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Riding Safely

News for August - October 2005

Covering the period 1st August to 31st October 2005


Safety is no accident.......


Riding Safely is just over a year old.  Over the last year there's been a lot of work going on (and still is) by the industry to make sure that horses and riders stay safe and to ensure that the industry has a sustainable future.


Looking back, the British Horseracing Board released its third edition of Health & Safety in the Racing and Breeding Industry*, Warwickshire College won a prestigious award for its Health & Safety with Horses training course and the Health and Safety Executive have been working with the industry, not least by endorsing the previous two items.  The British Horse Society and the Association of British Riding Schools have worked with the insurance industry to seek ways to quell rising insurance premiums seriously affecting the future viability of many riding schools.  The British Horse Society has achieved great results by working with the authorities to reduce the risks to horse and rider from low-flying helicopters and road surfaces.  Then we have the various strategies which if implemented can only go to improve the health, safety and welfare of riders and their equine friends whilst ensuring the future sustainability of the industry.  And there'll be lots of other initiatives in the background that haven't even hit the surface......


All this activity represents an enormous amount of important work - some completed - some still in progress - which the industry should be rightly proud of.  The industry must also count itself lucky that it’s been helped along the way by high-quality equestrian magazines, particularly Horse & Hound which communicate the results and messages of the work and engage the wider equestrian audience. 


But over the past year Riding Safely has sometimes found that the left hand of the industry doesn't always know what the right hand is doing.  The industry needs to get better at sharing the information and tools it has.  Getting health & safety right really isn't that difficult and can bring enormous benefits to the industry. 


Let's hope that the central industry communications function, mooted in the Strategy for the horse industry in England and Wales can build on the work already undertaken, bring economies of scale and ensure a more coordinated approach to the health & safety challenges that the industry faces.  Let's see a future where we don't have left and right hands and let's leave being disunited solely to our equine friends......



*5.44MB PDF File - slow download



Now that Riding Safely is a year old what do you think of it?  What would you like to see more/less of?  Anything covered that isn't already?  Or are you happy with it the way it is?  This is your chance to tell Riding Safely in the Forum


What are the health & safety issues that concern you most?  List them in the Forum


Your Right of Reply.....

You can comment about any of the items in this edition of the News digest in the Forum.


Safety Tip
Remember, Remember the 5th of November – and beyond…

With Bonfire Night approaching, The British Horse Society is advising all horse owners on how to handle the dangers that can arise.

Fireworks can frighten even the most sensible horse. Therefore, the BHS has put together a checklist for owners:

        Look at local press and shops notice boards and listen to the radio to find out where the displays will be in your area.

        Decide whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field.

        If you know your animal will be stressed, talk to your vet about sedation or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.

        It is often best to keep the horse in its normal routine so as not to stress the horse unnecessarily.

        If stabled, check thoroughly for anything that could cause potential injury such as protruding nails and string.

        If your horse is to stay in the field, check that fencing is not broken and that there are no foreign objects lying around.

        Some horses will be soothed by a radio playing calming music.

        Be aware of your own safety, a startled horse can be dangerous.

        Check if there will be a bonfire near your yard. If there is, make sure you have an emergency fire procedure in place. If you have any doubts, talk to your local fire safety officer.

        Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation.


By being proactive in planning for fireworks and bonfire night, you can make the annual celebrations less stressful for you and your horse.

It is not just horse owners who need to be careful. People organising fireworks should also inform local horse owners. It is also a good idea not to let fireworks off anywhere near fields or farms.

Most people don't realise how much suffering fireworks cause to animals, particularly horses. Those who really want to have fireworks in their back garden should think carefully about how it will affect the local animals before they do so.

For further information, please contact the BHS Safety Department on 01926 707782 or d.Parkinson@bhs.org.uk mailto:d.Parkinson@bhs.org.uk


A leaflet containing information on how to protect cats & dogs and horses and ponies from the effects of fireworks is also available from The Blue Cross >>>


Find out more about the law relating to fireworks from the

 Department of Trade and Industry >>>



BHS Safety Symposium discusses MoD low-level flying issue

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 rider safety


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 >>>

See also:

Military Helicopter Low-flying Safety: A Guide for Riders (PDF 577Kb) >>>


exclaim.gif 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:


(18 February 2006)


New Horse Safety training programme

Warwickshire College 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 College >>> 

or contact Equi Study: Telephone 01926 651085 / e-mail equistudy@warkscol.ac.uk

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 world millions.

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 2005

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.

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 18 August 2005 

and finally......


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 Bureau (CRB)
The British Horse Society has achieved Umbrella Body status with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
This 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.
It is hoped this will work to safeguard children and vulnerable adults at Riding Schools and at Equestrian events throughout the industry.
For further information, please contact: Chris Doran or Jo Wilson, Approvals Department, The British Horse Society, 01926 707821 or email c.doran@bhs.org.uk 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 >>>

Original Source:  Horse & Hound Online 28 September 2005


Dismay at Jockey Club's safety decision

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 (SLA).

"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 reviewed.

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.

Source:  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 (BETA).

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 damaged.

"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 about."

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 18 August 2005


The British Horse Society launches Government Affairs Register
The 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.
The BHS's 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.
ESFAC have existed for five years. Although the course has proved to be extremely popular, some people may have found it difficult to finance.
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: approvals@bhs.org.uk

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 >>>




ABRS……..A New Chairman in West Sussex

The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), at its Annual General Meeting on Monday 17 October 2005, elected Julian Marczak as the Association's new chairman. He succeeds Duncan Brown who will continue as an executive member.

Read more from the ABRS >>> 


New Director of Access, Safety and Welfare at the BHS

The British Horse Society has appointed lawyer Mark Weston as its new Director of Access, Safety and Welfare.  He will take up his post on 2 November 2005.
Currently Head of Legal and Democratic Services for Rossendale Borough Council, Mr Weston has considerable experience in access and rights of way law, including arguing cases in court.  His lifelong enthusiasm for horses also gives him a good understanding of the safety and welfare issues in which the Society is actively involved.


Graham Cory to head up BHIC

Graham Cory has been appointed chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC).  Cory, formerly head of equine policy at DEFRA, is also chief executive of the BHS.

Gavin Pritchard-Gordon of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association is the new vice-chairman; Annie Dodd has been appointed director by the British Horseracing Board and David Holmes, chief executive of British Dressage has been appointed a director by the BEF.

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 29 September 2005 


Road Safety


Councils act on slippery Stone Mastic Ashphalt (SMA) roads

Surrey Council has heeded rider concerns and resurfaced a ‘lethal’ SMA road and others are now applying grit.

Surrey County Council has resurfaced one of the most slippery roads in the district, thanks to pressure from local riders. Henfold Lane, near Dorking, was surfaced with stone mastic asphalt (SMA) in May 2004. Part of the lane incorporates a short, steep hill, which became “lethal” once the SMA was laid, according to local riders. The road was resurfaced last week and the council has, along with Cambridgeshire, Somerset, Devon and other councils across the country, changed its surfacing policy for roads used by horses.

Read more >>>

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 25 August 2005


People Welfare

Safety first: financial protection for grooms

Grooms should consider how they would survive financially if they became serious injured through the course of their work, warns Horse & Hound.

Everyone who works with horses accept that they can be dangerous and that accidents do occur, but few people take action to ensure they are financially protect should an unfortunate incident occur.

“The worst rider injuries tend to involve kicks to the head and the most common instances are while loading or lungeing when not wearing a hat,” says Alison Lee, an associate solicitor in the personal injury team at Taylor Vinters in Cambridge.

“Another cause of serious injury is horses rearing up and falling on the rider or the rider landing on a hard surface — this usually involves spinal or pelvic injuries.

“In a maximum severity personal injury case — meaning that the injured party is no longer able to work or drive — the award might be 150,000 to 200,000 for the injury, plus a care package and loss of earnings as high as seven figures.”

Read more >>> 

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 6 September 2005 (Sam Campbell)


Horse Welfare

Animal Welfare Bill


Brighter future for animal welfare

Hailed as the most significant animal welfare legislation in nearly a decade, the Animal Welfare Bill was published this morning. It makes a point of placing a "duty of care" on all animal owners to "do all that is reasonable" to ensure the welfare of their animals.

Read more >>>

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 14 October 2005 


Green light for livery yard licensing

Welfare groups and equestrian industry leaders are rejoicing after the government gave a nod of approval towards future licensing of livery yards.

Read more >>>

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 25 October 2005  

Find out more about the Animal Welfare Bill from Defra >>>


Ragwort will kill 1,000 horses this year

Owners are being urged to take the threat of ragwort more seriously following publication of a new video showing the distress caused by the noxious weed.

Animal welfare organisations warn that horse owners are putting their horses at risk by remaining apathetic to the dangers of ragwort, despite more than 1,000 horse deaths from the weed each year.

Read more >>>

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 1 September 2005 

Find out more about Ragwort from Defra >>>

Also see the new Defra Guidance on the disposal options for common ragwort (published September 2005)


The British Horse Society reiterates the importance of educating first time horse owners
With an increasing number of first time horse owners, it has become apparent that not all owners have the knowledge, experience or funding to meet the essential requirements of their horse.
More often than not the ignorance of horse owners causes cases of neglect due to a lack of understanding and knowledge.
For this reason The British Horse Society (BHS) Welfare Department has introduced a First Horse Owner Information Pack. The pack is designed to provide advice and guidance to both first time and new horse owners.
The pack contains lots of useful information ranging from the Cost of Keeping a horse or Pony to Essential Health Care Requirements, as well as a range of other advisory information leaflets.
The BHS Welfare Senior Executive, Helen Owens, said: "Our aim is to educate horse owners about the responsibility and commitment required to own a horse. This in turn will help to prevent horses and ponies becoming victims of neglect."
The First Horse Owner Information Pack informs those new to the equine world what to expect and how to care for their horse and various issues that may arise.
The First Horse Owner Information Pack can be obtained from the BHS for free on receipt of a SAE.
For more information, contact the Welfare Department on 01926 707804/5/6/7
or email welfare@bhs.org.uk


Public urged to take part in the Health and Welfare Strategy for the Horse, Pony and Donkey

The horse-owning public is being asked to read and comment on a draft strategy that aims to improve the welfare of every equine in the UK.

The strategy encompasses all aspects of the equine industry, from the welfare of beach donkeys and breeding to the education of first-time horse owners. It aims to identify every single concern for the plight of the horse in Britain today.

Driven by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) with input from the whole horse industry, the strategy is aimed at the everyday owner.

"We want people to look at it and say 'hang on this is something that must be considered'," said BEVA president Lesley Barwise-Munro. "We want to give the whole industry the chance to identify welfare problems."

Last year, DEFRA produced the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, but with little reference to the horse. The pig industry then produced a "species-specific" strategy to dovetail into DEFRA's document, as will the horse industry's strategy.

Representatives from such bodies as BEVA, the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC), Jockey Club, the British Equestrian Federation and the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) have been involved in the drafting stages.

After five months of consultation, the final strategy will be published next spring. A working group will then be formed to implement changes. But organisations, wary of "yet another" strategy, emphasise that the whole industry needs to back the document — and that funding must be found.

"To have any chance of improving the welfare of our equine population, the strategy must be taken forward with vigour and with new funding," said ILPH consultant Keith Meldrum. "It is up to all equine organisations to make a difference and convert it into action."

NEWC, representing 60 different bodies within the horse industry, has been largely involved in the strategy.

"It is all encompassing, but we have to be realistic," said executive secretary Elaine Cannon. "It will hinge on financial backing and the backing of the rest of the industry.

"The biggest problem is that the people who read these documents are well-educated in horse matters. The ones who really need it are those who say they don't need to be told what to do— or the ones who don't know where to look for help."

Original Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 1 September 2005


The Draft Health & Welfare Strategy for the Horse Pony and Donkey will be open for all comments until 30th November.

Find out more from Defra >>>


DEFRA details emergency plans

DEFRA has produced a draft contingency plan detailing emergency procedures should Britain be struck by an outbreak of an equine exotic disease. The plan for combating a number of diseases — including West Nile Virus (WNV) —is now out for public consultation.

Considered a huge threat to the horse, WNV infects birds, horses and humans, and is spread by mosquitos. It can cause meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Britain has never experienced an outbreak of WNV. Migrating birds are the most likely mechanism of the infection being introduced into the UK, while humans, horses and other animals are thought to be "dead-end hosts", unable to spread the virus.

DEFRA's Contingency Plan for Specified Type Equine Exotic Diseases summarises control policies and sets out the organisations, structures and systems that are critical to an effective response.

Detailed operational instructions have been drafted, but do not form part of this consultation.

Individuals and organisations have until 21 November to submit their views via e-mail to barrington.o'connor@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Original Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 1 September 2005

Find out more from Defra >>>


American horses homeless after hurricanes

Hundreds of horses have suffered as a result of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and are currently being cared for by aid workers and foster homes.

Aid workers in the American states of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi fear that hundreds of horses rescued in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, will remain unclaimed.

Many horses are still being cared for in an exhibition centre outside New Orleans, and workers fear owners might shelve efforts to collect their horse, simply because they no longer have the means or the space to keep it.

Read more >>> 

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 26 September 2005



Top stallions escape stud blaze

Three sport horse stallions escaped unharmed from a fire at a stud in Devon, but two racehorses lost their lives in a suspected arson attack on a racing yard in Northumbria.

Read more >>> 

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 3 October 2005

For further information regarding fire prevention go to the Fire Section of Waxed Jackets corner



Tragic accident at Gatcombe Park event

A man died after falling from a quad bike that rolled over on a slope at Gatcombe Park on Sunday 7 August 2005.

Organisers issued the following statement: “After the competition and clean up had finished for the day, there was a fatal accident [unrelated to horses] to one of the sub-contractors, Daniel Brookman, 20, from West Kington, near Chippenham, Wiltshire.  British Eventing and the organisers of the Festival of British Eventing are deeply saddened and extend their heartfelt sympathies to his family and all concerned.”

Original Sources:  Horse & Hound Magazine and the Mirror Newspaper

The HSE have produced an information sheet providing guidance on the safe use of

All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's)                                                                                     


Young event rider in critical condition

Sixteen-year-old Charlie Knapp is in a critical condition in hospital after a fall at the Berks and Bucks Draghounds Hunter Trials.

Read more >>>

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 4 October 2005


Jockey Club to hold enquiry after horrific fall

The Jockey Club will hold an enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the horrific fall at Ayr on Saturday night which ended Robert Winston's hopes of a first jockeys' championship.

Read more >>> 

Source:  Guardian Unlimited 8 August 2005

Show horse dies in road smash

A horrific road accident has claimed the life of a mare and left its travelling companion and two riders bruised and in shock.

Lancashire-based Cathy Hilton and Rachel Cowburn were en route to the British Skewbald and Piebald Association National Championships at Keysoe, Bedfordshire, when their lorry blew a tyre. They pulled over, but were hit by an HGV.

"We were on the A14," said Rachel. "We were calling the police when we were hit. Our lorry span round, rolled over and ended up on its side."

The ramp was still up, but Cathy and Rachel's horses, Little Misfit and Country Colours, had got out of the lorry and were standing in a nearby ditch.

"They both had blood all over them,"said Rachel. "Little Misfit was struggling to breathe."

Police, ambulance and vet arrived, but Appaloosa Little Misfit, 15, died. Country Colours, a six-year-old ID/TB. was taken to a vet clinic and released three days later.

Rachel and Cathy escaped with bruising and suspected broken ribs.

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 8 September 2005 


Horse electrocuted on rail track 

BBC News Online reported that train services were disrupted for several hours on Monday morning (24 October) after about a dozen runaway horses escaped from a field onto tracks at Hoo, Kent.

One was electrocuted after straying onto a live line.

Source:  BBC News Online, 24 October 2005


Stud left with 2000 vet bill from firework panic

Wedding party fireworks that created panic in a field of mares and foals at a Cambridgeshire stud have been linked to the death of one horse and a 2,000 vet's bill for the owners.

On 10 September, Tim Harris and Bernadette O'Sullivan of the Woodcraft Trakehner Stud, situated between Peterborough and Stamford, were horrified to hear loud fireworks start at about 10pm. They said neighbours, holding a large wedding reception, failed to inform them of a professional fireworks display.

In response, Lucy Young, whose property hosted the wedding for a friend said she had attempted to inform them of the fireworks display earlier that day.

"Sadly, she [O'Sullivan] wasn't in. I contacted all the nearby neighbours, but unfortunately was not successful in contacting Mrs O'Sullivan," Young said. "There was also a separate fireworks display two fields away

at exactly the same time as ours, so it's difficult to say where the blame lay."

Whatever the ultimate cause, the resulting panic, according to O'Sullivan and Harris, Ieft their28-year-old mare so exhausted after falling that she was unable to get up and a three-month-old foal, Woodcraft Gonzales, in need of medical attention to an injured shoulder after he broke the boundary fence.

Vet Alice Sheldon, of Oakham Veterinary Hospital, confirmed the foal had been X-rayed and kept at the hospital for four nights, but had not suffered a fracture.

The stud's Trakehner stallion, GarudaK, was stabled during the incident but he, too, was panicked and needed veterinary attention for muscle damage, for which the stud was billed 430.

The old mare, who already suffered arthritis, was put down three days later at the decision of O'Sullivan and Harris, who claimed she failed to recover.

"There have been wedding receptions on the property before, but they've never previously had fireworks," said O'Sullivan, who called the RSPCA over the incident. "We could have got the horses in if we'd been told."

O'Sullivan said an RSPCA inspector took statements from the stud's vets and asked another vet to carry out independent assessment of related injuries to the horses.

An RSPCA spokesman said the organisation was "aware of the incident", but could not comment further.

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 6 October 2005 


Runaway horse is killed by lorry 

A runaway horse was killed and another was injured when they were hit by an articulated lorry and a car in Kent.

More >>>

Source:  BBC News Online, 9 September


Biker injured in crash with horse 

A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital after a collision with a horse (who was also injured) in Cornwall on 29 September. 

More >>>

Source:  BBC News Online, 29 September  

Shire causes havoc at Devon show

Police have seized a wagon and harness after a Shire horse was involved in a collision at a South Devon show, leaving two people injured.

A 78-year-old man suffered facial fractures and his 13-year-old grandson was treated for minor injuries at South Hams Vintage Machinery Rally near Kingsbridge on 14 August. The elderly man was airlifted to Derriford Hospital.

A police spokesman said the incident occurred about 3pm. He said it was alleged the horse-drawn wagon was moving through the fair and became involved in a collision with the two people when passing a tradestand.

Police are investigating in conjunction with the health and safety inspectorate of South Hams District Council.

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 25 August 2005 


Forum Topic

Mel contacted Riding Safely and asked

I wonder if you may be able to help me.
I am researching horse riding accidents which has resulted in death of the horse owner/rider. My research criteria is concentrating on the cause of accident and location (national) and date, whether the accident occurred in competition or general riding/handling of the horse. I would like to obtain information for the first 6 months of 2004.
The information received will be of assistance in promoting riding safety in my local area.
I have been searching the net to find information but am not having much success. If you would be kind enough to give me any advice on how to obtain the information I seek I would be very grateful.

Thank you for your time in reading this and any reply.
Kind Regards

The question is in the Forum under "Accidents - post your comment".

Can you help Mel?


Legislation Update & HSE News


Those who perhaps complain that we see a continuous onslaught of new health and safety legislation will be pleased to hear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in February 2005, decided to implement changes that arise from within the UK on only two dates each year. The two ‘Common Commencement Dates’ are 6 April (the start of the tax year); and 1 October.  

Find out more from the HSE >>>


HSE Campaign - Watch Your Step

People slipping and tripping is the commonest cause of injuries in UK workplaces. Each year slips and trips accidents cause well over 11,000 major injuries, more than 80% of which result in fractures. The costs of these accidents to the UK economy and employers have been estimated at 800 million and 500 million, respectively. The overall aim of the slips and trips campaign is to promote the vision that slips and trips should be taken seriously and in proportion to the injuries and losses that they cause.

one slip or trip accident occurs every three minutes - every hour someone in Britain breaks a bone at work as a result of slipping or tripping - two people die a year after slipping up.

Find out more about the Campaign >>>


Legal Cases


High Court damages claim escalates to 1m

A road accident in which a loose horse was killed in a collision with a car in 2001 could result in damages of more than 1m being awarded to the driver and passenger

Read more >>> 

Source:  Horse & Hound Online 5 October 2005

Looking Forward - Diary Dates

Association of British Riding Schools Annual Conference
This annual ABRS event is being held on 17-18 October in Leicester.   Topics on the agenda to address the hot issues facing riding schools will range from risk management to safe surfaces, client expectations and business development.
For further details telephone 01736-369440

Your Horse Live - The British Equine Event - 5 & 6 November 2005 - Stoneleigh Park.

5 world-class riders will be passing on their knowledge to this year's Your Horse Live visitors.

Olympic dressage riders Richard Davison and Carl Hester; Olympic gold-medal winning eventer Leslie Law; top show jumper Billy Twomey; and western star Bob Mayhew will all be giving live demos at the event – held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire from Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.

These demos form part of a total of 36 live demos over the two days – covering everything from horse care and vet matters to getting better results from your riding. Plus, the show features more than 350 top retail stands packed with equestrian bargains for shoppers.

If you're thinking about buying a new hat or body protector or any other safety related equipment you'll find all the major manufacturers and distributors on hand to ensure you get the right product and fit for you!

Remember you can save money if you buy your tickets before Wednesday 2nd November!

Safety Matters - Safety Fun Day
With the emphasis on FUN for all riders and their families the Bedfordshire branch of the Bristish Horse Society are holding a safety fun day on Saturday 12 November between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Shuttleworth College, Old Warden, nr. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. 
Sponsered by Mountain Horse this free admission event has something for everyone from talks to a car hoof sale - find out more from the poster!
Further details from 01234 709960.

Get more details from the poster

"The Frangible Pin - 2006 and beyond"
Frangible pins (introduced in 2002) allow fences to collapse when subjected to extreme force acting as a safety measure for both horse and rider.
A training day "The Frangible Pin - 2006 and beyond" is being staged by The International Academy of Cross-Country Course Design and Build on 17 November at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. 
Further details:  07899 685540

National Equine Forum expands for 2006

The National Equine Forum (NEF) has thrown open its doors to equestrian trade representatives next year, in a move to achieve full industry inclusion.

Entering its 13th year in 2006, the forum provides an arena for discussion of topical and specialist issues. It will be held at the Royal Society, London, on 22 March.

For more details, contact Ailsa Chambers (tel: 01926 318234) or e-mail achambers@warkscol.ac.uk

Source:  Horse & Hound Magazine 6 October 2005  

If you know of any forthcoming equestrian safety related events please contact Riding Safely
Riding Safely is 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.


BETA's Body Protector Survey Continues......

If you own a body protector then BETA (the British Equestrian Trade Association) want to hear from you!  

BETA 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

Responses to the BETA survey have already highlighted body protector issues - read the interim report from BETA


and what's new on the site....

Site Updates

The easiest way for you to check out what's been added to the site since your last visit is to go to the website update section >>>


and finally....

Park and Ride…The Equine Way

bridleways.co.uk announce their first Park and Ride location for horse riders, that not only provides safe off road parking, but also the opportunity for a bite to eat and drink after the ride.

Find out more >>>


Dobbin is a rescue thoroughbred 

A Denbighshire firm which makes training dummies for rescue services is hoping it has a winner with Dobbin, the life-sized horse. 

Ruth Lee Ltd, based at Corwen, supplies fire brigades, the RNLI and the MoD with all sizes of plastic people. It is now branching out into large animals.

It says Dobbin is ideal for mock-up situations in which rescue teams practise bringing animals to safety.

More >>>

Source:  BBC News Online, 22 August 2005


All Horse & Hound news items that are reproduced in this newsletter are done so with the permission and are copyright of Horse & Hound

Visit the all of the News Archive >>>>>

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