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   The UK's only Equestrian Safety Newsletter
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News 2010
  KEY HEADLINES    02/10/10 – Devon - UK: Police appeal for witnesses after tragic fall        UK: Latest DEFRA / AHT / BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report        British Summer Time ends - clocks go BACK one hour on Sunday 31October
We're still redeveloping the Riding Safely website...

We're still busy redeveloping the Riding Safely website to make sure that you can get all the information you need - quickly!  So please bear with us while we do this work.  We're here to promote and improve equestrian and equine health, safety and welfare.   But we need your help.   If there's something you'd like to see covered, or an area where you'd like to see more emphasis, let us know!   The same goes if you'd like us to publicise an event or a campaign, or you need help with research, or have any comments.   Your input is vital.   Have we got our information right?   Could it be better?   Would you like to contribute?   Feel free to chip in by emailing editor.ridingsafelyuk@yahoo.co.uk

Remember, unlike many other journals we don't just report the news.  Where possible, we investigate issues and provide answers.   Hopefully, together we can make the horse world a better place for everyone, including our equine friends.


Important News over the period
January 2010 - With what is being reported the worst snow and cold weather for over 30 years we have a special report to help horse owners and keepers ensure the welfare of their horses whilst keeping themselves and premises safe. 


Coming soon...


Ken Law



Your Right of Reply

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


20/03/10 – Scotland:  Calls to ban hot branding get mixed reaction

Calls to ban hot branding in Scotland have been met with mixed reactions, with supporters claiming hot branding has been unfairly targeted.

Source: Horse & Hound      


02/10/10 - Devon - UK: Tributes to grandmother and shopkeeper who died in fall from horse

Tributes have been paid to a popular shopkeeper who has died in a tragic accident after falling from her horse.

Grandmother-of-four Gillian Ashley, 60, was discovered by holidaymakers lying on a track in Beer, East Devon, a short distance from her unmounted horse.

Police say Mrs Ashley – who owned Beer Village Store – suffered a fractured spine in the accident on Thursday.

They are now appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information as to what caused the accident or could have alarmed the horse. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police on 08452 777 444, quoting log number 428 300910.

Source:  This is Plymouth


16/03/10 – Warwickshire - UK: Horse killed after being thrown from trailer on motorway

A horse was killed on the M40 motorway after being thrown into oncoming traffic after its trailer jack-knifed flinging the rear ramp open.

The accident happened on the way home from an evening competition when a van swerved in front of the Nissan pick-up truck towing a trailer with two horses.

Source: Horse & Hound       See also comment in the Horse & Hound Forum 


23/03/10 - Hampshire - UK: One horse dies and another suffers severe burns in stable fire
A horse rug was melted onto the back of a surviving Welsh cob by the heat of a stable fire, while his companion was killed.

Source: Horse and Hound


20/03/10 - FEI will train officials to improve eventing safety

Eventing officials from developing nations will be paired with counterparts from top eventing nations to learn good safety practice in a new training programme launched by the International Equestrian Federation.

Source: Horse & Hound    


11/01/10 - United States Eventing Association:  VIDEO: Dr. David Marlin - Leg Protection for the Event Horse

At the 2009 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, British Equine Scientist Dr. David Marlin delivered three well-attended presentations, one of which addressed leg protection and the research done on cross-country boots. He explained about the risks event horses face, most specifically to the lower forelegs and the superficial digital flexor tendon, when substandard boots are used.

Watch the video presentation (full screen recommended)


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 Myth of the month – October 2010

Myth: Coming soon...

The reality


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


Safety Products new to the Market 
Riding Safely is always pleased to publicise new  products to the market that appear to be of merit with the potential to improve equestrian safety. Please see our important information.
eemail.gif If you have a new equestrian safety product that you would to be considered to be featured here for free, then please contact Riding Safely
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Check out the latest local, national and international weather forecasts from the Met Office


UK: Get detailed weather forecasts for where you live (by postcode)

Defra/AHT/BEVA quarterly disease report

UK: DEFRA / AHT / BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report - Volume 6, No.2: April – June 2010 (Latest)

Highlights in this issue:

• EVA and EIA outbreaks in the UK

• Overview and new approaches to EVA control

• Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) in non-Thoroughbreds in mainland Europe


Strangles Campaign

Breaking the Strangles hold - Update

In February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and British Horse Society (BHS) launched a nationwide Strangles Campaign.  There were two aims; the first was to raise awareness of the disease, and the second was to gain support for the research programme.

The target was 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.

The ‘Breaking the Strangles Hold’ campaign reached its fundraising target of 250,000 in just two years, demonstrating how important, to horse owners, getting to grips with this terrible disease is. 

By 2008, money donated from the general public, along with funding from The Horse Trust, allowed scientists at the AHT to develop a diagnostic blood test to screen for exposure to the infection. Since then more than 6,700 samples have been tested and many new outbreaks averted. 

The success of this diagnostic work has attracted further funding from the Wellcome Trust in the form of a Translation Award, the first of its kind to be awarded to a veterinary project. The award of more than 580,000, will enable our scientists to develop another diagnostic test that detects minute quantities of DNA specific to the strangles bug. Their goal is to reduce the time taken to diagnose the disease and ultimately produce a point-of-care test that vets can use on site to get a diagnosis in 30 minutes. Earlier diagnosis will allow owners to isolate horses sooner and minimise the spread of infection.

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

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


Rider Protection
Riding Hats/Helmets
    Riding hats and helmets are just different terms used to describe the same thing - protective headwear.
    Wearing properly fitted and secured 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 standards - 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...
Protective equipment used in the workplace
    UK: Any personal protective equipment (PPE) used by staff in the workplace is subject to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations. The main requirement of the Regulations is that PPE is to be supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Examples of “PPE” include: riding helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and clothing affording protection against the weather.
Riding Out  

    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. It can also help the emergency services locate you in the event of an accident. Consider a mix-and-match of pink and yellow that can help you be seen better in differing lighting and weather 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 yourself
...consider carrying some form of personal information that can identify you in the event of an accident.  Include emergency contact numbers.  If you carry a mobile phone include in your contacts "ICE" - in case of emergency.  This can help the emergency services to quickly contact friends or relatives - but do let them know that you've stored their details as ICE1, ICE2 etc. for this purpose.
    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.

    Make sure that you're insured

...in case you or your horse cause damage or injury.  If you're a horse owner your insurance may already provide cover but do check. One of the benefits of BHS Gold Membership is that it provides up to 10 million Personal Liability Insurance Cover for all the horses you own, look after and ride.

    If you have an accident...

The BHS is working to improve horse and rider safety on the roads. Please help them by reporting any horse/rider related traffic accidents or near misses.

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