News & Updates for October 2008
UK's only Equestrian Safety Newsletter
Riding Safely is not responsible for the content of external
Welcome to the new-style Riding Safely newsletter! We've been going for just over four years, so we decided to change the format. If you've missed us in your Inbox lately, that's because we wanted to get it right. Meanwhile we've gone on producing monthly reports, and you can catch up with them on the Past News page. But if you're pressed for time, we'll still be bringing you up to
date on the key news reports of 2008.
We now report on more global issues - health, safety and welfare are common issues
wherever you are. Other countries have much to share in this respect, and
Riding Safely will be bringing you all we've learned from them. And on
that score, we'd like to welcome our new subscribers from around the world, particularly those in the US, Australia and New
Over the coming months there's still a lot to do to finish updating the Riding
Safely website. We're here to promote and improve equestrian and equine
health, safety and welfare. But we need your help. If there's something you'd like to see covered, or an area where you'd like to see more emphasis,
let us know! The same goes if you'd like us to publicise an event or a
campaign, or you need help with research, or have any comments. Your input
is vital. Have we got our information right? Could it be better? Would you like to contribute? Feel free to chip in by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, we don't just report the news.
We try to provide solutions as well. Hopefully, together we can
make the horse world a better place for everyone, including our equine friends.
Important News for the month
Dark winter months are attractive times for arsonists
to strike. Over the past month we've seen two suspected attacks. Go to our FIRE section to find out how to protect your premises from arson while picking
up winter fire prevention tips from equestrian fire specialist Harry Paviour.
Highly respected, leading FEI vet Bob Baskerville
is at home recovering after surgery following a kick from a sedated thoroughbred. Speaking
to Horse & Hound he said: "I consider myself to be very lucky this time, but would like to remind everyone not to become
complacent when working around horses — especially their feet". I'd like
to wish Bob a very speedy recovery. Leaving aside his particular case, I'd echo
his thoughts. Riders, owner riders and professionals sometimes become complacent
around our four-legged friends. There are many reasons for the unfortunate accidents
that happen to our horses and riders. Let's make sure that complacency isn't
one of them.
UK: Horse therapy helps 'unique' boy
The parents of a four-year-old with a rare genetic disorder say he is
being helped by horse riding. Dyfan Wynne, from Wrexham, is the only known child in Britain with the condition
called 'Chromosome 8 deletion'. It has left him with poor eyesight, learning
difficulties and the need for heart operations.
But hippotherapy, physiotherapy on horseback, has helped him learn to walk and increased his self-confidence. The youngster progressed so well with the hippotherapy sessions that he is now in
the 'vaulting' classes - effectively gymnastic movements on horseback. Dyfan's
mother Helen said the treatment for her son has changed his life.
(BBC News - 17 October 2008)
Breeder Suzanne Jenkins banned from owning horses in the UK
The RSPCA has successfully prosecuted a former Gloucestershire woman who allowed her horses to become severely underweight.
The charity has also sent an inspector to Spain where more of the woman's horses are said to be starving
(Horse & Hound Online - 24 October 2008)
UK: New equine cancer unit opens at Cambridge University
Horses with cancer have a better chance of recovery thanks to the extension of a cancer therapy unit at the University
of Cambridge. The Queen's Veterinary Hospital at the university is the only facility
in Europe offering radiotherapy for horses. Last week it opened a new building to house a radiotherapy machine designed to
(Horse & Hound Online - 18 October 2008)
USA: 9-month sentence in case of starved horses
An American Judge has sentenced a woman who pleaded guilty to three counts
of first-degree animal cruelty to nine months in jail for mistreating her horses.
(Seattle Post Intelligencer - 17 October 2008)
UK: The “Safety with Horses” course just got better...
The award-winning "Safety with Horses" course is acknowledged for
setting the standard of safety training across the horse industry. But the course
which can be completed at home and your own stables just got better...
If you join during the current campaign, not only do you stand to make your yard
a safer place for people and horses while achieving a nationally accredited award, but you'll also receive a free ticket to
a top equestrian event, meeting one of our top riders.
By successfully completing the Equi Study “Safety with Horses” home/stable
study course and you will receive a free ticket to one of four top equestrian events including Olympia, Badminton, Burghley
and Horse of the Year Show. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet a leading rider, learn about top level competition
and ask questions about show jumping or eventing.
There are seven start dates during the year so you can choose both your favourite
event and the best time to complete your course.
Anyone who is 16 years and over who has access to horses and equine facilities
can take part. You’ll also need a competent person (Level 3 – e.g. AI)) who can observe you undertaking some basic
but key practical activities with horses. The course fee is £40 and this includes registration fees and all necessary learning
and assessment materials, however if you are between 16 and 18 years old the course is absolutely free. Everyone will be able to access their own Equi Study Tutor to help them complete their course. Click here for more information on the “Safety with Horses” campaign.
Find out what the Health and Safety Executive say about the course
Riding Safely thoroughly recommends
Thousands rally to oppose plans for New Forest
Protestors from as far afield as Birmingham, Kent, Surrey and Cornwall, rallied near Southampton on Saturday to oppose
the New Forest National Park's draft plan for equestrian use
(Horse & Hound Online - 6 October 2008)
Zara Phillips breaks her collarbone as horror fall kills favourite
Zara Phillips has
broken her collarbone in a riding accident in which her horse was killed.
The Queen's granddaughter
was taking part in a cross-country event at Pau near the French Pyrenees on Saturday (25 October) when her horse Tsunami II
fell at a fence and broke its neck. Her spokesman said she was 'devastated'
by the horse's death.
Online – 26 October 2008)
USA: Engineers look to develop safer horse jumps
Cross-country course designers and engineers are teaming up in the US to develop
safer jumps to help prevent serious horse and rider injuries and deaths.
Course builder and designers, including US Equestrian Federation President
and licensed course designer David O'Connor, will join with faculty and students at the University of Kentucky, forming a
multidisciplinary team to develop and demonstrate additional frangible technology for cross-country fences.
(horsetalk.co.nz – 9 October 2008)
Texas – USA: Equine encephalitis found in Denton County horse
Two horses in Texas, one of them in Denton County, have been diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The Denton
County horse had been vaccinated. According to information from the Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas is one of seven
states where EEE has been reported this year in horses.
The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes and can be transmitted to humans.
Horses with mosquito-borne encephalitic viruses such as EEE, Western Equine Encephalitis, or West Nile Virus may stagger,
appear confused, and act erratically. “The disease is not so much killing
the horse, it’s what it may cause the horse to do, (such as) fall over or fall asleep while drinking and drown,”
said Dr. Dean Hansen, of the Little Elm Breezeway Animal Clinic. In 2002 when
West Nile Virus was first detected in Texas, 1,699 equine animals were stricken with infection. West Nile vaccine has helped
cut those case numbers from 716 in 2003 to two cases in 2008. “Vaccinating
against mosquito-borne diseases has to be a part of routine equine health care. Don’t stop just because case numbers
drop,” Schwartz said. “As good as vaccines are at protecting against
infection, there are rare times when a vaccinated animal will still contract disease. That is no reason to avoid vaccinating
your animals,” he added.
(McKinney Courier Gazette - 17 October 2008)
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Fact Sheet (CDC)
No one likes an accident. Those featured in this section come from media sources and often lack
the detail of the circumstances that may have contributed to the tragic outcomes. Even so, by being aware of the types of
accidents that have happened in the past may help to prevent or lead to action to prevent similar accidents occurring in the
– UK: Pony Club releases statement over death of 15 year old member
The chairman of the Pony Club has
extended the organisation's deepest sympathies to family and friends of Jade South, the 15-year-old member who died
at a rally on 30 October. Jade, from Linton, Ross-on-Wye, was crushed by her 16hh horse Oz in a rotational fall at a South
Herefordshire and Ross Harriers Pony Club Rally, held at Pauntley Court Farm cross country course in Gloucestershire.
(Horse & Hound Online - 31 October 2008)
Plymouth – UK: Police appeal after school bus kills horse
A bus driver who
hit and killed a horse being ridden on Dartmoor with a minibus full of children is wanted by police. Officers in Tavistock said a white private hire minibus had hit a horse at the local beauty spot known
as The Rock on the Crapstone Road in Yelverton between 3.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday 15 October.
(Plymouth Evening Herald – 18 October
UK: Network Rail rejects blame for horse electrocution
Network Rail has
dismissed claims that it was to blame for the death of a horse by refusing to switch off the electricity current on a railway. A six-month-old cob called Husher was electrocuted after falling on to the track between
Aldershot and Farnham in Hampshire on 28 September.
(Horse & Hound Online - 18 October, 2008)
Police horse is hurt in crash
A Police horse was injured after being involved in a collision with a Range Rover in Rochdale town centre.
(Rochdale Observer - 18
UK: Mourners watch in horror as horse-drawn funeral carriage overturns and smashes into two cars
Three people were injured when a horse-drawn carriage dramatically
overturned after two of the animals pulling it bolted, flipping the coffin into the street.
The hearse, carrying the coffin of Caroline Thompson, 79, struck a street bollard and careered into cars after two
of the four horses pulling it darted away. The startled horses fled the Ipswich
street before being recaptured 15 minutes later. One person was treated in hospital for a bruised hip and broken nose, while
another two escaped with minor injuries.
(Daily Mail - 17 October 2008)
- UK: Serial arsonist fears after dogs die in fire
Residents are worried that a serial arsonist might be on the loose after two pet dogs were burnt alive in a suspected
arson attack at a stable in Clydach.
(WalesOnline - 16 October 2008)
Morecambe – England – UK: Horses rescued from stable blaze
Two horses were led to safety by their owner after a suspected arson attack
on their stable.
28 October 2008)
Ü "In sicknes and
The ‘In sickness and in health’ fundraising campaign is designed
to support the BHS’s work of preventing the suffering of thousands of horses and ponies, which it does by providing
expert advice across a broad range of equine topics.
Read more »
the Strangles hold
In February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and British Horse Society (BHS)
launched a nationwide Strangles Campaign, which has two aims. The first is to raise awareness of this dreadful equine plague,
and the second is to gain support for the research programme.
For this, the target is to raise £250,000 to fund research into the next stages
of the development of improved means of diagnosis and prevention – ultimately to eradicate this terrible disease.
The campaign was launched by the President of the AHT, HRH The Princess Royal,
at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. It continues to make great progress, with the total raised so far standing at
For more information about Strangles and the campaign visit www.strangles.org