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Riding Safely

News for January & February 2007

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   The UK's only Equestrian Safety Newsletter

What's been updated?  Find out >>>
In this Edition...

   What’s the risk?

   How do I carry out a risk assessment?

   Key news items from 2006

   UK Horse Industry Strategy debated in Japan

   Riding Safely’s review and choice of products from this year’s trade show

   Highways Agency helps Horseriders to cross the M4 in Wiltshire Safely

   A66 bridges to be made horse-friendly

   Fee freeze as Criminal Records Bureau achieves self-funding status

   The Princess Royal speaks of stigma of Strangles at campaign launch - 1 February 2007

   Horse Trust Pumps 1 Million Into Equine Research

   ILPH launch new Junior website

   Horses targeted in shotgun attack

   Horse is put down after horror attack

   Concern over horses' health

   Dog attack on horse “like lion bringing down a zebra”

   Disabled woman devastated after horse dies in cruel 'arson' attack

   Arsonists target stables

   Danger of explosion during barn fire

   Twenty Horses Rescued From Blazing Stables

   Downed electricity line sets light to stables

   Pet pony escapes stable fire

   Rescue Centre destroyed by arson attack

   Large number of stack fires

   Horse rider died after being thrown under truck’s wheels

   Boy died from pony kick

   Girl drowns after falling off horse

   Horse seriously injured in firework scare

   Road closed after car and horse collide

   Horse is put down following accident with bus

   International body (FEI) to probe South Korean equestrian's death

   Racehorse trainer crushed by hay bales

   Man kicked in chest by horse

   Chinook causes rider to fall

   Woman hurt after heavy fall from horse

   Horse Put Down After Van Crash

   Horse rescued from swimming pool

   Saved by her body protector…

   Bits recalled after safety concerns

   Pressure washers 'could compromise vehicle safety'

   Horse Rider Wins 4k in Out Of Court Settlement

   Man crashed car into horse

   New animal welfare during transport rules come into force

   Tough new penalties for illegal mobile phone use from 27 February 2007

   Storms cause damage to equestrian properties – HSE issues warnings

   Quad bike campaign driven home in Craven

   Eastenders celebrity becomes patron for Veteran Horse Welfare

   American Horse Council’s new and improved web site an essential resource 

   Barn Fire Claims Two Horses

   Florida officials optimistic equine herpesvirus-1  is under control

   Huge Crowd Gathers as Stadium Jumping, Inc. Hosts EHV–1 Experts

   Horse virus (EHV-1) outbreak ends

   Riding safety pushed

   Helmet law urged for kids on horseback

   11-year-old kicked in face by horse is ready to ride

   Mother of injured horse rider backs hard hats

   BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition – 14 & 15 October 2007

   Consultation on a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy

   BETA's Body Protector Survey Continues...

   The British Horse Industry Confederation

   Equestrian Wales is a big hit

   Association of British Riding Schools - ABRS


   Training Resources

   Sources of Help

   Horse & Country TV launches on Sky

   2007 - Forecast to be the warmest year yet

   Rivendell Equine Defence Horse sanctuary forced to close

   Show of safety

   Mucking out time at horse sanctuary devastated by strong winds

   The horse who thinks he's a dog

What's the risk?

Health and safety in the horse industry can sometimes be likened to a “horse with a funny look in its eye” - there are those that are frightened to approach it and those who do sometimes get it terribly wrong, with disastrous results.

The first three weeks of 2007 saw comments in equestrian magazines that health and safety is taking too much time, stopping worthwhile activities and is responsible for businesses closing down.  These views aren't new and are frequently echoed across the industry.

Sadly there are too many “bonkers conkers” examples in all walks of life.  A council decided to remove goalposts from a children's football pitch, fearing that ramblers might bump into them at night.  Another council employed a health and safety consultant to draw up rules on how to make a cup of tea safely1.  Unfortunately, we hear similar equestrian related stories from the horse industry.

Recently Alan Beith MP, Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiring into the 'compensation culture' said2 “There is a real problem with excessive risk aversion in Britain today, but it is not caused by personal injuries litigation or the ‘no-win-no-fee’ system.  …… The root causes of excessive risk aversion, such as misunderstanding of risk assessment, are what need to be addressed.”

Last August, launching the principles of sensible risk management, Bill Callaghan, Chair of the HSC, said3 “I’m sick and tired of hearing that ‘health and safety’ is stopping people doing everyday activities when at the same time others are suffering real harm and even death as a result of mismanagement at work.  Some of the ‘health and safety’ stories are just myths.  ……  But behind many of the stories, there is at least a grain of truth – someone really has made an irrational decision.  …… My message is that if you’re using health and safety to stop everyday activities – get a life and let others get on with theirs.”

In response to the consultation on the industry strategy Riding Safely commented4 “There are no specific proposals within the draft strategy that address the management of the risks associated with health, safety and environmental issues that may seriously impact on public and employee health & safety and affect the public perception, viability and business performance of the horse industry”, adding that action needs to be taken.

The “horse with a funny look in its eye” is still there and the risk is that it will continue to be there until those who represent the bodies at the top of the industry tackle the problem of health & safety once and for all. 

It's time for the industry to act to protect people, horses, activities and keep businesses in business.

Ken Law



1Workplace Law - Excessive risk aversion: bad for business - 28 February 2007


2Government needs to address excessive risk aversion - 27 February 2006


3“Get a life”, says HSC


4Riding Safely - Formal Response to the Consultation Draft – Strategy for the Horse Industry in England and Wales - D. Major omissions and amendments




Your Right of Reply.....

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

Following hot on the the heels of this month's Comment - "What's the risk?"
Your Concerns
What are the health & safety issues that concern you most?  List them in the Forum or by contacting the Editor at editor.ridingsafelyuk@yahoo.co.uk
January, February & March 2006

   Action plan for Horse Industry Strategy launched - An action plan supporting the Strategy for the Horse Industry in England and Wales (published in December 2005) set out how all 50 of the strategy’s action points will be implemented.  Read more

   4bn spent on horses, says BETA survey - The National Equestrian Survey commissioned by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) revealed that horse owners and riders spend around 4 billion per year on what has become a growing leisure activity.  Read more

   New nationally accredited Level 2 Award for Health & Safety in the Equine Industry - Read more

   Highway Code Consultation - The Driving Standards Agency consulted on the revision of The Highway Code.  Read more

   Horse world gets ahead on child protection - Read more

   Free advisory service on health and safety for small businesses goes live - Delivered in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive, Workplace Health Connect, a new free confidential advisory service on workplace health and safety for smaller businesses was launched.  Read more


April, May & June 2006

   New health and safety guidance for livery yards launched – Read more

   MoD helps equestrian events by restricting low level flying Read more

   Ragwort poses health threat to humans, horses, cattle and sheep, BHS conference told Read more


July & August 2006


   Focus on Wind Turbines and the Equestrian Read more

   "Courses for horses" - Highways Agency helps horseriders - 28 July 2006 saw the opening of Black Pond Bridleway Bridge, which has been fully upgraded to equestrian standards to allow horse riders to safely cross the A3 near Esher Common in Surrey Read more

   “Get a life”, says HSC – The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) urged people to focus on real risks – those that cause real harm and suffering – and stop concentrating effort on trivial risks and petty health and safety. To help take this forward HSE launched a set of key principles: practical actions that they believe sensible risk management should, and should not, be about Read more

   Compensation Act 2006 - The Compensation Act containing provisions relating to the law of negligence and breach of statutory duty; damages for mesothelioma; and the regulation of claims management services received Royal Assent on 25 July 2006.  Read more


September & October 2006

   New fire safety rules affecting ALL non-domestic premises in England and Wales came into force on 1 October 2006 Read more from http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1162101

   2.1m for woman injured by horse Read more


November & December 2006


   Animal Welfare Act receives Royal Assent - The most important piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century received Royal Assent on 8 November 2006 Read more


UK Horse Industry Strategy debated in Japan

The influential joint BHIC/DEFRA horse industry strategy has received positive feedback throughout the world, including the USA and Japan. Most recently it has been debated and discussed in Japan, demonstrating that the groundbreaking strategy work which we are undertaking is being taken up by other countries.

Source:  BHIC (30 January 2007) http://www.bhic.co.uk/about/pressarchive/news.php?17


Related Information

Find out more about the strategy at http://www.ridingsafely.net/strategy.html


BETA International 2007 Report

BETA International, the world’s foremost equestrian and country trade exhibition was held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK from 18-20 February, 2007.  Retail buyers from the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet markets visited BETA International to see products exhibited by around 400 companies from more than 20 different countries.  Attendance over the three days was 5,378.

The following reports are available from the BETA International 2007 website:

   Serious buying at "upbeat" BETA International - New launches and good quality products captured buyers' interest at a smooth-running BETA International 2007.  Read more at http://www.beta-int.com/news22_buying.html

   BETA International rewards innovation - Exciting new products in saddlery, feed, clothing, safety and horsecare were recognised by the 2007 BETA International Innovation Awards. Read more at http://www.beta-int.com/news21_innawards.html

But what did Riding Safely find of interest at BETA International 2007?

At BETA International, Riding Safely is always on the lookout for quality products that can minimise the risk of accidents and injuries.  So what met the criteria this year to form the choice of Riding Safely?

The EZ Tippa wheelbarrow

EZ Tippa Wheelbarrow from the Real Barrow Company.

What is it?  “The E.Z.Tippa is a rotating handle system for wheelbarrows that offers its users greater safety, control, manoeuvrability and ease of use.”

Highly commended in the Horsecare Products & Equipment Innovation Awards, the judges said “A surprising twist to an old concept that updates one of the horse owners’ most used products.”

Riding Safely adds - There are far too many people who work in the horse industry who suffer from aches and pains in their backs as a result of lifting and handling.  Manual handling is an issue for the industry and anything that can minimise the risk must be welcome.

More information from www.eztippa.com and particularly worth watching is the demonstration video clip www.eztippa.com/?section=system


The StudStasha
Click on picture to enlarge

StudStasha from SupaStuds

What is it?  “The StudStasha is incredibly simple but effective: it comprises an elasticated fabric wristband (similar in appearance to a tennis wristband) which contains a powerful magnet. This magnet will hold four or more studs securely while you are studding up, so that the studs are always in reach yet keeping both hands free. If you do lose a stud in long grass, the magnet can be used like a metal detector to find it again. The wristband is stretchy enough to fit a bare arm or over heavy clothing.”

Winner of the Innovations Award for Safety and Security the judges said “A really simple, useful, everyday product – the kind that makes you say “why didn’t I think of that?”

Riding Safely adds - keeping loose studs safe and secure is essential.  A lost stud can be a dangerous stud, particularly to horses.

More information from www.supastuds.com

Tornado Horse Fencing
Click on picture to enlarge

Tornado Horse Fencing

What is it?  From the well-established manufacturer Tornado Wire Ltd, the range of Tornado Horse Fencing “has specifically been designed with the horse in mind to play a multifunctional role not only in reducing the risk of escape onto public highways, motorways or into urban areas but also as a deterrent to domestic animals such as dogs.  Manufactured from high tensile, heavy galvanised wire the unique close wire spacing of both the stay and the line wires provides a combination of strength and durability.  In addition, the spring-like properties of the product means it will flex under the horses’ pressure before returning to its original shape, retaining its original strength.”

Riding Safely adds - Probably an overlooked product when it comes to horse fencing.  A product that combines strength and a mesh size to minimise the risk of entrapment has the potential to be a cost effective fencing solution for everyone who needs to keep horses safe and secure on their premises.

More information from http://www.tornadowire.co.uk/  (see also http://www.tornadowire.co.uk/Equestrian/default.aspx for the specific range and http://www.tornadowire.co.uk/uploaded/documents/Brochure-HorseFence.pdf to download a brochure)

Equitech Software Ltd

What is it?  Computer software that can assist anyone preparing for a dressage competition.  Two products in particular caught the eye of Riding Safely;

“The Equitest Series has preloaded dressage tests so you can practice your test as many times as you like. See the test as if you are riding it, from the side of the arena and from the judges box. See the products pages of the website for individual country products.  Fully endorsed by British Dressage, British Eventing, US Equestrian Federation and the Svenska Ridport Forbunden.”

“Dressage Divas is the first and only completely interactive guide to riding to music. Whether you want to spice up your schooling plans or compete in affiliated competitions, this product is a 'must'. You can plan your routine, print diagrams of your test, then add in your favourite music. Dressage Divas uses a powerful shrink and stretch music editor to allow you get the perfect fit of music to your horse’s paces. Compatible with systems and tests in all countries.”

Riding Safely adds - if you're comfortable with using a computer then these products may be for you.  There's never ever going to be a substitute for practising with your horse, but by being able to learn and visualise the test before putting a foot in the stirrup, these have the potential to reduce the mental and physical stress for both you and your horse.

More information from http://www.equitechsoftware.com/

Barry Fehler wins BETA lifetime achievement award

2007 Beta Business Awards 

Now in their fourth year and widely acknowledged as the equestrian industry’s ‘Oscars’, the awards were presented during the BETA Gala Dinner at the Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, on 18th February.

Riding Safely would like to congratulate and make special mention of this year's winner of the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented by BETA to mark special and significant contribution to the equestrian industry over a long period of time.

This year it was awarded to Barry Fehler of South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB).

Barry was 17 when he founded Specialising in Equine Insurance.  As well as being the market leader in insurance for rural taxis, SEIB is now in the top 75 of all brokers in the UK.  

A lifelong horseman, Barry developed equine insurance as we know it today by introducing such innovations as cover for loss of use, loss by straying and veterinary fees. His ideas for a vet emergency helpline and horsebox insurance likewise grew from Barry’s equine-related experiences.

SEIB has provided sustained support to wide range of equestrian events. Conceived a decade ago, Search For A Star has encouraged amateur riders to bring their horses to the show ring.

Many ex-racehorses have found new jobs via the Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championships which culminated in a HOYS final last year. Thoroughbreds across the disciplines have also been recognised thanks to the Racehorses to Riding Horses Points Championship.

SEIB also supports BHS Hunter Trials, Trec, BEF Young Horse Evaluations, Trailblazers and the Riding Clubs’ Quadrille, Dressage to Music and Horse Trials.

BETA’s Retailer of the Year Award is sponsored by SEIB, underlining the diverse nature of the company’s involvement with the equestrian industry.

Married with three children, Barry owns more than 40 animals. Many have found sanctuary with the Fehler family, including ex-racehorses, re-homed Spanish dogs and cats and a pony called Tiny Tim who was found abandoned 20 years ago.

A prolific winner with his show horses Assurance, Princes Street and Elite, Barry has also bred dressage and event horses.

As well as owning SEIB, he is a director of the Institute of Insurance Brokers and of Broker Direct Plc. He also owns Escape Travel Ltd.

“Barry has proved that it’s possible to be successful by combining entrepreneurial skills with a genuine concern for the welfare of horses and their owners,” said Claire Williams, executive director of BETA.

“Through his endeavours, SEIB has made immeasurable contributions to equestrianism via sponsorship. And just as Barry is personally modest and understated in his approach, SEIB makes a point of supporting grass roots riders as well as top level stars.”


BETA International 2008 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 17-19 February 2008.


New M4 - Equestrian Bridge
L-R Jane Fowler on 'Darcy', Dave Sledge, Sue Lees on 'Mehdar'

Highways Agency helps Horseriders to cross the M4 in Wiltshire Safely  

The Highways Agency has completed construction of the new Leafy Lane foot and bridelway bridge over the M4 between Junctions 16 and 17, near Dauntsey in Wiltshire.

The new bridge uses rubber tiles made from recycled tyres to make the surface less slippery for horses. In addition, it provides higher headroom clearance over the hard shoulders than the previous bridge.

Other benefits of the bridge include raised sides and solid infill panels, so that horses cannot see traffic passing underneath.

Highways Agency project manager, Dave Sledge, said:

"The bridge has been replaced to meet current safety standards. The higher clearance means that the hard shoulders can now be used by high sided vehicles and also by the emergency services.

"We have also been in consultation with the British Horse Society to make sure that the new bridge uses non-slip rubber tiles, which help horses to be more sure-footed when crossing. Our research has also shown that horses are calmer when there is screening in place, such as with the high sides on this bridge."

The British Horse Society's Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, Mark Weston, said:

"This new bridge is a welcome improvement that is very much needed for horse riders. The solid infill panels and rubber tiles make it much safer and easier for riders to cross the M4 at this location than before."

Source:  Highways Agency (South West) 24 January 2007


A66 bridges to be made horse-friendly

HORSE riders are being given a safe new route over the Brundholme and Spooney Green bridges on the A66 near Keswick.

Read more from the News & Star - Carlisle, Cumbria, UK (14 February 2007)  http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=466188


Related Campaign

Department for Transport - THINK! - watch out for horses 

There are around 149 accidents involving horses on our roads every year, resulting on average in two deaths and 130 injuries to riders.

THINK! has teamed up with the British Horse Society to produce two TV and radio adverts that warn drivers how to avoid accidents when confronted with horses on the road.

More details from:  http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/horsesense/horsesense.htm

Fee freeze as CRB achieves self-funding status  

Fees for criminal records checks have been frozen at last year's levels as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), achieves self-funding status for the first time.

The fee freeze comes after year-on-year efficiency savings and service improvements over the last 12 months including:

- the launch of their online tracking tool, allowing customers to follow the progress of their CRB check from application to delivery online;

- a streamlined point of sale procedure for both telephone and paper applications in response to customer feedback;

- the streamlining of the registered body network;

- new service level agreements with the police forces; and

- access to improved data sources, including the British Transport Police, increasing the amount of information given to customers in a CRB check.

Home Office Minister Joan Ryan said:

"It has always been the aim of the CRB to become self-funding and I am delighted that it has been able to do this at the same time as handling increased demand and achieving record levels of customer satisfaction. The CRB plays a vital role helping to protect the most vulnerable in our society giving employers the extra tools they need to make informed recruitment decisions.

"This creates a great foundation for future developments in the CRB. The agency will provide the administrative backbone to the Vetting and Barring Scheme, offering continuously updated vetting, a key recommendation of the Bichard Inquiry.

"The speed and accuracy of CRB checks will also be improved through implementation of the National Identity Scheme and the agency is already working towards a joint venture with the Identity and Passport service."

CRB Chief Executive Vince Gaskell said:

"The CRB is continuing to meet milestones laid out in the five year strategy outlined in 2006. Self funding status is a key landmark for the organisation and we will continue to build on the customer service improvements which help us achieve high customer satisfaction year on year.

"The CRB will continue to develop the service it offers to its customers helping to improve protection for children and vulnerable adults. I am also pleased to confirm that volunteers will continue to get free disclosures."

The disclosure fees for 2007/2008 will remain at:

- Standard CRB check - 31.00

- Enhanced CRB check - 36.00

- POVAFirst check - 6.00

- Volunteers - Free

In 2006, the CRB issued its 10 millionth disclosure and is currently issuing over 250,000 disclosures every month. Demand is continually increasing: In 2002/3 1.5 million disclosures were issued whilst in 2005/6 there were 2.9 million.

Further Information

1. The CRB provides access to criminal record information through its Disclosure service. It enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children or vulnerable adults. The CRB was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and commenced operation in 2002.

2. The CRB published its Five Year Strategy on 22 May 2006. It is available to download from the CRB website: http://www.crb.gov.uk/PDF/CRB_businessplan.pdf

Source - Home Office (5 February 2007)


Photograph kindly supplied by Derek Knottenbelt

The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust has launched a campaign to raise 250,000 to eradicate Strangles – a horrible disease attacking and killing horses.

HRH The Princess Royal spoke movingly of her personal experience of the equine plague Strangles - an outbreak at her stables at her Gatcombe home.

The Princess Royal said she remembered the way she and the stable girl who was looking after the infected horses were treated by other people. “ No one spoke to the girl for weeks let alone gave her their hand.”

The Princess Royal said: “I am very pleased The Animal Health Trust and The British Horse Society are working together on this campaign. It could make a real difference to the welfare of horses.

 “Two of my horses suffered permanent damage.  I learnt the hard way – I still don’t know where my Strangles came from”

HRH The Princess Royal helped the two charities launch the campaign at the Royal Society of Medicine, London. Further regional launches follow in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol.

 BHS Chief Executive Graham Cory said: "We have a golden opportunity to stamp out this terrible disease. If the money needed for research can be raised, we are confident we can tackle this problem effectively and stem the spread of Strangles."

Mr Cory said: “If all of Britain’s 4.2 million riders were to make a contribution to the target of 250,000 they would only have to give 3p a year each.”

He said: “The British Horse Society would lead by example in doing anything it could to ensure that the money needed for Strangles research was made.

AHT Chief Executive Peter Webbon said: "Strangles must be beaten.  We believe a solution can be found through our research programme. We urge everyone to help us and the BHS to end the suffering of horses and ponies caused by Strangles."

Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "The health and wellbeing of the equine population in the UK is vital and we welcome any opportunity taken by the industry to tackle important equine diseases such as Strangles. 

"We applaud this joint approach by The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust.  We hope their fundraising initiatives are successful and the campaign is well received and supported by the whole horse industry."

Strangles – triggered by the bacterium Streptococcus equi – is one of the world's most common respiratory diseases, hitting horses of all types and ages.

It spreads like wildfire in stables, striking down horses at a devastating rate.  Strangles kills up to 10 percent of the horses it attacks.  Many others survive but become carriers of the disease without any exterior symptoms and go on to infect other horses.

Strangles is an economic disaster for affected yards which often have to shut down for months.  Getting rid of Strangles depends on research to improve methods of prevention and diagnosis.

Eventing legend Lucinda Green said: "The Animal Health Trust and The British Horse Society are tackling Strangles - the equestrian world must do its best to support them.  Strangles is a problem we can no longer afford to ignore.  Every horse owner should be aware of the threat and be prepared to join in the fight against it."

Top show jumper Nick Skelton said: "Strangles is a terrible disease that causes great distress to horses.  I fully support The British Horse Society and The Animal Health Trust in their efforts to eradicate the disease."

You can help by making a donation online by credit card or direct debit through the strangles campaign website http://www.strangles.org/,  by phoning 08700 502380, or posting a cheque to; Strangles Appeal, Animal Health Trust, FREEPOST CB360, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BR.

Related Information

About strangles - When a horse contracts the disease, it initially loses its energy and appetite. Swelling and abscesses occur around the throat. The horse then finds it hard to breathe and swallow – as it is being strangled (hence the name Strangles). When the abscesses rupture, in some cases other horses can be infected. If the abscesses spread to other parts of the horse's body, the condition is usually fatal.  See the strangles information leaflet http://www.aht.org.uk/strangles.org/strangle_leaflet.pdf and the strangles campaign website http://www.strangles.org/

The Animal HealthTrust - The AHT is a charity dedicated to improving the health of dogs, cats and horses by addressing the problems of disease and injury. It achieves this by providing specialist clinical services for animals in need and advancing veterinary science. Even if your horse or pet has never been treated directly by the AHT, it will have benefited from the results of the Trust’s work.  See www.aht.org.uk

The British Horse Society - the UK's biggest horse charity with a membership of more than 100,000, held a Strangles Awareness Week from 15-21 May last year (2006), and BHS Scotland has been lobbying hard in the Scottish Parliament for new measures to help to slow the spread of Strangles in Scotland.  See www.bhs.org.uk


Related Report

Stables under threat - A Stables in Garston (Hertfordshire, UK) is struggling to stay afloat after a devastating virus (strangles) ruined its reputation, despite being given the all-clear months ago.

Read more from the Watford Observer - Watford, England, UK (26 January 2007) at:  http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk:80/news/localnews/display.var.1149466.0.stables_under_threat.php



Horse Trust Pumps 1 Million Into Equine Research

The Horse Trust, based at Speen, has committed a further 1 million to equine research and clinical scholarships, creating five clinical scholarships and five scientific research grants following the recent meeting of its Scientific Committee.

Paul Jepson, Chief Executive and Veterinary Director of the Trust said, "The Horse Trust's investment in equine research illustrates the charity's commitment to the health and welfare of all horses, to reduce pain and suffering and find cures and treatments to a variety of diseases."

Read more about the distribution of the grants from Aylesbury Today (19 January 2007)  http://www.aylesburytoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=789&ArticleID=1983330


ILPH launch new Junior website

The International League for the protection of horses has launched a new junior website.  Children and teenagers will be able to choose whether they want to be an ILPH PonyRanger or an ILPH HorseRanger, and will be spoilt for choice with games, news, ILPH information and stories - such as a day in the life of an ILPH Field Officer. Find out more at www.ilphrangers.org


Horses targeted in shotgun attack 

One horse has had to be put down and vets fear two more may face the same fate after a shooting attack in Surrey. 

Read more from BBC News Online (5 January 2007) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/6234913.stm


Horse is put down after horror attack

Vets were forced to destroy a horse which suffered appalling facial injuries after being attacked in its isolated stable.

The horse’s owner said: "I just keep asking myself what kind of sick weirdos would do this kind of thing to a trusting and defenceless animal who never hurt anybody.

Read more from the Stamford Mercury - Stamford, England, UK (16 February 2007)



Concern over horses' health

Concerns have been voiced about the health of Household Cavalry horses grazing in south Worcestershire.

Find out more from BBC News Online video (18 Jan 2007)



Dog attack on horse “like lion bringing down a zebra”

A horse rider told today how she desperately clung on to her mount when a pitbull-type dog launched a prolonged attack on the pair.

Marina Davies, 64, said the dog sank his teeth into her Welsh Cob’s underbelly, causing the horse to gallop and buck for around 45 minutes in a bid to shake the animal off.

Read more from icWales (27 February 2007)  http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk:80/0100news/0200wales/tm_headline=dog-attack-on-horse--like-lion-bringing-down-a-zebra-&method=full&objectid=18683774&siteid=50082-name_page.html


Disabled woman devastated after horse dies in cruel 'arson' attack

Parents of a woman with ME have spoken of her devastation after the horse that was "her life" was killed in a fire, thought to have been started deliberately.

The 20-year-old grey Arab mare Rose was in stables in Marsh Road, North Wootton, in the early hours of Wednesday when the blaze began. Despite the efforts of two Lynn fire crews, sadly they were unable to rescue her.

Read more from Kings Lynn Today (2 February 2007) http://www.kingslynntoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=991&ArticleID=2016330


Arsonists target stables

SIX horses were rescued as flames swept through a livery yard on Teesside.

Neighbours and a passer-by rescued the horses - one, a mare in foal - from their stalls at Bankfield Farm, Eston, as a straw barn was engulfed by the fire which was deliberately started.

Read more from The Northern Echo (3 January 2007)  http://www.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/display.var.1101585.0.arsonists_target_stables.php

Further report from FireFightingNews.com http://www.firefightingnews.com/article-UK.cfm?articleID=23721


Danger of explosion during barn fire

A FIRE ripped through a large barn in Suffolk containing gas cylinders and fertiliser, threatening to engulf nearby stables.

Read more from the East Anglian Daily Times - Suffolk, England, UK (13 January 2007)  http://www.eadt.co.uk:80/content/eadt/news/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=News&tBrand=EADOnline&tCategory=News&itemid=IPED13%20Jan%202007%2000%3A13%3A57%3A173

Update - 50 fire-fighters battle barn blazes

INVESTIGATIONS are beginning today into the cause of two large barn fires in Suffolk.  More than 50 fire-fighters were involved in tackling the blazes last night and early today.

Read more from the East Anglian Daily Times - Suffolk, England, UK (13 January 2007)  http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=News&tBrand=EADOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=IPED13%20Jan%202007%2006%3A40%3A09%3A713


Related Information

LPG cylinders should be kept in a safe, well-ventilated place, preferably in the open air, and away from occupied buildings, boundaries and sources of ignition and of heat.  Cylinders should be kept upright and properly secured.

For more information see:

   HSE information sheet - Small-scale use of LPG in cylinders  http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/chis5.pdf

   LP Gas Association Leaflet - safe use of LPG farms  http://www.lpga.co.uk/Farms.htm

The main use of ammonium nitrate is as a fertiliser.  It is not in itself combustible but, as it is an oxidising agent, it can assist other materials to burn, even if air is excluded.  Ammonium nitrate will not explode due to the friction and impact found in normal handling, but it can be detonated under heat and confinement or severe shock.

For more information see:

   HSE leaflet - Storing and handling ammonium nitrate http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg230.pdf


Twenty Horses Rescued From Blazing Stables

Twenty panicking horses were rescued from a blazing stables by two brave young workers. Stable girls managed to chase the horses out as flames and smoke engulfed the building at Stainsby Grange Equestrian Centre, in Thornaby, Cleveland, UK. 

Read more from FireFighting News.com - USA (26 January 2007) at  http://www.firefightingnews.com/article-UK.cfm?articleID=24937


Downed electricity line sets light to stables

An electricity line which was brought down on a corrugated iron roof turning the whole roof live and starting three small fires in roof joists.

Read more from FireFightingNews.com (18 January 2007)


This is an unusual case in unusual circumstances but demonstrates that if a non-conductive roof had been used this fire may not have started.  When designing and putting up new buildings take into account all the risk factors before choosing your construction materials.


Rescue Centre destroyed by arson attack

Safe Hands Rescue Centre in Derbyshire was destroyed as a result of an arson attack on Saturday 27th January 2007.   Fortunately none of the animals died in the fire.

Read more from Safe Hands Rescue Centre’s website http://www.safehandsrescue.co.uk/


Pet pony escapes stable fire

Arsonists who torched a stable destroying tons of hay were not to know that an eight-year-old pony, was not at home.

He was staying at temporary stables at a nearby farm when they set fire to his own stable

Read more from ic Teesside.co.ukMiddlesbrough, England, UK (30 January 2007)



Large number of stack fires

A STRING of arsons in the fenland areas of the Cambridgeshire County have lost farmers hundred of thousands of pounds.

Between Saturday (January 27) and Sunday (January 28), there were 13 stack fires in the March, Chatteris, Welney, Manea and Christchurch areas.

Read more from Cambridgeshire Constabulary (29 January 2007) http://www.cambs.police.uk/newsappeals/news/newsitem.asp?NewsID=2235


Trying to prevent Arson

Information from:

The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service - The Prevention and Control of Arson in

Industrial and Commercial Premises  http://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/business_eng/arson/assessment_arson_reduction.htm

Toolkits from crimereduction.gov.uk


Arson Attacks on Farms and the Countryside - Reducing the Risks  http://www.arsonpreventionbureau.org.uk/Publications/Files/ATTACKS%20ON%20FARMS.pdf

Related Information

Avoiding the risk of fire

A fire in a stable yard is a terrifying prospect, but there are a few simple steps that can be taken when planning a yard to significantly reduce the risk, says Horse & Hound

Read more from Horse & Hound (Carla Passino - 25 April 2005) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/best/396/63405.html

Changes in fire safety law

New fire safety rules affecting ALL non-domestic premises in England and Wales came into force on 1 October 2006

Research undertaken by Norwich Union Risk Services shows that almost half of small firms are unaware of major new fire safety laws



Fire safety law and guidance documents for business – from the Government official website


Horse & Hound finds out how new fire regulations will affect the equestrian industry (17 October 2006)


Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1541 - The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005  http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051541.htm



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.

Horse rider died after being thrown under truck’s wheels

The Bucks Free Press (23 December 2006) reports that an inquest heard that a teenage horse rider looked on in horror as her mother was thrown from her startled horse under the back wheels of a passing sewage truck.

See the full report at:  http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk:80/search/display.var.1088808.0.horse_rider_died_after_being_thrown_under_trucks_wheels.php


Boy died from pony kick

A VERY rare reaction to a kick from a pony killed an Egyptian boy at a riding school near Radlett last year, an inquest heard.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.  He said nobody at the centre could have done anything more to save the boy, a fact confirmed by exemplary health and safety reports.

Read more details from the St. Albans Observer - St. Albans, England, UK (11 January 2007) http://www.stalbansobserver.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.1117619.0.boy_died_from_pony_kick.php


Girl drowns after falling off horse

A young stablegirl drowned in just 30cm of water after being thrown off a horse on her first day in a new job.

Read more from the Metro - London, UK (14 January 2007)  http://www.metro.co.uk:80/news/article.html?in_article_id=32986&in_page_id=34


Horse seriously injured in firework scare

A young racehorse may have to be put down after injuring itself when it was scared by New Year's Eve fireworks.

The four-year-old horse, which has not yet been raced so does not have an official name, is stabled at Joss Saville Racing, Gisburn Park, near Gisburn, and is said to be worth about 60,000.

Read more from This is Lancashire (3 January 2007)  http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk:80/mostpopular.var.1097317.mostviewed.life_or_death_wait_for_fireworkscare_horse.php


Road closed after car and horse collide

It was reported that Police were forced to close the busy Southwick Road near Wickham, Hampshire after an accident between a horse and a car resulting in the horse having to be put down at the scene.  It is understood that the rider escaped without serious injury.

Read more from The Daily Echo - Southampton, Hampshire, UK (14 January 2007)  http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/display.var.1122100.0.road_closed_after_car_and_horse_collide.php


Horse is put down following accident with bus

A HORSE had to be put down and its rider taken to hospital after they were hit by a bus.

Helen Retallick, 37, was riding home on Rocky, a 14-yearold former racehorse, when the accident happened, and credits her horse for saving her life.

Read more from the Cambridge Evening News - Cambridge, England, UK (29 January 2007)



International body (FEI) to probe South Korean equestrian's death

The international governing body of equestrian sports will investigate the accidental death of South Korean rider Kim Hyung-chil last year at the Doha Asian Games.  The investigation will take place in London.

Read more from Yonhap News - Seoul,South Korea (24 January 2007)



Racehorse trainer crushed by hay bales

Racehorse trainer Norman Babbage was nearly killed when two huge bales of hay crushed him.

The 44-year-old was knocked over and trapped by two one tonne hay bales at his stables in Brockhampton, near Cheltenham.

The hay fell 5ft from a stack, leaving Norman with a tear to his bladder and a leg broken in two places.

Norman was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital, where his condition is comfortable.

Read more from the Gloucestershire Echo (14 February 2007)

Related Information

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated 202 bale handling and stacking accidents between 1986 and 1996. Of these accidents, 23 were fatal and some of the others caused injuries serious enough to stop those involved from working again.

Read the HSE Guidance - Safe working with bales in agriculture  http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg125.pdf


Man kicked in chest by horse

A MAN has been taken to hospital after being kicked in the chest by a horse at a Suffolk stable.

An ambulance service spokesperson said the incident happened at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket.

Read more from Suffolk Evening Star - Ipswich, England, UK (15 February 2007)


Chinook causes rider to fall

A horse rider is recovering from surgery to her wrist after her horse was spooked by low-flying military aircraft.

The Ministry of Defence is investigating the incident, which happened in late November.

Find out more from BBC News Online video (18 December 2006)



Woman hurt after heavy fall from horse

A Hall Green woman is recovering in hospital after breaking both of her legs when she was thrown from a horse.

Read more from IC solihull.co.uk (10 Jan 2007) http://icsolihull.icnetwork.co.uk:80/news/local/tm_headline=woman-hurt-after-heavy-fall-from-horse-&method=full&objectid=18437827&siteid=91411-name_page.html


Horse Put Down After Van Crash

RIDERS are demanding a reduced speed limit on a popular short-cut after a horse had to be destroyed after a road accident.  Emergency crews tried for three hours to save the stricken animal, which was knocked down on Cleadon Lane, East Boldon, South Tyneside.

Read more from South Tyneside Today (1 February 2007) at  http://www.southtynesidetoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=2015490&SectionID=1111


Horse rescued from swimming pool 

A runaway horse has been rescued after it plunged into a neighbour's swimming pool in Hampshire.

Read more from BBC News Online (16 February 2007)   



Saved by her body protector…

The mother of a young Pembrokeshire horse rider who was trampled by her horse during a freak accident is in no doubt that her daughter’s body protector saved her from serious injury.

Emma was leading her Shetland pony, Beans, during a riding lesson at her home when she tripped.

The pony’s front legs became tangled in the leading rein and in his struggle to get free Emma was trampled.

She escaped with minor facial injuries but her body protector bears the scar of what might have been. A hoof mark is clearly visible in the breastbone area, even though the horse was not shod, and the impact has broken the protective structure.

“If she hadn’t been wearing it she would have been very badly hurt,’’ said her mother, Jacqui. “It shows how important it is that riders wear body protectors, even when they are not actually sitting on a horse.’’

Emma, a member of the South Pembrokeshire Pony Club, was taken to Morriston Hospital, Swansea but fortunately her facial injuries were superficial. She is expected to make a full recovery and the incident has not put her off riding.

Her body protector will have to be replaced and her mother says she would like the damaged one to be used during Pony Club safety demonstrations as a reminder of how important they are.

She said she would never allow Emma or her older sister, Anna, ride without a body protector.

By law, all riders under 14 have to wear a riding hat (when riding on the road) but that isn’t the case with body protectors.

Sue Scourfield, who runs the Pembrokeshire Riding Centre at Hundleton, said she would like to see the wearing of them made compulsory.

No riders at her stables are allowed to ride without a body protector. “If someone has been clever enough to design equipment to keep us safe it is a foolhardy person who doesn’t use it,’’ she said.

“I really believe that body protectors are a major protection, especially for children. Riders will still fall off and break arms, legs and noses but if the main core of the body is protected they stand a better chance of being safe from serious injury.’’ Sue says many riders were put off from wearing body protectors because they don’t like the look of them but there could be a high price for pay for the sake of vanity.

This report is reproduced by courtesy of the Pembrokeshire Farmer (May 2006) and the author, Debbie James.

eemail.gif If you know of any equestrian related accidents or near-misses then please share them with Riding Safely
Doing so may save a life or a lifetime of incapacity

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


Bits recalled after safety concerns

Reports of Neue Schule’s Comfy Contact bits breaking in the middle have forced the company to recall two from their range

Neue Schule bits is recalling two bits from its range due to safety concerns. The company is offering refunds for the Comfy Contact eggbut cheek and baucher cheek released between 1 September 2004 and 31 December 2005.

"We're not entirely sure there is a problem," said a spokesperson for the company, "but we sought advice from the appropriate bodies and are following their instructions."

The recall follows two independent reports of the Comfy Contact bits breaking in the middle. "It is a safety issue," the Neue Schule spokesperson confirmed. Customers who purchased either of the Comfy Contact bits during the specified dates are advised to stop using them immediately. Neue Schule is offering refunds or exchanges.

The Neue Schule bit company markets itself as providing "bits designed by thinking riders for horse's comfort and performance." A redesigned bit will be available to buy in approximately eight weeks time.

"We were redesigning the bits anyway," said the spokesperson. "At the moment the barrel section in all these type of bits ceases to roll up and down the tongue when the rider takes up a contact. We are working on a design where the barrel will continue to roll at all times."

For more information on the recall or Neue Schule's new bit email: rec@neueschulebits.com or (tel: 07865 022056).

Source:  Horse & Hound Online - Anna Tyzack - 15 January 2007  http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/106081.html


Pressure washers 'could compromise vehicle safety'

Motorists have been warned of a potential safety risk linked to the use pressure washers - which it was claimed could lead to tyre failure.  This potential risk may extend to horseboxes, trailers and 4X4’s.

Read more from Norwich Union Risk Services (23/01/2007)



Useful Information

The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners

Whether you’re trying to find out the legalities of driving a lorry, towing a trailer or just want further information about loading visit The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners website which is packed with helpful information.



Horse Rider Wins 4k in Out Of Court Settlement

A Rider has won a 4,000 out of court settlement following an accident which she claims killed her horse.

Read more from North-West Evening Mail - Barrow-in-Furness, Lake District, UK (27/01/2007)   http://www.nwemail.co.uk:80/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=460328


Man crashed car into horse

A MAN who drove his car into a horse throwing its rider to the ground before driving off was fined 325.

Read more from Rugby Review - Rugby, England, UK (18 January 2007)



Related Feature

First appeared in the January/February/March 2006 Newsletter

Special Feature – Will I be successfully sued?

Jane Phillips is the solicitor who acted for Dr. and Mrs. Henley in the infamous Mirvahedy v Henley case.  The findings of that case have had ongoing significant legal liability and insurance implications for every horse owner in England and Wales. 

In this special feature Jane exclusively provides Riding Safely with details of some of the cases she has been involved with over the last two years - brought in Negligence and under the Animals Act - winning 8 out of 9.

Jane told Riding Safely “It just shows that despite Henley and Mirvahedy we can still win cases!”

Full details can be found at:  www.ridingsafely.net/legal_cases_pjmdp.html

What is Mirvahedy v. Henley?  Find out more about the case, the Animals Act 1971 and a host of other related information at:  http://www.ridingsafely.net/mirvahedy_v_henley.html


New animal welfare during transport rules come into force  

New rules relating to the welfare of animals during transport come into force on Friday 5 January 2007.

The new regulations are intended to improve the welfare of animals during transport and apply to anyone moving live vertebrate animals in connection with an economic activity.

Journeys excluded from the scope of the new rules include journeys not taken in the course of business or trade or journeys undertaken under veterinary instruction.

The regulations require those transporting animals in connection with an economic activity to be authorised. Two types of authorisation exist: one for short journeys (over 65km and up to eight hours) and one for long journeys (including eight hours and over). Those travelling over eight hours may require the vehicles used to be inspected and approved.

Full details on the regulation's requirements, including details of how to apply for transport authorisations, can be found on the Defra website at:


Further information

1. Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 comes into force today across all EU Member States. The Regulation is implemented in England by the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 (SI 2006/3260). Parallel legislation is being introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

2. The Regulation applies to the transport of all live vertebrate animals in connection with an economic activity. The Regulation  can be viewed on the Europa website at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/transport/legislation_coming_en.htm

3. Further information can be obtained from:

Animal Welfare Division

Transport & Markets Team

Area 507

1A Page Street

London SW1P 4PQ

Tel: 020 7904 6576

email: aw-transport@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Source:  Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs 5 January 2007 

Putting things into perspective…

The following letter appeared in Horse & Hound Magazine on 8 February 2007 and helps to redress some of the concerns raised when horseboxes are used on an “amateur” basis.

Special licences for Lorries: VOSA's clarification

Sir - I refer to the article "Does your 5 win make you illegal?" (23 November 2006), regarding the use of HGV horseboxes, where prize-money or payment for petrol may be involved.

The Vehicles and Operators Service Agency (VOSA) appreciates that the story may have caused alarm to some of your readers and this was not our intention. When approached by H&H on this topic, we wanted to ensure that all the potential legal boundaries were made clear.

The reality is that the lawful definition of "for hire or reward" is reasonably wide, and whether or not this is taking place and an operator's licence required is ultimately for a court of law to decide. Our approach is to err on the side of caution when advising members of the public.

Our aim is to enforce the law in a proportionate way. Generally, where a horsebox is used on an "amateur" basis, we would not normally consider that the vehicle is being used for hire or reward. We would not consider it in the public interest to prosecute the user of a vehicle (for failing to have an operator's licence) in cases where nothing more than petrol money or modest prize money were involved.

Kevin Rooney Head of TE Policy, VOSA, Bristol


Related Information from the British Equestrian Federation  http://www.bef.co.uk/Content.asp?PageID=153


Tough new penalties for illegal mobile phone use from 27 February 2007  

Motorists face tough new penalties for breaking the law by using a hand-held mobile phone while driving from February 27 2007, Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander announced today. From that date, the fixed penalty will for the first time include the award of three penalty points as well as doubling the fine to 60.

Mr Alexander said:

"Research shows that talking on a mobile phone while driving affects your concentration and ability to react to dangerous situations. It's quite simple - it's impossible to do two things at once and do them well. That is why in December 2003 we introduced new laws preventing motorists from driving while using a hand-held mobile.

"We have seen a groundswell of support for this move. But, worryingly, while 92% of people agree with the law, 21% of drivers admit to breaking it. That is why, from 27 February, the Road Safety Act will introduce a tougher fixed penalty of three points on your licence as well as a 60 fine."

A campaign to raise awareness of the new fixed penalty begins today and will include radio, press and online activity raising awareness of both the change in penalties and the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving. This educational approach goes hand in hand with continued enforcement activity by the police. Home Office figures for 2004 show that nearly 74,000 fixed penalty notices were issued for illegal use of a mobile phone while driving. In Wales, 3,482 notices were issued in the period.

DfT continues to work closely with private partners, including the mobile phone industry, to ensure mobile phone users are made aware of the changes and how it affects them

Further Information

1. Section 26 of the Road Safety Act 2006 increases the fixed penalty for drivers using a hand held phone or similar device. This section is being commenced on 27 February, and the penalty will then rise from 30 to 60 and three penalty points. The same changes are being made to the penalties for not having proper control of a vehicle - a measure which can also be used where a driver has been distracted by using a hands-free mobile phones.

2. If the police or the driver chooses to take a case to court rather than use a fixed penalty notice, the maximum fine is 1,000 (2,500 for drivers of vans, lorries, buses and coaches).

3. There have been a number of research reports identifying the danger of using any mobile phone while driving - for example, TRL Ltd's report for Direct Line Insurance which demonstrated it is even more dangerous than drink driving:-


4. As well as this the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones covered the risks in their report on Mobile Phones and Health in 2000 - see paragraphs 5.201 to 5.214, pages 86 to 90 for a summary of research worldwide - available online at :  http://www.iegmp.org.uk/report/text.htm

Source:  Department for Transport 22 January 2007


Storms cause damage to equestrian properties – HSE issues warnings

With reports of damage to equestrian properties the Health and Safety Executive issued two warnings that will still remain relevant in the case of any future severe weather.

Reports of equestrian property storm damage

Gales wreak havoc across Britain
Horse & Hound Online -
Freak storms usher in New Year at a gallop
Fife Today -
Fife, UK
Tornado destroys stables at sanctuary
East Anglian Daily Times -
Suffolk, England, UK


HSE issues safety warning during severe weather in North West (11 January 2007)

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an urgent warning to employers and staff working outside to help prevent unnecessary accidents during the severe weather today in North West.

David Ashton, Head of Operations at the HSE in the North West said:

"During severe weather like today's, with very strong winds and rain, there is an increased risk of major and fatal accidents, especially for those working outside and at height. Employers and workers need to reassess the increased risks of what they are doing in light of the changed weather conditions. Worker safety is paramount and must come first.

"As well as the increased risk of slipping or falling from height there is also the danger of unsecured items and materials being caught by the wind and moving - potentially putting members of the public at risk. We would urge all those in control of activities affected by the weather to make sure the necessary controls are in place and take a common sense approach to ensuring the safety of their staff and others."

"A number of different industries could be affected and may need to take extra care. The construction industry with its extensive use of scaffolding and materials placed outside, together with forestry workers, or farmers doing outside maintenance work could all be affected.

"Whilst all businesses should routinely carry out a risk assessment of the activities they undertake, to maintain health and safety standards these assessments need to be revised where the environment they are being carried out in changes."

The following questions may to help employers assess the risk:

* How is the weather affecting working activities?

* Is safety likely to be affected? If so, what extra steps do I need to take?

* Are materials secure?

* Have my workers commented on conditions?

* At what point do I need to consider stopping work? You need to consider stopping if worker safety is in jeopardy.

Advice on working at height and working during severe weather conditions can be found on the Health & Safety Executive's website: http://www.hse.gov.uk

Public enquiries

HSE's InfoLine 0845 3450055


Don't take risks during treework - Health and Safety Executive warning - South East (11 January 2007)

Gale force winds in Kent have brought down a number of trees and more windy weather is forecast, the HSE would like to remind landowners to ensure that only trained and competent people are used to deal with fallen trees on their land.

Extra care must also be taken when working in severe weather as this will make the task of removing damaged or fallen trees more hazardous.

HSE Acting Principal Inspector Mike Walters warns:

"We don't want to have a fatal accident following the current stormy weather. Chainsaws are dangerous machines unless you are trained and competent to use them. Any person using them should be properly trained and if they are not, should seek help from an appropriately trained and competent professional."


"Companies and businesses employing contractors to work on wind blown trees should assure themselves of the contractor's competence before engaging their services. Arboricultural trade associations can supply details of approved contractors and information to help in choosing a competent tree work contractor."

HSE advice to people undertaking treework includes:

* Anyone using a chainsaw should have received adequate training and be competent in using a chain saw for the type of work they are carrying out.

* Suitable protective equipment should be worn, no matter how small the job, including:

- Safety helmet

- Hearing protection

- Eye protection

- Upper body protection

- Gloves

- Leg protection

- Chainsaw boots

* Avoid working alone with a chainsaw

* Before starting work, operators should check work sites thoroughly to identify potential hazards.

* Operators need to be both physically and mentally fit before using a chain saw

* Chainsaws should not be used by anyone under the age of 16.

* Chainsaws expose operators to high levels of noise and hand-arm vibration, which can be controlled by good management and practice.

* Proper maintenance is essential for the safe use of chainsaws

Related Information

1. Further information and advice on health and safety in treeework can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/forindex.htm

2. Specific guidance to help people choose a competent person to undertake treework can be found in the leaflet titled "Treework - Choosing your Arborist" which can be freely downloaded from: http://www.trees.org.uk/downloads/CYA-PDF.pdf


Quad bike campaign driven home in Craven  

The results of a recent intensive inspection of farms in Craven show that safety has been boosted since the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) threw the spotlight on the use of quad bikes in the area.

HSE inspectors visited a total of 119 farms in the Craven area during the period 11 December 2006 until 19 January 2007, with the focus particularly on workplace transport, and the provision of protective equipment and training.

Of the 87 farms with quad bikes, four were served with Prohibition Notices, one to stop the use of a quad bike without a helmet (despite one being available) by the 18-year old son of the farmer, and three to stop the use of a bike until a helmet was available. A further two Improvement Notices were also served, which require training of the quad bike operators.

Throughout the inspection there was evidence that HSE's campaign had significantly raised awareness of the issue of quad bike safety. Farmers reported that the visits had prompted them to buy safety helmets, and local dealers noted an increase in the servicing of bikes and the refitting of tyres. As a safety bonus, there was also evidence that the inspection had prompted farmers had looked carefully at other risks on their farms and many had, for example, replaced the old or unsuitable ladders which are another leading cause of injury.

This targeted inspection was prompted by the tragic death of a farm worker in a quad bike accident in Craven which lead to a 13,000 fine plus substantial costs for his employers. The case, one of two fatalities in the area due to quad bikes, highlighted the importance of the wearing of the safety helmet that could have saved the man's life for relatively little cost. All the farmers visited by HSE said they were aware of the background to both quad bike accidents.

Linton farmer Jonathan Metcalfe said:

"All too often people are killed or injured due to lack of appropriate headgear in the workplace and the HSE campaign has helped to highlight the dangers. As a farmer who regularly uses transport in the workplace, I believe that you can never be complacent about wearing protective headgear, as it could be the difference between life and death."

Keith King, the HSE Principal Inspector who lead this campaign, said:

"Between 1996 and 2006 23 people were killed nationally in accidents at work on quad bikes. Of these 17 involved head injuries where no head protection was worn.

"If you don't wear a helmet, you greatly increase the risk of serious injury. Sensible health and safety is about managing risks, not eliminating them. It is vital to always wear a helmet, maintain the vehicle properly, and consider getting some proper training in how to handle the quad bike. It is encouraging to see that HSE's campaign seems to be driving these messages home in Craven."

Source:  Health and Safety Executive (Yorkshire and Humber) 24 January 2007

Related Information

The HSE have produced an information sheet providing guidance on the safe use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's) – quad bikes

see: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais33.pdf

Current standard riding hats are considered appropriate head protection when driving a quad bike


Eastenders celebrity becomes patron for Veteran Horse Welfare (1 February 2007)

Veteran Horse Welfare (VHW) now has one of the top celebrities from the world of Walford as their Patron. Eastenders star, Pam St. Clement who plays Pat Evans is now in her 21st year of appearing in the show and has become a household name, and has been in the lead role on many a gripping episode.

Pam was brought up with working horses on a hill farm and was a keen rider and shares the charity’s views on the management of older horses and she took a few minutes from her very busy filming schedule to speak about her new role, “When a horse or pony reaches a certain age it doesn’t necessarily mean retirement. Veteran horses and ponies are very rewarding, and in later years with correct management there is no reason why they can’t lead happy and active lives. I really do hope that supporting this very worthwhile charity, I can help raise the profile and care of veteran horses”

The charity was formed in 2004 by Julianne Aston, also founder of the Veteran Horse Society in 2001. Commenting from the VHW rehabilitation centre Julianne quoted; “I am absolutely honoured and overwhelmed that Pam has agreed to become patron, she is a real genuine horse lover and very committed to our cause. I am sure that her celebrity status will help raise the awareness and plight of veterans within Europe and the UK. With millions watching this very popular soap opera, each week, we hope that the charity will now have much more recognition.

The charity funds private individuals and organisations with older horses and already has donated money to the Veteran Horse Society to assist in the development of the welfare of older horses. For further information on how you too can assist them or for a fund raising pack please call 0870 2426653 or email info@veteran-horse-welfare.co.uk

Website  http://www.veteran-horse-welfare.co.uk/


American Horse Council’s new and improved web site an essential resource  

Washington, D.C. - Keeping abreast of national legislation and regulations that affect all members of the horse industry just got a little easier. The American Horse Council’s newly improved web site provides timely and educational information on any issues in Washington, D.C., that relate to horses.

Now, www.horsecouncil.org is a true reflection of the important work the American Horse Council does every day in Washington representing all segments of the horse industry

(8 February 2007).


Barn Fire Claims Two Horses

In the early morning hours of 31 Jan, a barn fire believed to be caused by an electrical malfunction claimed the lives of two Thoroughbreds boarded at Warren Lyster's 100-acre Tarleton Farm near Paris, Ky.

Read more from news.bloodhorse.com (January 31, 2007)  http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=37355


Florida officials optimistic equine herpesvirus-1  is under control

Florida racetrack and state officials say they're cautiously optimistic that the current outbreak is over, with no new cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) detected.

A sixth Florida horse died last Friday. That horse was part of a group already under state-imposed quarantine.

Read more from TheHorse.com (3 January 2007) http://www.thehorse.com/viewarticle.aspx?ID=8593


Huge Crowd Gathers as Stadium Jumping, Inc. Hosts EHV–1 Experts

Wellington, FL – January 4, 2007 – Stadium Jumping, Inc. hosted a meeting in The Jockey Club at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds to discuss the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak. Approximately 500 concerned horsemen attended and many pertinent questions were asked of the panel.

Read more from EquestrianMag  http://www.equestrianmag.com/news/ehv-equine-virus-stadium-jumping-1-07.html


Horse virus outbreak ends

The outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus Type-1 that prompted protective measures at race tracks and area equine businesses has been brought under control.  It has been more than three weeks since a horse has tested positive for the virus, Charles Bronson, Florida's agriculture commissioner, said in a release.  The final equine facility quarantine was lifted over the weekend.

Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal23 January 2007  http://www.bizjournals.com:80/tampabay/stories/2007/01/22/daily20.html


Related Information

What is Equine Herpesvirus-1?

Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is one of a large group of DNA viruses causing potentially serious disease in horses and other species.  EHV-1 has two forms—one that causes abortion in mares and one that causes respiratory infection and neurological symptoms.  The most recent outbreaks of concern have involved the EHV-1 respiratory/neurological form of the virus.

Find out more information from the Centre for Equine Health at http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/topics-EHV-1-info.htm#whatis


Riding safety pushed

Some cities require equestrians to use headgear, but California has no such laws.

Read about the issues and find out more about helmets and the law in the US http://www.pe.com/localnews/publicsafety/stories/PE_News_Local_D_helmet08.3900e7b.html

Source:  The Press-Enterprise - Riverside, CA ,USA - Laura Rico - 7 January 2007


Helmet law urged for kids on horseback

Gary Hornstein is coping with his daughter's death the only way he knows how -- by ensuring others don't suffer the same fate.

The Acreage resident's daughter, Nicole, 12, died in June after falling from a horse and striking her head on the pavement, blocks from the family home in western Palm Beach County. Now, Hornstein is pushing for a youth helmet law when the Legislature convenes in March.

Read more from Sun-Sentinel.com - Joel Hood - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA (26 January 2007)



11-year-old kicked in face by horse is ready to ride

PALM CITY — Two days after being kicked in the face by a horse in a "freak accident," an 11-year-old Martin County girl can't wait to get back in the saddle, her mother said Tuesday.

Read more from TCPalm News (31 January 2007) http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/local_news/article/0,2545,TCP_16736_5316789,00.html


Mother of injured horse rider backs hard hats

The Northern Territory's outback community is rallying around a severely injured campdrafter.

Quita Docking is recovering from a head injury she received four years ago, when she was crushed by her horse.  In a miraculous recovery, she has left her wheelchair and learnt to walk, and ride again.  Her mother now wants to encourage all riders to wear hard hats. 

Read more from ABC News Online – Austrailia (15 December 2006)


Cheltenham Racecourse is to be the venue for the 2007 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Conference & Autumn Exhibition, to be held on Sunday 14th and Monday 15th October.

BETA has enhanced the fixture to build on the success of its highly acclaimed inaugural Conference in Harrogate last October.

The two-day, trade specific BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition will run all day Sunday when delegates can tour approximately 30 trade stands displaying equestrian products and related services.

Sunday evening will be a social occasion before Monday’s Conference with a line-up of influential speakers, industry discussion and the AGM.

“Last year’s BETA Conference was a great success and a complete sell-out, so expanding the idea into the 2007 BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition has been the logical progression,” said Claire Williams, BETA’s executive director.

Admission to the 2007 BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition will be strictly trade only. Non-BETA members are welcome to attend with only the BETA AGM being restricted to members.

For more details, contact BETA on 01937 587062 or email info@beta-uk.org


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

Consultation on a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy

Defra published a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy for public consultation on 28 November 2006.

You can respond and please note that the deadline for responses has been extended to 20 March 2007.

The Strategy sets out Government’s vision for the delivery of animal welfare in England. It is aimed at stakeholders in all sectors and sets a clear direction of travel for achieving good welfare in the future.

It includes 5 specific Strategic Goals, focused on key areas, and it explains that improvements in welfare will require a move towards greater partnership working, with an appropriate division of responsibility between Government and its stakeholders and an increased focus on innovative, non-regulatory delivery mechanisms.

It defines clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in the care of animals and it sets out principles for use in prioritising future work.

Full information can be found at:



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


The British Horse Industry Confederation

The British Horse Industry Confederation was launched on 3 March 1999 to enable the British Horse industry to speak to government with a single, united voice. The aim of the BHIC is to work in a spirit of positive cooperation with government and other authorities to best serve the interests of horses and riders.

The BHIC comprises the British Horseracing Board (BHB), The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA). It also has direct representation from the British Horse Society (BHS) the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Clayton (then BHS Chairman) and Tristram Ricketts (BHB) together with Lord Donoughue, who had served as an Agriculture Minister, and who had seen at first hand the lack of profile and fragmentation of horse organizations within government policy making and lobbying circles. This umbrella body was formed and for the first time ever brought together both racing and sports horse and other equine organisations.

The current Chairman is Graham Cory, who is currently Chief Executive of the BHS, with Gavin Pritchard Gordon (TBA) as Vice-Chairman.

The organisation enables horse organisations to:

   talk to government with a single, united voice

   to share and to publicise information on policies and issues affecting horses and riders;

   and to help raise the profile of the horse industry amongst officials and opinion formers.

Find out more and sign up for the BHIC newsletter at www.bhic.co.uk


Equestrian Wales is a big hit 

icWales reports that the Equestrian Wales website launched at the Royal Welsh Show last July has already attracted 600,000 hits - 45% of them from the United States.

Figures show January as a record month, almost doubling the number of hits, pages visited and files opened.

Welsh Equine Council chairman Martin Williams described it as "a breakthrough" for the equestrian sector in Wales.

Go to Equestrian Wales at http://www.equestrianwales.org.uk/

Source:  icWales  (27 Feb  2007)


Association of British Riding Schools - ABRS
The ABRS have a new website address http://www.abrs-info.org/ and a new email address office@abrs-info.org
Need to know if you're doing enough to comply with health, safety and environmental requirements?  Then this section is for you.  The information in this section will be repeated and updated each month.


   What you must do

The Health and Safety Executive list 10 key things you must do if you are in business.  Are you doing them all?  Check them out and get further help from http://www.hse.gov.uk/smallbusinesses/must.htm

   Health and Safety Guidance for Inspections of Horse Riding Establishments and Livery Yards

Published in May 2006, this document sets out current good practice for environmental health practitioners; licensing officers; vets and animal wardens and also provides a useful tool for both owners and managers of horse riding establishments and livery yards.

Supported by the riding industry’s major stakeholders, the guidance aims to fill a gap in existing literature and also provides useful checklists necessary to minimise the risk associated with such premises.

It recognises the need to strike a practical balance to reduce hazards without hindering the sustainability of the riding industry.

Download from:  http://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledge/Health_and_safety/guidancelivery_3.pdf

Training Resources

   Safety with Horses”

Safety with Horses is a cost effective, award winning equine health and safety training programme, leading to an accredited Vocational Qualification.

The Level 2 programme is suitable for all those involved in any equine related activity including full or part-time students, clients, trainees, school work placements as well as those employed working with horses.

Find out more about the Safety with Horses training programme at: http://www.warkscol.ac.uk/equistudy/equistudy/coursepage.asp?courseid=9

Sources of Help

   Workplace Health Connect

Delivered in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive, Workplace Health Connect is a government funded service providing confidential, practical and free advice to small businesses on workplace health and safety, management of sickness absence and return to work issues.

Find out more from http://www.workplacehealthconnect.co.uk/


Horse & Country TV launches on Sky

Horse & Country TV promo-launched on Sky channel 219 on 1 March 2007 showcasing with “Zara - A team tribute”.

You can see Horse & Country TV every:

   Thursday 16:00-18:00

   Saturday 18:30-20:30

   Sunday 07:00-09:00

The Channel is then scheduled to launch in June with the full launch at the Royal Show on 1 July 2007.

For more details go to http://www.horseandcountry.tv/


2007 - Forecast to be the warmest year yet

2007 is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998, say climate change experts at the Met Office. 

Read more from the Met Office  icon_pdf.gif

Source:  Met Office (National) 3 January 2007


Rivendell Equine Defence Horse sanctuary forced to close

A cash-strapped horse sanctuary blighted by huge bills, arson attacks and thieves has shut its stable doors for the last time.

Read more from This is Bradford - Keighley, England, UK (16 January 2007)  http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/bradford/bradfordnews/display.var.1125851.0.horse_sanctuary_forced_to_close.php


Mucking out time at horse sanctuary

A month after the Willow Tree Horse Sanctuary in Finchingfield was devastated by strong winds, Dunmow Broadcast reporter Michael Boyton returned to see how things are progressing.

Read more from Dunmow Broadcast (25 January 2007)  http://www.dunmow-broadcast.co.uk:80/content/dunmow/news/story.aspx?brand=SAFOnline&category=NewsDunmow&tBrand=cambs24&tCategory=NewsDUN&itemid=WEED25%20Jan%202007%2009%3A22%3A40%3A170


Show of safety  (Horse & Hound Letters – 28 December 2006)

Sir - Hats off to the BBC Breakfast News presenter who put his hat on, along with body protector, for a lead rein lesson with Tim Stockdale at Olympia last week.

Not only did it give Tim, following on from the success of Only Fools on Horses, an opportunity to promote the benefits of learning to ride at Riding Schools, it also provided a positive image of safety.

Editor - Riding Safely


The horse who thinks he's a dog

A tiny foal rejected by its mother thinks he is a dog after being raised with two Labradors.

Read more from the Metro.co.uk (7 January 2007) http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?in_article_id=31930&in_page_id=2


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