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News November 2008
Important News for the month
Coming at the end of the month...

Coming at the end of the month...

Your Right of Reply

You can comment on any of the items in this edition by using the Forum or or by contacting the Editor at editor.ridingsafelyuk@yahoo.co.uk


bga_logo_aw.jpgGive your groom a unique gift this Christmas...

With Christmas just around the corner the British Grooms Association (BGA) is asking employers to consider treating their staff to a gift that will last them all year long... a membership to their professional association.

For just 17.50, in addition to being part of an association that supports and understands the importance of grooms to the industry, members also receive exclusive discounts on a number of things including personal accident insurance with SEIB, a 10 Derby House discount voucher and the quarterly magazine – British Grooms which is jam packed with useful tips, advice and stories.

The BGA has been supported by countless top riders who have seen the direct benefits of their grooms becoming members. British Dressage Olympic rider Richard Davison said “All trades should have their own professional association in order to raise standards and keep forward thinking and modern. Thank goodness the important status of grooms is finally beginning to be recognised and the creation of a Grooms Association is central to this.”

Lucy Katan, Executive Director of the BGA said, “We are aware of how employers are suffering from severe staffing recruitment and retention problems. We desperately want to help the employers by promoting the job as a groom and so to encourage more young people to consider the career route. It is also crucial for us to offer support and help to the employer in the areas of staff motivation and retention.  We need our employers to continue to support the association in order for us to continue to provide this much needed help and so by joining their staff up for Christmas is a great way!”

To join your staff is easy – either call 0845 331 6039 or visit www.britishgrooms.org.uk


UK: Is the credit crunch affecting horse welfare?
Despite the many stories in the media (see below) there is no evidence to suggest that the credit crunch is leading to large scale horse abandoment or welfare issues in the UK. There is no doubt, as with every other industry, that most sectors of the horse industry have seen a downturn in activity. However with uncertainty about the economic future, caring owners are looking at what they can do to reduce costs without compromising their horse's welfare.  Find out about some money saving tips from Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

UK: Horse-owners facing tough choices
The economic downturn is hitting Britain's paddocks. Charities say they are getting more calls than ever from owners who can no longer afford to keep their horses. The Horse Trust says it has received 640 requests to retire animals in the past month - four times the usual amount.

See also Horses 'victims of credit crunch'

(BBC News – 7 November 2008)


Massachusetts – USA: Horses victimized by economy
Horses are the latest victims of the economy's downward trot.  The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has had an influx of horses surrendered to their facility at Nevins Farm.  The horses are coming from owners who can no longer afford the expensive animals, said Heather Robertson, community outreach coordinator at the facility.  "They're telling us outright that they literally cannot afford to care for the animal anymore, or their home has been foreclosed on," she said.

(Eagle Tribune - 30 November 2008)


UK: Defra launches consultation on animal welfare codes of practice

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has launched a consultation on new codes of practices for cats, dogs and horses, that will offer practical advice on animal ownership.

The codes of practice, which will be published on the Defra website and in leaflets, will help animal owners to better understand their duties under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Launching the consultation, Hilary Benn said: "The Animal Welfare Act 2006 has been the most important piece of animal legislation for nearly a century. Animals are now afforded greater protection than ever before. These three new codes of practice will outline the responsibilities of owners under the Act and give practical advice on how to fulfil them. This means no one will be able to claim ignorance as an excuse for mistreating any animal."

The main purpose of the codes is to provide practical guidance on animal owners' responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act. If a person fails to comply with a code of practice they will not be liable to proceedings of any kind, but failure to comply with several provisions may be used in evidence to support a prosecution for animal cruelty.

Information in the codes will include practical advice on how to:

      Create a suitable environment for your animal to live in;

      Provide a healthy diet;

      Spot signs of stress;

      Protect your animal from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Animal owners will also be able to use the codes to find external sources of information on looking after cats, dogs or horses.

Since its introduction in 2007, the Animal Welfare Act has helped organisations bring successful prosecutions to people mistreating animals. Under the Animal Welfare Act, anyone convicted of cruelty to an animal could face a prison sentence or a fine up to 20,000.

Consultation on the new codes starts on 4 November 2008 and ends on 31 December 2008.

The consultation documents can be found at the following locations:

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Equines

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats

The Animal Welfare Act was introduced in April 2007. The Act created a duty on anyone responsible for an animal to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the needs and welfare of the animal are met.

(NDS – 4 November 2008)


UK: Work horses are vital in alleviating poverty

The Brooke charity aims to tackle the profile of working horses, ponies and donkeys in developing countries by highlighting their role

(Horse & Hound Online - 2 November 2008)


UK: Bransby Home of Rest for Horses reopens to the public

Bransby Home of Rest for Horses has reopened to the public after being closed for more than two years due to a strangles outbreak.

(Horse & Hound Online - 6 November 2008)


UK: Risk of serious or fatal injury while eventing in Britain is decreasing
British Eventing has released data showing that the chance of suffering a serious or fatal injury while eventing in Britain has gone down for the fifth consecutive year.

(Horse & Hound Online - 3 November 2008)


UK: The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) job is to protect people against risks to health or safety arising out of work activities.  They do this through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, inspection, investigation and enforcement.

HSE launches webpages dedicated to health and safety in Wales  

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a section of its website dedicated entirely aimed at providing support and advice to individuals and businesses in Wales on maintaining high standards of health and safety in workplaces.

Launching the site, HSE Director for Wales Terry Rose said: "We already work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government, as well as local authorities and a range of other partners in promoting good health and safety in the workplace in Wales.

"There are clearly many areas of common interest including agriculture, healthcare and education, and with a different government situation in Wales, it makes sense to adopt a different approach to providing public information online too."

"This site will allow us to better target online advice and guidance on those parts of HSE's national strategy that are of particular importance to Wales.

"HSE already provides Welsh language facilities through its public information call centre, HSE Infoline. The new site is in response to public demand and will allow us to improve our Welsh language provision, and we are working closely with the Welsh Language Board to ensure this is achieved."

The HSE Wales website gives details of news items, events and advice on protecting against risks to health and safety arising from work activities. It will be developed further in the coming months.


(HSE) Farmers urged to store feed safely after Northamptonshire farm death

The HSE is urging farmers and the animal feed industry to reassess risks associated with feed storage following the death of a young Northamptonshire farmer.

The farmer was killed when a tipping trailer, used for storing animal feed, overbalanced and crushed him. The sleepers that were used to support the trailer were rotten and collapsed under the weight of the feed.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, the Northamptonshire Coroner said: "Farmers should look objectively at the practices that they have adopted over many years. Just because they have been doing something in a certain way for a long time does not mean it is safe. In other words they should carry out a risk assessment."

HSE Principal Inspector Samantha Peace said: "It is essential that farmers take on board this advice and take action where necessary. It is important to recognise the dangers of makeshift equipment.

"Purpose made storage bins should be used for storage of animal feed but if trailers have to be used then they should remain attached to a tractor if the trailer body is raised."

When unhitched trailers are used, HSE advises the following precautions:

        The trailer should not rely on the hydraulics for continuous support. Suitable props or ram scotches must be used.

        The wheels need to be chocked as trailer parking brakes are often unreliable and on a twin axle trailer may only brake one axle which will be ineffective if weight transfers to the rear.

        Stability - the means to prevent the trailer tipping over backwards should be equally effective as being hitched to a tractor - e.g. by securing the draw-bar to the ground or providing a counter balance, at the hitching point, equivalent to the weight of the tractor normally used on that trailer.

        Whatever the method of storage, it should be inspected regularly for signs of deterioration which could affect the structural integrity. Any defects must be rectified immediately.

HSE have asked the feed industry to bring this incident to the attention of farms where they deliver into similar facilities. Using trailers as feed bins creates a real safety risk that needs to be sensibly managed to prevent harm to farmers, their families and their businesses.



HSE Myth of the month – November 2008

Myth: Children need to be wrapped in cotton wool to keep them safe

The reality

Health and safety law is often used as an excuse to stop children taking part in exciting activities, but well-managed risk is good for them. It engages their imagination, helps them learn and even teaches them to manage risks for themselves in the future. They won’t understand about risk if they’re wrapped in cotton wool.

Risk itself won’t damage children, but ill-managed and overprotective actions could!

Go to the HSE’s Myth of the month homepage

Get free leaflets from the HSE - Clear and simple advice on a range of health and safety issues

hse_logo.jpg Go to the HSE’s homepage

UK: The “Safety with Horses” course just got better...
Safety with Horses course material

The award-winning "Safety with Horses" course is acknowledged for setting the standard of safety training across the horse industry.  But the course which can be completed at home and your own stables just got better...

If you join during the current campaign, not only do you stand to make your yard a safer place for people and horses while achieving a nationally accredited award, but you'll also receive a free ticket to a top equestrian event, meeting one of our top riders.

By successfully completing the Equi Study “Safety with Horses” home/stable study course and you will receive a free ticket to one of four top equestrian events including Olympia, Badminton, Burghley and Horse of the Year Show. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet a leading rider, learn about top level competition and ask questions about show jumping or eventing.

There are seven start dates during the year so you can choose both your favourite event and the best time to complete your course.

Anyone who is 16 years and over who has access to horses and equine facilities can take part. You’ll also need a competent person (Level 3 – e.g. AI)) who can observe you undertaking some basic but key practical activities with horses. The course fee is 40 and this includes registration fees and all necessary learning and assessment materials, however if you are between 16 and 18 years old the course is absolutely free.  Everyone will be able to access their own Equi Study Tutor to help them complete their course. Click here for more information on the “Safety with Horses” campaign.

Find out what the Health and Safety Executive say about the course

Riding Safely thoroughly recommends this course



France: Twenty-five horses killed in French equestrian centre fire
Twenty-five horses have died in a fire at an equestrian centre in Trieux, Lorraine, north-east France with only 4 horses surviving the blaze

(Horse & Hound Online - 10 November 2008)


UK: Disaster averted at racehorse charity after fire breaks out
Fast action by staff at Greatwood, a charity that cares for ex-racehorses, averted disaster when a fire broke out.  It is thought that the fire was started by a faulty lightbulb, which exploded with sparks setting fire to the bedding.

(Horse & Hound Online - 6 November 2008)


Northamptonshire - UK: Firecrews battle a blazing 200 tonne manure heap
Northants Fire and Rescue were called to put out a manure heap blaze.

(Horse & Hound Online - 24 November 2008)



Wiltshire – UK: Fake horse brought in to train firefighters
A life sized mannequin horse and other specialised equipment has been brought in at a cost of 14,000 to help firefighters train in animal rescue.  The fake horse, which is 15 hands high, has been funded by the Wiltshire branches of the RSPCA to allow Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to practise the specialist techniques used to save animals that have got into trouble.

(This is Wiltshire.co.uk - 28 November 2008)


Hampshire - UK: New Forest pony rescued from barb wire fencing

A pony that was found tangled in a wire fence in Keyhaven Marshes in the New Forest is expected to make a full recovery.

(Horse & Hound Online - 24 November 2008)


Oxfordshire – UK: Horse play leads to equine rescue
A horse had to be rescued by firefighters from a ditch in Stratton Audley on Saturday. The horse was said to be making a full recovery.

(Oxford Mail - 30 November 2008)


Emergency Services Protocol

The Emergency Services Protocol  

Guidelines to help the emergency services cope better with equine incidents were launched in May 2007.

The guidelines aim to ensure that any horse involved in an accident receives proper care as quickly as possible. They cover everything from how a 999 call should be dealt with to advice on identifying horses and coping with a large animal in an incident.

 An Emergency Services Protocol Fund has also been set up by the BHS and BEVA, to help minimise delays for injured horses receiving veterinary care when their owners cannot be traced. The fund will also pay for rescue training and specialist lifting and rescue equipment for the emergency services.

To donate to the fund, contact BEVA (tel: 01638 723555).

Read more from Horse & Hound Online

Download the Emergency Services Protocol leaflet.

Stoke-on-Trent – UK:  Horse killed when rear ramp on trailer opened while in transit
Police would like to speak to anyone who has suffered a faulty trailer incident after a horse was killed when the ramp of the trailer in which she was travelling fell down.

(Horse & Hound Online - 19 November 2008)


Readers of the Horse & Hound Forum were quick to respond and the Police Officer heading the investigation “posted” seeking help:

“Hi all,
I know that this is quite unconventional, but I am the police officer heading this investigation.
We really need to ensure that this does not happen again to anyone else. I also have horses and fully understand the feelings and concerns that arise when incidents like this happen.
I am urgently trying to find other people that have experienced issues with the rear ramp of trailers falling, especially when a collision has occured as a result.
For obvious reasons, I cannot disclose the make of this trailer until we are further in our investigation.
I have already spoken with some people that have posted here but really need to see if we have others out there.
If so, it is vital that you contact me please on 0300 1234455 and ask for myself, PC 827 Kate Hardt from Rugeley police station.  Thanks in advance for your help.”

Read all the posts on this subject


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 or lead to action to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.

UK: Derbyshire rider who died in fall is named
An inquest has heard how 43-year-old Loretta Jane Topliss of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, died after falling from her horse on Saturday 15 November.

(Horse & Hound Online - 20 November 2008)


New York – USA: Woman dies after spooked horse bolts

Experienced rider Margie Smith has circulated an email detailing the accident which killed her friend, Patty O’Neal, on 1 November in New York’s Mendon Ponds Park.   On the trip to the park one of the horses in the trailers became distressed, spooking some of the others.   To try to settle hers down, Ms O’Neal mounted him, hoping to ‘ride off’ his fears.   She wasn’t wearing a riding hat.   At the same time the original distressed horse, now being ridden, bucked and took off, unseating his rider and causing the saddle to slip and hang beneath him.   In the fracas, Ms O’Neal’s head was smashed against a low branch, causing her to fall to the ground resulting in extensive injuries from which she couldn’t possibly recover.

(Riding Safely – 7 November 2008)


Denmark: 14 year old girl dies after fall from horse

TV2 Denmark reports that a 14-year-old girl died on Sunday 3 November after falling from a horse and landing on her head.   The girl was out riding near her home in Assens, on the Danish island of Fyn.  She was still conscious when the ambulance took her to Odense University Hospital, but sadly doctors couldn't save her and she died of internal bleeding.  According to police, she wasn't wearing a riding hat when the accident happened.

(TV2 Denmark - 3 November 2008)


Telford – England – UK: Woman injured loading horse
A woman from north Shropshire was airlifted to hospital on Saturday (8 November) after she was injured loading a horse. It is believed she was loading a horse into a horsebox when the animal panicked and backed out of the horsebox, falling on her. The woman was airlifted to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital but had not suffered serious injuries, and was discharged with bad bruising.

(Shropshire Star – 10 November 2008)


UK: Huntsman in horrific accident
A hunt follower was horrifically injured when he fell from his horse - and was impaled on the horn of his hunting whip. Tom Pitman, 38, was riding with the Beaufort Hunt when his horse Winston smashed through a gate and threw him off.  He landed on the handle of his whip, which punched a two-and-a-half inch hole into his back below his shoulder blade. Hunt secretary Nigel Maidment dialled 999 and Tom was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, where he was kept in overnight and discharged the following day.

(Gazette & Herald – 10 November 2008)


Diss - England – UK: Woman airlifted to hospital after being kicked during clipping
A woman was airlifted to hospital with serious chest injuries on Wednesday after being kicked by a horse.

The 38-year-old was clipping a horse at Hill Farm in Bressingham when it kicked her "square in the chest".

She suffered broken ribs and a possible fractured sternum and was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital because of its cardio-thorasics capabilities.

(Diss Express – 5 November 2008)


Auckland - New Zealand:  Horse falls on top jockey
One of the country's leading female jockeys is thankful to be alive tonight after she was pinned beneath a half-tonne horse in a freak accident.

Trudy Thornton was riding at Ellerslie Racecourse when - seconds into the race - her horse suddenly collapsed and died before it even hit the ground.

(3 News NZ - 30 November 2008)


UK: Horse dies after being hit by a car
A horse has died following a collision with a car in Ullenwood, Gloucestershire.

(Horse & Hound Online - 7 November 2008)


UK: Lucky escape for Four Shires rider after fall from bridge

Rider unscathed after her horse dies of a suspected heart attack out with the Four Shires Bloodhounds

(Horse & Hound Online - 1 November 2008)


UK: Horse put down after being attacked by 'pit bull' dog
The police are appealing for information about a horse being attacked by a 'pit bull type' dog while out grazing in its field.

(Horse & Hound Online - 5 November 2008)



UK: Appeal court victory a 'great result' for riding schools
The owner of a Surrey riding school is delighted not to be liable for compensation after a rider was bucked off.

(Horse & Hound Online - 8 November 2008)

Read the Judgement: Freeman v Higher Park Farm [2008] EWCA Civ 1185 (30 October 2008)


UK: Appeal for liability law change after Chris Kinane settlement

Racehorse owners and trainers have renewed calls for changes in the law that says horse owners can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals.

(Horse & Hound Online - 30 November 2008)


Nottingham - England - UK: Horse woman's death 'accidental' 

An inquest jury has returned a verdict of accidental death in the case of a Nottinghamshire woman who was kicked in the head by a horse. Lucie Simpson, 20, from Carlton, died in May at the West Bridgford Equestrian Centre, after helping a vet with a mare and its foal. Nottingham Coroner's Court heard the vet had tried to resuscitate her but she died from bleeding on the brain.

(BBC News Online – 14 November 2008)


UK: Broadband ‘not spots’ a risk to North Wales farmers
Broadband “not-spots” are leaving farmers in rural areas struggling to keep up with the latest government information on diseases such as blue tongue and foot and mouth.

Ministers were told farm staff in parts of Wales are unable to view up-to-the-minute advice posted on the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website, because they can’t get access to broadband.

Politicians called on Rural Affairs Minister Huw Irranca-Davies to put pressure on newly-appointed Business Secretary Peter Mandelson to ensure the service is made available in the most remote and isolated areas.

(Daily Post – 7 November 2008)

Riding Safely adds that having broadband access is equally important for all equestrian related businesses particularly in the event of an outbreak of an equine notifiable disease.


UK: National Equine Database goes live with 1 introductory offer

The National Equine Database has now launched and will cost users only 1 for the first month.

(Horse & Hound Online - 30 November 2008)


Beijing - China: China allows horse race gambling 60 years after Mao banned it

Mao Zedong abolished organised gambling after the Communist Party acquired power in 1949. Organised gambling on race horses returned to China on Sunday after a span of nearly 60 years since Mao declared gambling along with opium as a serious vice that had to be eliminated. The first event of betting of race horses took place today in Wuhan in Hubei province in central China.
(Times of India – 30 November 2008)


Get more from Riding Safely


Check out the latest local, national and international weather forecasts from the Met Office

  Help needed
 International equestrian injuries survey launched
© www.sfdigital.co.uk

In what is believed to be the first of its kind, an internet-based survey has been launched to measure the extent and consequences of horse-related injury across the USA, Britain and Australia. The survey was developed by Dr Patricia Evans at Utah State University, and has been adapted for wider international use with help from Ken Law, editor of the UK-based website Riding Safely and Denzil O'Brien, who has recently completed a 5-year surveillance program on risks in eventing.  It is being co-hosted by the Equestrian Federation of Australia.

The survey is aimed at anyone who has suffered a horse-related injury and asks questions across a broad range of equestrian activities and disciplines. Some questions have a distinct USA or UK focus and should be answered accordingly. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete. “This is possibly the first time that such a survey has been undertaken across such a wide range of potential respondents, and we believe that it will provide valuable information on the extent and cost of horse-related injury in our sector.” said Denzil O’Brien. “We are hoping to obtain richer information than that previously gained through hospitals.”

The survey and data analysis are being undertaken through Utah State University. Under US law it can only be completed by people aged 18 or over. Anyone taking part will not be asked for identifying information - data gathered will be used statistically not descriptively.

“We’ve had such surveys in the past but these have normally been limited to individual countries” said Ken Law “running the survey simultaneously across three countries and gaining comparable data may prove of enormous benefit in improving safety internationally – I urge everyone to take part”.

Click here to take part in the survey that runs until February 2009.

UK: (DEFRA) Consultation launched on changes to horse identification legislation

 Defra has launched a consultation to revise the existing equine identification legislation. The consultation period runs from 10th November 2008 to 10 February 2009.

The main requirement for the new Horse Identification legislation is the compulsory microchipping of foals born after 1 July 2009. This requirement will not be retrospective for older horses.

Under the current legislation, all equidae are required to have identification. The new regulation aims to improve this current method of identification by linking each ID issued to an electronic microchip implanted into the animal. Linking the microchip and ID, which are both recorded as a unique life number on a national database, will reduce risks to human health by stopping certain animals entering the food chain, help disease surveillance, and aid recovery of lost or stolen horses.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on draft Regulations intended to apply Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 in England. The consultation document is confined to the application of a number of derogations provided for in the Regulation, along with new offences created and penalties for non compliance.

The consultation can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/equine-id/index.htm

  Remember, remember the fifth of November

Minimise the risk to your horse from fireworks.

  Advice from the British Horse Society

  BHS Safety Fireworks poster

  BHS horses & fireworks incident report form

  Firework Law


New Zealand: Fireworks spook horse to its death
Fireworks set off next to the Te Atatu Pony Club spooked a horse named Kracker, causing it to bolt and badly wound itself.  The horse was injured so severely that it had to be put down, leaving its 14-year-old owner devastated.

(TVNZ - 29 October 2008)


UK: Police horse survives being hit by firework during violent football clash
A police horse and officer that were struck by a firecracker at the football derby on 25 October between Sunderland and Newcastle are not injured.

(Horse & Hound Online - 28 October 2008)

 UK: DEFRA / AHT / BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report - Volume 4, No.2: April – June 2008

Highlights in this issue:

• Australian EIV Outbreak Report

• Grass Sickness Research Results

 UK: BHS National Coaching Conference - 10 November 2008 - Stoneleigh Park - phone 01926 707799 or training@bhs.org.uk

 UK: National Equine Forum - 31 March 2009

The National Equine Forum is a high profile annual event that is held at the Royal Society in London. The audience includes invited leaders of the various disciplines and interests in the horse world, and is normally attended by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal and the Minister for the Horse Industry. There are a small number of tickets available on a first come first served basis for paying guests at a cost of 100 for the day’s event, including a buffet lunch. The Forum provides an outstanding opportunity for networking with the leaders of the horse industry, and represents exceptional value for money for those wishing to engage in continuing professional development. 

The 2009 Forum will be held from 0930 to 1600 on Tuesday 31 March. It is a not-for-profit event that investigates topics of current interest and concern in a non-partisan and non-commercial fashion, with plenty of time for questions. Topics selected are always relevant and frequently controversial. Expressions of support in debate at the Forum can often lead to initiatives going forward, as for example with the formation of the British Grooms Association.

The 2009 Forum will include the following topics:

      Feed, including papers on the impact of biofuels and world food demand, the advantages and disadvantages of additives, and the risks of accidental doping from cross-contamination

      Whether the equestrian world is hobby, sport, recreation or industry

      Progress in setting up the British Grooms Association

      The implications of recent Government policies on developments in work based learning

      A coordinated presentation by the Worshipful Companies of Saddlers, Loriners and Farriers

      Olympic and Paralympic Games, looking back to performances in 2008, and forward to the selection of locations in 2012

      Undergraduate thesis of the year

      Topical spot, this year looking at vaccines and the BEVA laminitis study

If you would like to apply for a ticket, please contact the Hon Secretary, Mrs Tracy Lepkowska, at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, Warwick, CV35 9BL email TLEPKOWSKA@WARKSCOL.AC.UK

 UK: When do the clocks change?  Information to 2011

   "In sicknes and in health"

BHS in sickness and health campaign

   Breaking the Strangles hold

In February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and British Horse Society (BHS) launched a nationwide Strangles Campaign, which has two aims. The first is to raise awareness of this dreadful equine plague, and the second is to gain support for the research programme.

For this, the target is to raise 250,000 to fund research into the next stages of the development of improved means of diagnosis and prevention – ultimately to eradicate this terrible disease.

The campaign was launched by the President of the AHT, HRH The Princess Royal, at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. It continues to make great progress, with the total raised so far standing at 159,000.

For more information about Strangles and the campaign visit www.strangles.org


   World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH) 'Make a Noise' campaign

    UK: Dragon's Den star Deborah Meaden supports horse riding campaign

Business woman and TV personality Deborah Meaden has become the latest celebrity to show her support for Hoof — a London-based campaign to encourage city-dwellers to take up horse riding.

(Horse & Hound Online - 8 October 2008)


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Rider Protection
Protective equipment used in the workplace
    UK: Any personal protective equipment used by staff in the workplace is subject to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations.
Riding Hats/Helmets
    Riding hats and helmets are just different terms used to describe the same thing - protective headwear.
    Wearing properly fitted hats saves lives. 
    The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) consider that hats to the British PAS 015 1998 offer the best in terms of shock absorbency, penetration and retention.

Other hats also considered to offer a high level of protection are:

The European Standard EN 1384
The ASTMF 1163-95
ASTM Snell E95 (SEI)
Australian/New Zealand SNZ 3838 1998

    A high performance helmet standard offering greater protection from side impacts and aimed at competition riders was launched in 2005.  Helmets in accordance with BSEN 14572:2005 are intended for use in high-risk activities, and not to supersede the current standards.

    Some organisations and competitions impose certain hat standard - check before you ride.

    To work properly hats must must be fitted correctly by someone competent. In the UK, this will preferably be by someone who has received training in hat fitting through BETA or manufacturers such as Charles Owen. It is usual for anyone who has attended  training to receive a certificate.
    You'll probably buy your hat through a saddlers, tack shop or riding school. Ask if the person fitting it has been trained.  Very often certificates are displayed. Remember your life may depend on having a properly fitted hat.
     A riding hat is lined with microscopic bubble wrap. When a hat hits the ground or a hard surface the bubbles burst absorbing the impact. The hard shell spreads the area of contact over a much larger load bearing area. Anyone who has ever played with bursting bubble wrap knows that once all the bubbles are burst it's no longer any good for its intended purpose. That's why a hat should be replaced after being dropped on the ground or following a blow to the head, especially if the wearer loses consciousness.
     Don't buy or use a second-hand hat  - you don't know its history.
     Look after your hat carefully. Don’t leave it on the back shelf of your car exposed to the sun during summer – excessive heat can damage it. Similarly, leave it in a warm, dry place overnight after riding. Don’t be tempted to dry it in front of a fire or on a radiator. To reduce the risk of rusting of the metal components don’t store it in a plastic bag before it is dry. he expected
     The expected life span of a hat for the average rider is five years.
Body Protectors
    Coming soon...
    Coming soon...
Riding Out  
Working for every horse & rider

    Always wear a helmet

...it make sense to do so. Make sure it is fastened securely and meets current standards. For children under the age of 14 when riding on roads this is a legal requirement. 

    Always wear high visibility clothing

For both you and your horse. This will help drivers and pilots of low flying military aircraft see and avoid you. Consider a mix-and-match of pink and yellow that can help you be seen better in differing conditions. 

British Horse Society poster advises ‘Be Seen – Be Safe’

    Ride out with someone
...when possible.
    Tell someone where you are going
...and when you expect to be back.
    Carry a mobile phone
...switched to silent for outgoing emergency calls only.  Make sure you keep it on you and not in an attached saddle bag.  Think about keeping it away from your major bodily organs that your phone might damage in the event of an accident.
    Identify your horse
...consider getting an disc engraved with telephone contact details of your yard, yourself and your vet to attach to the D rings of your saddle. In the event of you getting separated from your horse these contact details will help a finder to make contact.  Remember to make sure that the contact numbers you give will always be answered promptly by someone who can take action. You can get engraved (large dog) discs from your vet.
    Avoid using roads where possible
    Always use approved routes
...only ride where you have been given permission or are legally entitled to do so.
    Follow the Highway Codehighway_code.jpg

An updated Highway Code was launched in September 2007.

The Official Highway Code is published by The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO) and is priced at 2.50. Copies are also available from High Street and online bookstores.  An adapted online version of the Code is also available.  There are rules that relate to horses and animals in the code but the British Horse Society has produced its own guide for the rules that specifically apply to horses. Further background information from the Department for Transport

    Consider taking the British Horse Society's Riding and Road Safety training

The BHS Riding and Road Safety Test is taken by over 4,000 candidates a year and helps to educate riders in road safety in order to minimise the risk involved when riding on the roads.

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