wear body protectors while riding at work. The decision has been greeted with dismay by the Stable Lads' Association
"We were very disappointed in the fact that the Jockey Club have left it to
the judgment of trainers," said Bill Adams, SLA national secretary. "The SLA
was in favour of a mandatory requirement for stable staff to wear body protectors while riding at work."
A report last year by the Stable and Stud Staff Commission (news, 17 June 2004) recommended the use of body protectors in exercise should be urgently
Following the review, and meetings with bodies such as the National Trainers'
Federation (NTF), Stable Lads' Association (SLA) and British Horseracing Board (BHB), the Jockey Club has concluded current
Health and Safety legislation provides sufficient regulation.
"It is not for the Jockey Club to increase the burden of regulation unnecessarily,"
said Malcome Wallace, the Club's director of regulation. "Existing legislation requires establishments to make their own judgement.
We are aware that many trainers already use body protectors as standard, and we would be surprised if other trainers' risk
assessments did not highlight areas where the use of body protectors would be recommended. It's not the same as crash helmets,
which, of course, are essential."
The NTF has prepared a guidance note, re-emphasising aspects of its existing
safety advice, which will go out in its 3 October newsletter, according to chief executive Rupert Arnold.
"The Jockey Club has put the onus on trainers as employers," he said. "For
staff, the option is there."
Northamptonshire trainer Kim Bailey said: "I don't make them mandatory for
my staff; it comes down to personal choice. If they do want to wear body protectors I will supply them, and I advise them
to wear them when schooling. But in my experience they make little difference to the sort of injuries we've had, such as broken
collarbones and broken limbs."
The Turf Club in Ireland
did decide to enforce regulations requiring staff to wear body protectors earlier this year following its own review of safety.
"As far as we're concerned, safety is a huge issue and anything that can be
done to eradicate any accident will be done," said Cliff Noon, spokesman for the Turf Club.
Horse & Hound Magazine 29 September 2005
Buyers warned to beware of second-hand hats on eBay
Unsuspecting buyers should steer clear of bargain second-hand riding hats with outdated safety standards being sold
on auction websites, warns the British Equestrian Trade Association
Executive director Claire Williams said BETA had received a number of calls from anxious shoppers about second-hand
riding hats with out-of-date Kite marks being sold online.
Riding hats with out-of-date Kite marks are no longer considered suitable by the British Health and Safety Executive
and are banned in all competitions run by the Pony Club, British Eventing and the British Show Jumping Association.
"We have sent a message to sellers on eBay, asking them if they realise they are selling hats with obsolete safety
standards, "said Williams. "I would hope that the majority are acting out of ignorance or innocence."
One concerned member of the public contacted BETA after viewing one particular eBay auction lot — a BS4472 skullcap
with an old style chin cup.
It was advertised with a photo, together with the misleading instruction: "Please note the British standard number
and Kite mark to prove it is of safety standard". The hat sold for £14.50 after six bids.
Champion hats managing director John Airs said it can be impossible to determine whether a second-hand hat has been
"You're buying a safety item without knowing its history," he said. "The damage may not be viable."
eBay commented: "We encourage buyers to contact sellers on the quality of the item or anything else they are unsure
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 18 August 2005
The British Horse Society launches Government Affairs Register
British Horse Society has launched a Government Affairs Register - profiling the work involving Government being carried out
by the Society.
The Register aims to enable anyone who might be interested in this enormous range of activity to see at
a glance what work is going on and which BHS staff member they would need to contact to find out more about it.
Director of Communications Oliver Wilson said: "The Government Affairs Register covers the full gamut of the Society's liaison
with Government in areas such as Access and Rights of Way, Safety, Welfare and Standards, including the work going on in the
Nations and the Regions, and, of course, at Westminster."
View the Register >>>
The BHS adds Equine Specific First Aid Courses (ESFAC) to the
Learning Aims Database
The British Horse Society has secured the inclusion of Equine Specific First Aid Courses
(ESFAC) onto the official Learning Aims Database - so funding will be available for those wishing to apply to their local
Learning Skills Councils (LSC).
Any official training organisation providing further and/or higher education will now be
able to partly or fully fund their students to complete this extremely important and industry-recognised qualification.
have existed for five years. Although the course has proved to be extremely popular, some people may have found it difficult
The securing of funding will ultimately mean that the course will beavailable to a greater audience, enhancing
and raising awareness of first aid procedures that are vital to anyone involved in the horse industry.
For further information,
please contact Sam Whale, Training Department, The British Horse Society, Stoneleigh Deer Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire,
CV8 2XZ. Phone: 01926 707 835 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are we in for a severely cold Winter this year?
Amidst much speculation the Met Office’s winter forecast does not
make these extreme claims but does suggest that the coming winter will be colder and drier than normal. However it is too
early to be specific about the timing and severity of any individual cold spells.
Find out more from the Met Office >>>