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Horse & Hound 14-Mar-2019

Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Every week Horse & Hound brings horse lovers up-to-date with the latest news and event reports and provides expert equestrian advice on subjects including training and horse care, the latest equine products and feed. The weekly features inform and entertain inspiring readers to go out and ride to improve their horsemanship in every discipline from eventing to show jumping, dressage to showing, polo and hunting. It is also the must read for anyone wanting to buy or sell a horse.

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age-old debate

THE team behind Royal Windsor Horse Show is attempting to address the issue of riders who are warming up lead-rein and first ridden ponies. In part, at least (news, p8). They have ruled that no rider over the age of 16 may warm-up ponies for these classes. The decision is made on welfare grounds given the greater weight it is assumed anyone above that age could be carrying. Of course, there are older riders who are lighter and there are younger riders who are heavier, but it will prevent some riders who are too heavy for these ponies from working them in at the show. It won’t be easy to police, but there is no element of subjectivity, which there is if you rule that any rider must be of “suitable”…

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new functions to ‘unleash power’ of equine database

A NUMBER of different ways to “unleash the power” of the Central Equine Database (CED) were revealed at the 2019 National Equine Forum. Stewart Everett, CEO of Equine Register which runs the CED for Defra, gave an update on the ID system at the annual conference in London on 7 March. He told guests there are 1.3m records held on the database, 32% of which are ruled out of the food chain, and although the number of registered horses who are microchipped has dropped by 2% — despite the fact it is now a legal requirement to chip all horses in England — he hopes new tools will make compliance easier. “It’s really important you check your data,” Mr Everett said. “If a horse is registered to you and you’ve sold it or it’s…

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crib-biting horses learn faster than non-cribbers

HORSES who show stereotypical behaviours such as crib-biting and weaving learn faster and give up less easily than others, research suggests, traits also seen during their training under saddle. Andrew Hemmings, head of the equine management and science school at the Royal Agricultural University, spoke at the National Equine Forum on “a head-first approach” to managing and training in relation to equine stereotypic behaviours. Dr Hemmings has been investigating such behaviours for five years, focusing on how changes in brain function can lead to activity such as crib-biting or weaving. He explained that feeding a small amount of palatable hard food has been shown to trigger crib-biting in horses known for the behaviour. The food triggers the release of endorphins in the horse’s brain, which bind to receptor molecules. In turn, these trigger…

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number of uk riders on the rise

THE size of the UK riding pager population is enjoying a “tentative recovery” after a previous fall, the 2019 British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) national equestrian survey indicates. BETA executive director Claire Williams presented the results of the first stage of the survey at the National Equine Forum. This phase concentrated on the number of riders and owners, the number who have stopped riding and why they do not return. It showed that there are 3million riders in Britain, head compared to line 2.7m in 2014, and 1.8m riding regularly, compared to 1.3m in 2014. The decline in the number of horse-owning households continues, from 451,000 in 2010 to 446,000 in 2014 to 374,000 this year. The survey shows there are 5m households of lapsed riders, but 650,000 are interested in returning to…

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horses in the news

THE LAST SAMURI The 2016 Grand National runner-up has been retired aged 11. First trained by Sean Doyle, then Donald McCain, Kim Bailey and finally Harry Fry, his career spanned six seasons and he won eight of his 27 starts under Rules. SAN PATRIGNANO WEIHAIWEJ The superstar showjumping mare has died peacefully aged 35. She was ridden by Franke Sloothaak to success across the world, including team and individual World Championship gold in 1994. BROKEN EAGLE The point-to-pointer died shortly after he won at Ampton on 10 March. The Alan Hill-trained 11-year-old, owned by Jake Exelby and Alan Hill, won 18 of 24 pointing starts, and won and came second under Rules.…

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rise in recording of road incidents boosts campaign

THE number of accidents reported to the British Horse Society (BHS) in the past year is almost double the previous year — as those on Dartmoor and in the New Forest are now included. For the first time, the number of the semi-feral ponies killed or injured has been included in the number of incidents. So in the 12 months to 28 February 2019, 845 incidents have been reported to the BHS, a 109% increase on the 404 recorded the previous year. BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox told H&H this increase, taking into account the semi-wild ponies, is positive for the BHS’ ongoing Dead or Dead Slow road safety campaign. “This will really highlight the issues on our roads,” he said. “People need to realise it’s not just ridden horses. We’re working with…