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Riding Safely

News for September & October 2006

The following News Digest covers the period 1st September to 31st October 2006 


See the previous news digest for 1st July to 31st August 2006 >>>


See the digest for 1st November to 31st December 2006 >>>


‘Farmers losing out on low flying compensation’ - FUW

HUNDREDS of farmers are losing out on compensation for animals injured as a result of low flying fighter jets, according to research released today (13 September 2006).

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has discovered that the number of farmers who successfully claim compensation from the Ministry of Defence after their cattle have aborted is a fraction of the true figure.

Now the union is urging all farmers who believe their animals have been injured as a result of low flying aircraft to claim compensation from the MoD – a stance supported by Carmarthen MP Adam Price.

Read more from the Farmers Union of Wales - http://www.fuw.org.uk/press_releases/eng_press_releases_0173.htm

See the associated news item - Wales and Scotland take the brunt of low flying -http://www.fuw.org.uk/press_releases/eng_press_releases_0174.htm


Roads, Byeways and Rights of Way


Fears wind farm will scare horses

Plans to build 16 wind turbines across a historic bridleway could decimate a local stables business.

Up to 120 horses and ponies use Three Shires Way at Nun Wood, near Lavendon, Bozeat and Harrold but, if approved, the 125m high turbines would surround the animals.

Horse sense: Jess Kinns and Becky Clarke with Carra and Sinjon at Lower Farm Stables Local pressure group Bozeat and Lavendon Oppose Wind Turbines (BLOT) has already slammed the energy giant’s plans.

Milton Keynes Council is currently listening to objections to Npower’s application, including the concerns of the family-run Lower Farm Stables, on Castle Road.

There are fears that horse riders would no longer be able to use the bridleway as the noise and light disturbance from the 90m blades would create a potential safety hazard.

Read more from MK News  (27 September 2006)

Related Information

From the Department of Trade and Industry:

        Renewable Energy Homepage http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sources/renewables/index.html

        Frequently Asked Questions about wind energy http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sources/renewables/news-events/press-materials/background/wind/page24263.html

        News & Events http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sources/renewables/news-events/page19438.html

From The British Horse Society:

        Advisory Statement on Wind farms http://www.bhs.org.uk/DocFrame/DocView.asp?id=470&sec=-1




Horse Welfare

Horse-slashers targeting stables 

Police are investigating a spate of slashing attacks on horses at a North Yorkshire stables.

Read more from BBC News Online (18 September 2006) at  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/north_yorkshire/5356398.stm

British Horse Society Scotland takes on fight against Strangles

Scotland has experienced an alarming increase in the number of Strangles outbreaks this year and The British Horse Society is urging horse owners and yard managers to take strict biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of this distressing and highly contagious disease.

The BHS is also actively lobbying for the status of Strangles in Scotland - which attacks horses, ponies and donkeys - to be adjusted so that outbreaks must be made public.

BHS Scotland Development Officer Helene Mauchlen said 10 percent of yards in Scotland have been affected by Strangles this summer.

She said: “Where yard managers take all the precautions and advice recommended by vets, and by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, they can quickly be clear of the disease.  Strangles can be very distressing for the animal and owner. The disease is highly contagious, so those responsible for equines should be extra-vigilant and carry out good hygiene practices to help prevent this disease from spreading. If owners are concerned about their horses, they should contact their vet immediately.”

BHS Scotland is lobbying the Scottish Parliament to have a Strangles biosecurity code created under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006, which becomes law next month (October). Strangles will be the main subject of discussion at the next meeting of the Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare.

The BHS is working closely with the Animal Health Trust on a programme to find a fully effective vaccine for Strangles.

Strangles is an infection of the equine lymph glands. The swollen glands can restrict the airways, hence the name strangles. It is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus Equi and is highly infectious and contagious. The disease is more prevalent and more serious than many horse owners appreciate.

While Strangles is not currently a notifiable disease, it is strongly advised that owners and carers should act responsibly and inform other horse owners of any suspected or confirmed cases to help to prevent further spread of this disease. The incubation period is usually about a week but may take as long as two weeks before any clinical signs are shown.

In very mild cases, there may only be slight nasal discharge but - in more severe cases - this can extend to swollen glands, coughing, excessive nasal discharge, raised temperatures, breathing and swallowing difficulties and abscessed lymph nodes.

At the first sign of any of the above symptoms, horse owners or carers should isolate the horse and contact their vet immediately. Any horse, pony or donkey which the infected animal has been in contact with should also be isolated and strictly monitored.

Strict hygiene is essential as direct contact with infected horses is the simplest means of transmitting the disease. Grooming kits, buckets, water troughs and tack should be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected daily. These items should not be shared with other animals.

Handlers and carers of infected animals should also change clothes, footwear and ideally shower before handling any uninfected animals to help reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Guidelines and advice on Strangles are available from The British Horse Society Welfare Department on 08701 299992 or by emailing: welfare@bhs.org.uk.


Pulling Party thrown by The British Horse Society to combat ragwort

The British Horse Society’s Welfare Department is launching the second part of its Ragwort Awareness Campaign 2006 and urges all concerned parties to get pulling – to prevent the spread of ragwort.

Read more from the BHS at http://www.bhs.org.uk/content/Ods-More.asp?id=7174&pg=News&spg=News&area=9

Source: BHS - 18 September 2006


Delegates praise the BHS's Equine Welfare Conference - A Horse for Life

The British Horse Society in partnership with The Home of Rest for Horses held its second Equine Welfare Conference on 24 September 2006 at Bailbrook House, Bath.

The packed conference, entitled A Horse for Life, focused on many aspects of the care and welfare of the horse, with topics ranging from responsible breeding to equine rescue and farriery.

The Conference boasted key speakers, including Professor Derek Knottenbelt, Jane Holderness-Roddam and Dr Teresa Hollands, who presented informative talks in their areas of expertise.

Delegates made full use of the opportunities to have their questions answered by the experts. Delegates also received a handbook and summaries of the speakers' talks to take away for future reference. 

Sheelagh Johnson, a rider from Kent who attended the Conference, said: "It was a great day, and if the BHS organises another one I will definitely go. All the speakers had interesting and new things to say. I learned so much.”

Read more from the BHS at:  http://www.bhs.org.uk/content/Ods-More.asp?id=7262&pg=News&spg=News&area=9

Source: BHS - 25 September 2006

Related Information

The Home of Rest for Horses - http://www.homeofrestforhorses.co.uk/



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 similar accidents occurring in the future.

Woman dies from horse fall

A 46-YEAR-OLD woman was killed when the horse she was riding bolted and threw her on to the ground.

She was riding with a male friend along Fox's Road in Ashen, Essex, at 9.25am shortly before the incident occurred on Tuesday (19 September 2006).

Both riders had stopped to talk to a tractor driver they knew, but during the talk the horse suddenly bolted, throwing the woman into a field.

Read more from the Cambridge Evening News Online

Related stories from EADT24  - 20 September 2006 & 22 September 2006 


Woman kicked by horse 'probably died instantly'

A groom told today how she unsuccessfully fought to save the life of a friend who was violently kicked in the chest by a horse and knocked unconscious.

Victoria Doehring, 36, died from a single kick to her body from a horse which had got loose from a stable where she worked.

Read more from icWales (26 September 2006)


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


Legal Cases


2.1m for woman injured by horse

A young woman who was brain damaged when she was kicked in the head by a horse 10 years ago has been awarded 2.1m in damages.

Katie Witcombe was 13 when she was injured in April 1996 as she helped out at Four Winds Equestrian Centre, near Spalding, Lincolnshire.

She was in a field trying to catch her horse when another horse galloped down with some others and kicked out.

Katie suffered a severe head injury and now requires 24-hour care.

Read the full story at BBC News Online (15 September 2006) at:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lincolnshire/5350136.stm

Related Information

Four Winds Equitation Centre was established in 1980 and is BHS and ABRS approved.

Website:  http://www.fourwindsequestrian.co.uk/



International News

Horse falls into traffic after kicking its way out of trailer

A horse being transported to a horse show was killed when it fell from back of trailer on the Portland-area freeway.

Read more from KTVZ http://www.ktvz.com/story.cfm?nav=news&storyID=16572

Source: KTVZ - Bend,OR,USA  8 September 2006


Firefighters Learn Horse Sensibilities

Members of the Salem and Gardner Lake volunteer fire departments have been given lessons in horse handling intended to help them be better prepared should they have to rescue the animals in a fire or other emergency situation.

Source: theday.com (Connecticut) – 24 September 2006

Looking Forward - Diary Dates
Association of British Riding Schools Annual Conference
The ABRS will be holding their Annual Conference in London on 16 & 17 October 2006.
For more details see http://www.abrs-info.org/news.htm or contact the ABRS at office@abrs-info.org

‘Fools on Horses’ star for BETA Conference

Tim Stockdale, the international show jumper who enthralled 3.6 million television viewers in TV’s Only Fools on Horses, is to be a keynote speaker at the BETA Conference.

The inaugural BETA Conference, open to members only, is to be held at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate on Monday, 30th October, preceded by a Sunday evening drinks reception.

Tim Stockdale will be giving his views on how equestrian sport and the industry can work together and revealing inside stories from the set of Only Fools on Horses.

Before his TV role as head trainer tasked with turning 12 celebrities into show jumpers, Tim featured in Channel 4’s Faking It. He heads the British Show Jumping Association’s marketing committee and has represented Britain on 34 nations cup teams.

“Tim is a consummate horseman and self-made entrepreneur, and will bring new insight and entertainment to the BETA Conference,” said BETA’s executive director, Claire Williams.

Other speakers will cover topical issues from how small businesses can counteract credit fraud to capitalising on the 2012 London Olympics.         

The BETA Conference will also include the association’s AGM plus an Industry Forum during which members will be invited to contribute their views on issues affecting the equestrian trade.

A selection of information stands provided by business services suppliers from sectors such as insurance, security and finance will be present too. 

Since BETA is subsidising the event, the cost to members is just 20 to cover lunch and refreshments. Hotel accommodation is available if required from 55 per person, per night.

For details about attending the BETA Conference or taking an information stand, contact BETA on 01937 587062.

Source: British Equestrian Trade Association - 24 August 2006


Your Horse Live 2006

The UK’s biggest equestrian retail event, Your Horse Live 2006, will be held on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.  With live demonstrations, celebrity riders and everything a horse needs under one roof, Your Horse Live is the must-attend event for every horse riding enthusiast.

The disciplines of dressage, show jumping and eventing will be tackled in the Petplan Equine main arena where world class riders (Ulla Salzgeber, Geoff Billington, Oliver Townend) will show visitors how to improve their performance.

On the evening of Saturday 4th November, there will be an exclusive gala performance by World Class eventer Pippa Funnell. Adding to the fun of the gala performance will be Dog Agility, the unique troupe of show jumping dogs!

On the Horse Answers Live stage, riding experts and leading vets will be on hand to answer all of your equestrian questions and ensure your horse has a happy and healthy life. While on the Gear Guide Live stage, you can see the latest products on the market.

Your Horse Live is host to over 300 exhibitors, each unveiling the latest products and riding equipment.

The Horseware Ireland Arena will have interactive demonstrations and displays of new riding disciplines such as Trec.  The Rare Breeds Village will give visitors the opportunity to get up close to some of the UK's rarest horses.  

Buying a ticket in advance will save visitors up to 20 per cent off ticket prices. Tickets cost 14 in advance and 17 on the door for adults and 7 in advance and 10 on the door for children aged 5 to 15 years. Children under 5 years are admitted free with a paying adult and a senior citizen ticket costs 11 in advance and 13 on the door. A family ticket admitting two adults and two children which costs 37 in advance and 47 on the door.

Tickets for the evening gala performance are 20 for adults and 18 for children. A combined ticket which gives all day access to Your Horse Live and the evening gala performance costs 30 for adult and 21 for children when booked in advance.

Your Horse Live is open from 9am until 6pm on Saturday and from 9am until 5.30pm on Sunday for day visitors. The evening performance starts at 6.30pm with the doors opening at 4pm for late night shopping.

For further information visit www.yourhorselive.com or contact the booking line on tel: 0870 7300 960.


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

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


News of other Websites 
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

Ministry of Defence moves military low flying information

The Ministry of Defence website has recently undergone modernisation which has resulted in the Military low flying information being moved to a new page. The new address is:


(18 February 2006)

Business Essentials
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 each month with the latest highlighted in yellow.
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
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