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In this Edition...
· Foot and
Mouth Disease (FMD)
· Australian Equine Influenza outbreak
· Horse Strategy
Action Plan update presented at 2007 NEF
· New Criteria for
Safer Cross Country Jumping
· Eventer killed at horse trials in Germany
Teenage event rider killed in rotational fall
· BE to pull plug on sub-standard events
· Eventing safety group meet in London
· New Australian research on falls and
injuries in eventing
· BHS petition calls for bigger say for
equestrians in access law-making
Riding and Road Safety Test achieves QCA Accreditation
· New Highway Code confuses horse
· BHS access officers save Lincolnshire
· Highways Agency targets ragwort
· Grant for disabled riders
· Horse stabbed to death in barn
· Second Dorset horse death with suspected
· Fury as horses released on to road
cruelty cases rise by 33%
· Ragwort epidemic sweeps the country
· Strangles survey reveals spread and ignorance
· Longer insurance for long-in-the-tooth
· Horses die in stable fire
· Suspected arson attack at stables in
· Woman dies after being kicked in the show ring
· Horse put down after road smash
· Driver hurt after van collides with horse
· Queen's former horse rescued
· Fire crew saved my horse’s life
· Drivers warned to check horsebox floors
· How safe is your lorry flooring?
· Rider hurt in fall from 'Ferrari' horse loses £30,000 action
lose appeal over pony fall
underway to amend Animals Act
· Appeal against ban on keeping horses
· Horse riders set to sue over RAF
· Record fine for illegal shoeing
· 'Madman on horse' gets two years'
· 241 lives lost is unacceptable
· New Minister for the Horse
· New Chairman for the British Horse Industry Confederation
· New Chief Executive for the International
League for the Protection of Horses
· The British Horseracing Authority takes
· Racing stable safety a priority
- $500,000 StableSafe initiative launched in Victoria
surfaces have helped decrease horse racing deaths
· BHS Safety Conference
– 15 September 2007
· BHS embraces equine facilitated
learning - 17 September 2007
· National Riding Festival 2007
· BBC Programme investigates horse
related accidents - 10 October 2007
· ABRS AGM and Conference – 15
· BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition
– 14 & 15 October 2007
the Strangles Hold - campaign update
· ILPH tackles obesity in horses
· BETA's Body Protector
· The British Grooms Association
Sources of Help
· Gloom lifts for riding schools
Ambulance service for Hampshire and Isle of Wight
· Horse & Country TV launches on Sky
on 2 July
· TV series highlights work of ILPH
· 57% in survey admit to have ridden
without a hat
rides to rescue as owner attacked in field by raging cow
What's the link between the introduction of new legislation, the recent floods
and the outbreak of foot and mouth disease? Simple; over July and August we saw
all three. We also saw a horse industry that was ill-prepared to respond centrally,
or to provide any guidance or help.
On the 1st of July a new law was introduced to make virtually all enclosed
public places and workplaces in England smoke-free. But there is inconsistency
in how the law is being interpreted by local authorities - one council insisted that "no smoking" signs be placed on every
stable door. We shouldn't have this nonsense; the horse industry must ensure
that it's involved with the proposals and consultation for new legislation, so that any new laws can be sensibly and uniformly
implemented across all equestrian businesses. The Smoke-free Regulations shouldn't
be open to interpretation - for equestrian businesses, one size should fit all.
It's unlikely that anyone could have foreseen the severity of the flooding suffered
by so many in July and August. The only organisation formally to offer help -
by telephone - was the British Horse Society. As this edition of Riding Safely
is published, there is still no definitive guidance available for horse owners and equestrian businesses - although it is
understood that Defra may have something in the pipeline. It's a sad fact, but
we are beginning to see the effects of climate change, and flooding is likely to recur in the future.
Amidst the astonishing scale of the biosecurity
lapse at Pirbright, horse owners, equestrian businesses and industry organisations reacted responsibly
in trying to prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease. But the outbreak caused considerable
panic, confusion and disruption to the equestrian community. "Where can we ride?",
“Can we go to shows?", "Should we hold our show?” were some of the questions asked, often with inconsistent answers
being provided by Defra. In fact the general consistency, quality and level of information provided to horse owners by Defra
in the early stages was undeniably poor. Various horse organisations provided
what information they could - British Eventing were particularly good - but again, the horse industry was ill-prepared to
respond centrally. Subsequently, the British Horse Industry Confederation has
made a request that the horse industry be represented on the Exotic Animal Diseases stakeholders group.
But while it's easy to make Defra the whipping boy for the inadequacy of providing
and communicating information, the horse industry must also shoulder some responsibility.
The last outbreak of FMD was in 2001. Good quality information was provided
for horse owners at the time. Much of that information is still available
on the internet today. Most of the information hasn't changed, but why wasn't
it published for quick and easy access during this outbreak? Bearing in mind
the financial cost to the equestrian community of this latest episode, shouldn't the horse industry have ensured that it was
there? The Exotic Animal Diseases Contingency Plan (which includes FMD) is up for annual review, with over 150 equestrian
organisations being invited to comment. Let's hope they look deeply to make sure
that there is provision within the plan to provide adequate information in a timely manner to all interested parties.
These may seem harsh words for an industry that is now beginning to work well
together. In partnership it is tackling and solving problems. One need look no further than the recently launched Emergency Services Protocol - guidelines to help the
emergency services cope better with equine incidents and ensure that any horse involved in an accident receives proper care
as quickly as possible. After many years of fragmentation, the industry, partnered
by Defra, also deserves credit for developing and implementing longer-term strategies. But
perhaps now it’s time to shift its focus temporarily to identifying and mitigating the threats -- those shorter-term
risks (such as flooding and FMD) -- that might adversely impact heavily on the health, safety and welfare of people, and horses,
and ultimately, the future sustainability of all equestrian businesses. Maybe
it's time now for the industry to be better prepared...
Use your head...
With darker mornings and evenings now upon us, there
might be in the odd occasion when you need to use a torch around the yard.
The problem: Hand-held torches aren’t always suitable as many yard activities require both hands and trying to hold
a torch at the same is sometimes just asking for problems.
The Solution: Enter the headlight! Readily available, they are small, lightweight, bright, robust and offer good battery
What to look for: Look for ones that use LED’s, these are solid state bulbs, and unlike the normal filament bulbs, aren't
susceptible to breaking if the headlight is dropped and should never need replacing. Also choose a headlamp that has
just one or two high powered LED’s, preferably with a lens in front of them. You'll usually find these to be much
brighter than those offering sometimes up to 12 LED’s. Being able to get batteries easily is important, so choose
one where you can pick up batteries at any shop. Typically these will be AAA batteries.
Expect to pay: around £10 - £15.
But remember: Headlamps around the yard should be used on the odd occasions. If you're using one a lot, then you need
to ask yourself if you need additional fixed mains lighting. But they are great for keeping in your pocket for the odd
occasions and worth their weight in gold if you ever have a power cut.
The current situation
The situation regarding FMD is constantly changing. It’s recommended that you visit the Defra website
at regular intervals to get the most up to date information >>> http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/latest-situation/index.htm
Guidance for Horse Owners
There is a guidance for horse owners at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/rural/horses.htm
Explananation of the Zones
Zones are declared in the vicinity (a radius of at least three kilometres) of an infected premises — usually,
a farm where diseased livestock have been found.
Zones are declared in the vicinity (a radius of at least ten kilometres, but outside the Protection Zone) of an infected
· Outside of any Protection
Zones and Surveillance Zone, some activities are also prohibited in a Restricted Zone. During an outbreak
of foot-and-mouth disease, the whole of Great Britain is likely to be declared a Restricted Zone.
About Foot and Mouth Disease
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is an infectious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals,
in particular cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer. The disease is serious for animal health and for the economics of the livestock
industry. While FMD is not normally fatal to adult animals, it is debilitating and causes significant loss of productivity;
for example milk yields may drop or the animals may become lame. In young animals it can be fatal on a large scale.
More information from Defra at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/about/index.htm
The first outbreak
On Friday 3rd August, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was confirmed on a beef farm near Guildford,
In accordance with the legislation and contingency planning arrangements all the cattle on the premises
were culled. A Protection Zone of three kilometres radius and a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres was placed around the premises,
and a GB wide national movement ban of all ruminants and pigs was imposed.
Nationally no animal movements were allowed except under licence, controls were put in place on movement
of animal carcasses, animal gatherings, shearing and dipping were restricted, and all farms were required to increase levels
In both the Protection and Surveillance Zones, there were requirements for increased levels of biosecurity
on farms, movement controls, controls on transportation of dung/manure and treatment of animal products to ensure the destruction
of the FMD virus.
7th September – Foot and Mouth Disease “Eradicated”
The Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, announced on the 7th of
September that she was satisfied that Foot and Mouth Disease had been eradicated from Surrey.
Following the completion of the clinical inspection of livestock within the Surveillance
Zone (SZ), and the results of the blood samples which all proved negative, the 10km SZ around the Infected Premises in Surrey
was lifted at noon on Saturday 8 September. This was the earliest that could be done under European disease legislation.
The restrictions outside the Surveillance Zone, were also lifted at the same
time. This included the 20-day standstill for livestock following movement and additional controls on livestock market and
The second outbreak
On the 12th of September, Foot and Mouth Disease
was confirmed at a farm in Surrey. The farm comprised of a number of separate parcels of land: a single Protection Zone
was put in place extending 3 kilometres around each of them, with a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres radius beyond that.
Footpaths were closed in the Protection Zone. Cattle on the affected farm were culled, together with animals on an adjacent
A national movement ban - affecting cattle, sheep, pigs and other ruminants
- was imposed throughout England, and parallel arrangements were made by the Scottish and Welsh administrations. No movements
of susceptible animals were allowed except under licence; some licences were made available, however licence conditions varied
between England, Scotland and Wales. All farms - particularly those in the Protection and Surveillance Zones – were
required to implement increased biosecurity.
“Consult us” over diseases says industry
The horse industry is lobbying Defra to be more centrally involved during rural
disease outbreaks. Many riders were frustrated with inconsistent information
given during the recent foot-and-mouth (FMD) outbreak, when the government was criticised for treating horse owners as an
Graham Cory, chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC), told
Horse & Hound: “Defra issued the guidelines for horses two or three weeks after the first case of FMD. It was clear they did not consider horse owners important. It
is essential that we are not considered an afterthought.” He added: “hopefully
FMD is passing, but next week or next month it could be West Nile virus or blue tongue.
Horse owners want to be responsible and need guidance - maybe we can help.”
Mr Cory has written to Defra chief vet officer Debby Reynolds, asking for the horse
industry to be represented. He added: “We're not asking for special treatment,
but we should be in the core stakeholder group.” This group consists of
representatives from the Livestock Auctioneers Association, National Beef Association, British Veterinary Association, National
Farmers Union, National Sheep Association, British Pig Executive and British Meat Processors Association.
& Hound Magazine (30 August 2007)
Consultation on 2007 Annual Review of Defra’s Contingency
Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases (including Foot and Mouth Disease)
Defra is inviting comments on the 2007 version of its Contingency
Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases.
The plan covers arrangements for response to an outbreak of Foot and
Mouth Disease (FMD), Avian Influenza (AI), Newcastle Disease (ND), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), African Swine Fever (ASF),
Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD), Rabies, Bluetongue (BT), and certain specified types of equine exotic diseases (e.g. Glanders,
Dourine, Infectious Anaemia and Equine encephalitis / encephalomyelitis of all types including West Nile Virus).
Over 150 equestrian related organisations have been invited to comment
on the plan (see the list of consultees). However this is a public consultation and any organisation or individual may comment on
The closing date for responses to the consultation is 11 October
More details from Defra at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/animaldisease-plan2007/index.htm
Riding Safely Special Feature - Flooding
– what can you do?
Heavy rain and flash flooding in June and July left some equestrian properties
under several feet of water. Horse owners and staff were faced with the problem
of evacuating horses, often under difficult conditions. The subsequent clean-up
and repair operation for many still continues.
Following the July floods, it appears that the only equestrian organisation formally
to offer advice, via a telephone helpline, was the British Horse Society.
Can we be better prepared in the future?
For those householders, businesses and horse owners still recovering from the floods,
information about what to do before, during and after a flood will come as little comfort.
The Environment Agency estimates that there are around 5 million people in the
UK who are at risk of flooding.
already has a substantial number of websites containing a considerable number of pages of help and advice about flooding. But with so much information available it’s the usual problem of knowing where
to look to find the information that is going to be most helpful to you. Let’s
face it, many horse owners and those running equestrian businesses don’t have the time, and sometimes the will, to spend
hours searching for that information. With that in mind Riding
Safely has cherry-picked the sites to help you to prepare for and recover from flooding, if you’re
unfortunate enough to suffer.
Business Link and the Environment Agency already provide general information and advice on how to prepare and protect your business. But although the information
is good enough to form a basis for action, it’s simply not sufficient for the horse industry. So, with a lack of targeted information for horse owners and equestrian businesses in the UK, Riding Safely has begun to look at how we all might be better prepared in the event
of future floods.
So is there any information available
specifically to help the equestrian community?
Riding Safely couldn’t
find any published information in the UK specifically aimed to help equestrian businesses and horse owners faced with the
prospect of flooding. But comprehensive information likely to help is at hand from Australia and America and could be a starting point for those living in UK flood risk areas when making their plans.
Do I have any legal responsibilities
in the event of a flood?
Defra’s guidance, Animal welfare and flooding emergencies, explains the legal responsibilities of anyone who keeps an animal during a flood:
the law an animal keeper has a duty of care to his animals and is required to take reasonable steps to protect their welfare
and prevent suffering. Farmers are expected to take reasonable steps to address
animal welfare contingency planning as part of their farm business planning where it is known or could be anticipated that
land may be at risk from flooding. In sudden severe rainfall, sufficient warning of flooding may be impossible and ad hoc
action will have to be taken.
As a general principle, animals must not
be left in circumstances where they are likely to suffer. In an emergency Defra
and others will do what they can to provide advice, and to facilitate means to prevent or alleviate the suffering of animals. However the legal responsibility is with the animal’s owner/keeper.”
Although the guidance mentions "farmers and farm business" it equally applies to
the equestrian community and we can easily use the words "proprietors/horse owners and equestrian business".
In addition if you run a business you have a legal responsibility for the health,
safety and welfare of your employees and any visitors. If you identify that you
are located in a flood area you are required to assess and mitigate the risks as far as possible, and to train your staff
in what do to in a flood emergency situation – just as you already do with your fire precautions.
What should I do before a flood?
Firstly, it's important to establish whether you are at risk
Business Link provides a step-by-step guide on how to assess the risk of flooding by using the Environment Agency flood map, and if you are risk, how to develop a flood plan and train employees. Rehearse
your plan as far and safely as you can (without evacuating the horses) to see if it will work in practice.
If you are in a flood risk area, get advice on whether you
can minimise the damage to your premises from flooding by putting in place preventative, cost-effective measures.
Even if you are not yourself at risk from flooding, but live
in an area where flooding is a possibility, you should consider what you would do if local roads became impassable and you
couldn’t get supplies, or if you lost your water or power supply.
Take note of severe weather warnings and warnings of potential
floods given through the media, particularly local radio and television. If you are concerned, phone the Environment Agency's Floodline
988 1188. Find out if you can register for Floodline Warnings Direct, a free service which provides flood warnings direct to you by telephone, mobile, fax or pager. You can also get information on current flood warnings from the Environment Agency's website. Emergency response to events will be led by the police alongside the other emergency services (ambulance
and fire) and in liaison with local authorities and the Environment Agency. At the national level, Defra has the lead Departmental
role in planning for flood emergencies.
Be prepared to implement your plan if necessary.
What should I do during the flood?
Don’t Panic! Easy to say, but
more difficult to do, as the flood waters rise. Put your plan into action and
make sure everyone sticks to it. The health, safety and welfare of the people
around you must be your prime concern. An injured person is of no use to a horse
that is reliant upon them for their welfare. By having a good, well-tested plan,
you should be able to minimise the risks to both people and horses. But even
with the best preparations, it’s not always possible to foresee everything that might happen, and situations can change. If you do have to deviate from any part of your plan, then reassess the risks
involved, ensure they are acceptable, and minimise them as far as possible. This
of course, out of necessity, is going to be a quick mental “on the hoof” assessment, so quickly run it past everyone
involved to get any valuable input and ensure that they are up to speed with, and know what to do as a result of, the changes. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step.
It’s going to be a stressful time, but most serious accidents and injuries happen when there is a sudden change
to a planned activity and the impact of the change hasn’t been reassessed; or, even if it has been, the changes and
measures to ensure health, safety and welfare haven’t been communicated to everyone involved.
The National Farmers Union provides “during and after” information which may also be useful to the equestrian community.
If your premises have been affected by flooding, you’ll have a big clean-up
job to do to get them back to normal. You’ll need to make sure that you have all the right information to deal with
any insurance claim, and that you can deal with the health, safety and welfare issues to ensure you're not putting yourself
or anyone else at risk.
A general starting point is the Environment Agency – After a Flood. The National Farmers Union (NFU) advises caution in the aftermath: “Water damage has many hidden dangers and those starting on the long road to recovery must be aware
of the health and safety risks involved in clearing up after the floods.” The Electrical Safety
Council offers essential electrical safety advice to those affected by flood damage, Business Link provides businesses with local help and advice, and
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) provides advice on insurance issues.
Check out the help that Business Link can provide in your area (see examples from
the West Midlands and Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire).
experience, you'll know whether your plan worked or not. It's important to review
it: what went well, what didn't go so well, what might you do differently in
future? In the midst of a cleanup, reviewing the plan isn't likely to be a high
priority. But while you might not have time to conduct a formal review, it's
important to address the basics of “what didn't go so well and what you might do differently in future”, just
in case you're unfortunate enough to suffer from flooding again in a short timescale.
In the fullness of time, formally review the plan, and make sure that anyone who needs to know about it (including
any new staff), does.
What about lessons learned?
On the 8th of August, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced
that there would be a review of the lessons learned from the recent floods.
The Lessons Learned Review, being carried out by the Cabinet Office with support from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will examine both how to reduce the risk and impact of floods,
and the emergency response to the floods in June and July. It is seeking views from those involved, including affected residents,
the emergency services, and business and professional associations.
Sir Michael Pitt, the independent Chair overseeing the government's review, is calling on
those affected to log on to the Flooding Lessons Learned Review website
and share their experiences.
It’s important that any equestrian business or horse owner affected feed
back into the review either through their organisation or directly through the flood review website.
What does the future hold?
Met Office figures have revealed that this summer might have been the wettest since UK rainfall records began in 1914. Provisional rainfall
figures (up to 28th August) show the UK as a whole had 358.5mm of rain, just beating the previous record of 358.4mm in 1956. Although very wet, the UK has experienced average temperatures of 14.1 C.
According to a team of scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University
of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, rising carbon dioxide levels will increase river levels in the future. The study’s findings suggest that increasing carbon dioxide will cause
plants to extract less water from the soil, leaving more water to drain into rivers, which will add to the river flow increases
already expected because of climate change. Dr Richard Betts who led the study said “It's a double-edged sword; it means
that increases in drought due to climate change could be less severe as plants lose less water. On the other hand, if the
land is saturated more often, you might expect that intense rainfall events are more likely to cause flooding".
Hopefully, the outcome of the Lessons Learned Review will be to determine
and implement measures that will reduce the risk of future flooding on the scale that we have seen during June and July.
However, given this flooding, the likelihood is that we may see similar flooding
in years to come and there is the potential for equestrian premises not affected this time to suffer in the future.
The information from Australia and America on flooding will certainly help
those preparing risk plans in the UK. The message is that if you live in a flood
risk area, be prepared. Think about how horse owners and equestrian businesses
in your area may be able to help and support each other in times of flooding.
It may be time for Defra, in partnership with the horse industry and other
associated support industries, to produce definitive UK guidance for horse owners and equestrian businesses on what to do
before, during and after a flood.
If you wish to comment on this feature then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Gathering and distributing information
|Horse industry liaison officer, Rod Hoare, maps hotspots with NSW DPI Sara Robson
An outbreak of equine influenza was discovered at the Centennial Park stables in Sydney on the 24th of August. It is thought to be the first time equine influenza has been found in Australia.
It has led to a complete standstill on horse movements across New South Wales and has had a devastating effect on the
racing industry. The horse industry contributes $6.3 billion annually the Australian economy highlighting the importance of
controlling the outbreak.
Its spread has been attributed partly to a lack of vaccination and partly to a lack of natural immunity in horses against
At the 31st of August there were: 500 horses infected with equine influenza across NSW; 53 known infected
properties across NSW; another 2,335 horses were suspected of having equine Influenza on 213 properties and a total of eight
out of ten thoroughbreds from a stable at Randwick Racecourse tested positive to equine influenza.
The situation is changing frequently– for the latest information go to:
National pests & disease outbreaks website (The website was developed collaboratively across State & Territory and Australian Government agricultural agencies to
provide a single, user-friendly website through which stakeholders can find access to local, state and national information
in relation to Australian responses to current outbreaks of animal and plant pests and diseases.)
The Equestrian Federation of Australia website
The Australian Horse Council website (where you can also register on the Horse Emergency Contact Database (HECD) to receive updates by email.
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries recommend that you stay up to date on the epidemic by regularly
visiting (each day at least) the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.
$4 million for Equine Influenza fund
The Australian Government has established a $4 million fund to provide emergency grants to individuals suffering financial difficulty as a result of the Equine Influenza (EI) outbreak.
|Issued at 4.30 PM 30 August 2007
|The accumulated number of infected premises (IPs) by date
What about the UK?
In the UK it is recommended to have horses routinely vaccinated against
tetanus, equine influenza and ideally equine herpes virus. Many equestrian organisations insist that horses hold current vaccination
cards showing continuous cover and vaccination against influenza which is now mandatory for all horses using racecourse premises.
The DEFRA/AHT/BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Reports for the period January 2006 – March 2007 recorded 13 cases at 6 locations. Nearly all the cases related to imported horses with unknown vaccination status, some of which then went
on to infect other unvaccinated horses.
A recent Horse and Hound poll found that 86% of those who responded had their horses vaccinated against equine flu (sample size
In a news update on equine influenza, the Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic (Kent, UK) reported:
“A recent letter to the Veterinary Record (June 16, 2007) from
staff at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) reports several concurrent positive diagnoses of equine influenza virus infection that
have been made lately among horses in different parts of England. “Four foci of infection in the Midlands, Kent and
Hampshire have been identified since the end of May by the laboratories of the AHT” according to this letter, which
also highlights that “in all four outbreaks to date the index cases have been animals that have been recently imported
into the country, having been bought at a horse sale in County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland. All these horses were
reported to be either non-vaccinated or of unknown vaccination status, and there is some evidence emerging of onward transmission
to non-vaccinated contacts on some of the affected premises”.
Every now and then an outbreak of equine influenza like this occurs.
It is a greater risk as horses travel internationally more , but there have frequently been seasonal flare ups with increased
mixing at shows in the summer months and sales in all times of year. It highlights the need for regular vigilance and flu
vaccination. Vaccinated horses may show signs but these are usually milder than those experienced by unvaccinated horses.
The reason that vaccines do not always provide 100% protection is due to the fact that the virus can change slightly with
time and different strains develop. The vaccines are regularly updated in order to provide maximum protection.” Read
more from the update at: http://www.bellequine.com/latestnewsfrombe.php
Horse Strategy Action Plan update
presented at 2007 NEF
A comprehensive update of the joint Government/British
Horse Industry Confederation Horse Industry Strategy Action Plan was presented by Graham Cory, the BHIC's Chairman at the
National Equine Forum 2007.
Source: British Horse Industry Confederation
New Criteria for Safer Cross Country Jumping
On August 20th 2007, British Eventing will introduce a new regulation relating
to the type of red and white jump flags and poles used to indicate direction on cross country fences. In order to reduce the
risk of injury to horse or rider all flags and flagpoles on certain fence types must meet four criteria based on construction,
material, design, and how the flags are secured to the fence. A number of manufacturers currently supply flags which meet
the criteria and British Eventing will keep a list to help Event Organisers source the required flags.
Read more from British Eventing (26th July 2007)
at horse trials in Germany
Professional event rider Tina Richter-Vietor, 32, died at Schenefeld Horse Trials in Germany
on Saturday (4 August) after she was thrown from her horse during the cross-country phase.
more from Horse & Hound Online (6 August, 2007) at:
Teenage event rider killed in rotational fall
Another event rider's life has been claimed in a rotational fall.
The latest fatality occurred at a two-star competition at the Swedish venue of
Bollnas last Saturday (21 July). The rider, 19-year-old Elin Stalberg, fell three from home.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(25 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/391/131947.html
BE to pull plug on sub-standard events
British Eventing (BE) will cancel events that fail to come up to standard in the
future, sport director Mike Etherington-Smith said at a seminar before the Event Horse Owners' Association (EHOA) AGM in London
on Wednesday 4 July 2007.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(15 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=129158&cid=397
Eventing safety group meet in London
A group set up to scrutinise the safety of eventing met in London recently.
German team trainer Chris Bartle, British eventing team trainer Yogi Breisner,
Olympic event rider Andrew Nicholson, French safety expert Laurent Bousquet and course-designer Mike Tucker met on 18 June. The group is chaired by US rider and course-designer David O'Connor and forms the
International Equestrian Federation's safety sub-committee.
Read more about the group from Horse &
Hound Online (29 June 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/article.php?aid=126805
New Australian research on falls and
injuries in eventing
A report on a five-year research project
into falls and injuries in Australian eventing will shortly be published.
The leaders of the research, Raymond Cripps and Denzil O'Brien are based in the
Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia.
They are currently in the process of writing their final report on a five-year
project, in which information about (nearly) all cross-country falls around Australia (a total of 1732 known falls) was
collected and followed up directly with riders with a comprehensive questionnaire. This information was then used to calculate the rate of falls, and the risk
of falls, and to comment on a variety of aspects of the sport, such as the use of body protectors, and riders' perceptions
of their usefulness; the incidence of equipment failure contributing to a fall; riders' perceptions on the causes of their
fall; and the incidence of falls at particular fence types.
This research was undertaken with the support and cooperation of the national
equestrian body, the Equestrian Federation of Australia.
Until publication of the final report an interim report published in 2004 is available
on the web at no charge, from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation at
Riding Safely is maintaining contact with
the research team and will bring you further details once the report is published.
BHS petition calls for bigger say for equestrians in access law-making
(24 August 2007)
The British Horse Society is calling on all equestrians to sign a petition asking
the Government to give them a say in all new access and rights of way legislation.
The BHS Access Department and its regional access and bridleway officers would
like riders and other horse lovers to sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Equestrianaccess/ - Deadline to sign up by: 23 March 2008.
Equestrians are the most vulnerable of road users and need increased off-road access
for their safety and the welfare of their horses. Horse riding and driving provides healthy outdoor exercise, which the Government
is keen to encourage.
It is enjoyed by more than four million people in the UK and is the second biggest
land-based industry, but equestrians have not been included in recent access-creating legislation which would help make them
safer and encourage healthy outdoor recreation.
Mark Weston, BHS Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, said: "It is vital that
we use all means available to impress on the Government that equestrians need more and safer access. E-petitions are one way
of showing the demand, along with writing to our MPs."
The recent petition calling for amendments to the equestrian sections of the Highway
Code attracted just under 20,000 signatures, showing the amount of concern there was in the equestrian community.
For further information, please contact: Mark Weston, Director of Access, Safety
and Welfare, The British Horse Society, on 01926 707760 or email@example.com
BHS Riding and Road Safety Test achieves QCA Accreditation
The British Horse Society's Riding and Road Safety Test has gained accreditation
from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
The test has evolved over 25 years as the Society has worked tirelessly to ensure
that riders are educated in the safest way to ride out on the roads.
It is a major step for the Riding and Road Safety Test to become part of the National
Qualification Framework (NQF). It makes funding more accessible to trainers and demonstrates to the regulators that our test
complies with their rigorous and stringent quality assurance assessment and process.
Sheila Hardy, BHS Safety Senior Executive, said: "We are delighted to have gained
accreditation for the Riding and Road Safety Test from this regulatory body. It
demonstrates how robust the test is and just how far the Society has come in providing road safety training for equestrians."
Mark Weston, BHS Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, said: "The Riding and
Road Safety team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the test keeps pace with the continuous changes in road conditions and
safety legislation, and we are grateful for the continued support we receive from all those involved with safer riding on
"This success means the Riding and Road Safety Test will now be listed on the National
Database of Accredited Qualifications and receive kudos from the regulatory body."
- 21 August 2007
New Highway Code confuses horse riders
Riders are being reassured that they will still be able to ride two abreast, despite
imminent changes to the Highway Code.
The amended code, which is due to be published in the autumn, has worried many
in the equestrian community, largely due to the fact that it seemingly forbids riding two abreast.
But a later rule in the new code refers to the need sometimes to ride two abreast,
and government spokesmen have reiterated the fact that the Highway Code is advisory, rather than legally enforceable.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(20 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=130594&cid=397
See also - The Association of British Drivers is
supporting a call by the British Horse Society for a proposed amendment to the Highway Code to be reconsidered (18 July 2007)
BHS access officers save Lincolnshire route
The British Horse Society's access staff and volunteers are celebrating a success
as a recent planning decision at Fosdyke Bridge, near Boston, Lincolnshire means riders are able to continue to use a bridleway
Boston Borough Council rejected a planning application for construction of an industrial
building for general use, storage and distribution beside the A17 to King's Lynn at Fosdyke Bridge, where two bridleways cross
this extremely busy road.
Horse riders feared inevitable accidents if forced to share a narrow access point
with goods vehicles where there is poor visibility for everyone entering and leaving the area.
Thanks to the dedication of BHS volunteers and staff, this was one of several reasons why Boston Borough Council rejected
permission for further developments.
Earlier in the year conditions protecting the bridleway were imposed when change
of use was applied for on land the other side of the bridleway, which shared the same access to the A17.
The bridleway links to parts of The British Horse Society's National Bridleroute
Network and the Society will continue to campaign for a Pegasus crossing, so riders and other users may cross the A17 safely.
BHS Access Senior Executive, Henry Whittaker, said: "This is an important victory
for riders in Lincolnshire. I would like to thank our dedicated volunteers who have worked on this case, and the Borough Council
for recognising the importance of this route."
Source: BHS - 31 July
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
Grant for disabled riders
People at a special learning learning centre can get into the saddle or take a
trip in a horse cart thanks to a £65,000 grant for an Olympic size riding area.
Stanmore-based children and families centre Ravenswood Village has been given the
grant by The Petplan Charitable Trust to build an all-weather outdoor riding area for the people of Ravenswood Village.
Read more from the Harrow Times
(31 July) at http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.1585024.0.grant_for_disabled_riders.php
Horse stabbed to death in barn
Police are appealing for witnesses after a horse was stabbed to death between 9:30pm
Friday 13 July and 8:30am the following day in Chesterton, near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
If you have any information, call the RSPCA (tel: 0870 5555 999) or Staffordshire
Police (tel: 08453 302010).
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(24 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=131485&cid=397
Second Dorset horse death with suspected knife wounds
Police in Dorset are advising horse owners in the area to be vigilant after a mare
in foal was found dead on 4 July with her ear cut off and part of her face cut away.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(5 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=127888&cid=397
Fury as horses released on to road
YOBS armed with wire-cutters stampeded terrified horses out of a field to run the
gauntlet of cars on a dimly-lit Nuneaton road.
Then, according to the woman who looks after the horses, the vandals stood back
"and waited for the carnage".
The incident, which left one horse injured, has sickened staff at the North Warwickshire
Equestrian Centre, at Galley Common, which doubles up as a base for the Riding for the Disabled charity, offering lessons
to blind, partially-sighted and disabled youngsters.
Anyone with information is asked to phone Nuneaton police on 024 7664 1111.
Read more from icCoventry (Jul 27 2007)
Horse cruelty cases
rise by 33%
New RSPCA figures published on
1 August 2007, show that while the numbers of cruelty cases against dogs and cats have fallen in the past year, there
has been a dramatic increase in reported cases involving horses and ponies.
more from this is cornwall.co.uk (1 August 2007)
epidemic sweeps the country
the deadly bright yellow weed often found growing on roadside verges is at epidemic levels say the International League for
the Protection of Horses (ILPH).
partly to the excessive wet weather which meant many areas were left uncut and coupled with the plant’s voracious seed
spreading capabilities; the ILPH is reporting that its Field Officers are investigating more reports about ragwort than ever
is a killer and it’s spreading at an alarming rate,” says ILPH Chief Field Officer Paul Teasdale.
am fed up of people telling me that horses don’t eat ragwort when we believe that many horses die every year by doing
just that. If you allow horses to graze in a ragwort infested paddock you are sentencing them to a long, lingering and extremely
painful death. It’s about time people woke up to the dangers.”
is a hooligan. A single plant can produce 200,000 seeds which can lay dormant in the soil for up to 16 years. It contains
deadly alkaloid toxins which are extremely harmful to both grazing animals AND humans. The effect of the toxins is cumulative
and irrevocable, the end result being liver failure. By the time the symptoms present themselves, it is too late.
only way to successfully remove ragwort is to spray it off or dig it out but great care should be taken as the plant is highly
toxic. Anyone exposed to ragwort should wear dust masks to prevent pollen inhalation and vinyl gloves to prevent the toxins
entering the blood stream.
further advice please call the ILPH Welfare Hotline on 0870 871 1927 or visit www.ilph.org
Longer insurance for long-in-the-tooth horses
Olympic veteran, Over To You who, at 19 years of age is now the most highly medalled
event horse, is to be the figurehead of Petplan Equine’s unique new policy for older horses.
In a groundbreaking move, one of the UK’s leading equine insurance companies,
Petplan Equine has launched an extension to its existing Activity Plan policy that now entitles horses insured before their
20th birthday to full illness and injury cover until they reach 25 years of age. The policy, which provides more extensive
cover for longer than any other equine insurer, is fully endorsed by the Veteran Horse Society (VHS).
Petplan Equine has chosen the famous 19 year old, Olympic veteran Over To You ,
known as ‘Jack’, as a figurehead for this policy as he is a shining example of a horse in his prime and in the
pink and yet, despite this, his owner was unable to insure him for illness as well as injury. Owners of horses insured with
this policy, will be able to contact the vet in the event of suspected illness without financial worry, ensuring our older
equine friends receive as much care and attention as their younger counterparts.
Designed to provide peace of mind for owners of horses in their advancing years,
the extension to Petplan Equine’s Activity Plan makes it unique. Currently other insurers will only offer Veteran insurance
to new horses over the age of 16 and existing horses are moved onto Veteran cover by the age of 20. Petplan Equine’s
policy covers horses up to the age of 25 for vet fees for illness (not just colic) as well as injury providing the horse is
insured prior to its 20th birthday.
Jeanette Brakewell, Over To You’s long-term partner, has previously attempted
to insure the horse whom she has owned fully for two years, but had not done so as she could not find satisfactory cover because
he was over 15. “Despite having retired from his three day eventing career at Badminton earlier this year, Jack remains
fit and well and continues to compete. I have looked at all the insurance policies available but none would cover him so I
am delighted that Petplan Equine has come up with this complete solution” explains Jeanette.
The policy, that was developed following discussion with the VHS, also includes
an amendment to the vet fees benefit offered, and Petplan Equine’s unique benefits such as simple fixed vet fees excess,
cover for alternative treatment and diagnostics and 0% APR to allow customers to pay monthly at no extra cost.
The VHS, who will benefit from a 10% donation from every policy taken out through
their organisation, is delighted with this policy which it sees as addressing the biggest cause for concern among owners of
older horses – vet fees. VHS founder Julianne Aston says: “The VHS has been going for six years but is one of
the fastest growing equestrian membership organisations. In that time we have found that the issue of greatest concern to
our members is that of vet fees – it’s not that they are necessarily higher but, until now, you haven’t
been able to insure for illness in older horses”, she explains.
“What this means is that thanks to this brilliant Petplan Equine policy,
people are more willing to take on the care of an older horse as they now have an option of insurance to protect them from
unexpected veterinary costs.” she enthuses.
Petplan Equine Brand Manager, Jo Whittaker says: “Following feedback from
older horse owners, we approached the VHS to find out what the key issues were. Two things emerged: firstly thanks to better
research and care, average life expectancy is increasing and secondly, cover for vet fees was a huge issue.
However, insurance policies were not providing the necessary support which our
changes are designed to address”.
The VHS and Petplan Equine have formed a symbiotic relationship with the welfare
of the veteran horse at its centre. Julianne Aston says “we all win but the main winner is the older horse and that
is what really matters!”
Kills 44 Horses
died when fire engulfed an enclosed boarding stables (livery yard) at Bridlewood Stables, Pinch, Charleston, West Virginia,
USA on Sunday 26 August 2007. The destruction at the scene was too great for
investigators to determine the cause.
reports about the fire:
44 Horses Killed In A Barn Fire – WSAZ.com (26 August) http://www.wsaz.com/home/headlines/9383996.html
Cause of fire may never be known – Charleston Gazette (28 August)
Page 1: http://sundaygazettemail.com/section/News/2007082725
Page 2: http://sundaygazettemail.com/section/News/2007082725?pt=10
Page 3: http://sundaygazettemail.com/section/News/2007082725?pt=20
Fire Kills 44 Horses – FireFightingNews.com (29 August)
This is the
most tragic fire that Riding Safely has had to report on.
on the fire, Harry Paviour, equine fire safety consultant, told Riding Safely:
am not under illusions that this could not or would not happen here in the UK. This
incident should re-enforce the need for a thorough and conscientious fire and arson risk assessment to be carried out by all
owners and occupiers of stables. They must not adopt the approach of 'If they are not going to like the answers, then
don't ask the questions'.” Harry added: “I also feel that it is now time for the owners
of horses that place the care of their animals into the hands of livery yards and other stables to be demanding in establishing
that the stable's fire precautions and procedures are to a high standard before committing the animal to the premises. The various levels of livery and care MUST include ensuring that the animals are safe
went on to describe some of the causes of fire:
· Electrical faults
· Muck heaps, too close to stables, that
· An un-suitable fire and arson risk assessment.
· Poor Housekeeping - Internal & external.
· Lack of regular testing and inspection
of the building's mains electrical installations and fixed electrical appliances.
· Lack of regular inspection and testing
of all mains portable appliances, including those not supplied by the occupier.
· Placing heating, lighting and air circulation
equipment too close to combustibles.
· Lack of regular inspection of testing
of all heating and lighting equipment fixed and portable.
· Un-controlled contractors using hot work
· Un-controlled burning of rubbish and
manure heaps, or being placed too near to buildings, property and boundary fences.
· Vehicles placed in storage barns.
· Un-controlled uses and storage of flammable
liquids and gases.
· Lack of fire awareness training for owners
and staff including volunteers.
Harry conveyed an important message: “We are now regularly seeing major
fires in this country in all occupancies, many resulting in the magnitude of development due to reduced attendance of the
fire service or the water availability facilities to deal with the fire. It is therefore paramount that all stables owners
must take a much more responsible attitude and culture to fire safety at their yards and stables.”
Harry Paviour is Fire Advisor to the British Horse Society and the Association of British Riding Schools. He is the author of the British Horse Society’s book “Guidelines for Fire Safety in Equine and Agricultural Premises”. With a distinguished fire service career that began in 1962, and progressing
through various roles, including that of Divisional Commander, he has recently retired from the Fire Service College. Harry now acts a consultant to the equine industry and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
die in stable fire
owner of three horses killed in a late-night stable fire in Cornwall has spoken of her heartbreak.
Read more from this is cornwall.co.uk (10 August 2007)
Suspected arson attack at stables in Coventry
Firefighters were called to a blaze at stables in Binley on Sunday 15 July.
One stable was completely destroyed and a second seriously damaged in the fire,
which is believed to have been started deliberately.
There were no horses in the stables at the time.
Read more from icCoventry (Jul 17 2007)
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 &
Read more from Horse & Hound (Carla Passino - 25 April 2005)
after being kicked in the show ring
A woman died in West
Yorkshire on Sunday 5 August 2007 after being kicked in the head by her pony at a show.
more from Horse & Hound Online (6 August, 2007) at: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/135132.html
Horse put down after road smash (Wiltshire)
Bystanders wept as vets put down a horse injured in a horrendous accident in the
centre of Potterne on Sunday morning.
Seven-year-old Bailey had unseated his rider, Holly Perryman, 19, while she was
riding him in the woods at the top of Coxhill Lane and galloped the full length of the lane before charging into traffic on
the busy A360.
Bailey struck a white Mercedes estate, being driven by Carol Bidwell from Ashford,
Middlesex, and then somersaulted over the bonnet to hit a red Rover 214 waiting to turn left from Court Hill Road.
Read more from the Gazette & Herald - Lewis
Cowen (30 July 2007) at http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/headlines/display.var.1581296.0.horse_put_down_after_road_smash.php
Driver hurt after van collides with horse
A MAN was left with serious injuries after a horse jumped in front of his vehicle
The man, said to be in his 50s, was driving his yellow VW campervan on Old Lane,
Effingham, Surrey, when a brown gelding bolted from a nearby field into his path.
Read more from icSurreyOnline (4 July 2007)
Queen's former horse rescued
A HORSE once owned by The Queen was at the centre of a dramatic emergency rescue.
Black Gipsy VII is a former Buckingham Palace horse who enjoys a life of luxury
in her stables - and is even provided room service.
But the beautiful beast had to be dragged to safety by fire crews after the horse
fell into a ditch.
Read more from icSurreyOnline (25 July 2007)
Fire crew saved my horse’s life
THE owner of a horse rescued in Weymouth has praised firefighters for saving it
Natalie Northover said her chestnut mare Sherry would have died without help from
the service's new animal rescue unit.
Sherry was trapped in a ditch for three-and-a-half hours after slipping in wet
conditions in Wyke Regis. Mrs Northover, 24, of Wyke Regis, said: "I am relieved she got out".
Read more from thisisdorset.net
(27 July 2007) at
Emergency Services Protocol
· Guidelines to help the emergency services cope better with equine incidents were launched in May 2007.
· The guidelines aim to ensure 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 at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=119785
Get detailed information on the Emergency
Services Protocol from a leaflet that can be downloaded from
Doing so may save a life or a lifetime of incapacity
Drivers warned to check horsebox floors
Owners of horseboxes and trailers are being urged to check the flooring on their
vehicles after a horse was destroyed following a motorway accident.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(14 July 2007) including how to get a free check on your lorry floor at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=129159&cid=397
The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer
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.
How safe is your lorry flooring?
It is obviously vital to maintain the interior of a lorry in order to travel safely
and to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy for insurance purposes.
While floor checks do form part of a lorry's plating, this does not guarantee long-term
floor safety, and owners should also be vigilant about checking their own vehicles.
Read guidance from Horse & Hound online
(10 August 2007) at: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/horsecare/1370/136097.html
hurt in fall from 'Ferrari' horse loses £30,000 action
who claimed she fell after being given a "Ferrari" mount when she was used to a reliable "Volvo" has lost a £30,000 damages
Mrs McGregor sued riding school,
LMRS Farm Ltd, of Lochore Meadows Riding Stables, Lochgelly, Fife over the accident which happened in April 2005. The Lochore Meadows Riding Stables was sold four months ago and now operates under new management as the
Lochore Meadows Equestrian Centre.
Read more from The Scotsman – NEWS.scostman.com (29 August 2007) at http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1370732007
Read the full Judgement - Anne
Mcgregor v LMRS Farm Limited  CSOH 153 (28 August 2007) at http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2007CSOH153.html
Action underway to amend Animals Act
An attempt to amend the Animals Act (1971) in order to combat rising equestrian
insurance premiums has cleared its first hurdle in Parliament.
The Bill received its first reading in the Commons on Wednesday 27 June. It will
now have its second reading on 19 October.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(6 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=128110&cid=397
Appeal against ban on keeping horses quashed
A woman who received a 21-day prison sentence for breaching her ban on keeping
horses has lost her appeal. Delia Stacey, of Tidmarsh, Reading, had her appeal
against her conviction dismissed by Judge Inman at Guildford Crown Court on 10 July.
But a clerical error meant her legal team failed to contest her 21-day jail sentence
and she was granted leave to appeal. Stacey will return to Guildford Crown Court on 3 August and Judge Inman will again oversee
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
(21 July 2007) at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/130662.html
First appeared in the January/February/March 2006 Newsletter
Special Feature – Will I be successfully
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
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
On July 1st 2007, England introduced a
new law to make virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smokefree.
Many riding establishments already, very sensibly, operate a smokefree policy around
their stable areas, while some others impose a total smoking ban on their premises.
This has been in the main, to reduce the risk of fire. The purpose of
Smokefree England is to provide a healthier environment and protect people from
second-hand smoke. However, for those running riding establishments, Smokefree
England offers the dual benefits of a healthier environment and improved fire safety.
Removing smoking as a potential source of ignition may also act as one of the controls when undertaking the legal requirement
of a fire risk assessment.
But as a Horse & Hound news report recently highlighted, “Council imposes 46 no smoking signs on stable yard”, there is inconsistency in how the law is being interpreted and applied amongst local councils, with one council insisting
that is no smoking signs were placed on every stable door. However, this specific
requirement was denied by the Department of Health who are the authors of the new law.
Similar smokefree measures are already in
place in for Ireland (since March 2004), Scotland (since March 2006) and Wales (Since March 2006). Further details >>>
The Smokefree England website offers comprehensive information and advice and can
be found at: http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/
So what are the key points of Smokefree
· It is now
against the law to smoke in virtually all 'enclosed' and 'substantially enclosed' public places and workplaces. (See below
transport and work vehicles used by more than one person must be smokefree at all times.
signs must be displayed in all smokefree premises and vehicles.
· Staff smoking
rooms and indoor smoking areas are no longer allowed, so anyone who wants to smoke has to go outside.
of smokefree premises and vehicles have legal responsibilities to prevent people from smoking.
· If you
are uncertain where you can or can't smoke, just look for the no-smoking signs or ask someone in charge.
What are the penalties and fines for breaking
the smokefree law?
Local councils are responsible for enforcing the new law in England. If you don't
comply with the smokefree law, you will be committing a criminal offence. The fixed penalty notices and maximum fine for each
in smokefree premises or work vehicles: a fixed penalty notice of £50 (reduced to £30 if paid in 15 days) imposed on the person
smoking. Or a maximum fine of £200 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
to display no-smoking signs: a fixed penalty notice of £200 (reduced to £150 if paid in 15 days) imposed on whoever manages
or occupies the smokefree premises or vehicle. Or a maximum fine of £1000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
to prevent smoking in a smokefree place: a maximum fine of £2500 imposed on whoever manages or controls the smokefree premises
or vehicle if prosecuted and convicted by a court. There is no fixed penalty notice for this offence.
What is an 'enclosed' and 'substantially
enclosed' public place and workplace?
Premises are considered 'enclosed'
if they have a ceiling or roof and (except for doors, windows or passageways) are wholly enclosed either on a permanent or
temporary basis. Examples include tack rooms, offices, tea rooms, stables and
“barn” type stables.
Premises are considered 'substantially
enclosed' if they have a ceiling or roof, but have an opening in the walls, which is less than half the total area of
the walls. The area of the opening does not include doors, windows or any other fittings that can be opened or shut.
Indoor schools and tents or marquees will usually fall into the enclosed or substantially
Businesses and organisations should contact their local council if they require
further guidance on whether their premises are 'enclosed' or 'substantially enclosed'.
Read more at http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/what-do-i-do/quick-guide.html
What do employers, managers and those in
charge of smokefree premises and vehicles need to do?
'no-smoking' signs in smokefree premises and vehicles
· take reasonable
steps to ensure that staff, customers/members and visitors are aware that premises and vehicles are legally required to be
any existing indoor smoking rooms
that no one smokes in smokefree premises or vehicles
Read more at http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/what-do-i-do/business.html
What signs do I have to display?
The new law requires no-smoking signs to be displayed in all smokefree premises
No-smoking signs must be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to
smokefree premises and must meet minimum requirements. These requirements can
be found at: http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/what-do-i-do/business.html#signage
Where can I get the signs?
You can download no smoking signs that meet the requirements from the Smokefree
England website. You are free to design and print your own no-smoking signs as
long as they meet the minimum requirements. These can be personalised by changing the words 'these premises' to refer to the
name or type of premises. Templates that allow customisation are also available
from the Smokefree England website at http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/resources/guidance-and-signage.html#signage
Riding Safely has already seen one example at a riding school where a template
has been customised to produce signs that include their name and the prohibition areas. These have then been printed off,
laminated and displayed. The minor effort in producing personalised signs, over
using standard signs, has the benefit that the signs hold more weight in their “no smoking” message by being specific
to a particular establishment.
What should I do if someone smokes in a
smokefree place I’m in control of?
If you are in charge of smokefree premises and/or vehicles,
you will have a legal responsibility to prevent people from smoking in them. Smokefree
England have produced advice – see http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/files/how_to_deal_with_smoking_in_a_smokefree_place.pdf
Is there anything
else I should do?
Smokefree England suggests that you may also want
to take these supportive measures:
a smokefree policy in consultation with staff
staff training to help them understand the new law and what their responsibilities are
your staff and customers with support to quit smoking
The Government has produced an official guide
which explains everything you need to know about the new law and what you need to do to comply with it. Additional guidance
leaflets are also available for both businesses and individuals, along with supporting materials. These can be downloaded
or ordered from the Smokefree England Website at http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/resources/guidance-and-signage.html
241 lives lost is unacceptable
Launching the latest work related fatal injury statistics on the 26th July 2007, Health and Safety Commission (HSC) Chair Sir Bill
Callaghan said the loss of 241 lives is unacceptable and issued a fresh challenge to industry to place safety at the top of
its priorities and do more to protect the work force.
Sir Bill said, “It is disappointing to see that the overall number of deaths
has risen. We have worked hard with industry and trade unions over the past few years to bring the number down. Behind every
one of these numbers was a man or a woman, with a life, friends and family. Despite all the negative stories written and told
about over-bureaucracy and banning ‘fun’, in reality trying to stop
the tragedies we are talking about today is what health and safety is all about.”
(extract from HSE press release)
Read the full HSE press release
Myth of the Month
The HSE’s initiaitive, to promote
that the sensible management of risks protects people from real harm and suffering, but avoids bureaucratic back covering,
has taken a further step forward. HSE is running a "Myth of the Month"
campaign aimed at highlighting some of the more popular stories of health and safety, which do not actually represent the
See the latest myth of the month at http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm
A previous myth of the month, pertinent to the horse industry – May’s Myth: Risk assessments must always be long and complex can be found
Minister for the Horse
the reshuffle following Gordon Brown taking over as Prime Minister Jonathan Shaw MP has replaced Barry Gardiner MP as the
Minister for the Horse.
also has a new Secretary of State with Hilary Benn MP replacing David Miliband MP.
British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC) is arranging to meet the new Horse Minister when Parliament reconvenes in the
Autumn, to discuss relevant DEFRA issues and to brief him on the importance of the Horse Industry.
Source BHIC (August 2007) www.bhic.co.uk
Chairman for the British Horse Industry Confederation
the recent BHIC meeting it was agreed that the rotating chairmanship would pass, on the 1st October of this year, from Graham
Cory of the British Horse Society to Nic Coward, the Chief Executive of the newly established British Horseracing Authority.
outgoing Chairman, Graham Cory said:
BHIC has played an important role over the last few years in engaging with Government on a wide range of issues of importance
to all of us within the horse industry, ranging from welfare, to transport and veterinary medicines. We also worked in partnership
with the government on the ground-breaking ‘Strategy for the Horse’, which I launched with the former Minister
for the Horse, Jim Knight, in December 2005, and also the detailed Action Plan for the Strategy which I launched at the National
Equine Forum in March 2006. With an industry worth around £3.4 billion, and over
2.4 million people riding each year, it is important that industry organisations continue to work together to form a strong,
single voice to lobby government.”
new Chairman-elect , Nic Coward said:“I am delighted to take over the Chairmanship of the BHIC in October. The BHIC
has already proved that by working together to provide a strong, united voice to government, we can achieve so much more than
by lobbying alone, and that by discussing and sharing information we can provide a better service to our members and member
bodies. I wish to thank Graham Cory for his successful chairmanship, and I intend to build upon the important work of the
BHIC, not only in tackling new policy issues which arise but also in progressing the actions within the Strategy for the Horse
Source BHIC (August 2007) www.bhic.co.uk
New Chief Executive for the International League for the Protection of Horses
The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) is to appoint
Roly Owers as Chief Executive at the start of 2008. Current Chief Executive John
Smales has reached retirement age and will step down at the end of the year. The appointment follows a three month search
by the ILPH which generated a strong response and many excellent candidates.
ILPH Chairman Christopher Hall commented: “This year we have been extensively
examining how we take the ILPH forward in our drive to make us ‘Fit for the Future.’ John Smales has been heavily
involved in that process and will leave a strong legacy. He has done a great job for the last five years and taken us to our
present position. I would like to thank him for all his achievements.
“In Roly Owers I am confident we have found an exceptional individual to
take on what amounts to probably the most important job in horse welfare. From his previous, highly successful spell at the
ILPH, Roly has a very good idea of what the ILPH needs to drive us into the future at this exciting time.”
Roly Owers spent four years at the ILPH as Director (Support) from 1999 to 2003
where he was responsible for the ILPH’s Fundraising, Communications, Finance, Human Resources, IT and Admin. He has
since worked as Development Director at The Perse School, Cambridge. He comments: “It is with great excitement that
I look forward to becoming Chief Executive of the ILPH. Having previously spent
four very happy years with the charity, I know how much it achieves for horse welfare and am honoured to have the opportunity
of working with the ILPH supporters, staff, and trustees to build on this proud tradition.”
John Smales comments: “My five years with the ILPH have been enormously rewarding
and I’m very proud of what I have achieved with the help of my tremendous staff. We have increased our national and
international effectiveness and can safely claim to be leaders in this field. I shall look back on my five years at the ILPH
with great pride and satisfaction and will continue to work in the charity world. I know that the ILPH under Roly Owers will
continue to go from strength to strength.”
- 12 September 2007
Visit the ILPH website at http://www.ilph.org/
British Horseracing Authority takes over
British Horseracing Authority (BHA) was formally launched on the 31st of July as the single, unified governing
body for British Horseracing.
role is to regulate, promote and represent the sport.
major step in the modernisation of British Horseracing, the Authority takes on the roles of the British Horseracing Board
and the Horseracing Regulatory Authority, with both of those organisations ceasing to exist.
More details from the BHA (31 July 2007) at: http://www.britishhorseracing.com/inside_horseracing/media/releaseDetail.asp?item=084226
Racing stable safety a priority - StableSafe launched in Victoria
Flemington Racecourse was the scene for a significant moment in Victorian thoroughbred
racing history on Tuesday when the Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing, The Hon Rob Hulls, unveiled StableSafe at Carbine
StableSafe is a risk management and OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) improvement
plan for the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry, with over $500,000 in State Government funding allocated to the industry
to implement a number of initiatives designed to improve workplace safety across Victoria’s 1178 thoroughbred racing
Read more from Thoroughbred News
(31 Jul 2007) at http://www.thoroughbrednews.co.nz/spring-racing/?id=30395
Spotlight on rider safety at the British Horse Society Safety Conference
The safety of riders, particularly expectant mothers and those who ride alone or
work in isolated circumstances, is the focus of the British Horse Society's Biennial Safety Conference.
Taking place on 15 September 2007 at the Coventry Motor Museum, the conference
will also look at accident statistics, rural safety and animal rescue including the new Emergency Services Protocol.
The conference will be chaired by Stuart Lovatt, Road Safety Action Plan Coordinator
for the Safety Standards and Research department of the Highways Agency.
Other speakers include:
· Dr Ted
Adams, registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology
· Sgt Lesley
Taylor, Nottinghamshire Police, mounted section
· Keith Brothwell,
Nottinghamshire Police, personal safety trainer
Fire and Rescue Services addressing the Emergency Services Protocol and other issues
Sheila Hardy, BHS Safety Senior Executive, said: "Safety plays an important part
in everyday life and it is even more important that riders take responsibility for their safety when others may be affected
by their actions.
"The Safety Conference addresses several aspects of equestrian safety from self-defence
for the lone rider to the reporting process for an equestrian-related road accident. It promises to be an interesting and
varied day that we would urge all riders to support."
There will be a prize draw on the day with excellent prizes including tickets to
the Horse of the Year Show and other equestrian events plus top of the range equipment.
Tickets for the day, including lunch and refreshments, cost £30. To book your place,
or for further information, please contact the BHS Safety Department on 01926 707745. There are limited places so early booking
For more information, please contact: Sue Appley, BHS Safety Administrator,
on 01926 707745 or email@example.com
National Riding Festival 2007
The Petplan Equine National Riding Festival 2007 plans to encourage more people
into horse riding; whether they are new to the sport or simply have not ridden for a while.
The Festival runs until September.
More details at: http://www.nationalridingfestival.co.uk/index.php?page=about
The British Horse Society embraces equine facilitated learning
The BHS is looking at ways to combine the unique talents and personality of horses
with the opportunity to extend its work supporting the community in general.
To progress this new work and to ascertain the interest in training in this area,
the BHS is running an exploratory seminar at its Stoneleigh Headquarters on Monday 17 September starting at 10.30am.
The Society has joined together with Lords House Farm in Lancashire which has been working with horses and animals for 16 years and has successfully gained an excellent reputation
nationally for its work.
The programmes they deliver allow
confidence and self-esteem to flourish in learning to care for and handle horses. This, combined with social interaction,
the development of practical skills and team work, the releasing of pent up emotions and learning the valuable lesson of actions
producing consistent reactions has a huge and lasting affect on participants.
Mary Walker, Lords House Farm Chief Executive, said: "The Equine Facilitated Learning
programme should not be confused with teaching ridden skills. This is not the main element of the work and indeed some participants
do not ever get on a horse, instead the interaction is used to provide a platform for problem solving and communication."
Margaret Linington-Payne, BHS Director of Standards, said: "We are very pleased
to be working alongside Lords House Farm who have provided such valuable work over the past 16 years."
Anyone wanting to find out further information or who is interested in supporting
this move towards social support in the community are invited to attend this seminar with any ideas and comments. The seminar
is free of charge but places must be booked in advance.
For further details, please contact: Sam Whale, BHS Training Executive, The
British Horse Society, on 01926 707820 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of British Riding Schools Annual General Meeting &
The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) will be holding their Annual General
Meeting & Conference on Monday 15th October 2007 at Woodside, Glasshouse Lane, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2AL.
Building on the success of last year’s Conference at Docklands, the programme
promises to present highly topical issues of the day, including resolving disputes and litigation, given by eminent speakers
in their field.
Get more details from the day’s Programme http://www.abrs-info.org/Programme.pdf
Booking Form http://www.abrs-info.org/Booking_Form_2007.pdf
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
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 email@example.com
Breaking the Strangles Hold - campaign update
The joint AHT/BHS Strangles Campaign launched in February, has so far raised £70
000 towards the £250,000 two-year target. Many horse and pony clubs have held
their own events to help raise funds including the BHS Lancashire County Committee who, in conjunction with Pegasus Horse
Supplies Ltd, raised over £300 by holding an Equine Fashion Show and auction.
Further support has been added from leading countrywear manufacturers Puffa and
equine insurance specialists Shearwater Insurance Services Ltd. Puffa have designed
a polo shirt available in a selection of colours, and they will donate £2.00 to the strangles campaign for every shirt sold.
Shearwater will give customers the opportunity to donate £1 for every equine policy sent out, and in addition will give £5
for every £250 spent on new equine policies secured through the partnership.
Get more details from www.aht.org.uk/strangles.org/update.html
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 www.aht.org.uk/strangles.org/strangle_leaflet.pdf and the strangles campaign website 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
ILPH tackles obesity in horses
Massive increases in equine obesity and laminitis over the past two years have
prompted the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) to launch a series of "Right Weight Road Shows". The
shows started in July and are designed to alert horse owners to the health risks associated with equine obesity.
Read more from Horse & Hound Online
Body Protector Survey Continues......
you own a body protector then BETA (the British Equestrian Trade Association) want to hear from you!
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
to the BETA survey have already highlighted body protector issues - read the interim report from BETA
The British Grooms Association
LAUNCHED at Badminton on Thursday 3rd May 2007, The British Grooms Association
(BGA) has been created to provide a national organisation for grooms of all disciplines. It is the only association of its
kind in the world, and it aims to bring together those who work in this sector of the equine industry and give all members
a sense of belonging.
The BGA aims to increase national and international recognition of grooms, and
the work that they do. Working with horses is an incredibly rewarding career which requires, amongst other things, dedication,
hard work and compassion. The BGA wants grooms to be recognised as career professionals.
It welcomes membership from all grooms who work in the UK, whatever nationality,
and British grooms that are working abroad.
The BGA provides advice through its web site and magazine on a variety of subjects,
including keeping up to date with new legislation, advising on insurance requirements and horse management.
Find out more about The British Grooms Association at http://www.britishgrooms.org.uk
· 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
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
“Safety with Horses”
with Horses is a cost effective, award winning equine health and safety training programme, leading to an accredited Vocational
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.
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
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
more from http://www.workplacehealthconnect.co.uk/
Gloom lifts for riding schools
Life is getting a bit easier for the owners of the country's riding schools.
Hundreds have decided to go out of business in the past few years, partly due to
a sharp rise in the cost of public liability insurance.
That, in turn, had been driven up by the increasing claims being paid out to people
who had been injured while out riding.
But recent court cases have started to reverse that trend, and insurers now say
that well run riding schools should have no trouble getting a competitive quote.
"Premiums have stabilised now and in some cases have gone down a bit," says Bob
Pluck of South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB).
"They won't have a problem getting a competitive quote these days."
Read the full feature from BBC News
Air Ambulance service for
Hampshire and Isle of Wight
|The Air Ambulance answers its first emergency on 1 July 2007
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air
Ambulance became operational on 1st July 2007, and is now flying several missions every day, many of which are
Relying entirely on voluntary donations
it needs to raise more than £65,000 every month - over £2000 every day.
Airborne within three minutes of a 999
call, the Air Ambulance can reach most of its operational area within fifteen minutes.
It needs an area only half the size of a tennis court to be able to land.
Equestrian related accidents account for about 10% of the air ambulance callouts
with the most common cause being road traffic accidents (around 33%).
To assist in finding you, particularly If
you live off the beaten track, it’s recommended that you stick a label to your telephone, or make a note in your emergency
information, of your Ordnance Survey map six-figure grid reference (e.g. SU485005).
Find out more at: http://www.hampshireandiowairambulance.org.uk/index.html
“Air ambulance crews had to be scrambled to help the victims of serious riding accidents in rural Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
nearly 150 times in 2006.” BBC Inside Out - Friday March 23, 2007
“With the Midlands area Air Ambulance
attending on average, 3 horse related accidents each week, BBC1’s Inside Out programme investigates why so many accidents
are occurring and what might be done to reduce them in the future.” BBC1
- West Midlands (Sky channel 979), Wednesday 10th October 2007 at 7.30pm.
Horse & Country TV launches on Sky
Horse & Country TV launched on Sky channel 280 on 2 July 2007
For more details go to http://www.horseandcountry.tv/
TV series highlights work of ILPH
Horse Patrol is on Sky Channel 280 A TV series following the daily work of the
International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) has premiered on new channel Horse & Country TV (SKY channel
The 12 part series named ‘Horse Patrol’ follows the charity’s
16 U.K Field Officers as they investigate cases of horse cruelty and neglect. Horse Patrol also features Farm Manager Janet
Dale and her team at the charity's newest Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre, ILPH Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset.
Read more from the ILPH (31 July
2007) at http://www.ilph.org/news_details.asp?id=821
57% in survey admit to have ridden without a hat
A simple question on the Horse & Hound Forum “Have you ever ridden
without a hat?” led to a heated debate with 57% of those responding saying they had. Over 700 people read the post, 134 voted and 93 expressed opinions ranging from they’d never ride
without a hat to those that did, feeling it was down to personal choice. Moral,
social and legal implications were also discussed.
You can follow the debate at:
Horse rides to rescue
as owner attacked in field by raging cow
A FARMER has told how she was
saved by her horse after it fought off a raging cow that was attacking her.
more from News.scotsman.com (13 August 2007) at: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1280312007
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