20 years ago a Horse & Hound column led with "Yes, we do still
need that big, strong voice", spoke of fragmentation and the need to present a united front to the public and media.
10 years ago another Horse & Hound column led with "Never
before have riding schools had it so bad".
Now we have that big strong voice, the seeds have been sown to
end fragmentation and for the first time we have a strategy that should ensure a sustainable future for the horse industry.
But we mustn't forget, as the strategy points out, "Every action
needs a person or, more likely, people to do it. There is not a rider or driver or worker in equestrianism who is absolved
from all responsibility.If you do your bit the Strategy will be a success.If you prefer to leave it all to someone else you lose your right to complain when
for many is the pinnacle of all the shows that occur throughout the year.Spectators,
competitors and staff all went there in the knowledge that it would be enjoyable and well-organised -- and it was.Part of that good organisation was about ensuring the safety of everyone.Year on year the safety aspect for those organising Olympia must become easier, having built up knowledge from previous
years and learning from things that went well and acting on those that didn't.
But we need to hear the
words "enjoyable and well-organised" uttered by everyone taking part in any aspect of equestrianism - whether that is using
a riding school, a livery yard, attending a local show or whatever....
Of course, "safety" is just
one small part of eliciting a positive experience.Getting it right really isn't
difficult -- but getting it wrong at best might lead to the words "unenjoyable and disorganised" and the accompanying bad
publicity, but at worst might lead to the loss of a life or a lifetime of incapacity and the premature closure of a business.
We now have the strategy for the
industry to go forward - let's make sure that we go forward with safety in a positive way that is beneficial to everyone.
You can comment
about any of the items in this edition of the News digest in the Forum.
We may not have escaped the cold weather yet so make sure that you identify the location of all the stop
cocks/valves inside your premises as well as the main incoming valve - just in case you get that burst pipe....
But also ensure that you advise your staff (or anyone else who needs to know) of their location. In the event
that the worst happens and water freezes on the yard make sure you have a supply of salt.
A landmark achievement for the Horse Industry as
its first ever Strategy is launched
The first ever strategy for the horse industry in England and
Wales was launched on the 6th December 2005 by the British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC), in partnership
with Defra, DCMS and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Strategy sets out a vision of where the industry aspires to
be within ten years, how the different parts of the industry fit into this picture, and how the Government can help it in
following this path.
Since publishing ground-breaking research by the Henley Centre
in March 2004, Defra and the horse industry have been working together to develop a joint Strategy to foster a robust and
sustainable horse industry, increase its economic value, enhance the welfare of the horse, and develop the industry's contribution
to the cultural, social, educational, health and sporting life of the nation. The draft was published in February 2005 and
following a successful public consultation period, the final strategy has been produced.
At the launch event at Lee Valley Riding Centre in Leyton, London, Jim Knight,
Defra's Minister for the Horse Industry said:
"This day marks a significant milestone in the strengthening partnership
between Government and the horse industry. The Strategy is testimony to the major contribution which the horse industry makes,
both to our economy in general and to the lives of so many people in cities and rural areas across England
"From rural regeneration and environmental protection, to health
and education, the horse industry has a key role to play in delivering our national priorities. I share with the BHIC a strong
conviction that the industry has the potential to develop further and contribute more - and this Strategy is aimed at unlocking
"While today's launch is an achievement in itself, the success
of the Strategy will lie in harnessing the enthusiasm and the continued positive efforts of everyone interested in horses,
or engaged in horse-related business. Government for its part will continue to work with the industry to achieve common objectives,
which include improving access to safe off-road routes, increasing and widening participation in equestrianism, raising standards
of business performance and enhancing the health and welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys.
"I urge everyone concerned with horses and equestrianism to read
this Strategy and pledge their support, so that we can move forward in unison to deliver the vision it sets out of a strong,
vibrant and sustainable future."
The Chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation, Graham
"We can rejoice that months of consultation and collaboration
have resulted in a comprehensive and exciting Strategy, which encompasses the many varied parts of the horse industry.
"However, we now have to face the challenging task of delivering
the 50 Action Points which are crucial to the Strategy's implementation. Every action needs a person or, more likely, people
to take it forwards. There is not a rider or driver or worker in equestrianism who is absolved from all responsibility. If
we all do our bit the Strategy will be a success."
The strategy proposes specific actions to help achieve the following
initial broad objectives for accomplishing this aim:
1. to bring the Horse Industry together and develop its national,
regional and local impact;
2. to increase participation in equestrianism and the social contribution
of the Horse Industry;
3. to boost the economic performance of equine businesses;
4. to raise equestrian skills, training and standards;
5. to increase access to off-road riding and carriage driving;
6. to consider the environmental impact of the horse;
7. to encourage sporting excellence; and
8. to improve the quality and breeding of horses and ponies.
The Strategy will be supplemented by an Action Plan, due to be
published in early 2006, which will set out who is responsible for taking things forward, the desired final outcome, the current
position and the next steps. This will serve as the basis for monitoring progress in the future. It is intended that a progress
report will be produced after one year and at suitable points thereafter.
THE British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC) has launched its strategy
for the horse industry in England and Wales and plans to hold each of its members accountable for moving the industry forward.
"Drafting this document was one thing, but somebody has to do something,"
said Graham Cory, BHIC chairman and British Horse Society (BHS) chief executive.If everybody waits for someone else, it will be a total waste of time, money and a squandering of opportunity."
BHIC incorporates every facet of the horse industry, including the Association
of British Riding Schools (ABRS), the BHS, the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the British Horseracing Board
(BHB).Its strategy follows two years' consultation between members, DEFRA, the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Welsh Assembly government.
At the launch, Jim Knight, ministerfor
rural affairs and the horse, said: "This day marks a milestone in the strengthening partnership between the government and
horse industry.It is testimony to the major contribution the horse industry
makes, both to our economy and to the lives of so many people."
BEF chief executive Andrew Finding said the strategy fitted with the federation's
own strategic direction, adding:"We hope that they will
both go a long waytowards helping the entire industry work together, for the greater good
of all."Corysaid:"lt'samazing this is happening. In this fractious industry, that all those
people have got together overthe past two yearsisquite something."
ABRS chairman Julian Marczak attributed ultimate success to an ability
to "dismiss our differences, unite and support each other", while British Equine Trade Association chief executive Claire
Williams stressed the enthusiasm that drove the strategy "now needs to be conveyed".
Extract source: Horse & Hound Magazine 8
Industry unites to tackle insurance
The scenario of horse owners being held strictly liable for any
accident involving their animal is being challenged, as ABIGAIL BUTCHER reported in Horse and Hound on 8 December 2005…….
THE CountryLand and
Business Association (CLA) and British Horse Society are uniting to call a halt to rising equestrian insurance premiums.
The two organisations met last Friday to discuss a way forward on their separate campaigns, following moves
by the CLA to push forward amendments to the Animals Act relating to owners' strict liability.
"This was the first real and meaningful discussion I have had with the CLA in my time here," said BHS chief
executive Graham Cory. "We've decided we must cooperate and pool our resources to achieve change."
The Law Lords' interpretation of the Animals Act 1971 in the Mirvahedy case -
which resulted in considerable compensation — set a precedent that, added to the UK's
increasing compensation culture, and has set insurance premiums spiralling.
In March 2003, horse owners Andrew and Susan Henley were held strictly liable for injuries to motorist.
HosseinMirvahedy in an accident in Devon in 1996,
after their horses escaped from a field.
Last year, the CLA began a concerted push to remove strict liability from owners or keepers of horses involved
in an accident where there has been no negligence.
"We're looking to suggest that people who own horses aren't strictly liable under the Animals Act unless
they've been negligent," said CLA legal head Dr Karen Jones, who last week met with rural affairs minister Jim Knight to discuss
ways in which the Act could be clarified and amended.
Dr Jones continued: "Going through at the moment is the Compensation Bill, which talks about clarifying
when people are liable for accidents. We want it to say that owners of a normal animal behaving normally should not be liable
— accidents can happen, as any horse owner knows.
"The government is very receptive. It recognises there is a problem that needs to be sorted."
Last week, Jim Knight told H&H he welcomed the CLA's campaign, but added:
"I would not wish to absolve all horse, or other owners, from the responsibility of taking suitable precautions to protect
innocent members of the public from the possibility of injury. Subject to that proviso, I am committed to exploring within
government what action might be taken to resolve this situation."
How to tackle insurance hikes is discussed in the new British Horse Industry Confederation Federation strategy.
An industry-led working group, chaired by the BHS - together with DEFRA, the Association of British Riding Schools and the
Association of British Insurers - has also, for the past two years, discussed ways the horse and insurance industries can
work together to reduce risks and rising premiums. The BHS has now invited the CLA to join that group, both parties recognising
they must use the weight of the whole industry to effect change.
Barry Fehler, director of South Essex Insurance Brokers, part of the working
group, welcomed the move.
Battling insurance in Wales
INGRID Evans runs Llandwana Stables, a small trekking and livery
business in Pembrokeshire.
Over the past two years, her insurance premium has risen by 200% - from £2,000 to £6,000 after an incident that was out of her control.
While trekking with a mother and her two daughters, two loose dogs [owned by tourists]
ran at the horses and, in a natural show of fear, the horses spooked.
Three of the four riders, including Evans, fell.
"We were just walking up the bridleway in complete control, it was a real shock," recalled
Two years after the incident, Evans received a claim from the mother, including medical
evidence of injury. Evans's insurance company settled out of court, but then her insurance premiums began to rise.
Evans contacted her solicitors to determine whether she could hold the owners of the dogs
liable and was told her insurance company could settle the matter as it saw fit. And settling out of court, a cheaper option than fighting a
claim, is often taken.
Evans received two further claims from the daughters, one of whom did not fall off her
horse. Evans's insurance company has settled one claim out of court, but is waiting for the results of the second. But as
the second is processed, no other insurers will take her on and her premiums are now prohibitively high.
"I feel this
situation is disgraceful, but what can I do?" asked Evans. "I have to either keep paying an extra £4,000 a year for something that wasn't my fault or the alternative is to close
"There are two ways forward - one is to overrule the precedent set by the Mirvahedy
case, the other is to clarify the Animals Act," he said. "The insurance industry has been looking for a suitable substantial
case with which to overrule the Mirvahedy case."
According to Fehler, insurance rates have stabilised in the past year, and there
is no sign of a rise in the immediate future. "If there's clarification [to the Animals Act] it does make it easier to deal
with difficult cases that would see a possible reduction in premiums," he said.
Simon Mackaness, director of THB Equestrian Group, also welcomed clarification,
saying: "Anything that helps reduce the legal liability of the assured or the horse owner has to be of benefit." But he added:
"As far as lowering premiums, it's hard to comment without knowing exactly what will be changed and the ramifications.
"We have to look at it from the different angles - legislation is interpreted in different ways, for example,
the Animals Act has been interpreted in very different ways from when it was originally drafted."
Cory says the next step forward is "more talks" with the CLA, to ensure the case is "as robust and well
argued, and backed up with as much evidence as possible".
Richard Jarman, CLA head of communications, added: "This is a really positive
step forward.It wasn't that we didn't want to work with the BHS, we just had
members chomping at our heels to get things done."
Horse & Hound Magazine 8 December 2005
Safety mattered to more than
‘Safety Matters Fun Day’ in Bedfordshire
The Development Officer attended the Bedfordshire branch of the
British Horse Society (BHS) Safety Fun day on Saturday 12th November 2005, which attracted more than 250 visitors
and their families. This event, sponsored by Mountain Horse, highlighted the benefits of riding and managing horses in a safe
and secure environment.
There were scheduled talks throughout the day, from distinguished
speakers; Garry Porter from Horsewatch, Ken Law the editor of ‘Riding Safely’ and Vet Helen Papworth MA VetMB
MRCVS - all of which gave us the benefit of their invaluable experience, from beating thieves to avoiding hazards and dealing
with injury. Peter Smith and Adrian Smith from Bedfordshire Police tirelessly offered free trailer reversing
instruction for group or individuals and managed to keep up the good work all day!
The Shuttleworth Equestrian team put on a fun but serious road
safety demonstration whilst the various trade stands offered generous discounts on many safety products, riding goods and
equine services. New products were showcased including Mountain Horse SCS3, Barns Buckle safety stirrup mechanism and a whole
variety of high visibility equipment from V bandz and Biggleswade Saddlery, who additionally offered tack marking and free
safety equipment checking.
Meanwhile children had a fantastic time enjoying the bouncy castle/obstacle
course, mini cars, bungee run and hobby horse challenge. Yve Wallace, Press Officer for the BHS Bedfordshire added, “Although
the ‘Safety Matters’ day had a serious message for all horse riders, we also wanted to make this a fun day for
the whole family to remember and enjoy, and by the very positive feedback we have received, I believe we managed to achieve
this and look forward to making this an annual event!”
Entrance was free and there were mini prizes, to be won throughout
the day. The free prize draw and raffle, which included MH waterproof riding
jacket, MH SCS3 boots, MH jodhpur boots, Bioflow magnetic horse boots, plus many more, were received with pure pleasure at
the close of the day.
Everybody left with something, visitors were invited to take home
a goodie bag stuffed full of useful and valuable information.What a day!!
Point-to-point riders in Britain face another facet of medical bureaucracy when the
season starts in January. Changes to the way concussion is managed will mean riders who are dazed in a fall must attend a
testing centre to assess their reaction speed before returning to racing.
The move brings pointing into line with national hunt racing and
eventing and eradicates the guesswork that has been a feature of concussion cases. Riders familiar with the tests list time
and expense as the biggest drawbacks. As West Country champion Richard Woolacott said: "The tests take
about 11/2hr, but I had to travel from my home in Devon to a centre in Swindon,
which meant a day off work. I know of one rider who had to go three times before he was passed fit to ride."
By contrast, former national champion Leslie Jefford said testing
was a good thing, ensuring riders were fit to compete, and adding that more testing centres were needed.
Previously, concussion cases were signed off for a set period
- of between 48hr and 21 days - then cleared to ride by a course doctor.
Dr Michael Turner, the Jockey Club's chief medical adviser said
the old-fashioned way was simply untenable, now that sophisticated equipment was in place to test concussion more accurately.
For the past two years, amateurs riding under Rules have had to
take a personal or "baseline" test to assess their speed of reaction in a healthy state. If concussed they retake the test
- and should they fail to match their baseline, they remain suspended.
• About 900 people ride in British point-to-points
• Some 500 (not riding under Rules) affected for the first
• About 20 will suffer concussion next season
• Obligatory post-concussion test is free (approx Ihr 45min)
• Optional baseline test costs £40 (approx 45min)
• Testing centres: Edinburgh,
Newcastle, York, Nottingham,
Leamington Spa, Cambridge,
• Concussed riders gain a red
entry in their medical record book and must send it to Jockey Club HQ, then wait until they feel 100% (at least six days)
before making a test appointment
• 85% of riders are cleared on first review
• Status quo retained in Ireland
i.e. traditional fixed suspensions of 48hr, seven and 21 days
Weather Update - Two in
three chance of a colder-than-average winter
The Met Office updated its Winter forecast for December - February
2005/6 on the
28th November 2005.
It continues to predict a two in three chance of a colder-than-average
winter for much of Europe. If this holds true, parts of the UK
- especially southern regions - are expected to have temperatures below normal.
There is also an indication for a drier-than-average winter over
much of the UK.
Provisional figures from the Met Office are showing that England
and Wales were basked in sunshine in December (2005).
In total England
and Wales had 63.5hrs of sunshinethroughout the month - 42% above the long-term average - making it the 3rd sunniest December on record. Only
December 2001, with 75.3hrs, and December 1962, with 64.6hrs, beat it.
While the sun shone the rain stayed away - with a provisional
total of 69.3mm in England and Wales,
28% below average.
The mean temperature for the area was 4.2 C, which is equal to
the long-term average.
A successor to the late Robin Cook MP has been elected as chairman
of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Horse.
Laurence Robertson, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, succeeds Cook - the first chairman
of the group from its foundation in 2000.
"The object of the group was to give the ordinary horse a voice
in Parliament, a voice that would receive support from all sides of the House of Commons and House of Lords," said Harry Greenway,
a former MP who worked with Cook to establish the group.
Robertson has ridden from a young age.He represents a prime equestrian area in Gloucestershire and takes a keen interest in all matters relating
to the horse, including riding establishments in his constituency and beyond.
"I shall do all I can for the welfare and benefit of horses and
their users," he said.
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 15 December 2005
Suggett appointed to board
Graham Suggett has been elected director of equine development
by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).
Former BEF consultant director of breeding, Suggett devised and
implemented the BEF's Young Horse Evaluations scheme and the Breeders' Quality Mark. He has also been a key figure in the
establishment of the National Equine Database (NED).
In his new role, Suggett will look after equine policy and support
the training and development of young horses, welfare and equine sports science.
"I'm delighted to still be involved," said Suggett.
There are differences between Agriculture and (for a better word) Equiculture but the
HSE's initiative provides a simple training framework that should improve competence resulting in fewer accidents and ill
health. Achievements from such a framework are likely to appeal to insurers. Isn't preventing the preventable
accidents and securing lower insurance premiums one of the goals of the horse industry? Training is a major key.
But as Riding Safely reported in the August - October Newsletter the Horse
Industry is ahead of the game by having its own established Level 2 course "Health
and Safety with Horses" which provides recognised qualifications in equine safety.
also the “Safety with Horses” Conference in the Diary Dates section
New qualifications to help reduce accidents and ill
health on farms New health and safety qualifications aimed at people working in farming have been recognised by
the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) initiative, vocational qualifications
(VQs) for health and safety in agriculture are the first such qualifications designed specifically for the farming industry
and will pave the way for a new generation of training courses to tackle the industry's poor health and safety record.
Last year 47 people were killed in farm-related accidents, and many more
suffered serious injury or ill health. In the last five years 231 people have died, including nine children under the
age of sixteen. The aim of introducing the VQs is to focus attention on health and safety and reduce the number of injuries
and deaths caused by accidents on farms.
HSE has developed the qualifications with the help of a number of organisations
including the National Farmers' Union
and the Transport and General Workers' Union, awarding bodies for the land-based sector, such as Lantra
and the NPTC, and the QCA. "The farming industry's health and safety record is poor, and these VQs are aimed at anyone
working in the industry, from farm workers to supervisors and managers," explained HSE Inspector Alastair Mitchell. "These
qualifications should help improve the education, skills and competences of the workforce and contribute towards making farms
safer places to work."
Qualifications available under the scheme will be pitched at three different
levels. The Level 2 Certificate, Working Safely (in Agriculture/Horticulture), is designed for anyone working in the
industry or about to join it, the Level 3 Certificate, Controlling Risks to Health and Safety, is aimed at supervisors, unit
managers, and worker safety representatives, and the Level 4 Certificate, Managing Risks to Health and Safety, is for senior
managers and owners of large agricultural or horticultural businesses. The Level 2 and 3 Certificates have received accreditation
from the QCA, while work on the Level 4 Certificate is at an advanced stage and the qualification should be accredited in
the spring of 2006.
Training courses for the health and safety in agriculture VQs are currently
in development and should be available in early 2006. All three programmes will have a strong practical bias, and the content
will be geared broadly to the type of farming with which the candidate is familiar. Level 2 will focus on the identification
of farm hazards, and Level 3 will require candidates to undertake risk assessments. At Level 4, management issues such
as producing health and safety policies will be covered. At the end of the training period each candidate will be assessed
to check that they have reached the required standard before the qualification is awarded.
Explanatory Notes 1.
The QCA is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills. It regulates the curriculum,
examinations and assessments, from the foundation stage in schools through to work-related qualifications in colleges and
at work. It accredits and monitors qualifications taken in schools, colleges and at work to ensure quality and the spread
of best practice in every sector and for every type of qualification. Further details are available from the QCA website at
2. VQs are recognised throughout the UK
within the national qualifications framework, and are related to industry and employment national occupational standards.
They are short courses of typically 20 to 30 guided learning hours followed by an assessment. This may take the form
of multiple choice questions and short written answers. Level 3 and above require an evidence-based portfolio of work
related to the candidate's place of work.
3. Further information on training courses for the VQs can
be obtained from Lantra Awards on 024 7641 9703 or the NPTC on 024 7685 7300. 4. Agriculture has one of the highest fatal
incidence rates of any major UK industry. For more details
see the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/fatal.htm Source:HSE 22 November 2005
Criminal Records Bureau checks
compulsory for new British Horse Society Registered Instructors
The British Horse Society has registered with the Criminal Records
Bureau (CRB) in England
and Wales, with Disclosure Scotland
and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland
and is the "umbrella body" for child protection checks within the equine industry.
Linda Haworth, Senior Executive of the BHS Examinations Department,
said: "The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and all its member Groups are aware
of the importance of child protection issues within sport.
"As from 1 January 2006
all new BHS Register of Instructor applicants will be required to produce an Enhanced CRB Disclosure."
A CRB disclosure application, Disclosure Scotland application
or Department of Health for N.I., disclosure application form will be sent out with
the 2006 Register of Instructors application form.
Prospective Registered Instructors should allow at least 28 days
for the check to be carried out.Instructors may wish to
apply for a check before submitting their Register of Instructors application.If both applications are submitted together there will be a delay in registering the instructor, whilst awaiting the return of the disclosure.
At the moment this is a requirement for new BHS Registered Instructors
only.However, Instructors who allow their registration to
lapse by more than 12 months will be required to produce a disclosure if they wish to renew
membership to the register.
Linda said: "Children and young people are the future of the horse
industry and any child who participates should be able to do so in a fun, safe environment
and be protected from harm.
"The BHS is committed to devising and implementing policies and
procedures to ensure all those involved comply with the Code of Good Practice."
Recent suicides in racing have led to the formation of a group
to investigate underlying triggers and potential industry-specific threads.
On 1 December, a meeting was held between organisations including
Racing Welfare, the Samaritans, police, social services, and the Newmarket Trainers Federation.Racing Welfare chief executive Cedric Burton said: "This is the first step to understanding the deaths
of three stable lads" - all friends, and none previously showing obvious signs of distress.
In addition, he said the pooling of knowledge (in and out of racing)
would start the process of assessing the "social health of the racing community" and help determine if anything could be done
to prevent such cases.
Earlier this year, Racing Welfare and the Samaritans, set up a
helpline. Next year it plans to introduce a mentoring system within racing yards. These moves are linked to the June 2004
Stable and Stud Staff Commission inquiry chaired by Lord Donoughue.
Burton said initial discussions with the Samaritans underlined that nothing
about the three lads placed them in a suicide risk category.
On 6 January, Jeffery Brown, 40, working with Newmarket
trainer David Loder, was found hanged at home. On 30 April, Eric Clamp, 33, was found hanged at Newmarket
trainer and H&H columnist James Fanshawe's Pegasus Stables.Inquest recorded
a verdict of suicide in both cases.
Six months later (2 November), their friend Paul Matthews, 41,
who worked as second head lad at Fanshawe's La Grange Stables, was found hanged.An
inquest date is yet to be set, but police are not treating the death as suspicious.
The subject of suicide was touched on during a 29 November progress
report of the Stable and Stud Staff Steering Group, charged with implementing recommendations of the Donoughue report.
Group chair, Baroness Mallalieu, said the helpline set up by Racing
Welfare this year was one of the first priorities in addressing staff welfare, recognition and respect.
In a related move, Stable Lads Association secretary Bill Adams
announced the launch of clinics for staff to raise any concerns or questions (welfare issues, working conditions) in January-February
The second edition of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines
Compendium for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys is now out.
First published in 2002, it is now a well-respected authority
on equine welfare standards, used as a reference for many local authorities, police forces and welfare organisations in the
"It is welfare standards and care of the horse the whole industry
signs up to," said Lesley Barwise-Munro of the British Equestrian Veterinary Association. "It's important when cases go to
prosecution that there is a bench mark on key standards to refer to."
Horse owners are being warned to lock feedstuffs away securely
following the death of a horse after it was fed dry sugar beet by youths.
Chantine, a 14.2hh Welsh Cob, was found by her owner, Rosemary
Humphries, on 7 October with hair from her mane and tail cut off and mucus oozing from her nose.
The mare's field companions, her daughters Sophie and Cazlin,
also had their manes and tails cut and were in a similar state.
"I saw three teenage boys in the field and managed to corner one,"
said Humphries, from Maidstone
"I called the police and when they arrived I was able to check
the horses. Cazlin also had [the hair from] her mane and tail cut off, Sophie was barricaded in the field shelter with a rake
and a whole sack of sugar beet was gone”.
Chantine was put down after developing colic symptoms a week later.
The other horses recovered.
PC Nicky Griffiths, who dealt with the case, said three teenage
boys were arrested in Maidstone and admitted to feeding the horses dry sugar beet.However, she said they were unaware of the welfare risk to horses and would attend a crime diversion programme.
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 10
Thieves target rugs as
cold weather bites
Horse owners are being warned to postcode their rugs following
a spate of thefts across Dorset and Hampshire.
"We're asking members to post code their rugs because there does
not seem to be a better alternative, though we are always looking for crime prevention ideas," said Fiona Honeyman of Hampshire
Horsewatch."One thing we do warn against is padlocking the
rug to the horse — a few years ago an owner did try to do this."
During the past few weeks, rugs have been stolen from the backs
of horses and ponies, both stabled and in the field.
Lorraine Whitbread, from Marchwood in Hampshire, has had her yard
broken into three times in the past six weeks. "It's like they're kitting out their yard, "she said.
"The first time they took shavings, a shavings fork, shovel, a brush and a bag of sugar beet. This last time they took three
rugs off my horses' backs while they were in the stables. One of them was clipped out and double-rugged. He was shivering
when I found him in the morning."
Mrs Whitbread's rugs were postcoded (S040 4XA) with marker pen,
but she is now having her rugs marked in large lettering with luminous paint.
Horsewatch national secretary Anna Brown said: "The theft of rugs
from either stables or off the horse is common and nationwide. Postcoding in large letters does
spoil the rug, but it is the only deterrent. I suggest using luminous paint because this won't wash off in the rain."
D I David Ceilings from Hampshire Police Equine Division added:
"You can never say postcoding stops thefts because the thief might not notice the rug is marked. But if you advertise the
postcode, it will warn potential buyers and so act as a deterrent."
A colt said to be worth £5,000 had to be put down this week after
sustaining serious injuries when a Lancashire
stud was set alight by fireworks.
The three-year-old, called Warrior, was rescued with six other
horses after emergency services were called to the blaze at Coltsrock Stud Farm in Pimhole, Bury.
Fire fighters spent 3 hours battling flames that tore through
stables, a barn and outbuildings. They broke down stable doors and led the horses to the safety of a field.
But Warrior had been trapped for longer than the others and was
subjected to the effects of toxic smoke - as well as third degree burns after a piece of burning timber landed on his back.
Vets tried to save him, but had to put him down after he suffered
kidney failure and his lungs filled with fluid.
Owner Stacey Roscow said: "We're devastated by this. He was such
a beautiful horse - colts can be hyped up but Warrior was placid and lovely. This shouldn't have been allowed to happen. It
was just senseless - I don't think the people who did this know what they have done."
A Greater Manchester Fire Service spokesman said the fire was
believed to have been started by youths playing with fireworks in a nearby field.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to call Greater
Manchester Police (tel: 0161872 5050) or Crimestoppers (tel: 0800 555111).
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 10
Arson attack on hunt kennels
The Essex and Suffolk Hunt kennels were subjected to an arson
attack during the early hours of Sunday morning, during which 41 couple of hounds and four horses were let out.
Her nose was broken into three pieces and her top jaw was completely loose
Kelly-Ann rides again
Expertly fitted hat “saved my daughter’s life”,
A mother whose daughter’s riding hat saved her life is urging
other parents to make sure their children’s headgear is professionally fitted.
Kelly-Ann (9), from Suffolk, suffered a fractured skull when she
fell from the pony she was riding after it reared up, went over backwards and crashed onto her head. She spent a fortnight
in hospital, including five days on a ventilator.
Just weeks later Kelly-Ann, who also underwent surgery to reconstruct
her face, rode again for the first time since her accident and is keen to continue enjoying her favourite hobby.
“Without a doubt, had she not been wearing a good riding
hat that stayed in place, she would have been killed,” said her mother Carol. “The surgeon told us that her hat
had held everything together and stopped further damage.”
Kelly-Ann’s riding hat, a Champion Junior Jockey Skull conforming
to the BSEN1384 British safety standard and carrying the Kitemark quality symbol, was purchased from Ark Equestrian, Soham,
The saddlery shop is one of over 400 retail members of the British
Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), the body that campaigns for and monitors equestrian safety equipment.
“When we went to buy the hat, the staff took a lot of time
and trouble to make sure it fitted properly and was comfortable,” said Carol.
BETA runs courses to offer its retail members professional training
in construction, standards and testing of riding hats plus instruction in correct fitting techniques. Riders who shop with
these retailers benefit from their expertise.
“Obviously parents want their children’s riding hats
to meet the highest safety standards. But even the ‘safest’ hat won’t do the job unless it fits properly
and the retaining straps are adjusted correctly,” said Carole White of Ark Equestrian.
Kelly-Ann’s family are experienced with horses. Kelly-Ann
has her own pony called Chrissy, although she was riding a friend’s at the time of the accident, and her father Noel
is a stud groom.
As well as training tack shop staff in hat fitting, BETA also
developed and administers the internationally recognised BETA Body Protector Standard. To locate your nearest BETA trained
retailer, contact 01937 587062 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly-Ann and her pony Chrissy two months after surgery to reconstruct her face
The BETA Group comprises the British Equestrian Trade Association,
which represents UK
equestrian manufacturers, distributors and retailers, and its commercial and publishing subsidiary Equestrian Management Consultants
(EMC), also responsible for the BETA International trade exhibition.
To help owners and riders avoid compromising their own safety
or their horses’ welfare, BETA runs a series of retailer training courses covering everything from wormers to bits and
riding hats to body protectors. Successful candidates are entitled to a certificate for public display in their shops. Along
with the BETA logo, this is an indication that customers are shopping with a qualified retail professional.
The association also produces advice leaflets on selecting,
fitting and maintaining equestrian equipment – available free to all. To obtain copies, send an SAE to BETA, StockeldPark, Wetherby, LS22 4AW.
A coroner has ruled a woman fatally injured while horse riding
died accidentally.At the time of her death there
were reports a low flying plane was in the area - a fact confirmed at the hearing.
Update on the review of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
Following the review of the First Aid Regulations, HSE will not
be seeking to make provision of first aid for the public a compulsory requirement for employers. In its guidance,
HSE will continue to strongly recommend that employers should consider the public when conducting their first aid needs assessment
and provide first aid for them. This is particularly important where a workplace has a large public presence such
as educational establishments, places of entertainment, fairgrounds and shops etc. There is already a good voluntary response
at such sites although by highlighting the issue, HSE hopes to encourage even wider application.
HSE publishes up to date guidance on safe operation of vehicles in the workplace
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published extensively
revised and updated guidance covering the correct and safe use of vehicles at work.
Workplace Transport Safety:
An Employers' Guide (HSG136) was launched by HSE at the Health and Safety Partnership Conference held 0n 14 December 2005
at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.
The comprehensive guidance provides advice on all aspects of workplace
transport operations. Although primarily aimed at managers and supervisors, it is equally useful for safety and union representatives,
contractors, the self-employed and employees.
Announcing its publication Carol Grainger, head of HSE's Workplace
Transport Team, said:
"Workplace transport is the second biggest cause of incidents
in the workplace, accounting for about 70 fatalities each year. The majority of these accidents are preventable. Reducing
these casualties is an important priority in the HSE's work programme.
"The guide gives detailed advice on the key risks surrounding
transport use in today's workplaces, and how to get to grips with controlling them. There's also a free booklet which provides
an extensive overview of the subject, enabling those responsible for workplace transport to identify any areas of their operations
where further help might be required".
The guide tackles general workplace transport safety issues and
provides an introduction to workplace transport risk management. In particular, it offers information on assessing transport
risks relating to site safety, vehicles themselves, and the people working with and around them and implementing a safe system
of work. Later chapters offer specific guidance on typical workplace transport operations and common risks. Throughout, the
book provides practical examples of risk control.
HSE has also published a revised version of Workplace Transport:
An Overview. This is a free booklet that provides employers with a brief summary of the main issues that should be considered
when planning workplace transport operations. Arranged similarly to An Employers' Guide, the 27-page booklet also includes
specific sections about workplace organisation and operations. The booklet can be downloaded from the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/tranindx.htm
1 Copies of Workplace Transport Safety: An Employers' Guide, ISBN
0 7176 6154 7, price £11.50, are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury,
Suffolk CO10 2WA, tel: 01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995. Priced publications
are also available from good booksellers.
2 Copies of Workplace Transport Safety: An Overview, INDG199(rev1)
are available from HSE Books, as well as from the website given above.
3 Workplace transport means any vehicle that is used in a work
setting. It specifically excludes transport on the public highway; air, rail or water transport, and specialised transport
used in underground mining.
4 The four main types of workplace transport accidents which employers
and the self employed need to prevent are:
Riding Safely says that
workplace transport, given the size of many equestrian businesses, may not seem an issue. But
people, horses and vehicles in close proximity can and do lead to accidents, injuries and damage to property and profits.Better planning, training and awareness, and the appropriate use of vehicles, can
avoid most of these accidents.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published its initial draft
simplification plan on 29 November 2005 as part of its commitment to deliver the wider better regulation agenda,
on its website. The plan can be viewed at http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/live.htm
The HSE intend to meet the better regulation challenge set by
government whilst improving health and safety outcomes and not reducing the levels of protection for workers or the public.
The plan sets out HSC/E's determination to develop legislation
that is easy to understand and comply with to help secure stronger commitment from business. It also supports a risk
based, targeted approach to enforcement. Key themes include:
for business to help them concentrate on improving outcomes rather than bureaucratic processes
the culture, for example through a campaign to tackle risk aversion
policy makers' case for taking a regulatory approach and ensuring they address the impact of proposals on small businesses
up enforcement, including more effective partnership with local authorities to secure a consistent, targeted approach
The chair of the Small Business Council Julie Kenny welcomed the
draft plan saying, "HSE's draft simplification plan includes measures to achieve credible reductions in the regulatory burden
to business. I congratulate the HSE for sharing its early thinking in a clear and concise way and for asking small businesses,
what more can be done?"
David Arculus, Chair of the Better Regulation Task Force said,
"HSE's initial simplification plan contains a number of valuable initiatives to reduce the burden of regulation. The initial
plan shows that independent regulators have an important role in delivering better regulation. I welcome HSE's commitment
to listen to stakeholders and develop meaningful simplification measures."
Executive Chair of the Better Regulation Executive William Sargent
added, "I congratulate HSE for identifying these early suggestions for simplifying their regulations affecting business. They
will make a real difference. Early publication of this plan allows all businesses and organisations to comment and add new
ideas for consideration."
1. Better regulation across public and private sectors is a priority
for the Government, and has the personal commitment of both the Prime Minister and Chancellor.In the 2005 Budget the Government announced the publication of the Hampton and Better Regulation Task Force (BRTF)
reports. These two key reports have set all Departments and regulators big challenges to reduce administrative burdens whilst
improving effectiveness and outcomes.As a key regulator, HSE has given a firm
commitment to deliver the better regulation agenda and it has moved quickly to establish a robust programme in response to
2. The key task in delivering the BRTF recommendations is for
all Departments, including HSC/E, to prepare a rolling programme of simplification measures contained in a draft plan. HSC/E's
plan will incorporate the recommendations made by the BRTF but also the wider better regulation agenda and the recommendations
in the Hampton report e.g. inspections and mergers. In developing the plan HSC/E
will take into account comments from stakeholders, and along with all Government Departments HSC/E will submit the draft to
the Cabinet Office in January 2006.
Other better regulation agenda initiatives:
3. On 15 September 2005,
The Cabinet Office launched a new way for businesses to challenge Government to simplify or scrap particular regulations they
think are too burdensome. They have set up a new one-stop portal online at http://www.betterregulation.gov.uk where businesses can submit proposals for simplifying legislation.
4. Cabinet Office is leading an exercise to measure the administrative
burden UK regulation puts on businesses. Using a UK Standard
Cost Model it will measure across Government Departments the sum of the administrative burden. In March 2006 targets for reduction
of admin burdens/costs across Government will be set. The results of this work will also feed into HSC/E's simplification
plan. See http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk for further information.
Meanwhile Defra recently published its plans to cut bureaucracy
and simplify regulations.
The Compensation Bill (first mentioned in the May – July 2005 Riding Safely newsletter) which provides a legislative framework for the regulation of claims management
services and also contains a provision relating to the law on negligence is at the Grand committee stage in the House of Lords.
Former jockey awarded £115,000 damages after he was hit by a car
Former jockey Terry Sturrock has been awarded £115,000 damages
after he was hit by a car while crossing a road between paddocks at Lambourn. The racehorse he was riding, Indian File, was
Sturrock suffered severe physical and psychological injuries as
a result of the 2001 accident and can no longer work as senior work rider with trainer BarryHills.
Richard Brooks of Withy King solicitors, who acted for Sturrock,
said: "In this instance, careless driving has resulted in the loss of a valuable and talented horse and has also cost an experienced
horseman his much loved career."
The driver was convicted of careless driving at Newbury Magistrates
Court (19July2002), fined £500 and disqualified from driving for seven months.
Compensation was settled out of court and paid in September.
Source: Horse & Hound Magazine 3
Civil case hits polo insurance
The governing body of polo in the UK is
no longer able to provide player-to-player insurance for its members following a French legal battle
Police have opted not to prosecute a driver involved in a single
vehicle collision with a horse, who suffered two broken hindlegs and was put down at the scene.
Tracy Burlinge, 35, of Crawley, was riding her 16-year-old mare Holly at the time of the 30 May accident.
Last month she received a letter from police, informing her of
the outcome of their investigation and decision not to prosecute the male driver. Instead, he will be offered the option of
attending a driver improvement course.
In the letter, Superintendent Peter Coll, of Sussex Police Criminal
Justice Department, said: "While there is sufficient evidence in this case to justify a prosecution, there is no provision
in the law for a magistrate to order such retraining and the imposition of a fine, and penalty points will not do anything
to correct poor driving habits."
Burlinge said about 20 people involved in similar accidents contacted
her after her story first appeared in H&H (news, 16 June)
Unease surrounds a Hampshire law firm's placement of a newspaper
advert headlined "Stallion Accident", calling for people to come forward if they have been injured by a stallion in the New
Aware of this month's posting in the Southern Daily Echo and Bournemouth
Daily Echo, New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society chairman Gill Wright said its content was "worrying", but stressed
the society was not involved - merely a bystander. "We are very worried about this," Wright said. "It certainly is a sign
of the culture of the times. Nobody has an accident any more. It's always got to be somebody's fault."
The advert placed by Blake Lapthorn Linnell stated: "In the tranquil
world of the New Forest it can seem that danger is miles away. However, there has been a recent serious
accident where a lady was knocked down by a stallion released under the stallion scheme. The stallion ran out of control while
chasing a group of mares. This lady had a narrow escape and suffered horrific injuries. "We would
like to find out whether anyone else has suffered similar injuries in an accident caused by a stallion released under the
stallion scheme or anyone who has had a near miss experience."
When contacted by H&H, a spokesman for the law firm confirmed
adverts had been placed in the two regional newspapers. Asked whether a legal case was being developed, he declined to comment
"at this stage". Similarly, a spokesman for the Verderers of the New Forest - a statutory body sharing
management of the New Forest with the Forestry Commission - declined to make any comment on the matter.
New Forest stallions are owned by people
known as Commoners who own or rent property, giving them the legal right to depasture ponies on to the open forest after paying
a "marking fee" to the Verderers.
All stallions must be licensed by the New Forest Pony Breeding
and Cattle Society and a set number is selected at an annual "stallion passing" conducted by the Verderers, prior to being
turned out with the mares.
Wright said any potential challenge to the right of ponies to
roam the forest — dating back to medieval times - or stallions to be turned out with the mares would be "vigorously
opposed" by the society.
She said people who visited the New Forest
had to realise the ponies were wild and should be treated with respect, with one of the worse problems involving people feeding
them. "The things that I see sometimes horrify me," Wright said. "The worst thing I've ever seen
was a man who had a child, aged about 21/2, whom he put on the back of a mare, stepped back and took a photo.
"Luckily, the mare just stood there, sleeping in the sun. He just happened to choose the right mare on
the right day, but that should never have happened."
New measures to crack down illegal roadside adverts that may distract drivers
and blight the countryside were announced by the Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper on the 21st of December 2005.
New guidance for local planning authorities (LPAs) on the control of outdoor
advertisements will provide greater clarity and advice and will assist local planning authorities (LPAs) in enforcing the
This will be supported by a new national database due to be launched in 2006
containing information on companies who advertise illegally beside motorways.
Yvette Cooper said: "Some people think they can get round the planning system
just by putting these ads on trailers in fields. They can't. It doesn't matter whether it is on a trailer or a hoarding, if
it is stuck in a field by the side of the road it should be treated in the same way.Many of these ads are dangerous as well as being an eyesore. It's time local authorities clamped down."
The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has secured the support of the
Outdoor Advertising Council, Local Government Association, Planning Officers Society, National Farmers Union and the Highways
Agency in tackling this problem.
There are good examples of LPAs tackling illegal advertising across the country
using existing detailed published guidance.But those in the horse world might
be pleased to know that there are some advertisements which may be displayed without having to apply to the local planning
authority for express consent and these include:
to be displayed publicising a forthcoming event;
·to advertise a short-term
use of the advertisement site, such as announcing that there is to be a sale of goods or livestock on land or premises, such
as a sale of livestock on farm premises;
·to advertise any local
event being held for charitable purposes.
However, there are conditions and limitations attached, such as the size and
the length of time the advertisement can be displayed.
Source: Office of The Deputy Prime Minister 21 December 2005
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