Safety in numbers........
British Eventing and the FEI now have three years worth of data to enable statistical analysis
of accidents and falls so that they can identify and address risk factors to help prevent further serious injuries.
The Horse Industry is woefully starved of health, safety and environmental data.
The Strategy for the Horse Industry consultation draft proposes that a “central industry communications function” is created. That
“function” needs to include obtaining reliable data from sources both internal and external to the industry so
that it can enable an overview to determine where the real risks lay and target resources to manage them accordingly.
Your last chance to comment......
Time is running out for you to comment on the Strategy for the Horse Industry
in England and Wales consultation draft. In case you haven't had time to read it, Riding Safely has published
a special feature which provides a 60 second guide to the 60 page document. Also
included are links to the full draft consultative document, an article from Horse & Hound and thoughts being exchanged
on the subject through the Horse & Hound Forum. Remember, it's your chance
to have a say - but make sure you say it before the 27th of May!
Go to the feature >>>>>
Air Bags for Riders......
Riding Safely has long had a vision of a body protector that detects when a rider is falling from a horse and inflates
instantly leaving the rider imitating the Michelin Man. The only problem is that
the rider would probably never stop bouncing and the horse would take off at a rate of knots never to be seen again! Now, had Riding Safely been a journal published on April 1st it undoubtedly would
have run with the story as a solution for professional riders to The Work at
Height Regulations 2005 which came into effect on the 6th of April 2005.
The airbag solution
is of course a joke. The regulations are not.
Find out more in the "Legislation Update" section below.
You can comment
about any of the items in this edition of the News digest in the Forum.
This month it seems timely to include again last month's
safety tip about organising a show.
The BSJA risk assessment may provide some help in providing you with ideas for your risk assessment.
But remember that it may cover some hazards you do not have to deal with and not mention some
you do. Even where the hazards are the same, with your own show, the controls you adopt may need to be different.
You will have to take your own 5 steps when carrying out your own risk assessment.
Pre-Election ‘Manifesto to Government’
issued by The British Horse Society
In early April The British Horse Society issued its pre-election
‘Manifesto to Government’. The purpose behind this document is to ensure that the government elected on May 5
this year, is made aware of the current issues and problems facing the horse world, and to recommend certain ways of ‘best
practice’ for the industry.
Read the Manifesto >>>
Safety report shows eventing somersaults up
"The FEI's first eventing safety report has identified
a worrying trend with an increase in the number of horse falls involving a somersault, but the overall number of falls are
Read more from Horse&Hound >>>
The full FEI Report >>>
Green light for children "training" on yards
A law prohibiting children from helping out at riding schools
can be sidestepped by forming clubs for ‘trainees’, the BHS has suggested
Read more from Horse & Hound (25 April 2005) >>>
No charges for muck heaps, says Defra
Following confusion towards the end of April where the Horse Industry met with new Environmental Legislation,
Defra have now confirmed that equestrian establishments with muck heaps do not require a waste management licence or a licence
exemption unless they are adding other materials to the heap in order to make it into compost.
See also current Environment Agency guidance for stables and liveries (Note: You'll need to use your browser's "back" button to return to the News page)
British Show Jumping Association makes
Safety Cups mandatory
Safety cups are mandatory for BSJA events for the back and centre
element of all spread fences from 1st April 2005. They are already being
used extensively throughout the country and are very well received by those connected with the sport.
The safety cup will not be mandatory in the BSJA practice area
as not all shows have a stipendiary steward to ensure they are used correctly, and also except within the rules and unlike
in the arena, no one dictates the dimension of practice fences to be jumped.
The safety cups must be FEI approved – these have been tested
by a special machine to ensure the tension is correct and consistent after a time of use; the hinged type is not allowed.
12 pairs are recommended per set, which allows for extra fences
that may be required for later competitions.
BSJA fences are being converted to the keyhole strip system but
there is a metal connector for those who have the pin and chain type.
The cups can be purchased from:
BSJA Jump Department
Tel: 01252 323164
Plastic (keyhole) Cup
£5.25 + VAT
Safety (keyhole) Cup
£19.10 + VAT
Metal (keyhole) Strip
£9.00 + VAT
£16.50 + VAT
in obtaining road safety project funding
The British Horse Society's
road safety bid for funding is among the successful twenty four road safety projects set to benefit from the latest
'Road Safety Challenge Fund' run by the Department for Transport. The projects aim to improve road safety in Great Britain.
The British Horse Society has received £18,500 for
funding a Safety Training CD Rom. The project will produce an Interactive Training and Safety CD Rom for use in
BHS Riding & Road Safety training and education. It will inform riders and other road users what to expect when
they meet on the road and how they might behave.
The expected launch will be at the BHS safety conference in September 2005.
BHS launches Ragwort Awareness Weeks
The BHS is planning two Ragwort Awareness Weeks, April and September, to alert horse owners of the dangers of this weed, and to encourage them to act to remove the weed
from their pasture before it has time to spread. April and September are the common growth periods for immature plants. Ragwort
is an injurious weed that causes liver failure and death to animals that consume it. The BHS has campaigned for a number of
years to raise awareness of this deadly weed, which resulted in success last year with the introduction of a Code of Practice on how to control Ragwort. The BHS will provide leaflets and advice during its
first Ragwort Awareness Week of 2005, from 4-8 April.
Youth pleads guilty to stable arson
Following on from January......
A teenager last week pleaded guilty to a charge of arson that resulted
in the death of two Shetlands and a show hunter. The three horses, which belonged to Elizabeth Gray, an experienced show judge,
died last November when their stables near Frodsham, Cheshire, were destroyed by fire.
Elizabeth and her husband, David, have since acquired a yearling niece and two-year-old daughter of Earlswood
Ellen, one of the lost Shetlands. They have also replaced their show hunter with a four-year-old Irish Thoroughbred/ Irish
The youth will be sentenced at Chester Crown Court on 22 April. He also
pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated burglary and car
theft on the same day as the
Horse & Hound 10 March 2005
All Horse &
Hound news items that are reproduced in this newsletter are done so with the permission of Horse & Hound
See also Riding Safely News November & December 2004 and January & February 2005 for previous details.
Animals killed in allotment arson
Two horses and a pregnant dog died in a fire at a compound which police say
is being treated as suspicious.
Read more from BBC News (4 April 2005) >>>
Find out more about preventing fire >>>
Two riders die in tragic accidents
Accidents in the past fortnight have claimed the lives of two
Dorset-based national hunt trainer Helen Bridges died from her
injuries after a horse she was exercising came down on a tarmac road on Wednesday last week.
She was taken by air ambulance to Frenchay hospital but, despite
what her family described as an "outstanding level of care", could not be saved. She leaves her husband, Richard, and two
In Norfolk, Susan Tilsley, 54, died after being kicked in the head by a horse on
Saturday, 16 April. She was helping to catch horses coming in for a lesson at the BHS-approved Blackborough End Equestrian
Centre near King's Lynn, when one of them lashed out.
Susan, who shared a horse with Joan Nash, owner of the equestrian
centre, and competed at local level, was airlifted to hospital but died that evening. Her funeral was held yesterday (27 April). Joan Nash, who knew Susan for 10 years, said: "The horses involved - one livery and
one riding school horse - had not shown aggression before; it shows that accidents can happen with even the most dependable
Source: Horse & Hound 28 April 2005
The Work at
Height Regulations 2005
Work at Height Regulations 2005 came into effect on the 6th of April 2005.
They apply to all work at height
where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. A
place is 'at height' if a person could be injured falling from it (even if it is at or below ground level)
Falls from height are the most common
cause of fatal injury and the second most common cause of major injury to employees.
In 2003/04 falls from height accounted
for 67 fatal accidents at work and nearly 4000 major injuries. They remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and
one of the main causes of major injury.
But before you start worrying about whether riding a horse is "at height" -- don't -- the HSE have
commented "we would not be inclined to apply the Regulations to a mounted police officer on patrol".
But there are plenty of instances In the Horse Industry where the regulations do apply. Using ladders or stepladders and working from vehicles are a couple of examples. Riding Safely recently was made aware of an accident where a feed merchant was delivering
hay bales to a livery yard. On lifting a bale from the back of a pickup truck
the employee lost his balance and fell, cracking his head on the ground resulting in unconsciousness and an ambulance trip
to hospital. Every year 700 people die or are seriously injured falling from
But the HSE's key message is that those following good practice for work at height now should
already be doing enough to comply with the Regulations.
Find out more from the HSE >>>
Payout for groom in wheelchair
A groom facing life in a wheelchair after he was kicked in the head by
a horse has won a compensation payout at London's High Court.
Robert Lacey, 52, suffered injuries causing "permanent disabilities" while
treating a Thoroughbred named My Way at Newgate Stud near Gillingham, Dorset, in August 2001.
Last Tuesday, on the second day of the hearing, the stud settled Mr Lacey's
claim without admission of liability and on confidential terms.
Given the severity of Mr Lacey's injuries, his payout is likely to be
substantial. Millions of pounds have been awarded in similar cases.
Mr Lacey, of YeoviI, Somerset, "lost the job he loved" as a result of his injuries, his QC, Susan Rodway,
earlier told Mr Justice McKinnon.
She said he had no recollection of the accident and events had to be pieced
together by looking into his work routine.
Miss Rodway said the accident occurred as Mr Lacey was treating My Way
while another horse, Dayanata, stood close by. Dayanata probably lashed out as M r Lacey treated a hindleg of My Way, said
The horses' handlers, she claimed, failed to keep them far enough apart
to prevent such an accident. But Newgate Stud Company maintained there was no deficiency in its system of work and that it
was a tragic accident.
Source: Horse & Hound 31 March 2005
Drivers make £150,000 loose horse claim
A couple are claiming compensation of more than £150,000
from four individuals after being involved in car accident with a loose horse in 2001
Read more from Horse & Hound (29 April 2005) >>>
Looking Forward - Diary Dates
The BHS Annual General Meeting
Thursday 23 June 2005 at Saddler's Hall, Gutter Lane, London EC2V 6BR
The BHS Safety Conference
The BHS Safety Conference will be held on Saturday 17 September 2005
at The Quality Inn, Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
Further details to follow.
Your Horse Live
The British Equine Event - 5 & 6 November 2005 - Stoneleigh Park.
Riding Safely is being continuously updated and the newsletter is sent
to subscribers every two months.
Riding Safely can keep you updated
of forthcoming equestrian events that have safety related content. If you're interested then
contact Riding Safely and you'll be kept updated.