News for April, May & June 2006
Your Right of
You can comment
about any of the items in this edition of the News digest in the Forum.
What are the health & safety issues that concern
you most? List them in the Forum
No more horsing around – new health and safety guidance
for livery yards
Health and safety guidance for the safe operation of livery yards
has been produced, in anticipation of new government legislation to licence such premises.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) guidance
aims to unravel this complex area of health and safety, providing in-depth explanation and working examples for those tasked
with enforcing standards.
Speaking on behalf of the CIEH, director of policy Ian Foulkes
said: “Many livery yard proprietors may not be aware of their obligations with regard to health and safety.
“This guidance is a valuable reference tool for both those
who have a duty to enforce standards and those who have a duty to uphold them.”
The document sets out current good practice for: environmental
health practitioners; licensing officers; vets and animal wardens and also provides a useful tool for both owners and managers
of livery yards, in light of potential changes to legislation in the Animal Welfare Bill.
Supported by the riding industry’s major stakeholders, the
guidance aims to fill a gap in existing literature and also provides useful checklists necessary to minimise the risk associated
with such premises.
The guidance recognises the need to strike a practical balance
to reduce hazards without hindering the sustainability of the riding industry.
The Health and Safety Guidance for Inspections of Horse Riding
Establishments and Livery Yards can be downloaded from: http://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledge/Health_and_safety/guidancelivery_3.pdf
Source: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health - 09 May 2006
MoD helps equestrian events by restricting low level flying
If you’re organising an equestrian event there is always
the possibility that low flying military aircraft may appear unexpectedly - unsettling horses with the potential for accidents.
But worry not - as help is at hand from the Ministry of Defence
(MoD). They are more than happy to arrange for their aircraft to avoid your event
on a temporary basis (wherever possible) as long as you give them sufficient warning.
So what do you need to do?
Requests need to be submitted by post at least 14 days before
the event to:
DAS LA Ops Pol 1
Floor 5, Zone H
MoD Main Building
and must contain the following information:
1. Contact name
2. Nature and
name of event
including an Ordnance Survey grid reference
4. Dates and
times for which the avoidance is being requested
Remember, if appropriate; include low military flying as a hazard
on your event risk assessment and the control measures outlined above.
Further information about the MoD’s Avoidance Policy can
be found at: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/AirSafetyandAviation/LowFlying/AvoidancePolicy.htm
Further information about the MoD’s low flying areas can
be found at:
Ragwort poses health threat to humans, horses, cattle
and sheep, BHS conference told
RENOWNED veterinary Professor Derek Knottenbelt told a British
Horse Society Ragwort Awareness Conference that the weed posed a health threat to people as well as horses, sheep and cattle.
Humans are at risk from poisoning by ragwort, Professor Knottenbelt
told a packed Saddlers' Hall, in the City of London, on Thursday (27 April 2006).
Professor Knottenbelt, a leading vet of the University
of Liverpool, said he fears that meat from sheep and cattle, and also milk and
honey could all become contaminated with the deadly toxins.
He said government was currently ignoring the risk to the human
food chain, and he called for the complete destruction of all ragwort in the UK.
"It is toxic to humans, so what the hell are we doing with it
in this country?" he asked an enraptured audience of local authority officials, major landowners and other interested delegates.
Professor Knottenbelt, the world's leading expert on ragwort,
said the yellow weed killed approximately 2,000 horses a year in Britain,
often by triggering liver failure resulting in photosensitivity and in some instances cancer.
"Ragwort is a hooligan," he said. "It is a skulking, cowardly
plant. By the time you see the damage to a horse, it is too late to save it."
He said he could scientifically prove that ragwort was poisoning
cattle, sheep, rodents - and humans. He conceded that the risk to human health was currently at a low level, but said that
could readily change.
In a rousing speech, Professor Knottenbelt said he had deliberately
poisoned himself with ragwort to disprove critics who had claimed it was harmless to humans. "I have tested it on myself,"
he said. "My liver is in a bad state."
The Ragwort Awareness Conference, staged by the UK's leading horse
charity The British Horse Society, also heard from a senior conservationist, a second vet and a government official on ways
of controlling and destroying the deadly weed.
Practising vet Chris House spoke eloquently on the impact of the
Ragwort Control Act 2003 and the Code of Practice, after an introduction by conference chairman Baroness Masham of Ilton who
had guided that legislation through the House of Lords.
BHS Chief Executive Graham Cory revealed the results of a survey
of local authorities which has shown that three-quarters of those who responded to the survey have no ragwort strategies in
place, and of the one quarter that do, two-thirds of them have allocated no funds to put their strategies into action.
Duncan Findlay, Managing Director of AgResource Business Solutions
Limited, spoke very thoroughly on the identification of the different types of ragwort at different stages of its life cycle,
and, in a later session, on the safe and effective control of ragwort.
And Mike Green, of Defra, gave an impressive and useful talk on
the safe and effective removal and disposal of ragwort and effective preventative measures.
The conference was aimed at educating local authorities and other
major owners of land about the existing laws and the dangers that ragwort, a poisonous weed, poses to grazing animals and
The BHS was instrumental in the formation of the Ragwort Act 2003
and the codes of practice introduced alongside the legislation, which amended the existing Weeds Act.
However the number of calls from the public about the spread of
ragwort in their counties had made the BHS's Welfare Department recognise the need for a conference on this issue for major
BHS Chairman Patrick Print said: "Education is our main weapon
in fighting the scourge of ragwort."
Afterwards, many delegates said the conference had made them see
the seriousness of the problem.
One delegate rose to his feet and said he was "stunned" by what
he had learnt which had opened his eyes to the true dangers of ragwort.
British Horse Society - 28 April 2006
Riding hats must fit to be safe, says BETA
Free personalised fittings of hats and body protectors are
available to riders across the south-west.
The service is on offer from tack shops whose staff attended a
Safety Course run by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) at the equine charity Horseworld’s Bristol headquarters.
Hats and body protectors meeting even the highest safety standards
are useless if they are not fitted correctly, says BETA, the body that campaigns for and monitors safer riding equipment.
Garments that do not fit well are also likely to be uncomfortable,
perhaps deterring riders from wearing them at all. Safety equipment should also be chosen carefully according to the type
of riding involved.
Additionally there are requirements under the rules of the various
equestrian sports’ governing bodies to consider; while some riders may benefit from a bespoke service to accommodate
unique shapes and sizes.
Not surprisingly, many riders find that acquiring the right gear
can be a complicated process. BETA-trained retailers, who have access to the latest technological and medical research on
rider safety, can step in to help.
Many riders are buying body protectors for the first time, according
to BETA Safety Course delegate Rachel Barnett from Equishop in Wilton near Salisbury.
“People want explanations before buying, so if someone comes into the shop looking bemused, we are very hot on helping
Child riders as young as age three can be fitted with hats and
body protectors at TDS Saddlers at Four Marks, Alton, Hants.
“Parents are increasingly ensuring their children are safe
while they enjoy their riding,” said the shop’s Jade White who attended the BETA Safety Course.
“We encourage parents to bring children in for a free hat
and body protector fitting, with many choosing to buy them as a set. Wearing the correct riding gear from an early age becomes
a good habit for later in life.”
Riding hats can be fun and fashionable as well as offering vital
protection, according to Chrissie Rideout, a BETA Safety Course delegate from Boulters of Banwell near Weston-super-Mare.
“The show jumper style hats with front panels are very much
the trend of the moment. Younger riders also like skull caps because they can wear a velvet cover over them for showing and
a brightly coloured silk – maybe even with a bobble – for cross country.”
On a more serious note, Chrissie emphasised how replacing a riding
hat following any impact, whether through falling off a horse or dropping the hat, could prove literally to be a lifesaver.
“Experts on the BETA course showed us how a hat can appear
fine from the outside, yet be horribly damaged on the inside. It was shocking.”
Other retailers who attended the course, and are now have staff
entitled to display a BETA Safety certificate in-store, include: Centell Saddlery, Reading, Berks; Spondon Saddlery, Derby;
Biggleswade Saddlery, Beds; Bridoon, Warminster, Wilts; Horsewise, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford; Horse-E-Things, Fordingbridge, Hants.
Leading industry experts were brought together by BETA to offer
these retailers professional training in construction, standards and testing of hats and body protectors, anatomy referring
to safety garments plus instruction in correct fitting techniques. Riders who shop with these retailers can benefit from this
BETA also developed and administers the internationally recognised
BETA Body Protector Standard. To locate your local retailer trained by BETA in hat and body protector fitting, contact 01937
587062 or email@example.com
To help owners and riders avoid compromising their own safety
or their horses’ welfare, BETA runs a series of retailer training courses covering everything from wormers to bits and
riding hats to body protectors. Successful candidates are entitled to a certificate for public display in their shops. Along
with the BETA logo, this is an indication that customers are shopping with a qualified retail professional.
The association also produces advice leaflets on selecting, fitting
and maintaining equestrian equipment – available free to all. To obtain copies, send an SAE to BETA, Stockeld
Park, Wetherby, LS22 4AW. Or visit www.beta-uk.org
BETA - 28 April 2006
Roads, Byeways and Rights of Way
Equestrian Access Forum to demand better off-road riding
Following the publication of the joint British Horse Industry
Confederation/Defra Strategy for the Horse Industry in England and Wales,
the main equestrian access organisations from around the country have formed a working group called the Equestrian Access
The forum consists of The British Horse Society, the Byways and
Bridleways Trust, British Driving Society, Endurance Great Britain, Mendip Cross Trails Trust, the National Federation of
Bridleways Association, the South Pennine Packhorse Trails Trust and an officer with local authority experience.
The Toll Rides (Off Road) Trust will be joining the forum, at
its next meeting.
The Forum aims to highlight the lack of equestrian off-road access
opportunities to the Government, when compared to the opportunities afforded to walkers and cyclists.
Mark Weston, BHS Director of Access, Welfare and Safety, said:
“The Forum believes that there are no good reasons why all paths cannot be multi user paths, thereby representing social
inclusion and best economic value for the public.
“We are also formulating a Vision for the Future Provision
of Equestrian Access. This will be published later this summer.”
For more information please contact: Vanessa Depre, BHS Communications
Department on 01926 707737 or firstname.lastname@example.org
British Horse Society – 30 May 2006
BHS Welfare urges horse owners to take precautions to
help prevent Laminitis
The BHS Welfare Department has called on all horse owners to help
in the fight against Laminitis.
Laminitis is a serious and very painful condition that can affect
any type of horse, pony or donkey at any time and is particularly common at this time of year when spring grass is coming
Helen Owens, the BHS's Welfare Senior Executive, said: "Preventing
Laminitis is always better than trying to manage it. Overweight animals are thought to be one of the groups at highest risk
of developing Laminitis. Therefore a management regime which includes diet and weight control is essential."
Spring grass is often high in nutrients and grows rapidly. Therefore
grazing may need to be restricted at this time. It is difficult for owners to estimate the volume of grass their horses ingest
and, quite often, it is more than required which may result in bloating and weight problems. This in turn could increase the
risk of the onset of Laminitis.
Prompt action may help reduce the severity of this painful condition.
If owners suspect their horse, pony or donkey may be suffering with Laminitis, they should contact their veterinary surgeon
For a free advisory leaflet about the Prevention and Management
of Laminitis, please send an SAE to the BHS Welfare Department or visit the BHS Website: http://www.bhs.org.uk/DocFrame/DocView.asp?id=425&sec=-1
For further information contact the BHS Welfare Department on
01926 707839 or email email@example.com
Horses rescued from stable blaze
Firefighters are battling to cool down gas cylinders caught up
in a stable fire in east Lancashire.
Twenty horses have been rescued from the blaze at a stable block
on Back Lane in Read, near Padiham.
Read more from BBC News Online 4 April
2006 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/4876832.stm
For further information regarding fire and arson prevention go to the Fire Section
of Waxed Jackets corner
No one likes
an accident. Those featured in this section come from media sources and often lack the detail of the circumstances that may
have contributed to the tragic outcomes. Even so, by being aware of the types of accidents that have happened in the past
may help to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.
The Times Newspaper/Online (7 May 2006) reported that a woman was killed when her horse, a former
steeple chaser, threw her after setting off in pursuit of another horse. Janet McDonagh, 52, suffered a brain haemorrhage.
The Hertfordshire Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Source: Times Online at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2165991.html
Trapped horse forces M25 closure
The M25 had to be closed in both directions between junctions five and six
after a horse tried to escape from its trailer while in transit.
More from BBC News Online (26 April 2006)
Doing so may save a life or a lifetime of incapacity
Looking Forward - Diary Dates
The British Horse Society lets grooms have their say
The British Horse Society is launching a new initiative giving
grooms the opportunity to voice their opinions and discuss the direction their profession is taking.
The idea was developed after the BHS was approached by a number
of grooms wanting to express their views and ways to move forward.
Margaret Linington-Payne, the BHS's Director of Standards, said:
"We are delighted to have been approached to host this forum. Grooms are vital to the equine industry and many feel they are
undervalued. If we can do anything to help raise their profile and support them in moving forwards we will be happy to assist."
The BHS will be hosting the forum at their headquarters at
Stoneleigh Deer Park, Warwickshire, on June 1.
There are limited spaces available and early application is advisable.
Grooms, and those who employ and/or train grooms are welcome to apply for a place at the forum. Entry is free and light refreshments
will be provided. Applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The day will give grooms and those closely involved with them
the chance to discuss the current position of the profession and how it could move forward.
For further information, please contact the BHS Training Office
on 01926 707799 or email email@example.com
Association of British Riding Schools Annual Conference
The ABRS will be holding their Annual Conference in London on 16 & 17 October 2006.
Body Protector Survey Continues......
you own a body protector then BETA (the British Equestrian Trade Association) want to hear from you!
are still conducting a survey to obtain information regarding the use and effectiveness of body protectors which in turn
will be used to assist their continued development and promotion.
Help now by getting more details from BETA and take part in the survey
to the BETA survey have already highlighted body protector issues - read the interim report from BETA
News of other Websites
Association of British Riding Schools - ABRS
Need to know if you're doing enough to comply with health, safety and environmental
requirements? Then this section is for you. The information in this section will be repeated each month with the
latest highlighted in yellow.
End of the ride?
The Bucks Free Press published a letter from the Country Land
and Business Association warning that youngsters may find there are no riding schools where they can learn to ride because
increased insurance premiums associated with the current interpretation of the 1971 Animals Act are forcing some riding schools
Free Press Online 23 May 2006.
Read the full letter at: http://www.thisisbucks.co.uk/opinion/yourletters/display.var.768211.0.end_of_the_ride.php
Remains of iron age chariot uncovered on West Yorkshire motorway site
to go on show to the public
The remains of a unique 2000-year-old Iron Age chariot uncovered during a Highways
Agency project to upgrade the A1 in West Yorkshire are to go on show to the public for the first time at an exhibition opening
at Pontefract Museum on Friday 26th May. Read more>>>
News Network - 24 May 2006
What's new on the site?
Safely website is frequently updated. The easiest way for you to check out what's been added on a day-to-day basis is to
visit the website update section >>>
Riding Safely is
a free subscription newsletter.
If you’d like future editions of the
Riding Safely newsletter emailed to you then click on the link below.
Please add me to your free email subscription list
Your e-mail address will only be used for the
purpose of letting you know about Riding Safely updates. It will not be used for any other purposes whatsoever or passed onto
Check out previous news items
Let Riding Safely know.......
If you have any safety related equestrian Press Releases or News stories then please
Horse & Hound news items that are reproduced in this newsletter are done so with the permission of and are copyright
of Horse & Hound/IPC Media
Riding Safely is not responsible for the content of external