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Riding Safely

News & Updates for January to June 2009

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   The UK's only Equestrian Safety Newsletter


  Key Headlines   USA – Florida:  Helmets to be mandatory for young riders (13/06/09)      UK: HSE launches new strategy for a common sense approach to risk at work (03/06/09)      UK: BETA and Pony Club team up on equipment safety (24/04/09)   Latest News   Go to all the latest news reports

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News January to June 2009

Your Right of Reply

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

BETA and Pony Club team up on equipment safety

The Pony Club Equipment Safety Badge

Young riders will learn more about the safety of riding hats, body protectors and saddlery by taking a new Pony Club achievement badge developed in conjunction with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

The Equipment Safety badge was launched at the Pony Club Annual Instructor Conferences (22/29 April) where BETA’s Tricia Nassau-Williams and Norma Smithson explained the benefits of educating young riders about choosing and using safety equipment and regularly checking their tack.

BETA, the body that represents the UK’s leading equestrian manufacturers, distributors and retailers, drew up the syllabus and will continue to work closely with the Pony Club as the badge becomes available across its branches.

“The Equipment Safety badge represents a team effort between BETA and the Pony Club to help raise young riders’ awareness of important safety issues,” said Claire Williams, executive director of BETA. The badge also compliments BETA’s training of tack shop staff to fit riders’ hats and body protectors and to offer reliable advice about saddlery. Riders of all ages can tap into that knowledge when they shop with a BETA-trained retailer.”

Pony Club members taking the Equipment Safety badge will be expected to know what to look for in a correctly fitting riding hat and body protector, and what the various safety standard labels denote. They will also learn about the advantages of shopping for new hats and body protectors with BETA-trained professional retailers.

The saddlery element of the badge tests young riders’ ability to decide when their tack needs repairing and how to choose the correct size of stirrup iron. The syllabus does not include the fitting of saddles or other tack. Cleaning, caring for and storing hats, body protectors and tack, as well as safety issues surrounding riders’ footwear are also covered.

A series of BETA Equipment Safety Courses, run by the trade association, will familiarise Pony Club instructors with the new badge’s requirements. For Pony Club members, meanwhile, the practical-based learning will be made fun with the inclusion of games such as ‘find the faults’ in hats, body protectors and tack.

“It is reassuring to have the support of BETA,” said Nikki Herbert, director of training for the Pony Club. “The information BETA has provided is going to be most helpful to our instructors as they train members towards the new badge during the summer.”

The Equipment Safety badge is one of more than 30 achievement awards offered by the Pony Club which has a UK membership of 45,000 across 345 branches and 530 centres.

To find a BETA-trained retailer for a personalised hat or body protector fitting, tel 01937 587062 email info@beta-uk.org or visit www.beta-uk.org

(BETA 24 April 2008)


USA – Florida:  Helmets to be mandatory for young riders of horses

From the 1st October 2009 a new law comes into effect that will require a child under age 16 to wear a helmet when riding horses in certain circumstances.  Bill 169 requires that helmets are property fitted and fastened securely when riding and must meet the current ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) standards for protective headgear.

On 8th June, Governor Charlie Crist signed House Bill 169, “Nicole’s Law.” The legislation creates safety standards to minimize the number of serious or fatal head injuries to Florida youth sustained during equestrian activities and recreation.

“Today I am proud to sign legislation that will help ensure the safety of Florida’s children and prevent serious injuries that otherwise could have been prevented,” said Governor Crist. “I applaud our Legislature for taking action to protect Florida’s future leaders.”

“Nicole’s Law” is named for Nicole Hornstein, a 12-year-old girl from Loxahatchee who died in June 2006 after being thrown from a horse and hitting her head on a paved area of ground. She was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. As a result of the fall, she lapsed into a coma for 20 days before passing away.  This legislation creates safety measures for children who participate in equestrian activities and recreation.

Under the law any person who allows a child to ride a horse without a helmet can be fined $500 (300 plus applicable fees and court costs.

Details of the law

The new law that goes into effect 1st October 2009 requires children younger than 16 to wear helmets approved by to current ASTM standards that are property fitted and fastened securely when riding horses in certain circumstances:

        On a public road or right of way

        On a public equestrian trail, public recreational trail, public park, or preserve, or public school site, or any other publicly controlled property.

        Trainers, instructors, supervisors and others may not knowingly rent or lease an equine to be ridden by a child younger than 16 unless the child has a helmet meeting the requirements of this law. If the child does not have such a helmet, the trainer, instructor, supervisory or other person who rents or leases the equine must supply such a helmet for the child.

        Parents or guardians of children younger than 16 cannot authorize or knowingly allow a child to violate this law.

        This law does not apply when the child is practicing for, riding to or from, or competing or performing in shows or events, including, but not limited to rodeos and parades, where helmets are not historically a part of the show or event.

        It also does not apply when the child is riding on privately owned land.

        It does not apply when the child is engaged in an agricultural practice or pursuit.

See the Bill


Bill analysis and fiscal impact statement 

Additional reporting from:

St. Peterburg Times

Horse and Hound

(Riding Safely 13 June 2009) 


Scotland and Northern England – UK:  Warning of military low flying exercise 28 – 30 April

Military helicopter and riders in Hi-Viz

The British Horse Society Scotland is alerting horse riders throughout Scotland and northern England that an RAF and NATO combined exercise taking place from April the 28th to the 30th is likely to generate a considerable amount of low flying.  It is recommending to horse riders that it will be extra prudent to wear hi-viz clothing over this period.

Exercise Wycombe Warrior 01-09 and the NATO Electronic Warfare Integration Programme will consist of up to 70 sorties each day with low flying restricted to 1000 to 1800 hours.

Exercise planners and participating aircrew will do what they can to ensure this essential training activity is conducted in a manner that causes minimum disruption to the public.  The BHS is recommending that "horse riders for their part ought to make themselves as visible as possible from the air so that low flying craft has the best chance of steering clear."

(Original source BHS Scotland 24/04/09)


USA:  Equine venereal disease scare spreads to 28 American states
Around 140 American horses are in quarantine and another 250 sought by the department of agriculture in an outbreak of infectious equine veneral disease CEM

(Horse & Hound Online – 8 January 2009)


USA:  New codes of practice launched after CEM outbreak in America
Mares imported into Britain from North America should now be classified as “high risk” among breeders under new advice issued by the Horserace Betting Levy Board

(Horse & Hound Online – 31 January 2009)


UK:  Grass sickness e-booklet now available online
An equine charity and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have launched an online booklet about chronic grass sickness.

(Horse & Hound Online – 10 February 2009)


UK:  Horse owners call for strangles to be made notifiable
After strangles outbreaks and horse deaths, owners call for it to be made a notifiable disease

(Horse & Hound Online – 14 February 2009)


UK:  Breakthrough in fight against strangles
Scientists say sequencing the genome of streptococcus equi will lead to an effective vaccination for the potentially fatal equine disease

(Horse & Hound Online – 27 March 2009)


Vaccine to control West Nile virus licensed for use in Europe
Produced by Fort Dodge Animal Health the vaccine, Duvaxyn WNV, is the first equine West Nile vaccine to be licensed in Europe

(Horse & Hound Online – 12 March 2009)


UK:  Minimum standards for barefoot trimming of horses agreed
Vets, farriery officials and barefoot trimmers have described a meeting to develop minimum standards for barefoot trimming as “positive” and “constructive”, but some farriers are still unhappy

(Horse & Hound Online – 15 March 2009)


UK:  Vets call for better equine disease surveillance in the UK

Leading vets are calling for increased surveillance of equine diseases in the UK after strangles outbreaks — and for horse owners to be more vigilant

(Horse & Hound Online – 27 March 2009)


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

HSE launches new strategy for a common sense approach to risk at work

Workplace deaths and injuries have fallen over the past thirty years but thousands still die every year as a result of work-related accidents and ill health.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a new strategy, Be Part of the Solution, on 3 June designed to reduce the number of workplace accidents and take a common sense approach to ensuring that risk management is an enabler for business not a burden. 

New research published at the launch demonstrates that employers and workers alike both recognise overwhelmingly that providing a safe workplace makes sound commercial sense.   Nearly 90 per cent of business leaders say that people are their organisation’s most important asset.  In addition to preventing accidents, 65 per cent of employees say that good health and safety practices make them feel valued.

The recession could make some workplaces more dangerous, as more than a quarter of business leaders say that that their organisation will face pressure to cut spending on health and safety this year. This is not only potentially dangerous but could also be bad for business; nearly eight in ten business leaders acknowledge that good health and safety standards are beneficial.  In part this is because the cost of preventing accidents is almost always less than the costs associated with an accident once it happens.  

Almost half of Britain’s workers know someone who has been injured at work, yet the actual rate of deaths and serious injuries is greatly underestimated.  On average, employees think that 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured at work last year, but the true number is 137,000 – more than 45 times higher.

Too often health and safety is seen as trivial or the preserve of ‘jobsworths’, rather than preventing tragedy.  A third of employees wrongly think that HSE bans wearing flip-flops at work or children playing with conkers.  In fact, HSE is focused on real risks and preventing the serious harm that dangerous workplaces can cause.

The most effective way to improve health and safety practices is for senior management to show leadership on the issue. HSE is thus calling on leaders today to sign a pledge to ‘Be Part of the Solution’ and improve health and safety standards. 

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE said: "HSE is not, and never will be, ‘the fun police.’  Our new strategy shows the way towards a common sense attitude to health and safety. As regulators, our approach to businesses will be proportionate to the risk they present and their approach to managing it. We are calling on employers and business owners to take the lead themselves in preventing the thousands of deaths every year which are caused by work – it is their moral and legal duty and it is good for the business."

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell said: "There are too many clichs about the role of ‘health and safety' in our society.  But amidst ridiculous myths about banning donkey rides and flip flops, the fact is that too many people are still needlessly killed or injured. The fact that some people go out to work and never return home to their families is a human tragedy. The new HSE strategy recognises that a significant challenge now faces everyone with a stake in health and safety. We need to do everything we can to drive down the toll of death and injury."

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: "At a time when employers are trying to cut costs, getting the message across on the importance of health and safety is more important than ever. Today’s strategy is short on rhetoric, but big in vision. Unions and health and safety representatives are committed to supporting this strategy as well as the day to day work of the HSE."

Sir Steve Bullock, Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) human resources panel, said:

"Having a healthy and safe place to work is a fundamental right of every employee. But it is not a right that everyone enjoys. We must all work together to improve Britain’s safety record. We must also join together to reject the trivialisation of the health and safety agenda – we must not be distracted by silly or frivolous issues when the larger issue is about protecting workers from serious injury or death.

"As well as being a regulator alongside HSE, local government is also a major employer. We are proud to be part of the drive to make Britain a safer and healthier place to work."

Find out more about the strategy at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/strategy/

(HSE - June 2009)


Health and safety guidance to be free online

Authoritative guidance about how to protect employees from workplace dangers is to be given away free by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

From September 2009 around 250 priced publications that contain health and safety advice and guidance will be made freely available from HSE’s website in PDF format to view and print.

The publications cover the full range of HSE’s guidance as well as approved codes of practice (ACOPs) and guidance on regulations.

HSE said it was making the information available to help employers better understand their legal duties and what health and safety precautions they need to take, and to help safety representatives in maintaining and improving health and safety in the workplace.

Those that wish to will still have the option to buy professionally produced printed versions from HSE Books.

Although the publications will be made freely available online, Crown copyright will still apply and organisations wishing to reproduce the information will still need an appropriate license from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).

(Source HSE – June 2009)


HSE Myth of the month – January 2009

Myth: If you call HSE for help, you'll end up with an unwanted inspection

The reality

HSE’s Infoline is confidential and run for HSE by a contractor. Your individual information is not passed to HSE so it won’t result in a visit. The trained operators answer the great majority of calls themselves. If they can’t deal with your query fully they will ask you if it is alright to refer it to an expert in HSE. 

So, if you’ve got a query or a concern, just ask. You’ve got nothing to lose and it could help your business!


HSE Myth of the month – February 2009

Myth: Pancake races are banned! 

The reality

Health and safety requirements were given as the reason that a pancake race couldn’t take place last year.

A straightforward event like this one only needs a short, simple risk assessment. And when an event has taken place lots of times before, all that’s needed is a review of the previous assessment - just to check nothing has changed - so that the fun can go ahead!

Managing risk is about practical steps to protect people from real harm and suffering - not bureaucratic back covering.


HSE Myth of the month – March 2009

Myth: Health and safety rules take the adventure out of playgrounds

The reality

We're all for playgrounds being exciting and challenging places. Children should have fun in them, get fit, develop social skills and learn how to handle risks.

What’s important is to strike the right balance - protecting children from harm while allowing them the freedom to develop independence and risk awareness. Exciting and challenging playgrounds do this, poorly maintained or badly designed ones don't.

Health and safety laws don’t stop children having fun but ill-considered and overprotective actions do.


HSE Myth of the month – April 2009

Myth: People don't have to take any responsibility for their own health and safety

The reality

Employers have a duty to protect workers and the public from dangers caused by their work - and HSE is committed to making sure they do that. But health and safety isn’t entirely someone else's responsibility.

We all have a duty to keep ourselves safe, by co-operating with safety measures and not putting ourselves or others in danger. This is just common sense - something we all use every day.

It's important that we aren’t put at risk by other people’s actions, but if we ignore our own responsibilities, real risks can get missed. Playing the blame game doesn't keep people safe - better to rely on common sense and co-operation.


HSE Myth of the month – May 2009

Myth: Ice cream toppings have been banned for health and safety reasons

The reality

We were recently surprised to hear that ice cream toppings had been banned amid health and safety fears.

This rumour came from an ice cream parlour giving out extra toppings in separate containers, instead of pouring them over the ice cream. They were concerned that people might slip on any spills.

It’s important to prevent slips - they remain the most common cause of major injuries.

But in this case simply clearing up any spills as they occurred would have stopped people slipping and helped the company continue to make great ice cream taste even better!

Go to the HSE’s Myth of the month homepage

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

hse_logo.jpg Go to the HSE’s homepage

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone who is 16 years and over who has access to horses and equine facilities can take part. You’ll also need a competent person (Level 3 – e.g. AI)) who can observe you undertaking some basic but key practical activities with horses. Everyone will be able to access their own Equi Study Tutor to help them complete their course. Click here for more information on the “Safety with Horses” campaign.

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

Riding Safely thoroughly recommends this course



USA:  Horse airlifted to safety from 200ft ravine
A horse has been airlifted to safety after being stuck in a ravine in America for 6 days

(Horse & Hound Online – 6 January 2009)


UK:  Cheshire fire crews work for an hour to free horse trapped in box on M6
A horse was stuck in a horsebox on the motorway for more than hour after it was involved in a crash

(Horse & Hound Online 7 January 2009)


UK:  Pony rescued from a frozen pond in west Devon
Fire crews in Devon worked yesterday (Thursday 8 January) to free a pony that had become stuck in a frozen pond

(Horse & Hound Online – 9 January 2009)


Iceland:  Ponies and riders fall through ice during racing in Reykjavk
Rescuers hauled riders and ponies from an icy pond after an incident during the Icelandic Championship League in Horse Sports’ tlt show on Tuesday

(Horse & Hound Online – 5 February 2009)


UK:  Elderly horse rescued by firefighters in Mid Lothian
A 37-year-old horse has been rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in its stable.

(Horse & Hound Online – 11 February 2009)


UK:  Lifeboat crews attempt to save stranded horse
A horse has been put down after getting stranded between large boulders off the coast of Pembrokeshire

(Horse & Hound Online – 18 February 2009)


UK:  Ponies rescued from waterlogged and dangerous river bank in Norfolk
Two equine charities joined forces to rescue 35 small 'Welsh section A-type' ponies from a river bank last week

(Horse & Hound Online – 24 February 2009)


UK:  Horse entangled in brambles rescued by firefighters
Firefighters in Merseyside work for two hours to free a 10-year-old mare stuck neck-deep in brambles

(Horse & Hound Online – 25 February 2009)


UK:  Horse rescued from ditch by fire crews in Lancashire
Fire crews worked for three hours to help remove a runaway horse from a muddy ditch

(Horse & Hound Online – 20 March 2009)


Emergency Services Protocol

The Emergency Services Protocol  

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

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

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

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

Read more from Horse & Hound Online

Download the Emergency Services Protocol leaflet.


Horse owners could benefit from cheaper insurance premiums under plans to clarify owners' liability announced by Farming Minister Jane Kennedy on 27 March 2009.

The proposals, published by Defra for consultation, would amend the Animals Act 1971 to clarify owners' liability should their animals cause damage.  The law in its current form lacks clarity and means that animal keepers face the prospect of being held strictly liable for damage or injury regardless of any actions they may have taken to prevent an incident from occurring.

Ms Kennedy said: "We aim to give animal owners peace of mind when giving their horses or other animals the space and the exercise they require.  This small amendment means that, if they've taken reasonable precautions and their animal causes damage, the owner will no longer be held strictly liable. This is great news for all animal keepers, especially as it could even lead to lower insurance premiums - something which I know would be very welcome to many rural businesses."

The amendment would mean that all animal owners or keepers must continue to take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents occurring, and they would remain liable for any negligence on their part, but it would introduce new and clearer criteria for the application of strict, no fault, liability in cases where the accidents could not have been predicted.

Welcoming the Government’s consultation paper Graham Cory, British Horse Society, Chief Executive said: “The Society has been campaigning for years for an amendment to the provisions of the Animals Act 1971, so that a horse owner would not be held liable for their horse’s behaviour when they had done everything reasonably possible to prevent an accident.” In 2003 the BHS took the initiative and argued to Defra that the law was in urgent need of amendment, but ministers were not persuaded of the need for urgent action.  At the time of the BHS’s approach to ministers, Graham Cory was the Defra senior civil servant advising ministers on equine matters.  He is convinced that the lack of support from other sectors of the industry suggested that the BHS was a lone voice. The BHS subsequently supported Laurence Robertson MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill to amend the Act.  When that proved unsuccessful, the BHS welcomed the CLA and NFU into the fray, working together to support Stephen Crabb MP’s Private Member’s Bill.  Although that Bill, too, was unsuccessful, Defra accepted the argument that the Act needed amending.  The BHS has assured Defra that it will work with Government to ensure that the appropriate reforms can be implemented successfully.

The Defra “Consultation on changes to the Animals Act 1971 to clarify the application of strict liability to the keepers of animals”  runs until 19 June 2009 and comments are invited from all interested parties, and not just from those to whom the consultation document has been sent.



1. The Animals Act 1971 covers owners' liability for damage done by animals, and section 2(2) deals with the application of strict liability to the owners of animals that cause damage in certain situations.

2. Strict liability is liability without fault, which means the keeper of the animal is liable for any damage caused regardless of any actions taken to limit the likelihood of it occurring.

3. The precise meaning of section 2(2(b) of the Act, which refers to strict liability applying where the characteristics that caused the damage are not normally found in animals of the species or not normally found except "at particular times or in particular circumstances", has been the subject of debate and disagreement since the Act came into force. This uncertainty was heightened by the House of Lords' judgement in Mirvahedy v Henley [2003], concerning injury caused by spooked horses, which effectively extended the range of circumstances where strict liability could apply.

4. Insurance premiums for many land-based and equestrian businesses rose significantly in the period following the Mirvahedy judgment in 2003 - it is estimated that public liability premiums for commercial riding establishments rose by 79% in 2003, 39% in 2004 and 34% in 2005. While evidence of a direct link between the Mirvahedy judgment and the premium increases is difficult to find, the Government believes that a clarification of the law could lead to reduced premiums, although this is a matter for insurance companies.

5. Find out more about The Animals Act 1971 and the Mirvahedy v Henley judgement 
(Defra/BHS/Riding Safely - 27 March 2009)

UK:  Former racing groom wins employment tribunal
A former employee of Kent-based racehorse trainer John Best has been awarded 15,700 in compensation after winning her case for unfair dismissal.

(Horse & Hound Online – 3 January 2009)


UK:  Rider sues riding school after injuring herself in a fall
A young mother who was seriously injured when she fell off a bolting horse at a riding school has launched a legal battle for compensation of more than 300,000

(Horse & Hound Online – 28 January 2009)


UK:  Equestrians named in New Year Honours List 2009  
A host of equestrians from all areas of the horse world have been honoured by the Queen

(Horse & Hound Online - 1 January 2009)


UK:  Regulation planned for barefoot trimmers and dentists  
Defra, Lantra and the British Equine Veterinary Association have come together to create new recognised training standards for barefoot trimmers and equine dentists

(Horse & Hound Online - 2 January 2009)


UK:  Farriers' anger over proposed qualifications for barefoot trimmers  
Farriers are objecting to plans for new standards for barefoot trimmers

(Horse & Hound Online – 28 February 2009)


Get more from Riding Safely


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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to take part in the survey that runs until 28 February 2009.

UK: The Barefoot Trimmers National Occupational Standards Consultation

Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based industries, is holding an initial consultation meeting on Wednesday 4 February 2009 regarding the development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Equine Barefoot Trimming.

Currently there are no National Occupational Standards for this area of work and their development was a key recommendation from Lantra's Paraprofessionals research report: titled 'An investigative study of Barefoot Trimmers and Equine Dental Technicians'.

Lantra's industry partnership manager for the equine industry and Professions Allied to Veterinary Science, Lisa Jarvis said:  "National Occupational Standards describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to do a particular task or job. One of the uses for these standards is using them as building blocks for qualifications, so ensuring that these are right and meet businesses' needs are vital to the industry's future and equine welfare."  Lisa adds:  "If you want to play a part in developing these standards, then join Lantra on Wednesday 4 February, at an initial consultation meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to establish industry requirements for National Occupational Standards to ensure that they are fit for purpose."

If you would like to participate in the initial NOS development meeting, please contact Lantra on 0845 707 8007 or email connect@lantra.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

 NEC - Birmingham - UK: BETA International 2009 February 15 -17

Sand Horses
Click to see more pictures

BETA International, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2009, is the world’s foremost equestrian and country trade exhibition. Admission is strictly trade only.

Researchers from BBC2’s Dragons’ Den show will be attending the trade exhibition seeking potential equestrian entrepreneurs with ingenious products and market-ready business plans. 

Dragons’ Den has previously attended BETA International. But for the first time this year, the production team plans to conduct on-camera auditions with filming taking place during the exhibition.

Pictured above is the sand sculpture completed by Andrew Baynes; the result of three days performance art that took centre stage at last year's show.

 UK: Find out how apprenticeships can benefit your business with LANTRA - 23 to 27 February 2009

Lantra is pleased to host a number of free events in support of Apprenticeship Week in England (23 - 27 February 2009) to raise awareness of apprenticeships in the environmental and land-based industries and highlight how they can benefit your business.

These inspiring and interactive events will include a range of informative presentations from apprentices, training providers and employers currently engaged in a range of exciting apprenticeship programmes.

National Director for England, Madge Moore, said: "Apprenticeships have a central role to play helping firms maintain and improve business productivity during the economic downturn and these events will give businesses the opportunity to find out how."

Come and join us at one of the following events:

Monday 23 February, 10.30am - 2.00pm, Myerscough College - includes free entrance to the golf simulator

Tuesday 24 February, 6.00pm - 9.00pm, Corporate Training Centre at Elm Bank, Coventry - includes a floristry masterclass

Wednesday 25 February, 12.30pm, Wolverhampton Racecourse - includes free entrance into the races

Thursday 26 February, 10.30am - 2.00pm, British Racing School, Newmarket - includes access to a training provider marketplace

Friday 27 February, 10.30am - 2.00pm, Duchy College, Cornwall.

For more information or to book your place visit www.lantra.co.uk/apprenticeships

email events@lantra.co.uk or call 0845 707 8007.

Deadline for registrations is Wednesday 18th February 2009.

 Ireland: Cross-country course design seminar - 8 March 2009

The Association of Irish Riding Clubs in conjunction with Eventing Ireland and the Equestrian Skillnet are holding a seminar on cross-country course design.

It will take place at Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary on Sunday 8th March 2009, running from 10.30 to 15.30 and costs €20.

This seminar will give participants an insight into designing and creating cross-country courses and fences to allow horses and riders to train and compete to a high standard.

It will also facilitate riders moving up the levels and give them the skills to competently negotiate the challenges that lie before across country.

A strong emphasis will be placed on safety and issues concerning the safety of designing fences.

The sessions will be led by Tony Ennis (A.I.R.C.) & John Swanton (Eventing Ireland).

Tony Ennis, chairman of A.I.R.C., has designed the cross-country course at Gurteen College and it has since been modified by Ian Stark (British Olympic Eventer).

John Swanton, former chairman of Eventing Ireland, has stewarded at many international horse trials in Ireland.  John has assisted with the design and building of some courses including his own at Ashmount.

To book a place, contact Cathy Cooper on 045 - 854 514 or email ccooper@horsesportireland.ie

This event is subsidised by the Equestrian Skillnet

 UK: National Equine Forum - 31 March 2009

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

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

The 2009 Forum will include the following topics:

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

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

      Progress in setting up the British Grooms Association

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

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

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

      Undergraduate thesis of the year

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

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

 UK: When do the clocks change?  Information to 2011

   "In sicknes and in health"

BHS in sickness and health campaign

   Breaking the Strangles hold

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

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

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

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


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


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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