Absolute Horse - May 2021/June 2021

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MAY/ JUNE 2021

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MAY/JUN

2021 ISSUE 349

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FEATURES INCLUDE 4 Shows - What’s On 8 The Professionals - expert hints and tips from Emma and Kevin McNab, Charly Edwards, Jesse and Georgie Campbell 14 Health & Welfare - including skin microbiome advice, fly protection products, how to deal with horse bites and osteoarthritis treatments explained 27 Rhea Freeman comments on the good, the bad and the ugly of social media

Though every attempt is made to ensure accuracy, PCD Media Ltd cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed in the magazine. The opinions and technical information in the articles are those of the authors.

How to contact and connect with us...

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Buyer’s Guide Equine Careers - including a sculptural artist, painter, author and Chief Medical Officer Stables, Yards and Paddocks - including planning advice from Angela Cantrill Hoofcare Nutrition - including allergy advice, conversations around equine obesity, new products to the market and adding oil to your horse’s diet

Heidi Coy and Russal Z competing at Oasby Horse Trials. See page 65 for full report. Photo: Athalens

WHAT’S

INSIDE

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Donna Case Equine Nutritionist - what should you think about with your horse’s diet this summer? Saddlery & Tack including reader questions answered Special Report - animal cruelty offences to carry harsher sentences Event Reports

GIVEAWAYS & OFFERS 7 Ariat Saddle Snaps 13 uvex Perfexxion Helmet 19 Robinson Animal Healthcare set 33 Covalliero outfit 45 Rowen Barbary 67 Gladwells’ money-off reader offer

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UPDATES: SHOWS, EVENTS & VENUES

BOLESWORTH & LIVERPOOL INT. HORSE SHOW: WELCOME SHOWING

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he Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show is welcoming showing classes to the calendar for the very first time. Set to run 7th-11th July, this year’s event is anticipated to attract competitors from across the UK for the LeMieux Mountain & Moorland Direct Qualifier in the Main Arena on Wednesday 7th July, with the coveted Supreme Championship Final to be held at Liverpool International Horse Show. Hosted in the grounds of the prestigious Bolesworth Estate, the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International

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Horse Show will feature the highly competitive Mountain & Moorland Qualifier classes, with the opportunity for the top combination to secure a ticket to the LeMieux BSPS Supreme Ridden Mountain & Moorland Championship Final, held at Liverpool International Horse Show for the first time in the show’s history. Traditionally hosted at Olympia, the final will take place on New Year’s Day at Liverpool International Horse Show, welcoming up to forty competitors to the final, with the prize giving taking place in the afternoon performance. www.bolesworth international.com

accelerated. The revised construction programme will restrict the use of the venue for events in December 2021, hence the decision to move the Christmas horse show from Olympia London to ExCeL London. Simon Brooks-Ward, Event Director, commented; “Our audience can expect to see the best international competition.” www.londonhorseshow.com

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW: TO RUN IN JULY

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he organisers have confirmed that Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th of July this year. “We are looking forward to running a near as normal Show at Windsor in July,” said Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward. The schedule and a day-by-day programme is online with the Show running as close to its traditional format as possible and including International Jumping, Dressage, the Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, International Endurance and Showing. www.rwhs.co.uk

HICKSTEAD: RETURN OF DRESSAGE

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he three-day All England Dressage Festival will take place 21st-23rd May. It also marks the inaugural Premier League dressage competition to take place at the main Hickstead showground, following the closure of the original Dressage at Hickstead site last summer. www.hickstead.co.uk

Portch.com

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lympia, The London International Horse Show’s 2021 edition will relocate to ExCeL London and take place from Thursday 16th to Monday 20th December. The Olympia London venue in West Kensington, which has been home to the iconic horse show for the last forty-nine years, is currently undergoing a re-development plan. As a result of Covid19, the building activity for the re-development programme has

OLYMPIA: THE UPDATE

Photo: Julian

LATEST EVENT UPDATES AFTER THE EASING OF LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS - DETAILS CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS, HOWEVER PLEASE CHECK WITH INDIVIDUAL ORGANISERS


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ours of The National Stud return from 17th May. Home to many champions of the turf, The National Stud offers a unique insight into a thoroughbred breeding operation as well as the heartwarming sight of foals at play. The National Stud – set in 500 acres of grounds at the edge of Newmarket – is the UK’s only commercial thoroughbred stud open to the public. On the 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour, by foot and coach, visitors will see the mares with their newborn foals in the paddocks, as well as yearlings and stallions, and hear about the history of the stud and the work that goes into producing champions. www.discovernewmarket.co.uk

BACK ON: NATIONAL STUD TOURS

Photo: Julian Portch

NEW ‘STAYCATION’ SCIENCE SUPPLEMENTS TOUR: MORE THAN £70,000 ON OFFER

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he Science Supplements All England September Tour will take place from the 1st-5th and the 8th-12th September, giving riders the chance to stay and compete at Hickstead for two consecutive weeks. Increased prize money will make it one of the UK’s most lucrative national showjumping championships, with a total prize fund of more than £70,000 on offer. The prize fund for the Science Supplements All England September Tour has been given a significant boost, thanks to the title sponsors. The first week of the show will conclude with the Science Supplements Trophy, a 1.40m Grand Prix with a £6,000 prize fund; while the second week finishes with the Science Supplements 1.40m Grand Prix. This class will have a £9,000 prize fund with £3,000 to the winner, plus qualification for the first three prize winners for the Science Supplements Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2022. In addition, Science Supplements have created the ‘Science Supplements Grand Slam’ with a total bonus prize fund of £10,000. www.hickstead.co.uk

HORSEFEST 2021: CANCELLED

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t is with great regret that the organisers of the new event HorseFest at Weston Park, 23rd– 25th July, have made the very difficult decision to cancel the event this year due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Co-founders Thea Roberts and Heidi Hunter-Cope have assured everyone the event will launch in 2022 with all plans in place for this innovative new festival. www.horsefest.org

MYHACKATHON

IS BACK!

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he MyHackathon challenge is back and this year, for the first time, Brooke is giving riders the opportunity to choose their own distance. Free to sign up, riders can choose to complete either 50, 100 or 250 miles and unlike previous years there’s no time limit or specific fundraising target. Brooke Youth Ambassador This Esme said: “I’m so excited to be supporting MyHackathon again and this year there are a choice of distance options to suit everyone! You just need to get sponsored and raise as much money as you can for Brooke.” When you sign up you’ll have access to downloadable materials including a mile tracker and social media badges. Additionally, each month until September Brooke will be choosing a Hacker of the Month. Simply upload a picture from one of your MyHackathon hacks onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter making sure to use the #MyHackathon hashtag. www.fundraise.thebrooke. org/my-hackathon-2021/

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UPDATES: SHOWS, EVENTS & VENUES

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EQUESTRIAN FACILITY: ON ESSEX/HERTS BORDER

readers offering e r a s y e ship Silver L l Member a r e n e G 21! 25% off ode 25IN c e h t h wit

he Hertfordshire based Silver Leys Polo Club (known as Silver Leys) has developed the venue to provide a mixed equestrian facility that can be enjoyed by competitors and spectators alike. To launch the new Club it has introduced a general membership which allows users to utilise the facility as a competitor and/or visitor and benefit from the advantages of being an annual member. Just outside the town of Bishop Stortford, on the Herts/Essex border, Silver Leys is in a 130 acre country setting that now boasts a 100m by 45m floodlit arena laid with Equestrian Surfaces Premier Cushiontrack, all weather exercise track, stables, three full sized, irrigated polo pitches and two renovated clubhouses. www.equestrianevents.uk

ROYAL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW: TO RUN IN REDUCED FORMAT

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he organisers at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, have made the difficult decision to run the Royal International Horse Show under a new format for this season, due to the ongoing Covid situation and restrictions on international travel. For this year only, the RIHS (20th-25th July) will run as a two-star international event, with showjumping classes aimed at British-based riders. www.hickstead.co.uk

‘LITTLE TWESELDOWNHAM’:

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he organising teams at both Little Downham and Tweseldown are excited to announce their partnership to run the CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S, plus complementary National classes, that were lost following the cancellation of Rockingham International Horse Trials this May. In a unique partnership, and with a forward-thinking timetable, both venues will host the FEI classes and the corresponding Novice and Intermediate classes, running over consecutive days. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Tweseldownham’, competitors will have the opportunity to compete at Tweseldown on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st, and at Little Downham on the 22nd and 23rd May, subject to FEI approval.

Photo: Jason Bax/Equuis Photography

LITTLE DOWNHAM & TWESELDOWN UNITE

MAGIC MILLIONS FESTIVAL OF BRITISH EVENTING: CANCELLED

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t is with huge regret that the organisers of the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's event, which was scheduled for 6th-8th August. “This has been an extremely difficult decision, but the situation with the pandemic is still too volatile,” said Director Peter Phillips. www.festivalofbritisheventing.com

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COTSWOLD CUP CHAMPS:

GATCOMBE PARK

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he 2021 Cotswold Cup Championships are to be held at the prestigious Gatcombe Park on the 11th and 12th September offering an exciting, never seen before opportunity, for grassroots eventers to compete at the home of HRH The Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. The winners of each of the Cotswold Cup Championship classes will be awarded a minimum prize of £1,000. The Park has never hosted an unaffiliated event – until now. www.cotswoldcup.co.uk


COMPETITION

SADDLE

SNAPS

- Debbie Mace

- Jacob Enticknap

This is my grandson Lincoln aged 2 with his veteran loan pony Maggie

This morning you were the colour of my T-shirt!

- Julia Gosling When everyone else’s horses are so photogenic!

EACH ISSUE AN ABSOLUTE HORSE READER WILL WIN A PAIR OF

ARIAT BURFORD BOOTS worth £130!

Sponsored by

- Vanessa Waller

- Jade Alexandra Davidson

“Your head is an apple, right mum?!”

“Look cute....she has treats!”

- Sharon Miller “Feed me treats plllllleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaa ssssssseeeeeeee!”

- Clare Linstead - Charlotte Kerton “Not today thank you, I’m busy!”

WINNER! WINNER! “Feeling a little horse!” - Nikki Skipp

“It’s great to get back to the hair salon after lockdown!”

ENTRY IS EASY. SIMPLY EMAIL A CANDID PHOTO OF YOUR HORSE TO snaps@ ahmagazine.com

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS AND A CAPTION TO YOUR IMAGE. THE BEST PHOTO AND CAPTION WINS THE BOOTS! 7


THE PROFESSIONALS IN THIS ISSUE WE CONTINUE OUR SERIES WITH ABSORBINE SPONSORED RIDERS EMMA AND KEVIN MCNAB...

MORE TIPS FROM

The Top!

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n this issue International event riders Emma and Kevin McNab share their event preparation tips – Part II. What are your schooling tips to get a horse fit for an event? “The fitness of a horse depends on the level it is competing at. All horses need a good basic level of fitness and we build this up over 8-12 weeks by including a variety of flatwork, jumping, hacking and cantering. Up to novice level we canter our horses once a week but do very little fast galloping work because to compete up to this level they don’t need to do a lot of galloping. “For our horses competing from 3-5* their galloping programs start twelve weeks out from a big event. We will usually gallop them once every four or five days during these twelve weeks. This program begins after 8-12 weeks of basic training.”

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Do you use hacking/hill work to get your horses fit? “We do both because not only are they good for fitness, but they are also important for the horses’ balance and temperament. We are lucky enough to have a hacking/canter track at our yard and the horses go out on that once a week. “If we worked on a perfectly One day a week is dedicated to hacking

level surface daily, then went to an event that was on unlevel grassy hills and expected them to have the same balance it would be fair to say this would be very difficult for them. Event horses must have very good foot work and be equipped to perform on sometimes terrible going, so, diversity in training surfaces is key and hacking is great training for this. “Being able to ride out in the

open and not always around the school is very important for a horses’ frame of mind - if you make variety part of the routine their focus will be much better when you get to a show.” Is feeding a consideration? “Absolutely - we adjust the horses feed depending on their


Kevin McNab cross-country trianing at home

stage of fitness. If their energy levels are too high, we reduce their hard feed or change it to a lower energy feed. Regardless of the adjustments we make sure the horses always have plenty of hay/haylage and grass in the field.” How much jumping, cross country and flat work is done prior to an event and is this scaled back the nearer you get? “Our horses are in full work for at least eight weeks before a competition. They are ridden six days a week. One or two of these days we jump them, one day is dedicated to a hacking/fitness, three or four days to dressage and they have one day off. The level of the horse determines how often we will go crosscountry schooling. “For our older, upper-level horses this might only be once or twice before an event just to refresh everything. For the younger ones who are starting their careers this would be a couple of times each week before competing.

Kevin on the gallops

Kevin jump schooling

“Our program prior to a show depends on each horse and which competition we are going to. For example, when we have a fit horse at a 4/5* event we will school them on the flat twice the day before they do their dressage to make sure their energy level is right for the dressage phase. This is not

Kevin schooling

possible at one-day events as it would mean they would be ridden four times that day! “We like to jump most of our horses two days before a show and then the day before we always do flatwork and run through our dressage test for the next day. “Our aim is for the horses to get

to a show with an energy level that they can perform at their best. Usually this means we make sure we do enough work in the week leading up to the show rather than reducing the work. Each horse’s ideal energy level varies but we tend to have quite thoroughbred horses so not having the energy level too high is ideal for them to achieve their maximum output.” www.absorbine.co.uk

The level of the horse determines how often the horses go cross-country schooling prior to an event

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THE PROFESSIONALS CHARLY EDWARDS IS A SHOWJUMPER BASED IN HAMPSHIRE, WHERE SHE SPECIALISES IN PRODUCING YOUNG SPORT HORSES. SHE NOW RUNS A BUSY YARD THAT OFFERS FULL, COMPETITION AND SALES LIVERY, AS WELL AS ARENA HIRE, CLINICS AND LOCATION HIRE.

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fter a long winter and another lengthy lockdown, it was great to pass the date of 29th March when we were allowed out and about with our horses again! This time of year is usually super busy for me, both running clinics here at my own yard in Hampshire as well as teaching in other locations. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning a clinic – even just choosing a date can be tricky. You have to choose one that doesn’t clash with lots of competitions, or a big event such as Badminton – riders might not be competing there themselves but they will want to stay at home to watch it! With a seasonal sport like eventing, most clinics take place

leave everyone exhausted, but on the other hand giving fortyfive minute to a group of four riders wouldn’t be long enough to give everyone enough in the weeks running up to the attention. start of the season, rather than For riders, clinics can be an in the height of summer when excellent option alongside there is a high volume of regular lessons with a trainer. It competitions. Then you have to allows you to get new ideas and consider the day of the week, as insight into your training, you weekdays might not suit people can take part in group lessons with full-time jobs, but equally which usually means keeping weekends can be super busy too. the costs down and being able Plus you can’t start too early in to watch and learn from the morning in case people have other combinations, and yard work to finish before they you can train with set off. leading riders or trainers The session times are also important, and you need to make sure that the length of each lesson is going to be adequate for the number of riders taking part. For example, if you just have a couple of people in the lesson then ninety minute sessions would be too long and

CLINIC

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who might not be otherwise accessible. It’s also a great way to visit new venues in a low-key situation, with no competition pressure, which can be handy for example if you have a horse who can be spooky or sharp, or if you want to jump a range of different fillers and fences before going out showjumping. When it comes to planning a clinic outing for you and your horse, it does pay to do some


What’s in a warm-up? research in advance. Some of the best riders aren’t perhaps the best coaches, while others might be great instructors but their teaching style might not suit your needs. So if you are going to a clinic with someone you haven’t trained with before, do some research in advance and see if you can find any recommendations from other riders. When I run clinics, I try to be clear about the set-up of the day so that everyone knows what to expect. Clinic days can be busy with long days of teaching and lots of new faces to remember – I like to have a piece of paper with all the names of each person in each session, as it is a lot of information to remember! I also like to know in advance what sort of level each group is at so that I can plan each session in advance. When signing up for a clinic, try to be honest about your own abilities as you don’t want to be overfaced or equally, not challenged enough. Clinic timings are always carefully planned out but sometimes they do over-run. I always factor in a ten minute gap after each two lessons, to act as a buffer or allow the instructor to have a quick break if things are going to time. It really helps if riders can arrive in plenty of time to get ready and ideally warm-up before their session starts! You can get so much out of a clinic, but do try to bring a positive attitude and keep an open mind to trying new things in your training. www.charlyedwards equestrian.com

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isit any equestrian competition and you’ll see riders and horses exercising carefully in preparation for the challenges ahead, but take a step back and you’ll find that the warmup process poses plenty of questions. What do riders regard as the benefits of warming up their horse? What is the optimum time for a warm-up? Is there any difference between a showjumping rider’s warm-up and a dressage rider’s warm-up? Does warming up positively affect performance for horse and rider? To help provide some conclusive answers to benefit horse and rider, Associate Professor Dr Jane Williams from Hartpury University and Hartpury graduate Maud Chatel (BSc (Hons) Equine Science), founder and owner of France-based equine therapy company Rehactiv’Equine, carried out a preliminary study involving more than 250 riders. Dr Williams, Head of Research at Hartpury University, said: “To ensure optimal performance, undertaking a warming-up regime before intense exercise is acknowledged as an effective way to lower the risk of injury and increase performance in human athletes. “The same applies to equestrian sport, where it’s widely acknowledged that both the horse and rider should complete a pre-competition warm-up to prepare them for the demands of competition. “The purpose of our study was to try and understand dressage

and showjumping riders’ decisionmaking when warming up at home and prior to a competition.” Previous studies have shown that an efficient warmup regime will help to reduce lactic acid accumulation in the muscles, delaying the onset of fatigue and providing a potential performance advantage over horses which have not been warmed up adequately. Before the study by Dr Williams and Ms Chatel, however, few had evaluated what constitutes an ‘ideal’ warm-up for different disciplines, horse experience, training level, fitness or how different environmental factors influence the warm-up. Dr Williams said: “Our study found that dressage and show jumpers maintain that warm-up regimes should prepare the horse for work, increase responsiveness to the riders’ aids, increase the horse’s suppleness and promote relaxation to enhance performance and decrease injury risk. “Interestingly, warm-up duration used was similar for both dressage riders and showjumpers, averaging ten to twenty minutes, though dressage riders used walk as their main warm-up gait, whilst show jumpers preferred trot. “Across both disciplines, riders included technical skills in their warm-up such as lateral work,

transitions and jumping. “During a competition, approximately half of dressage and showjumpers surveyed agreed that using the horses’ usual warm-up routine was beneficial.” Ms Chatel, whose business offers sports massage treatments for horses and riders of all levels across France, added: “Riders felt factors such as the stress level of both the horse and rider, crowdedness of the arena, arena size and surface as well as time allocated by the venue were important factors that could impact their warm-up routines. “Both showjumpers and dressage riders considered horses were warmed up adequately using subjective measures likely to vary between riders: the horse’s responsive to the aids, when the horse felt supple and relaxed. “Future research is warranted to investigate if rider recall of warm-up regimes matches the duration and activities included in these, in practice.”

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THE PROFESSIONALS with no sides or fence holding them in. We sometimes add in a flower pot or two around the arena too, so they don’t throw in a spook just as you are about to go down the centre line at a competition! For the showjumping, it is great if you can get out to a few local showjumping competitions before going to an event. This gets them use to a variety of fillers, and also to busy warm-up arenas, which can unsettle some young or novice horses. With the cross-country phase, we will also head out schooling to several venues, to get them going and confident with various different obstacles, such as the water jump and ditches. We will also make sure to link our first two events of the several fences together, to make year! Hopefully that won’t jinx sure the control is there and the us for the rest of the season…. horses are adjustable to a fence With this in mind, we wanted to after being moved up a gear. give you some insight into Prepare to suceed getting ready for your first event There are a few stable and some practical event management things that can be pointers too, to make the day helpful to practice at home, prerun as smoothly as possible. competition, so on the day there Preparing for the aren’t any additional surprises or different phases pressure. One thing that’s really key is Firstly, have a go at plaiting up making sure you and your horse your horse. You can then see are training really confidently at how long it will take, how they the level, or even slightly above behave to be plaited, and it also the level, you are entered for. gets them use to having plaits With the dressage phase, we will in. Same goes with studs, there always make sure the younger is nothing worse that trying to horses have had a practice in a stud up a very excited horse for grass arena with boards before the first time at a competition their first competition. If you when you’re under time have been schooling all winter in pressure. Make sure the stud a fenced, surfaced area, a holes are really well cleaned out 20x40m can feel very small. We before you leave and you have also find it beneficial to get all the kit you need. them use to white boards as Another thing to check is that well as working in an open space your horse will stand on the

Photo: JK Riding Photography

GETTING COMPETITION READY WITH

Team Campbell INTERNATIONAL EVENT RIDERS JESSE AND GEORGIE CAMPBELL HAVE BEEN REGULARS ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE FOR THE PAST DECADE. BOTH RIDERS HAVE COMPETED AT THE TOP 5* LEVEL AND REPRESENTED THEIR RESPECTIVE NATIONS (NEW ZEALAND AND GREAT BRITAIN) ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. SINCE FEBRUARY 2019, THESE TWO WORLD CLASS ATHLETES HAVE JOINED FORCES AND ARE WORKING OUT OF THE SAME BASE AT WOODLANDS FARM IN RAMSBURY, WILTSHIRE. TEAM CAMPBELL IS KINDLY SUPPORTED BY SHIRES EQUESTRIAN, ANTARES, PM EQUESTRIAN, EQUINE AMERICA, KBIS INSURANCE, POINT TWO, PARLANTI BOOTS, STIERNA SPORTSWEAR AND FLEX-ON.

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ere at Team Campbell we have been gearing up to the 2021 eventing season throughout the winter months. We are

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feeling pretty fortunate that our hard work seems to be paying off, as we have got off to a great start with two wins and ten top ten placings from


horsebox by itself while you are walking the course. You want to make sure you can focus, without having to worry. If you are travelling with multiple horses, again it is good to check that your horse won’t get wound up with horses coming and going. Come event day, make sure you give yourself plenty of time and

have a schedule of when you need to get on for each phase. Finally, remember to enjoy yourself! No matter how your first event of the year goes there will be positives to focus on as well as things to take away that you can work on and improve before your next competition. www.jessecampbell eventing.com

Photo: JK Riding Photography

CXC is set to be a popular option for Southern-based eventers, as well as leisure riders who are looking to have some fun with their horses in a new location

NEW CROSS-COUNTRY COURSE OPENS

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brand new equestrian training facility called Chiltern Cross-Country (CXC) has opened for hire near Woodcote in South Oxfordshire. Designed by British Eventing and FEI International course builder, Adrian Ditcham, who built and project-managed the crosscountry course for the London 2012 Olympics, CXC caters for horses and riders of a range of abilities. There are eighty crosscountry fences varying in height from 60cm to 100cm, with a mix of challenging and inviting obstacles, including an impressive water complex. In addition, ‘Freshers Field’ is a designated area for more novice equestrians or inexperienced horses, featuring an array of 60cm fences all designed to build confidence. Set in beautiful countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, CXC spans thirty acres of carefully maintained pasture, surrounded by hedges. The site is easily accessed just off the A4074, and has a large hard-standing area for trailer and horsebox parking. Spectators and supporters will be able to watch from a viewing platform with picnic tables, allowing them to relax and enjoy the action. www.chilternxc.co.uk

WIN! WIN! ONE READER TO WIN A NEW PERFEXXION II HELMET FROM UVEX!

The new Perfexxion II Helmet from uvex provides a super stylish look but as ever offers the very best safety standards for all riders. The helmet sets new standards in climate control and comfort and is available in four adjustable sizes. Riders can keep a cool head thanks to this stylish helmet’s pentagonal honeycomb shaped ventilations channels. A new safety innovation has been developed by uvex with the outer shell extended at the back of the head. The lightweight, slim profile helmet comes in three mat colour combinations – and embraces the brand’s characteristic sporty styling. A cut-out for a pony tail is another clever addition. Comfort is enhanced with washable pads made from soft-touch material and memory foam. The uvex Perfexxion II comes in four sizes, each with the 3DIAS size adjustment dial mechanism. It carries the VG1 standard and BSI Kitemark. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

RRP: from £210 to £253

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st May and close 30th June 2021.

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HEALTH & WELFARE

WHAT IS THE SKIN MICROBIOME

AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Microbiome

Layers of skin

The microbiome is made up of bacteria, fungi and viruses that cohabitate on the top layer of the skin

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*Reference: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Sept 2018; v.19(9):2699 **PLoS Onev; v.13(11); 2018

he skin is the largest organ separating internal structures from the outside world so it should come as no surprise that microorganisms living in that world - bacteria, fungi and viruses - decide to make a home on that skin. The ‘microbiome’ is what we call those microorganisms living in harmony on the skin. The animal microbiome’s role in healing Skin in nature is not sterile. It’s supposed to have these Day 1 of application

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microorganisms co-mingling. And while the effects of the skin’s microbiome are still being researched, human studies show its balance is critical to the overall health of the person. In fact, dysfunction in the microbiome is associated with autoimmune diseases and infection in humans*. Research conducted in equine healing shows that equine skin microbiota or microbiome creates a rich and stable environment that is disturbed by wounding. However, it springs back to its previous, Day 3 of application

balanced state of microorganisms upon full healing of the wound. Studies continue to explore the impact of the skin’s microbiome in terms of wound repair**. In the presence of tissue injury, a disrupted skin microbiome often results in prolonged delay in the healing process. Both equine and human research has shown that a balanced microbiome shortens the time it takes for wounds to heal. Applying wound care products that provide an effective barrier against harmful infectioninducing bacteria while protecting the skin’s normal and healthy microorganism populations is a helpful way to support positive wound healing outcomes. Absorbine have combined

the natural powers of MicroSilver BG and Manuka Honey working together in Silver Honey to help care for the skin’s natural microbiome. These one-of-a-kind formulas moisturise and nourish to support new skin cells and quickly provide amazing results on minor wounds or tough skin conditions. Silver Honey is available in spray or ointment. www.absorbine.co.uk/ silverhoney



HEALTH & WELFARE

FILTACLEAR: THE SECRET WEAPON AGAINST SUN AND FLIES!

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inally, we can all enjoy time out doors with less restrictions, more human and equine company. What a treat to be out competing again! However, as the days warm up, we are also competing with the effects of the sun and insect invasion. Showing does not mean your sunburn susceptible equine will go without protection. FiltaClear was specifically developed for animals with sensitive skins, ideal for protecting all white or pink non-pigmented skin areas from sun or dew burn, without attracting attention or over-

colouring the area. FiltaClear can be applied thickly for turn-out sun protection or rubbed in to near-clear. This translucent feature is ideal for use on animals while at shows, providing maximum sun protection without obvious appearance. Even a barely visible pale coating will still provide protection to the underlying area. FiltaClear is a total sun-blocking, reflective, pale white cream that rubs in to near-clear. It has an SPF of 25+, rated superior protection for UVA/UVB rays. FiltaClear can be applied daily to

all areas prone to sun burning – nose, eye-lids, ear tips, fetlocks, pasterns. All topical agents should be thoroughly washed off the area, with water or a non-soapy cleanser, every second to third day to prevent residue build up on the skin. Flies irritate, bite and can be the cause of some nappy behaviour in an already keyed-up horse when at the show, especially those sensitive ones. Prevention

Suggested Products... UltraShield Fly Masks protect and comfort whilst keeping horses cool and dry. Lightweight, durable and resistant to stains and dirt they stay put with two-way controlled stretch fabric around the head, extended fabric behind the ears, and a strong double-locking hook and loop closure featuring wider velcro. The masks protect, with structured eye darts, mesh that blocks 80% of UV rays and rolled inner seams preventing rubs and irritation. www.absorbine.co.uk

RRP: from £28.88.

with insect repellants/deterrents over the whole body is a first line choice and providing the horse with physical barriers to ease the misery from fly-worry, work well. While at a show or out riding applying FiltaClear to exposed areas unable to be covered, this will deter biting from flies as the product proves too sticky for their liking. Sweet itch is the most wellknown of the seasonal insect problems. The allergic reaction to the saliva of the Culicoides midge unfortunately has no known cure - therefore prevention is the key. The antibacterial agents within the cream will protect any underlying areas previously affected by fly activity. None of the ingredients in FiltaClear, or any of Aniwell’s products, appear on the FEI Prohibited substances list 01.01.2021. www.aniwell-uk.com

UltraShield Insecticide and Repellent protects your horse’s environment with active ingredients Permethrin and Pyrethrin providing an instant ‘knock-down’ killing insects on surfaces as well as providing a long-lasting protective ‘shield’. It offers all-round protection for use in and around paddocks, stables, field shelters, and in horse boxes. www.absorbine.co.uk

ield UltraSh for spray is orses, h around hem! n not o t RRP: £29.33

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Stinger Fly Spray is an effective repellent for flying and biting insects, including midges. Each application is effective for up to seven hours depending on the weather conditions, which negates the need for constant reapplication. New 1L size supplied in an easy to hold spray bottle with 25% extra free. www.equine-america.co.uk RRP: £16.99/1L RRP: £40

A technical, lightweight, highly breathable Mesh Quarter Sheet that has been designed to keep the horse cool during warmer days. The fluorescent closeknit mesh fabric and coordinating reflective banding offers good visibility and discourages flies from biting. www.equisafety.com

This natural FlyRepel Spray is specially formulated for horses, ponies and camelids (camels). It provides superior natural protection from troublesome biting flies. FlyRepel is an essential horse care product for long lasting fly deterrence. Repels mosquito, midge and other insect bites for up to eight hours. www.equine-america.co.uk

Happy Equine Fly Off Super strength insect spray can be used directly on your horses as well as woodwork, rugs, sheets, lorries and trailers. Natural homeopathic ingredients include lemon citronella, geranium oil, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, basil and neem oils. Also contains the active ingredient of Geraniol. www.happyequine.uk

RRP: from £19.99/750ml

RRP: £16.95


HEALTH & WELFARE

REVOLUTIONARY EQUESTRIAN FIRST AID MANUAL LAUNCHED

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irst Aid Training Cooperative and Medi-K First Aid are proud to announce the launch of a free digital first aid manual for equestrians. Developed specifically for the sector, the manual can be downloaded to a phone or tablet, meaning that guidance is available at the swipe of a finger. It contains over 60-pages of fullcolour content covering the first aid basics including bleeds, heat stroke, horse kicks, animal bites

and stings, and CPR for adults and children. It also deals with issues such as body protectors and air vests on an injured casualty. Cory Jones, Director of First Aid Training Co-operative and MediK, said, “We’re proud of our new manual. This is not just a book, it’s interactive and could help you save a life in the event of an accident.” The manual is suitable for everyone and makes ideal revision for those who have not

CORY’S TOP 10 TIPS FOR

s Dealing with horse bite

1. Some horses are inclined to nip or bite. This bad habit can be very dangerous, resulting in serious human injury. Biting may also be a sign of an underlying health problem in your horse or an indication that it has been socialised to be a little too familiar with humans. 2. If you are bitten and it breaks the skin, clean the site thoroughly with soap and water, before covering with a sterile dressing. 3. A cold compress or ice pack held over the bite for 10-minutes can help to ease the pain and reduce swelling. 4. Do not scratch the wound, as this is likely to make it worse and increase the risk of infection. 5. If the bite is over a joint, hand, foot, or a prosthetic device, you should see a doctor immediately because antibiotics are most likely indicated.

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completed a first aid course recently. If you’d like to improve your first aid skills further, head to EquiToolz.com for free online training. The course takes just 30-minutes to complete and includes interactive questions to test your knowledge, videos demonstrating lifesaving procedures and real-life equestrian scenarios. EquiToolz.com can be

accessed on any mobile or desktop device. You can study at your own pace, any time and from anywhere, and if you need to pause the training you can simply pick up where you left off. Cory continued, “Our online training could make a huge difference in the event of an incident. It’s suitable for anyone involved with horses and it costs nothing to do it. We’d encourage everyone to sign-up as you never know when First Aid skills might come in useful.” To download the manual: www.firstaidtraining cooperative.co.uk/equestriandownload/

6. If you have a weakened immune system, you should be evaluated by a doctor after any bite. 7. Your bite may take as little as seven days or as long as several months to heal, depending on how bad it is. Taking good care of your wound at home will help it heal and reduce your chance of infection. 8. A large number of bacteria have been associated with horse bite infections in people, including Actinobacillus, Streptococcus, Psuedomonas and Staphylococcus species. 9. Avoid bites. Pay attention to what you are doing around horses to reduce the risk of being bitten. Do not encourage playful behaviours (e.g. nipping) that could lead to bites. 10. Tetanus - After the initial tetanus series, booster shots are recommended every ten years. If you experience a puncture wound, it’s best to get the booster shot regardless of when you had your last tetanus shot.


WHY EVERY FIRST AID KIT SHOULD INCLUDE... VETERINARY GAMGEE

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eterinary Gamgee has been a staple of horse owners’ first aid kits for many years having been originally invented and patented by Robinsons in 1880. Veterinary Gamgee consists of a thick layer of superior quality, highly absorbent cotton wool enclosed in a choice of either traditional gauze or a non-woven cover. Veterinary Gamgee can be used in a number of first aid situations including bandaging, protecting a wound, padding over a hoof poultice, swabbing, and compression. www.robinson healthcare.com

WIN! WIN! FOUR LUCKY READERS TO WIN A HORSE & RIDER FIRST AID KIT!

In this issue we have teamed up with Robinson Animal Healthcare to give four lucky readers the chance to win a Horse & Rider First Aid Kit. The kit contains all the necessary products to deal with minor cuts and grazes, including market leading products Animalintex which is the only VMD licensed multi-layered absorbent poultice available in the UK and Veterinary Gamgee. Also included is an Equiwrap bandage, a 15g tube of Vetalintex, two Skintact wound dressings, tough cut scissors and a range of first aid products for the rider. Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all your first aid requirements. www.robinsonhealthcare.com

BEAT THE SWEAT: WITH ACTIV SCRUB

The Horse & Rider First Aid Kit RRP: £24.95.

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s the temperature rises your horse will build up quite a sweat after exercise, whether they are working hard in training or after a long hack on a summer’s day. If sweat is allowed to dry on the coat it will attract flies, causing irritation and potentially a risk of infection. Activ Scrub from Robinson Animal Healthcare is an antibacterial scrub and cleansing wash that is ideal for using to remove sweat after exercise. Supplied in a conveniently sized 500ml pump bottle for ease of use, especially when away at competitions. www.robinson RRP: £10 healthcare.com

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st May and close 30th June 2021.

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HEALTH & WELFARE

A VEGETATIVE YEAR* FOR WESTGATE LABS

*FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS!

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ostal worm egg count company Westgate Labs have been championing sustainable horse health for the last twenty-two years. They haven’t been resting on their laurels during lockdown either, working on wins for the environment by investing in a new range of environmentally friendly packaging. April 2021 marked a year since the first of their unique compostable retail packs began returning through the post to their base in Northumberland. The innovation is just one of the steps that has contributed to a reduction in their waste to landfill of around 75% over the last three years. The innovative design of their new lab testing kits transforms the biodegradable product pouches into a return envelope to send the animal samples to the laboratory for testing. This enables the environmentally conscious company to be responsible for the full journey of the product from start to end

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as everything can be returned to source. Twelve months on and thousands of pouches have now come back through the post to be composted on the family farm where the lab was founded. The intention is for the material to be used for new tree planting on a 73-acre nature reserve that the family are establishing on reclaimed opencast land. The site, Fen Letch, combines young mixed woodland, grassland and pond areas and already provides habitat for a wide range of species as well as contributing to important carbon sequestration. “It was really exciting to see the first packs returned through the post in April last year,” commented Claire Shand, Director at Westgate Labs, who was instrumental in the design of the new packaging. “We had all sorts of concerns like would customers get the concept would they find them hard to use and would the special

compostable glue be strong enough to re-seal them for going through the post system? I don’t know if anything like this has been done before so it was all a bit of an unknown gamble! “The returns are keeping our chief composter, AKA our founding Director David Booth, very busy in the bins balancing the green and brown waste ratios to help them rot down well. It’s so satisfying to be able to deal with all this waste ourselves and use it for positive means. “Like everything the devil is in the detail – such as ensuring every additional sticker is printed on the right grade of material and with vegetable ink so that no nasties leach into the soil when they go into the bins. The environment is something that’s really important to us here at Westgate so we continue to take every step we can to protect it.” The move has also proved popular with customers who have been universally positive

Director David Booth

about the steps. “It has been a while since I’ve been responsible for worming my own horse and I was really impressed with the service from Westgate. The test kits have changed a lot since I last used them, I loved the fact they are trying to reduce and reuse the packaging as much as possible and the turnaround was superquick. So convenient to get the results as a text too,” said Vicky Boakes. “I just received my first pack and I really love what you guys are doing,“ commented Megan Ellingworth. Four retail test kits are available in the range; horse worm egg counts, pinworm tests, avian worm counts and faecal sand tests. www.westgatelabs.co.uk


NEW PRODUCT ALERT:

REVOLUTIONARY NEW EQUINE HEALTH AND FITNESS TRACKER

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n enterprising new tech company with over twenty-five years’ experience in developing intelligent technology for some of the world’s leading brands is bringing affordable, smart data solutions to the equine world, to help horse owners better understand their horse’s health, wellbeing and fitness on a daily basis. Newmarket based, Siametric Systems, established Enduro Labs to introduce their first product, the Enduro Equine Fitness Tracker to the equine market. Based on extensive research and development, the Enduro Equine Fitness Tracker is an easy to use, smart solution that provides health and fitness data insights to horse owners and trainers for use in any equestrian discipline. The Tracker includes a game-changing affordable, simple to use, smart fabric girth sleeve which allows you to reliably monitor the horse's heart rate during exercise and recovery. Real time data is sent wirelessly to the Enduro FIT mobile app. Your ride’s distance, speed and location tracking,

RRP: £189

along with key health and fitness indicators are seamlessly delivered to the palm of your hand. Enduro Labs co-founders, David Frost and Neil Bailey, have a wealth of hi-tech engineering experience between them, developing and delivering Bluetooth wireless connectivity, GPS and audio solutions to some of the world’s leading mobile and accessory companies including Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Sony and Nintendo. David Frost says, “Our aim is to bring smart technology to the equine industry and offer data insights to every horse owner,

Suggested Product... Zarasyl contains proprietary amorphous silicon, which has a molecular structure which allows sustained delivery of orthosilicic acid to the horse’s skin. Orthosilicic acid is a bioavailable form of silicon which has been shown to support healthy connective tissue growth. Perfect for managing sore or irritated skin and helping to support wound healing, Zarasyl is applied after the affected area has been carefully cleaned and dried. RRP: £29.16/200ml. www.equineproductsukltd.com

not just the equine professionals. Our focus is on creating affordable products that can have a positive impact on our horses’ lives to help us make smarter decisions to manage their health, wellbeing and fitness.” The Enduro Equine Fitness Tracker represents just the starting point for this ambitious company as they focus on bringing further innovative cloud-connected monitoring devices to the equestrian industry, utilising data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. www.enduroequine.com

Suggested Product...

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co-savvy horse owners are looking for ways to reduce the environmental hoofprint of horses, and animal shampoo company See Change Now has launched a zero plastic, 100% biodegradable horse shampoo bar to help. This premium shampoo is non-irritant, naturally antiinflammatory, and made from natural derived non-soap ingredients. www.seechangenow.co.uk

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HEALTH & WELFARE

NEW COLLABORATION

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qui-Trek is delighted to be partnering with equestrian insurance specialists SEIB for comprehensive insurance protection for your horse trailer or horsebox. Equi-Trek has chosen to work with SEIB because of their distinguished reputation for providing tailor-made policies, and extensive experience in the equestrian sector. These qualities allow SEIB to offer Equi-Trek customers insurance protection that’s built around your specific requirements. Benefits of the cover include: • Recovery of you, your horse trailer or horsebox, and horses following an accident • For horse trailers, the policy extends to include up to three weeks' cover for temporary horse trailer hire • Expertise and know-how of Equi-Trek as an approved repairer for horseboxes • Security of being covered by UK based insurers who’ve been awarded an ‘A’ rating by independent credit rating agencies • Reassurance of knowing that 99.8% of claims have been settled in the last five years For complete peace of mind turn to this experienced team for all your horse trailer and horsebox insurance requirements. SEIB have been safeguarding horse trailers and horseboxes for more than thirty years, establishing themselves as one of the market leaders during this time. This new arrangement also brings together many years as horse owners and so combines personal experience with professional knowledge to provide a policy that is centred on your individual needs. www.equi-trek.com

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RESCUE PONY WINS

NATIONAL DRIVING AWARD

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hen little George came into the care of World Horse Welfare in early 2018 no one then could have predicted that the terrified, nearstarving pony would blossom into a driving star and come out on top at a national awards ceremony. World Horse Welfare George, known to his friends now as Ted, won the ‘Rescue Horse or Pony’ category at the Carriage Driving Awards 2020 after blossoming in the care of his rehomer, Liz. Handsome 9-year-old liver chestnut Welsh Section C pony Ted arrived at World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre after he was rescued, along with several other ponies, severely underweight and unhandled. The team at Penny Farm slowly and carefully returned him to health and, once he was able to start his education, he was introduced to driving. Liz already had one rehomed

World Horse Welfare pony, Yogi, who she had driven and competed successfully - even appearing at the Olympia International Horse Show when she heard that there was another potential driving pony available at Penny Farm. She leapt at the chance and very soon afterwards, in October 2019, Ted joined Yogi in Norfolk. Liz points out that she hasn’t trained Ted alone, that there was a close-knit team including friends Amy and Bernie all working together to prepare Ted for his driving career. Ted has taken to the driving life with gusto and Liz and the team want to aim him at competitions. Liz said: “He’s at the beginning of his journey but he looks amazing and he’s really got something a bit special. He’s full of character and once he’s got the hang of something that’s it. He’s brilliant!” www.worldhorsewelfare.org/ rehome


REDWINGS REHOMING: MEET NICOLE & APPLEJACK

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ince 2018 Redwings Horse Sanctuary have been rehoming unbacked project horses and ponies; ponies who have had their basic handling training at Redwings but are rehomed to experienced Guardians who take over ‘the reins’ to continue their training as ridden horses. Redwings Applejack was rehomed as an unbacked project pony to his Guardian Nicole, from Norfolk, in July 2020. With experience in backing and bringing on nervous ponies, Nicole had the knowledge to take on an unbacked project and approached Redwings as she wanted to take on a rescued horse. And Nicole was so pleased with her rehoming experience that she has since started working for the Sanctuary! Redwings Applejack, a 9-year-old cob, came to Redwings in 2015 from a smaller sanctuary in Northern Ireland who, on occasion, ask for assistance in rehoming some of their horses. By offering them support, Redwings gives them the space to be able to help more horses in need in Northern Ireland. Going through the charity’s virtual application process, introduced in 2020 so that rehoming could safely continue while Covid restrictions were in place, Nicole describes the process: “The rehoming team sent me videos via Whatsapp and told me as much as they

possibly could about him and what he was like. They were open about the fact Applejack was a bit of a nervous boy, but I knew I could work with that. “When he arrived, I gave him five weeks to just settle in. He was in a new yard, with a new owner - different to everything he was used to at Redwings - so I asked nothing more of him than coming in to be groomed and get to know us. It might not be the most exciting bit but groundwork like this is so important, you can’t rush them. “After that we started longlining and he took to it like a duck to water. The Redwings team had got him to a good point where he had worn a saddle and bridle and I was building on that. We started off by just hacking and then after about two months of that we started schooling. “I tried to expose him to every scenario I could think of and

before long he was the horse leading his friends past the scary things we would meet out hacking!” Nine months after rehoming Applejack, Nicole says: “He has gone from a shy lad to a beautiful boy, and from being quite wary to absolutely loving his humans. I’m proud to say I helped make that pony and helped him show his personality.” Since offering Applejack a home Nicole has been back to Redwings and has taken on Jackson, another unbacked project. Not only that, but she has also started working for the

Sanctuary at their headquarters near Norwich within their equine care team. Commenting on her new job Nicole, said: “I love it! It is hard work but so rewarding. I’ve always had a background working with rescue animals and this was a way to continue doing something I love!” To find out more about rehoming from Redwings, visit www.redwings.org.uk/ rehoming

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HEALTH & WELFARE by Manuela THE PROCESS FOR TREATING: Written Slamanig Mag.med.vet,

Bonnie’s Osteoarthritis

intervention. In Bonnie‘s case, due to the extensive OA present and lack of response to medical management, ankylosis with ethyl alcohol was performed in the distal joints of the hock. Ankylosis is the fusion of a joint. This is accomplished by ridding the bone of its diseased and unstable articular cartilage in order to fuse the bones together, by doing so this alleviates the instability and Above: A. Normal Hock with joint spaces clearly evident and no signs of osteoarthritis. B. Osteoarthritic Hock with fusion evident of the joint spaces and pain. This is a final salvage other signs of arthritis such as bone spurs and bony remodeling. procedure that can be accomplished through onnie is a 14-year-old osteoarthritis within those facilitated ankylosis (destroying ex-showjumper and is joints and a subsequent lovingly part of our lameness. Osteoarthritis (OA) is articular cartilage) or arthrodesis (destroying cartilage + surgical small herd of teaching the degeneration and loss of stabilization). Facilitated horses at the University of articular cartilage, which is the ankylosis is typically performed Cambridge. protective and lubricating layer in low motion joints (i.e. pastern She was competing very that lies on top of the bone in successfully until she had a joints. It is a common condition and distal hock joints) for the goal of athletic performance, bad fall where she crashed into of multiple joints in the horse, a jump and soon after and in particular the hock, with and can be achieved by presented with severe left hind or without previous injury. limb lameness. Initially she responded very well injection of Radiographs showed a small to steroid injections of her lower ethyl alcohol, laser, or fracture in her hock which was hock joints, a common form of surgical treated with box rest initially medical management for OA, drilling/ and she was sound after a few but subsequently stopped currettage of months. responding to treatment. When Bonnie returned back to Surgical treatment of OA may be cartilage. Arthrodesis work, she started to show warranted in horses that are no can be intermittent lameness. The longer responsive to medical performed in injury to her left hind leg management, or have overt high motion caused instability of her hock damage/pain that may be joints to joints, which lead to alleviated with surgical A

B

B

Article supplied by: Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge

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www.vet.cam.ac.uk

MRCVS and Daria Coleridge DVM, Dip ACVSLA, MRCVS salvage animals as pets or for breeding purposes (i.e. fetlock joint, carpal joints). Ethyl alcohol is minimally invasive and can result in effective destruction of the articular cartilage within a few months to a year. Horses usually experience minimal discomfort throughout the treatment period and may return to athletic function after this. It typically has minimal side effects, is affordable and relatively easy to perform. Approximately one year after fusion, Bonnie remains comfortable and pasture sound with radiographic evidence of fusion present. She is a beloved teaching horse for the students and enjoys her life in retirement!


SURVEY REVEALS:

IMPACT OF COVID

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he findings of a new British Equestrian Trade Association survey provide a fascinating snapshot of the UK’s equestrian sector in the wake of the global pandemic. The survey set out to measure the impact of Covid-19 on riding and equestrian spending habits. It took place in December 2020 and January 2021, with 1,508 horse owners and riders providing input on their activities since the beginning of 2020. The detailed survey, commissioned by BETA and carried out by JDA Research, reveals that online shopping has increased by a staggering 38%, highlighting an increased trend for ‘armchair’ spending. This unexpected boost is thought likely to play an important role in helping to shape the future of retail. Although affiliated and nonaffiliated competition has been impacted, there is only a slight decrease in riding overall, which is expected to recover and return to preCovid-19 levels. Meanwhile, there has been little change in horse ownership. “It has been two years since the last BETA National Equestrian Survey was published and the world has

had to contend with enormous challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “This new survey offers us a unique insight into the way in which the pandemic has affected our core activities of shopping for equestrian goods, riding and horse ownership – and helps us to shape our response for the future.” Here are the key findings on equestrian spending: • 9% of those surveyed said they were spending more on equestrian goods. • 21% said they were spending less or had stopped spending. Increased spenders tended to be younger, with 23% of under-25s spending more – and on items associated with riding rather than on the upkeep of a horse, with 58% of them buying saddles and 35% investing in general rider clothing. Older riders and horse owners (over-45s) were more cautious with their spending and only 5% of this age group were spending more, compared with 23% who were spending less or had stopped. Top three items bought during the pandemic: 1. 58% bought equipment for horses such as saddles and rugs. 2. 35% bought rider clothing. 3. 34% bought horse feed.

Online spending showed significant changes, with 49% of riders and horse owners shopping online more than they did at the same time in 2019, and they were spending 38% more on average than they did before the pandemic. Two in three said they would continue with online purchasing in future. Impact on riding Competitive riding has been severely hit by Covid-19, with only 15% of riders taking part in affiliated events compared with 30% in a typical year. Despite this, six in ten equestrians said they continued to ride the same as or more often than they did before the pandemic. Here are the key facts on riding behaviour: • One in twenty riders said they had stopped riding completely since March 2020. • Hacking remains the most common riding activity and the one least hit, with only a 7% fall from 93% of riders participating in a typical year. The overall impact of Covid on the frequency of riding is

generally small, with the following key findings: • 59% of riders were riding more often or at least the same. • 41% of riders have been riding less often since the pandemic • The average frequency of riding days per week was down from 3.9 in a normal year to 3.3 during the pandemic. • Riders under 25 are three times more likely to ride more often than those aged over 45. • The overall number of people riding over the previous twelve months was down from 3 million in 2018 to 2.5 million, while those riding at least once a month fell from 1.8 million to 1.5 million. Impact on horse ownership Overall, there have been only slight decreases in the number of horse owners, from 446,000 in 2018 to 433,000, and privately owned horses, from 670,000 to 650,000.

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RIDER HEALTH & WELLBEING

ASK A Masterminder... Small & Supercharged Mastermind is an online group supporting small equestrian and rural businesses and, as such, is bursting with amazingly knowledgeable people with lots to share. Each month we’ll be asking them a question and members will be sharing their top tips… this month’s question is…

‘EXPLAIN ONE AMAZING STAND - OUT EXPERIENCE THAT YOU HAVE HAD WITH EQUESTRIAN SOCIAL MEDIA?' Dr Diane Fisher aka All The Kings Horses “I’ve found it’s an amazing platform for education. I use lives and my Rider Clinic to help equestrians deal with all sorts from describing your fall when you arrive at hospital, specialist equestrian physio, basic life support refreshers, inspiring guests, and so much more. “Social media is also fabulous for networking, and it’s helped to raise my profile in the equestrian space, which has led to me becoming the Chief Medical Officer of BETA, meaning I’m now in a position to make our sport as safe as possible in both the equestrian and medical spaces.” www.facebook.com/medicalmare Donna Case, The Horse Feed Guru “My biggest stand out was being booked to travel to the USA as a result of social media. Not only was my airfare paid for, but my accommodation and food etc for the whole time I was there. My client had never commented on my social media posts, but apparently had been following me for months.” www.thehorsefeedguru.com Zoe Kiff, Honest Riders “I think the ongoing thing for me is when someone messages us and tells us they’ve changed something to be more sustainable as a result of one of our posts. Or have been prompted to make bigger changes. That’s always lovely.” www.honestriders.co.uk

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Ruth Chappell, Dressage Anywhere “My social stand out moment is a video of Alice Oppenheimer, International Grand Prix Dressage Rider, ‘riding’ a Grand Prix dressage test with a hobby horse! It was to promote our Hobby Horse Online Dressage Competition, which went on to raise £4k for charity but the video itself had just under 80,000 views and really helped to raise awareness.” www.dressageanywhere.com Amanda Marshall, 3 Donkeys Clothing “I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing ladies through equestrian social media. Many have gone onto become friends and this in turn has opened many doors for my own business, especially our lovely sponsored rider. Had it not been for equestrian social media I would not have had this opportunity.” www.3donkeys.co.uk Eleanor Lelliott, SpiceMule “100% the best thing about social media is the connections you get, ones that just don't happen in real life. The most exciting thing that’s happened to SpiceMule is our recent collaboration with Emily Cole. It’s just fab when two businesses have products that are just meant to be together. I mean decadent mug cakes and beautiful mugs. DREAM TEAM!” www.spicemule.co.uk Emily Cole, Emily Cole Illustrations “I owe most of my business to the power of social media. One of the most exciting opportunities has been teaming up with Equiboodle to design a bespoke Emily Cole edition vixen. Seeing customers wearing something with my design on never ceases to be surreal!” www.emily-cole.com

Find out more about the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group: www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk


Rhea Comments On... THE GOOD, THE BAD (AND THE UGLY) OF SOCIAL MEDIA I’M RHEA FREEMAN. I’M A PR, MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT AND COACH WITH A SPECIALISM IN EQUESTRIAN AND RURAL BUSINESS. I WORK WITH A NUMBER OF THE BEST BRANDS IN THE INDUSTRY AND MANY THAT YOU’LL SEE IN THESE PAGES...

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ocial media has the potential to be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to how people feel about it, how they use it, and what they get out of it. There are lots of reasons why this is, and whilst we can’t avoid anything sad or negative all the time, because life for everyone has its ups and downs, we do all have the power to control what we see. Before we get into why social media can be bad (and ugly), let’s talk about the good things, because there are a lot! The ability to connect like-minded people across the globe, the ability to find new friends, start and grow businesses, learn new things – the scope that any social media platform has for all of us is straight-up amazing. The functionality that each one has provides us with the power to do things that, previously, we would have been unable to do. But, a bit like when wizards move over to the dark side

(yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan), not everyone uses this power for good. Over the last twelve months particularly, there seems to have been an increase of the dark side. The spreading of misinformation (which ranges from amusing to having the potential to cost lives), inciting violence, bullying, trolling, hate campaigns, snide remarks - all of it. I’ve seen it all, and in our equestrian world too. The bullying, trolling, negativity and snide remarks can be more present in our ‘world’ than they should be. And it needs to stop. Because there’s a screen or a phone in the ‘way’, that is not an excuse for any of this. When it comes to bullying and trolling in particular, it can cost people their mental health and in some tragic cases, their lives. Even though it’s on your phone/device, it is still real life. But there are things you can do that limit your exposure to the

bad and ugly side of social, while simultaneously making it a much better place to be. • Take a zero-tolerance approach to bullies and trolling. Don’t engage but do use the report button, do block, do unfollow, and if the trolling is serious then do report to the police - there’s a Malicious Communications Act in place. • Speak to someone. If you have been the victim of negativity, trolling or bullies, please speak to a friend or family member. • Even if someone isn’t trolling you, you are still perfectly within your rights to unfollow, mute or snooze them – on a temporary or permanent basis. If someone’s content is

affecting you in any way (and this might not be their fault, but more due to your situation), use these functions. Take the power back! • Think about who you follow. Because someone follows you, it doesn’t mean you need to follow them back. • Spread what you want to receive. It might sound a bit woo woo but it works. If you’re negative, you’re likely to attract more of it to you. www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk Twitter (@rheafreeman) Instagram (@rheafreemanpr) Facebook (/RheaFreemanPR)

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BUYER’S GUIDE

& s e u l B eutrals N

The Aldeburgh Fedora Natural Brown. RRP: £69. www.hicksandbrown.com

Sanna Waistcoat. RRP: £80. www.zebra products.co.uk

Chloe Blouse in Navy. RRP: £59.95. Brownlow shirt in Kingfisher. RRP: £99.95. www.schoffel country.com Cambridge Quarter Zip in Grey. RRP: £59.95. www.whaleofatime clothing.com

Rose Merino jumper in Mykonos Blue. RRP: £99.95. Sunny Cove Shirt in Mykonos Stripe. RRP: £54.95 www.schoffel country.com

The Antigua. RRP: £100. www.ariat.com/ gb/en

Fairford Cross Body Bag in Tan. RRP: £115. www.asalidesigns.co.uk

The Holkham. RRP: £85. www.fairfaxandfavor.com

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Candy Stripe Hairband. RRP: £25. www.waring brooke.com

Large Classic Canvas Holdall. RRP: £270. www.farlows.co.uk


The Hemley Fedora in Navy. RRP: £74. The Orford Fedora with Charcoal Ribbon. RRP: £65. www.hicksandbrown.com Signature Stallion Scarf. RRP: £85. www.waring brooke.com

Mill Bay Shirt in Ice Grey. RRP: £49.95. www.schoffel country.com

Luna Single Breasted Blazer. RRP: £685. www.bozenajankowska.com Tiba and Marl Backpack. RRP: £140. www.tibaandmarl.com

Caballero Large Travel Bag. RRP: £325. www.pampeano.co.uk

Giverny wellingtons in Marine. RRP: £120. www.lechameau.com Falmouth Deck Shirt . RRP: £69.95. www.whaleofa timeclothing.com Monaco Espadrille. RRP: £125. www.fairfaxandfavor.com

Home Affairs Melton Throw. RRP: £95. www.tomlane.co Set of 3 Leather Stirrup Boxes. RRP: £339. www.lifeofriley online.co.uk

Luxe Gift Box (containing candle, candle snuffer and a pair of wick-trimming scissors in either gold, rose gold or silver). RRP: £45. www.hooves andlove.co.uk

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BUYER’S GUIDE

MATCHY MATCHY ver! As popular as e

I

t goes without saying that in the horse world today ‘matchy matchy’ is as popular as ever; whether that is matching accessories for your horse or even combining horse and rider styling. Colour palettes and tones can really add style and sophistication to any outfit and as we head into the summer months look out for key pastel shades rose, coral and wood mixed with classic navy for a statement look this season. The latest range from the forward thinking design team at Covalliero mixes and matches leisure and competition wear for the rider with horse and pony accessories. The colour ways run through both horse and rider lines and are sure to be a hit whether training at home or in the competition arena. Navy, wood, coral and rose fly veils can be combined with matching head collars and lead ropes and saddle pads, as well as tendon and over reach boots in cool metallic shades. For riders on the yard and training at home in warmer weather a quilted waistcoat teamed with polo shirt and riding tights will have you ready for every occasion. Team these with check riding socks in matching colours and you will certainly stand out from the crowd. Another great statement look

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combines a soft shell jacket with riding breeches and polo shirt whether mixing and matching colours or wearing these stylish items all in one colour. Who doesn’t love a quilted jacket whether on the yard, riding or even nipping to the shops. Just because you are in riding attire it doesn’t mean you have to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards! The super versatile hoodie remains as popular as ever and is even better if it comes with secure zip pockets to hold that loose change or a snack bar, look out for the latest design from material becomes permeable to Covalliero. water. Water-resistant fabrics - are High-Tech Features to textiles that are set apart by look out for: their special coating. This repels When spending time in the water from the surface and elements look for clothing that prevents water permeation. is super durable and has key Windproof – the penetration of features that will keep you wind cools down the body comfortable at all times. because the warm air layer is Breathability - is key and refers ‘blown away’. This makes the to the ability to allow water outside temperature feel colder vapour to escape. The fibres than it actually is with wind chill wick the moisture away from effect. the skin very quickly. Perfect fit - look for clothing Waterproof - clothing is that has an elastic ability, measured through the so-called moving as you move. water column rating in mm Feather-light - means very which is the index for lightweight material is watertightness. It indicates the transformed into extremely water pressure at which a durable and comfortable

functional clothing. Multilayer – each section in layered clothing should make it easier for the body to maintain a constant temperature. Moisture-wicking – the fibre is specially treated so that moisture is quickly transported to the exterior and the body is not cooled down. Quick-drying – A quick-drying material is one where the fibre does not absorb any moisture, but rather directs it to the exterior. www.zebraproducts.co.uk For your chance to win a fantastic outfit from the Covalliero range, see the Giveaway on page 33


Dublin Lily Cap Sleeve Polo in Salmon Orange. RRP. £22.99.

Dublin Broadfield Arena Shoes in Brown/Chestnut. RRP. £59.99.

Dublin Cortina Summer Waterproof Jacket. RRP. £69.99.

Collegiate Comfitec Training Bridle. Available in Black and Brown. RRP. £99.99.

Weatherbeeta Thermocell Standard Neck Cooler in Navy. RRP. £79.99.

Dublin Shona Full Grip Denim breeches in Light Blue Denim. RRP. £64.99. Weatherbeeta Stretch Bug Eye Saver Mask with Ears in Royal Blue. Also available in Navy, Purple, Black and Hunter Green. RRP. £17.99. Dublin Rapture Zip Paddock Boots. Available in Black and Brown. RRP. £69.99.

Weatherbeeta Sweet Itch Shield Combo Rug. RRP. £69.99.

All products on this page are available from Chandlers Country Stores www.chandlerscountrystores.co.uk

Dublin 3 Pack Socks, Blue Lagoon. RRP. £12.99.

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BUYER’S GUIDE

Folding hoof pick. RRP: £28. www.lgleatherworks.com

T&Teeth Tee. RRP: £24.99. www.horsehussy.co.uk

Compression Leggings - RRP: £48. Compression Base Layer - RRP: £43. www.vivendiapparel.co.uk Tropics Riding Tights: RRP: £59.95. Mesh Hat Covers: RRP: £14.95. www.equetech.com Technical Riding Leggings. RRP: £40. www.mochara.co.uk Ascent Tall boot. RRP: £240. www.ariat.com/en/gb

Just Jodz Riding Tights. RRP: £29. www.justjodz.co.uk Penny Jodhpurs. RRP: £79.99. www.dvrequestrian.com

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Tropics Mesh Polo Neck Top: RRP: £33.50. www.equetech.com


WIN! WIN! ONE LUCKY READER TO WIN AN ENTIRE OUTFIT FROM COVALLIERO!

Padded Body Warmer. RRP: £35. www.yarisequestrian.co.uk

Insignis Dressage Boot. RRP: from £635. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Colour palettes and tones can really add style and sophistication to any outfit and as we head towards the summer months look out for key pastel shades rose, coral and wood mixed with classic navy for a statement look. The latest range from the forward thinking design team at Covalliero mixes and Prize includes: matches leisure and competition - Riding Breeches wear for the rider with horse and - Quilted Waistcoat pony accessories. - Quilted Jacket The colour ways run through both - Polo Shirt horse and rider lines and are sure - Riding Socks to be a hit whether training at home or in the competition arena. For riders on the yard and training at home in warmer weather a quilted waistcoat teamed with polo shirt and riding tights will have you ready for every occasion. Team these with check riding socks in matching colours and you will certainly stand out from the crowd! www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Sanna Waistcoat. RRP: £80. www.zebra products.co.uk Technical Base Layer. RRP: £40. Personalised Sleeve Print £8. www.mochara.co.uk

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st May and close 30th June 2021.

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EQUESTRIAN CAREERS

Five Minutes With...

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illiam (Billy) Moulton-Day is from a small village called Gestingthorpe just outside Sudbury in Suffolk. Billy specialises in custom artistic metalwork. “I started welding in September 2017 after taking part in an evening class in welding. I needed a change in my career and this opportunity fitted the bill. “Just before Christmas 2017 I got hold of some old horseshoes

from a local farrier and created a simple but effective reindeer. After selling fifteen of them I realised that there was a market for my metal creations. “So the back end of 2017 I set up my business, Rusty Creations UK, and by using only old horseshoes from my local farrier I started creating other small items such as wine racks, boot racks, hearts etc. “As I progressed and gained more experience I started moving on to big artistic

Photos: Jessica Anita Photography

William Moulton-Day

WILLIAM (BILLY) MOULTON-DAY IS AN ARTIST FROM THE RURAL SUFFOLK/ESSEX BORDER. BILLY CREATES UNIQUE SCULPTURAL PIECES FROM RECYCLED HORSESHOES AND OTHER MATERIALS. sculpture work, still using old horseshoes, but in different ways. “I have recently created a very detailed horsehead from recycled horseshoes. The piece is to scale and each shoe has been heated, forged and welded into position. “Each sculpture can take up to 200 hours to complete and no two ever look the same.” www.facebook.com/ RustyCreationsUK

ELIE LAMBERT ART EXHIBITION

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questrian painter, Elie Lambert, lives and paints in a studio apartment in Deauville, overlooking the glamorous racecourse. He paints the racing scene in brilliant colours and with a sense of fun.

Exhibition dates: 14th June -3rd July Location: Osborne Studio Gallery 2 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8JU Entry: Free admission to the gallery www.osg.uk.com

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mma Cooper E EMMA COOPER IS A HORSE RIDING COACH, BASED IN ESSEX. HAVING TAUGHT NERVOUS RIDERS FOR TWENTY YEARS, SHE FOUND THAT THEY COMMONLY SHARE THE SAME STRUGGLES, AND SO DECIDED TO PUT TOGETHER A GUIDE, WITH A SELECTION OF BOTH MINDSET AND PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES, WHICH HAVE BEST HELPED THESE RIDERS TO OVERCOME THEIR FEARS AND ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. HERE EMMA SHARES AN EXCERPT FROM HER NEW BOOK, ‘THE NERVOUS RIDER’S HANDBOOK’

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hen you ride you have an open channel of communication with your horse, he is constantly asking you questions, and you are answering him through your body language, he will pick up on everything you are feeling. Your state of mind has a direct effect on how your horse reacts to you. When you start to move forward with your horse, and are thinking about riding, preparation is key to helping your confidence. Preparation cannot be overstated when it comes to confidence building, especially if you are working alone. The more you prepare for each time you are at the stables, the more competent and less nervous you will feel. Confident riders still get negative thoughts, but they know how to shut off these negative internal dialogues and replace them with positives. They have trained themselves to think of ways to encourage success, and now you also have these skills to be able to do this

for yourself. Use your self talk constructively and positively. Tips for increasing your ridden confidence: • Learn to use your breathing and relaxation techniques while on your horse, to calm you down. You can use these both before, and during riding to reset yourself. It is impossible to tense up whilst performing deep breathing. Get in the habit of taking a few deep breaths when you have first mounted, and are walking your horse around. He will immediately feel at ease too; your horse is completely in tune with your muscle tension and breathing. • Learn to relax your muscles to ‘fake’ relaxation, thereby, sending positive vibes to your horse. • Learn to control your emotions around your horse. Horses are so sensitive to us, they even match heartbeats. • Go at your own pace, set yourself small goals. • Ride in the present, don’t think about the past or the future.

The book is available from Amazon, in both Kindle ebook format, and paperback.

Worrying about something that happened in the past, or fears of what might happen in the future distract riders from focusing on what is happening now. Develop the ability to accept and dismiss immediately any mistakes, you cannot change the past, so put it out of your mind. • Focus on what you do want to happen, not what you don’t, as this negative thought pattern can make the negatives more likely. When thoughts are negative, stop and refocus on your goal and how to get there. • Don’t push yourself into a high anxiety position, take small steps and gain confidence first. It is ok to stretch yourself, but try not to enter the ‘panic zone’. • Use visualisation before you ride. Visualisation allows you to focus, shut out distractions and get things ‘right’, as you have already acted out what you will do in your mental rehearsal. • Plan for how to cope with possible problems.

• List positives about yourself as a rider. If you think of any negatives, turn each negative belief into a positive one and write them down. • Use your ‘thought stopping’ technique if you feel any negatives creeping into your mind as you are riding. • Keep your mind busy, and more importantly, your horse’s mind busy. If you are both focused, then the tension will not grow into a problem from either one of you. This is a tried and tested method, and really does make a difference. Before your session with your horse, write your plan down, include all transitions and movements, almost as though you are designing your own dressage test. Search on Amazon for ‘The Nervous Horse Riders Handbook'. www.thinkingrider.com

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EQUESTRIAN CAREERS

MAKING MOVES...

Dr Diane Fisher

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he British Equestrian Trade Association has appointed Dr Diane Fisher, a consultant in major trauma and emergency medicine at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, as its chief medical officer. Diane will act as a voice of authority on all aspects of rider safety and sit on the BETA Safety Committee. She is set to spearhead initiatives to improve the reporting of equestrian accidents, assist with BETA’s safety courses for riding hat and body protector fitting, and provide safety advice and guidance to its member companies. “I am really honoured and excited to take up this position,” said Diane. “Rider safety sits at the very heart of BETA and I am really looking forward to helping to make a difference. “I know that details of equestrian sport injuries are not recorded by hospitals and I really want to get something done about this. We need this data, which should be collated on a national level so that we can

feed it back to safety garment manufacturers. “I think that riders can get a raw deal when they come into hospital. Medics understand the potential for injury in a motor accident, but they don’t always when it comes to equestrian incidents.” BETA executive director Claire Williams said: “Diane is a breath of fresh air and so enthusiastic about supporting us in our efforts to promote rider safety among consumers and the trade. “This, coupled with her huge amount of knowledge and expertise in trauma and emergency medicine, will prove invaluable in helping BETA to raise the benchmark even further for safety in equestrian sport.” Diane formed her popular All the King’s Horses Instagram and Facebook pages last year to help educate riders about how they should respond following an equestrian incident. “Some riders really don’t help themselves when they put on a stiff upper lip and withhold what could be crucial

information to the medical team and they end up under-triaged,” said Diane. “They really need to know the basics, such as what to tell the paramedics when they arrive at the scene or what to do when there is an accident and people are worried about moving a rider’s neck. There is so much I can share with riders and this page helps me to reach out with really important advice.”

3 DONKEYS GETS TWEET FROM DRAGON

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Donkeys Clothing has received a business boost from retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. Amanda Marshall, owner of 3 Donkeys Clothing, tweeted Theo about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his near half a million Twitter followers. As a result, www.3donkeys.co.uk has lots more followers and extra orders for their women’s 2-into1 Coveralls. They are also profiled on the #SBS website. www.3donkeys.co.uk

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Diane is based at the trust’s hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and lives on the family farm in Cheshire with her husband, Stuart, three horses and three dogs. Her son, Joe, is a Gurkha officer in Brunei, daughter Abbie is a solicitor and stepdaughter Hannah is in her second year of studying psychology at university. A keen horsewoman, Diane trains with Pammy Hutton at the Talland School of Equitation. She competes at low-level dressage and is currently awaiting grading confirmation, which would allow her to compete as a para rider because of nerve damage sustained in her lower leg following a freak non-equestrian accident fifteen years ago.


STABLES, YARDS & PADDOCKS

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lanning consultant Angela Cantrill of The Rural Planning Company shares her insider knowledge on planning considerations for personal yard owners and its all in the preparation and planning. Know your local planning authority Different planning authorities have widely varying attitudes. They all broadly work to the National Planning Policy Framework, but interpretations can differ. Whether proposing a small manage or possible larger development find out about your local authorities’ attitude to that kind of development by looking at similar applications in the area and planning policy. Some may be very open to equestrian proposals others may not, due to certain designations, for example the green belt. In some instances, it may be worthwhile talking to the local planning authority before a formal planning application. The need for planning permission Planning permission is not generally required for the grazing of horses on agricultural land however if any other equestrian activities on this land such as use for exercise or training, the breeding of horses (in the case of a stud farm), racing stables or the erection of stables, indoor outdoor riding areas and manages, permanent jumps, gallops, lighting columns, hard standing and other permanent structures related to the equestrian activity will require planning permission.

By Angela Cantrill

PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

For Yard Owners The conversion of farm buildings to equestrian use also requires planning consent. There is a right to use land or buildings within the curtilage of a dwelling house for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house and stables and other horse-related developments must conform to certain limitations.

Mobile field shelters Local planning authorities generally accept that one mobile field shelter per field may be required provided it is moved regularly to new locations in the field to demonstrate that it is mobile. As mentioned earlier the

grazing of horses on agricultural land does not require planning consent, however ‘to keep’ horses usually does, and therefore keeping horses can be controlled by conditions of a planning permission. It will depend to what degree the structure is ‘attached’ to the land which will determine whether the structure requires planning permission. Temporary uses of land The use of land for a temporary purpose is permitted for between 14 and 28 days in any calendar year depending on the activity (the period is reduced to Continued overleaf...

ANGELA CANTRILL IS A CHARTERED SURVEYOR AND PLANNING CONSULTANT AT THE RURAL PLANNING CONSULTANCY, ONE OF HER SPECIALISMS IS PLANNING FOR EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES. 37


STABLES, YARDS & PADDOCKS Continued from previous page...

14 days for markets, motor vehicles and motorcycle racing, speed trials and associated practising). So, for instance, activities such as cross-country events and pony club rallies would be permitted for 28 days or less. During 2020 and 2021 the government increased the number of days permitted under a temporary use to 56 days. As a practical tip - any jumps, dressage markers, TREC courses or other paraphernalia associated with a temporary use of land will be counted as part of the permitted eligible days. In situ for more than ten years? Where a development has been

carried out and used continually, in breach of planning control, no enforcement action can be taken by the local planning authority after a period of ten years has elapsed, commencing from the date of the breach. With some careful preparation and planning before you approach the local planning authority, you could get this ‘regularised’ by applying for a Certificate of Existing Lawful Use. Is there a longer-term strategy to consider? You may have great aspirations to further develop your facilities, and this is where some strategic thinking could come into play to help ensure you achieve the best outcome when applying to the

local planning authority for permission. For instance, could existing buildings be better utilised for the practical operation of the facility and could other planning applications and facilities be put

STABLE ENVIRONMENT: PROTECT AGAINST EQUINE HERPES

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o protect horses from diseases, including equine herpes, owners should look to increase levels of hygiene in stables, advises BASF rural hygiene specialist, Helen Ainsworth. “More frequent and thorough use of disinfectants can help to reduce the risk of diseases like equine herpes spreading,” she says. Disinfectants can reduce the spread of diseases dramatically if used carefully and consistently. “A focus on hygiene is one of

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the simplest and most economical ways to reduce the spread of disease and promote healthy conditions in stables and vehicles,” she explains. To make the most of disinfectant and reduce the spread of diseases, Helen suggests: 1) Thoroughly disinfect all accommodation. This is best achieved by pressure washing the sides and floors of stables with a quality detergent before spraying with a disinfectant. 2) Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms are often present on clothing and boots. Those working with horses should be sure to wear clean overalls and dip boots in disinfectant to reduce the risk of introducing harmful diseases. Before entering stables, it is also good practice

in place first, before the ultimate application, to give you a better facility in the long run. For information on planning for equestrian facilities visit www.therural planningco.co.uk

By rural hygiene specialist Helen Ainsworth to wash hands with a bactericidal soap. 3) Any equipment that is being used in conjunction with horses should be disinfected in a solution of Sorgene Xtra before being used. Sorgene Xtra is a Defra approved, broad spectrum environmental disinfectant which contains a stabilised blend of peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. It is totally effective against viruses, bacteria and hard to kill fungal spores. Solutions should be changed frequently. “We have the tools to reduce the spread of viruses to an absolute minimum. Owners can protect themselves, their friends, family and horses by simply keeping their stables and equipment clean and using a disinfectant properly,” concludes Helen. www.basf.com


SIMPLE YET SMART SECURITY FOR

HORSE OWNERS

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ural crime is on the increase and it’s hitting pockets hard. According to a recent report by the insurance firm NFU Mutual, the cost of rural crime has climbed to an eight-year high. One particularly worrying trend is organised crime, which is making its presence known in the countryside. Thieves are stealing farm vehicles to order, and horse owners are becoming a key target, with criminals on the look-out for horseboxes, trailers, saddlery and tack. One convenient solution gaining popularity among the equine community is keyless access control. No more forgotten keys Livery yards are busy places, with horses coming and going, and people arriving at different times of the day. This poses problems when liveries forget their keys and can’t get in, but also when

tack rooms, feed stores and farm offices are left unlocked when they go riding. A simple mechanical coded lock can overcome these difficulties, allowing shared owners to visit horses at any time, as well as keeping expensive equipment and personal belongings secure, without the need for multiple keys. Angela, a keen one-day eventer and stable yard owner from

Ludlow, found that coded locks are perfectly suited to her needs. She doesn’t live on the site where two-year old Hector, her pride and joy is stabled – but wants to be sure all horses and equipment is secure, and her horse is well looked after: “I wanted to find a lock that would be weatherproof for the farm office, and an easy-to-use coded lock for the tack room and feed store, as I need to give other horse owners access when I am on holiday or have work commitments.” Controlling access to equipment In larger farms and yards, people typically need to access shared spaces for paperwork, tack or equipment. Protecting kit is important, but nobody wants to waste valuable riding time hunting down the key to the feed store or waiting for the stable office to open. With a modern keyless access control solution everyone can get hold of everything they need, when they need it, with a single access code. Access control is important on the move too. Horseboxes have

traditionally been an easy target for opportunistic crime, but by fitting a small and robust lock on the horse area stalls, riders can leave the rear ramp down while they are out competing without the worry of anyone entering the front cab or living area. Reliability whatever the weather Locks in rural settings need to be able to withstand everything the UK climate throws at them. Specially designed locks, treated with a coating, help to prevent damage caused by corroding – making them ideal for rural and agricultural settings. Angela had a CL510 Marine Grade lock, intended for harsh weather conditions, installed at her stables: “So far my lock has seen wind, rain and snow, and it still looks as good as new and operates as smoothly as the day I bought it.” Installing a modern keyless access control solution means horse owners can spend less time searching for keys and more time enjoying their horses. www.codelocks.co.uk

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STABLES, YARDS & PADDOCKS

HOW TO PREVENT THE

‘DARLING FLOODS OF MAY’

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hat does a five-star cruise ship have in common with many rural and farm properties? Apart from wonderful views and a fabulous location, they also share the potentially stinky problem of no mains sewage system and blocked drains. That’s where Tanki, a new, environmentally friendly, gluefree toilet tissue comes to the

rescue to save your sewage system, whether that be at home, at the yard or in your horsebox. Founder Matt O’Crowley is a former deck officer with the Merchant Navy and recognised the need for a toilet paper that is glue and plastic free and that does not clog up the world’s sewage systems or seas with material harmful to marine life. Thankfully, historic lavatorial

arrangements for off grid properties are becoming a thing of the past and polluting septic tanks and cesspools are getting a well needed upgrade to modern sewage treatment plants. Whilst these give householders some of the convenience of being on the mains, a few issues remain particularly blockages and problems caused by standard loo roll which contains glues to hold the sheets together. As farmers and landowners look at more ways to diversify, the need for toilet facilities in out of the way places increases and the challenges of off-grid waste management become ever more apparent. Tanki, based in Shrewsbury, is both glue and plastic-free and as well as for household use, is also aimed at the maritime, rural and leisure market. With more than 1,000 direct customers and many more through a growing number of retailers, sales are rocketing in rural areas.

Suggested Products... BiGDUG Solid Rubber Stable Mats are designed to keep your horse warm and safe in their stable. The recycled non-toxic crumbed rubber ensures that all of the heat (usually lost through concrete flooring) stays in the stable. As well as offering excellent insulation from cold floors, they also provide a non-slip surface which is very useful for older horses that require more grip. The mats are 1m x 1m, and do not require any adhesive to be laid – they are heavy enough to stay put in the position of your choice, and can easily be trimmed to fit the exact size of your stable with a jigsaw or angle grinder. There are also grooves in the top of the mats which assist with drainage to keep the area dry. RRP: £34.80 each www.bigdug.co.uk

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Country stores are becoming an increasingly important market sector as the benefits to rural properties are recognised. Ace Farm Supplies have seen sales increase since launching the brand, and now stock nothing else. “We immediately liked the idea of this environmentally friendly loo roll, but we also needed to be sure that our customers would be happy to switch from their regular brand. We arranged an army of farmers wives to give Tanki a rigorous test and they were unanimous in their approval”, said store manager, Rob Pugh. Matt O’Crowley said, “Now, the intention is to have Tanki in every yard, horsebox, boat, caravan, farmhouse and off grid home in the UK.” www.tanki.co.uk


corners, turning at row ends and avoids over harrowing on the headlands. As well as making transportation from the place of storage to the area of work a smooth operation.

CHAIN HARROWS

EXPLAINED By SCH Supplies

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very smallholding and private paddock is different, but managing meadows can always be a difficult task. The SCH Chain harrows will help you keep your grassed areas in good condition. They can be used for pulling thatch and dead grass from paddocks, for levelling and preparation of seedbeds, and will also assist in maintaining horse and pony arenas. Choose from either towed or mounted versions of different sizes so that you can get precisely the right attachment for you. 3 Way Chain Harrow (Ref: 3WCH5&6) By design, the 3 Way Chain Harrows, are easier to pull than conventional chain harrows. The primary feature of these chain harrows is that they can be pulled in three different directions to achieve the desired effect. The tines of the harrow protrude more if pulled in one direction, creating an aggressive application. If the tow bar is changed to the other end of the

chain harrow, the tines protrude less, creating a passive application. The harrow can also be turned upside down, making it perfect for levelling grassed areas.

compact tractor of 18Hp and above are able to pull the harrow. The tines are staggered to give excellent coverage over the ground, making them extremely useful in the rejuvenation of horse arenas. 8' Chain Harrow For your free 80 page brochure (Ref: CH8) (96") featuring over 200 British built The biggest of the harrows is the machines visit 8’ Chain Harrow CH8 at a www.schsupplies.co.uk working width of 96", a

Chain Harrow CH8

Mini Chain Harrow Mounted On Three Point Linkage

Mini Chain Harrow (Ref: MCH) (48") The Mini Chain Harrow MCH (pictured above) has a working width of 48" and is best suited for work behind tractors of 15Hp and above. It makes light work of removing dead vegetation from lawns, paddocks and large grassed areas, but is also an ideal solution for seedbed preparation; both levelling and covering. Mini Chain Harrow Mounted On Three Point Linkage (Ref: 3MCH) (48") A standard 48" Mounted Mini Chain Harrow 3MCH is mounted on a robust frame which has a category 1 three-point linkage. The main advantage of mounting is the ease of transport; the ability to lift the tines facilitates the simple and easy clearing of debris, provides more manoeuvrability on

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HOOFCARE

TACKLING HOOF CRACKS:

FROM THE GROUND UP

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s horse owners, we’ve probably all had a horse with a hoof crack at some time or another. Usually, the cracks, chips and dings you find on your horse’s hoof walls will be harmless blemishes. However, sometimes a hoof crack may be a serious problem and can lead to lameness. Other times a persistent crack may be a sign of chronic trouble and in a worst-case scenario, a deep crack may provide an entryway for potentially life-threatening infections inside the horse’s foot. FormaHoof is a liquid fit, reusable mould process that is giving owners, vets, farriers and equine podiatrists a highly effective way to halt cracks in their tracks. FormaHoof offers instant comfort and relief to the horse, immediately protects and prevents further damage, while also providing a stable platform for support, allowing healing to commence.

Russian Roulette – a cracking case with a successful outcome Hoof cracks can have a wide range of causes - from dry, brittle feet to chronic conditions such as laminitis, to bacterial infection. Injury and trauma are another common cause and in severe cases can cause extreme pain that may require a long rehab and recovery period. Russian Roulette, AKA Win, is a horse in Queensland, Australia who sustained a severe hoof injury when he stood on a stump while galloping around his paddock in a thunderstorm. Win was in severe pain as the crack travelled up into his coronary band and the internal sensitive tissues were exposed, posing a great threat for bacterial attack and infection. With a hoof crack such as this, the first priority is to tackle the structural damage to the hoof caused by the injury and to apply support. As horses are large, heavy animals that are

Russian Roulette sustained a severe hoof injury during turnout that caused immense pain and could have been extremely slow and difficult to heal.

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standing or moving most of the day, preventing further damage is crucial. However, until now this has been an enormous challenge. Not only is a traditional shoe extremely difficult to apply for severe cracks because of the extensive damage to the hoof, custom fabrication of a device that would offer the required support could delay treatment dramatically. In the interim, the horse would have to be kept largely immobile to prevent further structural damage, while the risk of bacterial infection would remain a great threat. Fortunately for Win, FormaHoof offers a highly effective solution to serious hoof injuries such as these. Firstly, getting a horse protected by a FormaHoof application is quick and easy, providing instant support, protection and stability to the injured hoof and keeping it protected while healing and recovery takes place. Secondly, FormaHoof allows medication

With FormaHoof, the missing hoof area can be filled completely, medication affixed securely in place (under the application) and the horse can now can move around naturally with its rebuilt hoof.

to be applied over the injured area, keeps it in place for the life of the application, while also keeping the hoof clean and preventing the entry of dirt, bacteria or other potentially harmful material. These benefits, combined with the fact that FormaHoof gives the perfect, tailored fit every time, are exactly why FormaHoof is emerging as the preferred solution for serious hoof problems. For Russian Roulette, and other horses that may have suffered serious hoof injury, using FormaHoof reduces pain, results in far lower stress levels, allows for a faster recovery process and ultimately a reduction in total treatment cost because only 4-5 visits should be required and the FormaHoof Mould is reusable time and again, with only the FormaHoof AP resin material to consider as an overhead. It is also important to note that the FormaHoof AP material is specifically designed to flex and move in much the same way as a natural hoof, so the horse feels no rigidity with the application on.

This final image shows Win after a 5-week cycle in FormaHoof. You can see good growth and overall shape as the FormaHoof application has protected the hoof from any wear or damage during the cycle.


What is FormaHoof? FormaHoof is a liquid fit, reusable mould process. The reusable FormaHoof Mould is shaped internally with all the features of a healthy, strong, balanced hoof, including a concave sole, reinforced support for the heels and heel bulb region and an optimal hoof pastern axis. The FormaHoof Mould is placed onto the horse’s hoof and an adaptable polyurethane resin applied into it. Once the FormaHoof AP resin has set, the mould is removed and the resulting hardened resin application then mimics a perfectly healthy hoof, offering protection, support and a fully balanced foot. In addition to hoof cracks and severe hoof damage, FormaHoof is the most effective solution to a wide range of hoof problems the equine world faces on a daily basis. From laminitis, thin soles and white line disease, to conformation, developmental and poor performance issues, FormaHoof offers immediate pain relief whilst giving stability and support to allow the hoof to regenerate, naturally.

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aunched globally in early 2020, FormaHoof is already transforming the lives of countless horses around the world that suffer from hoof disease, hoof injuries and hoof and limb imbalances. In an exciting new development for the growing team of FormaHoof certified Applicators and the horses they care for, FormaHoof R&D labs have created Flex Mesh, a new innovation designed to take the durability and ease of use of FormaHoof to a whole new level. Designed as a performance enhancement to the existing FormaHoof AP polymer material, the 3D structure of Flex Mesh allows for enhanced mixing of the FormaHoof AP material and more contact points on the hoof wall. The innovative 3D lattice structure of Flex Mesh is achievable only using an advanced 3D printing manufacturing process and uniquely designed materials, which together generate fluid

Suggested Products... TopSpec Healthy Hoof contains the level of biotin scientifically proven to improve hoof quality, plus methionine, zinc, copper, iodine, calcium and vitamin A, which all improve the effect of biotin alone, and it is caramel flavoured. www.topspec.com

FORMAHOOF LAUNCHES FLEX MESH

turbulence during the polymer injection process. This encourages even better mixing of the 2 polymer parts of FormaHoof AP as it enters the FormaHoof mould. Real-world testing of Flex Mesh versus a traditional mesh product by experienced applicators report an increase in overall strength of the FormaHoof application of up to 30%, while Flex Mesh also reduces application times by 510 minutes per foot. The manufacturing process, design and material that make Flex Mesh a reality have never been used before in the equine world, making its launch another global first from FormaHoof R&D

labs. Drawing on years of experience in the aerospace markets, the design team approached the creation of Flex Mesh from the ground up, leveraging the benefits of the advanced design tools and 3D printing capabilities within the group to ensure that Flex Mesh fits the horse and the FormaHoof Application perfectly. For horses that would benefit from additional therapeutic support, Flex Mesh can be infused with medication or dental impression material as needed, providing a support structure to keep it in place and the correct area medicated. www.FormaHoof.com

Biotin Xtra Powder provides a full 20mg biotin per 50g daily dose, as well as zinc and the sulphur containing amino acid methionine to help promote strong, healthy hooves. Biotin Xtra Powder also contains MSM, an additional source of bioavailable sulphur to help promote hoof wall strength and integrity. RRP: £19.99/2.5kg. www.equine-america.co.uk

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HOOFCARE

SAM’S DETERMINATION

KEEPS ED FIT AND HAPPY

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ow 15-years-old, Welsh Section A pony, Ed first experienced laminitis at the age of five and his devoted owner Sam Bull has done everything in her power ever since to keep him happy and comfortable. Standing just 11.3hh, Sam has always kept a close watch on Ed’s weight and never expected him to get laminitis. Adds Sam: “I first noticed Ed was standing with the typical laminitis stance but initially if I kept him in for two days it would go. He wasn’t overweight or anything and it soon went away. “Ed could be fine one minute and half an hour later he was terrible. I decided to keep a diary and asked the vets to carry out a

blood test which showed his insulin was very high and he was diagnosed with Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). “For the last five summers he has been really well and it is only the last two winters where the problem flared up again and his hooves became really sensitive.” Working alongside Sam to keep Ed sound and comfortable has been farrier Jonathan Nunn FWCF, highly regarded for his remedial work. Passionate about helping horses and ponies with chronic ailments, Jonathan receives a lot of referral work from veterinary practices with many suffering from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and laminitis. Having focused on remedial work for the last eight years, he

is in popular demand and is called upon regularly by vets to assist in acute cases. Said Jonathan: “I have seen Ed on and off for several years and have treated him with a variety of methods to help his laminitis over time. “This has ranged from with shoes, to no shoes, glue on shoes, clogs and hoof boots to try and make him comfortable. “I am meeting clients every day with horses and ponies with similar problems and one had had great success with LaminAid from Cavalor and I suggested to Sam she should give it a go and we were both delighted with the results.” Explained Sam: “Within ten days we saw a big difference, he was much freer in his movement and more comfortable and I was so happy his progress was going in the right direction. “LaminAid is a blend of essential oils and has been developed for horses and ponies with sensitive hooves. It is great to see Ed relaxed and enjoying life. “Combining LaminAid with keeping his legs and hooves warm with the help of stable

Dressage Pony Gigolo Ready to Dance...

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wraps and hoof boots is really working as we have found he doesn’t cope very well with big changes in temperature which we have experienced this winter.” Cavalor LaminAid is recommended for horses and ponies with sensitive hooves due to metabolic problems. It supports the sensitive intestinal flora and brings hormonal and metabolic processes back into balance while improving blood circulation and flow in the hoof. Cavalor LaminAid is a unique, balanced combination of several essential oils including Eucalyptus globulus, Allium sativum and Betula alba. When incorporated into a blend, they complement each other and have a synergistic benefit. www.cavalor direct.co.uk

ressage pony superstar, Gigolo, owned by the Lickley family has been a stalwart of British teams for many years. Ridden by Izzy Lickley, the talented veteran competed in the Pony Europeans in Denmark in 2016 but started his British team debut aged just 6-years-old. Now twenty-two and very much enjoying his retirement he has been in fantastic health until a bout of laminitis last summer. Explains Izzy, “As he’s got older he developed cushings which we have managed really well with advice from the vet but last summer when he was looking in great shape he just developed laminitis overnight. All was well when we turned him out for a few hours but when we came to bring him in he was crippled and it was really distressing to see. “He is on a low sugar and low starch diet and we added Cavalor LaminAid to his diet and used Cavalor PodoSens hoof oil. It was so great to see him gradually improve and by week seven he was back to full fitness and thankfully has never looked back.”

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WIN!

CONNEMARA PONY SHANNON

TEACHES MAISY THE ROPES

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onnemara pony Shannon was proving a superb schoolmistress for young Maisy Griffiths in the dressage arena until she suffered from a bout of laminitis. Now 24-years-old the 14.2hh mare is owned by Maisy’s mum Gemma who was delighted with their progress since getting her on permanent loan two years ago. Explains Gemma: “Shannon is a fantastic pony and we are very grateful to her previous owner, Christine Ralph for letting us have her. We knew she had cushings and that we would need to manage the condition carefully. “She is such a fantastic pony for Maisy who was really improving until the riding had to go on hold when Shannon suddenly became laminitic in her right hind hoof. “We feed her a low sugar, low starch diet and soak her hay so are always as careful as we can be and do the best for her. “The cushings problem has always been metabolic and we were totally surprised when Shannon came in from the field last October lame. “We keep to the same routine and put her out in a paddock with limited grazing for about three hours a day and we could see no reason for laminitis to strike. “Her right hand hoof was clearly very sore and we wanted to do everything we could to help Shannon. “We started to use LaminAid and

PodoSens from Cavalor and within five days saw immediate results. “Shannon was much more comfortable and walking so much better that after the first bottle we didn’t immediately keep her on the LaminAid and the problems came back. “We decided to put her on a maintenance dose and now have the problem under control, so much so that we are working her in-hand in preparation for some ridden work. “With Shannon being 24-years-old, Maisy just rides her for training and learning on rather than competing, but we love her to bits and will do everything we can to keep her fit and well.” Cavalor LaminAid is used in combination with Cavalor PodoSens. Cavalor PodoSens is a therapeutic hoof oil. The blend of essential oils helps provide suppport for sensitive hooves and promotes hoof elasticity. www.cavalordirect.co.uk

EIGHT LUCKY READERS WILL EACH RECEIVE A 5KG TUB OF KEEP WELL!

The ultimate all in one supplement, Rowen Barbary Keep Well is a high specification formula designed to help support joint, digestive, skin and coat and overall health. Containing a well-balanced ratio of Glucosamine and MSM to support joint care and mobility, along with digestive enhancers and spices. Ideal for horses prone to weight gain that need a low calorie diet, while still supplying a high level of nutrients that are so important for overall health. www.rowenbarbary.co.uk RRP: £32.40

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st May and close 30th June 2021.

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NUTRITION

By Haygain

GET A JUMP ON

ALLERGY SEASON!

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reakthroughs in equine allergy research confirm that allergen avoidance remains the best horse health strategy. While much of the world only recently learned the health hazards of microscopic airborne particles, horses have been struggling with their impact for eons - whether their owners know it or not. Allergic reactions that manifest as compromised respiratory function, skin problems, general malaise and poor performance start as tiny airborne particles that infiltrate, irritate and trigger inflammation inside the horse's body. As with people, inflammation anywhere in the horse’s body is bad. In the equine respiratory tract, it impedes the flow of oxygen needed for all cells to function, especially muscles. Deep in the lungs where gaseous exchange transfers oxygen to the blood stream and removes lactic acid from the muscles during exertion, inflammation restricts both these critical processes. ‘Dust’ is the innocent-sounding description of the conduit for mould, fungi, bacteria and other allergens that activate

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inflammation, the body’s defence against all foreign matter. Unfortunately, most horses’ biggest source of nutrition, hay, is loaded with these allergens. This is true even in hay of good nutrient quality and that looks and smells fine. Hay is grown in microbe-rich soil, transported on highways and stored in environments that can often accelerate the growth of whatever contaminants it contained at harvest or picked up en route to the barn. That hazy cloud that emerges from a shaken flake of hay illustrates this dangerous element in most horses' breathing zone. Breakthrough Equine nutritionist and digestive physiology expert Meriel Moore-Colyer, PhD, is excited about new findings regarding allergens that affect horses. As a graduate dean and professor at the Royal Agricultural University in England, she supervised a recent breakthrough study that evaluated almost 400 potential allergens from a blood sample. Bronchoalveolar lavage (a lung wash) has been the standard for identifying allergens in the

respiratory system. But this procedure is invasive and requires the horse to rest for a week or so afterward. Conducted by Samuel White, PhD candidate, MSc, BSc, the study included twelve equine subjects with Severe Equine Asthma, a condition at the most extreme end of the Equine Asthma Spectrum. Each was exposed to the same potential allergens in a controlled environment, and blood samples revealed which triggered a reaction represented by antigens. This was the largest scale allergen assessment in Severe Equine Asthma horses to date. The results established a wide range of previously unidentified allergens and highlighted fungi and mites as the main reactants. Pollen and latex were newly

identified as a problem for horses, as they are for many people. At an average size of 6-8 microns, pollen had previously been thought to be too big a particle to infiltrate the lungs. They’ve now been identified as extremely potent allergens. This initial study established a sound platform for future diagnostics by providing a reliable, fast, repeatable method for screening of potential allergens. Crucially, it enables targeted allergen-avoidance regimes, which are the cornerstone to treatment. Allergen Avoidance The results of White’s study and the fast-evolving body of knowledge on allergens speak to the complexity of the subject. For example, it’s known that repeated exposure to an allergen will cause a progressively more severe response, whether that’s coughing, wheezing or decreased capacity to use oxygen at lower levels of exertion. It was generally thought that horses with hypersensitivity to insect bites were more likely to be vulnerable to various allergens, but that’s now in question. “A horse that is a generally allergic character will probably have a heightened reactivity to all sorts of things, but that’s not always the case,” explains Moore-Colyer. “Determining if one reaction can predict another is one of many areas we are looking into. Scientists thrive on these questions, but horse owners only need to know one thing regarding allergens. Continued overleaf...



NUTRITION Continued from previous page...

Allergen avoidance is the cornerstone to effective prevention,” asserts Moore-Colyer. The easiest and most effective way to do that is using a Haygain Hay Steamer, which Moore-Colyer helped develop and tested extensively before the product’s commercial launch in 2009. Using steam heated to 100°C and injected evenly through hay in a thermally sealed chest, this process reduces up to 99% of the dust, mould, fungi, bacteria and other allergens found in hay. While affordable, commercial applications of White’s discoveries are a ways off, hay steaming gives horse owners immediate access to the best way of reducing allergy risks in the horse keeping environment. www.haygain.co.uk

STOP THE PUBLIC INTERFERING WITH OUR HORSES

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quine scientist Dr David Marlin has thrown his support behind the national Stop Feeding Our Horses campaign, designed to educate the public on the dangers of feeding equines without owners’ permission. The initiative, set up by Hannah Johnstone and actively promoted by former groom Natalie Munir, was set up in the wake of a large number of incidents which resulted in horses and ponies suffering illness, injury and death after unauthorised feeding by members of the general public.

DrDavidMarlin.com – the science-based independent information resource for equestrians – ran a dedicated survey addressing public interference with privately owned horses and received 2,745 responses – demonstrating the strength of emotion felt by horse owners on this subject. While the poll was not exclusively related to feeding horses – rather it covered incidences where members of the public interacted with privately owned horses without consent, for example entering fields, chasing

GROUND-BREAKING: FREE ONLINE FORAGE CALCULATOR

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n the effort to educate horse owners and battle the welfare crisis in equine obesity, Trickle Net have launched the first free online forage calculator of its kind. The new resource has been developed over several months, and uses data pulled from the latest available research in approximating the dry matter forage requirements of horses and ponies on a grass and hay diet. Built with guidance from Louisa Taylor BVM BVS (Hons) BVMedSci (Hons) MRCVS of Vetrition, the calculator

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requests horse owners to input their horse’s weight, hours turnout and type of pasture with the amount of hay fed and the feeding goal. The results are instantly available to the user and displayed with a host of recommendations and advice around feeding horses on a weight control diet. As an added bonus, the calculator also tells the user how much money they will save if they have been over-feeding forage. The tool can provide a good starting point for owners, though it does not replace working with an equine nutritionist. Owners are directed

towards the services of Vetrition and Practical Equine Nutrition for personalised weight loss plans for their horses. The calculator is supported by BETA, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Laminitis Site and Care Equine Education. Information on diet and nutrition, laminitis prevention, management and weight control can be accessed from

supporters via the calculator page. You can try out the Trickle Net Forage Calculator at www.tricklenet.co.uk/forage -calculator


DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS ABOUT

EQUINE OBESITY

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quine obesity is indisputably one of the biggest threats to equine welfare in the UK and BEVA is ramping up its efforts to help vets and owners recognise and address the problem in the right way. The Association has launched a second phase pilot project to help increase engagement with vets and owners on the topic, including a video on how best to tackle the topic of talking to owners about equine obesity. “Equine obesity may not be a huge issue for those working with racehorses and elite sports horses, but for those of us working with almost all other members of the UK equine population it is an all too familiar encounter,” said BEVA President Lucy Grieve. “Approaching the conversation about a horse’s weight with an owner can be difficult; sometimes what we say is not what the other person hears but making small changes in how we word

things can have a big impact.” BEVA has been tackling equine obesity for several years now, recognising that veterinary professionals are in a unique and privileged position to support owners. This year the Association has teamed up with Tamzin Furtado, a social scientist at the University of Liverpool with a background in global health, and a specific interest on how human behaviour change can improve the management of obesity in horses, to provide advice and guidance on having difficult conversations about equine obesity. In addition, last summer’s pilot scheme using a traffic light colour system of vaccination reminder stickers which vets can place on the front of passports at each vaccination appointment has been simplified for further trials. The updated scheme involves vets issuing a black or white sticker during a vaccination visit, relating to the horse or pony’s current weight. The QR coded sticker directs owners to a series

of five short videos providing practical advice on ways to manage or reduce their horse’s weight by looking at hard feed, exercise, grazing, hay and rugging. “Using a less direct method of communication such as this seems to make it more comfortable for owners to recognise and accept that their horse is overweight,” said Lucy. “This should be the kickstart they need to embark on a supported path of rehabilitating their horse to a healthy body condition.” “Obesity is a ticking time bomb,” said Lucy, “and we all need to work together to avert the crisis. By initiating conversations in the right way, we can help owners recognise and maintain a healthy body condition for their beloved horses and ponies. In so doing we should be able to significantly reduce the many serious obesity-related health problems - surely this is the biggest motivator for all of us to engage with this project.”

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Photo: Sarah Shephard

horses, leaving gates open, damaging fences and gates – it did include this aspect of intrusion. The poll revealed the following worrying statistics: • 79% of horse owners reported experiencing members of the public interfering with their horses/ponies on private property • 59% stated that this had got worse during the past year • 44% of respondents said their horses/ponies had suffered as a result of the actions of the public, with 90 cases where the classification was significant (the examples for ‘significant’ were specified in the survey as euthanasia or fatality) • 72% of owners who had experienced trespass had not reported this to the police. Of 294 incidents reported to the police, in 20% of these the police were considered to have been helpful and 20% they took action, leaving 60% of incidents where the respondents said the police declined to help. Commenting on the responses to the survey, Dr David Marlin said, “There is clearly an immediate need to educate members of the public to understand the potentially grave consequences of their actions.”


NUTRITION LOCATED IN NEWMARKET BUT WORKING BOTH NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY DONNA CASE BSC (HONS) IS THE HIGHLY EXPERIENCED EQUINE NUTRITIONIST WHO RUNS ‘THE HORSE FEED GURU’, AN EQUINE NUTRITION CONSULTANCY. FORMERLY A COMMERCIAL NUTRITIONIST ACROSS THREE BRANDS, NOW COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT, HER AIM IS TO DEMYSTIFY FEEDING FOR THE GOOD OF THE HORSE AND RIDER.

FEELING

HOT HOT HOT?

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s the weather heats up and summer activities are in full swing, what should you think about with your horse’s diet? Firstly you may find that with all the competitions, long sunny hacks and beach rides your horse is working harder than in other seasons and may need a little extra help to meet their energy requirements. Before you jump to change feeds however, make sure you are feeding enough forage. For some just a simple increase in hay and haylage may be enough. Following this if you are

feeding below the manufacturer recommended amount of your current hard feed it may be a simple case of increasing the amount fed. If you feel you need to move to a competition based feed, make sure you choose one suitable for your horse’s temperament, so think slow releasing fibres and oils for excitable types. Do remember however that when we increase the energy level in the diet effectively we are increasing the calorie level, as a calorie is a unit of energy. Monitor and ensure your horse does not become overweight as a result of the energy increase.

Revive is an easy to mix great tasting rehydration powder. Helps replace salts and minerals lost through sweat. Just 2oz in 4 litres of water, so a little goes a long way. RRP: £26/3kg plus free delivery. www.animal-health.co.uk

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Moving on from this it is important to replenish electrolytes. Horses with access to a good amount of forage or grass will normally have a potassium intake in excess of daily requirements. Sodium and chloride intake however is often minimal and needs to be rectified. Normal table salt is an easy way to achieve this. The amount of electrolytes your horse will lose will vary, but for most leisure horses who go out for hacks, schooling, clinics or low-level competitions, will typically require around 1tbsp of table salt per day to rectify the sodium and chloride lost through sweat. If you are competing or working at a higher level, or if your horse eats low levels of forage or the sweat loss is high it would be well worth having

a nutritionist look at your plan and check the electrolyte replacement strategy is in line with his requirements. Alongside this it is important to ensure rehydration and provide access to clean, fresh water at all times. If your horse is fussy whilst away at an event consider taking water from home, which may encourage him to drink more. If you need further support with fluid intake you can create very wet hard feeds, or mashes so long as you introduce gradually. www.thehorsefeed guru.com

Apple Lytes have been carefully formulated to replace the key electrolytes and encourage drinking to help prevent dehydration and maintain peak performance all season. Apple Lytes are highly palatable, and should be mixed in feed. Clean, fresh water should always be available. RRP: from £18.50/2.5kg. www.equine-america.co.uk


it more difficult. Tamsin added some soaked Fibre-Beet to Twink’s water bucket, to entice him to drink more and hydrate again. Because Twink was already fed on FibreBeet, Tamsin knew he would take to it straight away. Fibre-Beet contains peppermint, making it extremely palatable for horses that can be extremely fussy and in this case helped Tamsin make sure her horse was drinking. Tamsin commented: “Twink loves his Fibre-Beet and I have found it is a great way to keep his fibre intake up. “I also feed British Horse Feeds Cooked Linseed for condition in winter, and in summer for that gorgeous coat shine. He has

New Product Alert...

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aracen Horse Feeds have announced the launch of their new feed Re-Leve-Cubes. Low in starch, low in sugar, whole cereal and alfalfa free, Re-Leve-Cubes have been awarded the BETA Feed Approval Mark as a suitable feed for horses and ponies prone to Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome. Re-Leve-Cubes feature high quality ‘Super Fibres’ and oil as alternative energy sources, as well as a live yeast to help maintain optimum digestive health particularly in those horses that are more sensitive during the rigours of training, travelling and competing. The packaging of this product is 100% recyclable. www.saracenhorsefeeds.com

Photo: Majestic Photography

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ll year round, horses and ponies need to keep hydrated, particularly during the warmer periods of the year where water is lost through sweating. Water levels need to be replenished and this is where Tamsin Palmer, an eventer, found British Horse Feeds’ FibreBeet to be very useful for her horse, Bazaars Twister (stable name Twink). After the pair had finished schooling or after lessons, Tamsin was always keen to make sure Twink was drinking, but like most of us it is rare to actually see when our horses drink. Normally horse owners can gauge how much water is consumed from water buckets but automatic drinkers both in the field and in the stable makes

TWINK’S

FLAVOURED WATER never looked so well.” Adding one part dry Fibre-Beet (half kg) to three parts water by weight (one and half litres), the feed will soak and expand to hold three times its weight in water. More water can be added to make a sloppier mash to increase fluid intake or like Tamsin, add a handful of soaked

Fibre-Beet to water buckets to flavour the water. This is extremely useful for when you are out competing. Some horses and ponies refuse to drink in these environments, and conveniently Fibre-Beet can be soaked and ready to feed in 45 minutes with cold water, or 15 minutes with warm water. www.britishhorsefeeds.com

OWNERS OF

OLDER HORSES...

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f you currently manage a horse aged 15+ , and especially those with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), Spillers is encouraging you to participate in a survey to help improve the management of this condition. PPID, also known as Equine Cushing’s, is common in older horses and ponies and can be linked to a range of problems including laminitis, weight loss, delayed coat shedding and a long curly coat. The survey forms part of a major international project to improve the understanding and knowledge of the fundamental causes of PPID, in order to improve early diagnosis, treatment, husbandry and nutritional management. The short, anonymous online survey should enable researchers to better understand how owners make treatment decisions and which decisions have the best outcomes. www.spillers-feeds.com

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NUTRITION

By Baileys Horse Feeds

WELL OILED! HOW OIL CAN BE A USEFUL

ADDITION TO YOUR HORSE’S DIET

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ereals are traditionally a major source of energy for horses in hard work. The starch they contain provides readily available glucose, which may be used directly as an energy source, stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen or stored as body fat. Glucose can be used by muscles at all work intensities but is the only energy source that can be used for high intensity work, making it particularly important for performance horses. Glycogen-Sparing Oil is energy-dense, providing 2¼ times as much energy (calories) as carbohydrates from cereals, however, it can only be used by the horse working at low intensities, when the required oxygen is available for aerobic respiration. Once the horse is working hard, he cannot supply oxygen quickly enough to maintain aerobic respiration so he moves into anaerobic respiration, which can only utilise glucose or glycogen as its energy substrate. Stamina Providing oil in the diet, which

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the horse can utilise when working up to a heart rate of around 150 beats per minute, spares the stores of glycogen so that, when the horse starts to gallop, he effectively has a ‘full tank of fuel’ to use for fast work. This improves stamina and, because the horse doesn’t fully deplete his energy stores, he can recover from an intense work period, like a competition or event, more quickly. Energy Dense Although oil is not naturally part of their diet, horses can utilise it well, provided it is introduced gradually to allow their bodies to adjust. It can increase the overall energy content of the diet without significantly increasing the volume of feed and, since the horse’s stomach has limited capacity, this is ideal when more calories are needed than the recommended amount of a compound feed can supply or when the total ration can only be divided into a limited number of meals. Condition Oil’s slow release calories can also be fed to promote weight gain or to horses who require a

low starch diet, for example, if they’re prone to gastric ulcers, tying-up or laminitis. Being slow release, oil is less likely to cause fizzy behaviour but the downside is the palatability of the oil itself, which some horses can take a bit of getting used to. If you choose to feed straight oil, it will need to be fed at a rate of at least 250-500ml (1-2 coffee mugs) per day to make a significant contribution to the energy levels of the diet. Balance Soya oil is a popular and costeffective choice for horses, while micronised linseed is also fed for its high oil content. Any vegetable oil will supply the desired calories but not all are created nutritionally equal, with each containing different proportions of essential fatty acids, of which the most important are known as Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids will support supple skin and a shiny coat, while both Omega 3s and 6s have important functions within the body and

research has shown that a balance is necessary for optimum benefit. Soya oil is high in Omega 6 fatty acids, whilst linseed is rich in Omega 3, so feeding one or the other could cause an imbalance in the horse’s body. As an alternative, feed a high oil supplement, which supplies a balance of essential fatty acids and which should also be easier and less messy to feed. Antioxidant Support To ensure oil is used as efficiently as possible by the horse, a range of supporting nutrients are required, particularly anti-oxidants like the vitamins, C and E, and the minerals, selenium and zinc. During the aerobic respiration which breaks down oil, free radicals are produced which, if not countered with antioxidants, can damage cell membranes including those of the muscles. Whilst the body produces its own internal antioxidants these may be insufficient to deal with the additional free radicals produced by an increased inclusion of oil in the diet. Continued overleaf...



NUTRITION

Suggested Products... Baileys Outshine high oil supplement - A unique extruded nugget which supplies oils from linseed and soya, along with supporting antioxidants, and is easily added to an existing balanced diet to help improve stamina, condition or coat shine. SRP: around £38/20kg or £16/6kg. Continued from previous page...

It is wise therefore to ensure that an additional source of these nutrients is included in the diet to support oil utilisation or, alternatively, choose an oil rich supplementary feed which already contains the necessary supporting nutrients. Ideal Performance Diet The ideal performance diet provides a range of energy sources, including fibre, cereals and oil but, when a horse’s endurance is to be tested, it is well worth increasing the proportion of energy provided by oil. Some performance feeds contain enhanced oil levels, while adding oil to an existing balanced diet is also an option. Specially formulated high oil supplements offer a palatable, mess-free alternative to straight oil but, whichever method you choose, remember to introduce the oil gradually and, if you are at all unsure, contact a feed company help line for advice. www.baileys horsefeeds.co.uk

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Baileys All-Round Endurance Mix This innovative mix provides a blend of energy sources, including micronised cereals, fibre and oil to support horses working up to the hardest levels and helping improve stamina while also supplying readily available energy. SRP: around £15.50/20kg.

MolliChaff ShowShine is a high-oil chaff for ultimate show condition. Suitable for all horses and ponies, it is flavoured with cherry, ensuring it is highly palatable. It is made from the highest quality oat straw that has been chopped and dust extracted, and it is naturally high in fibre. It contains a unique coating which combines high levels of soya oil with a light coating of low sugar molasses. www.horsehage.co.uk

Baileys Ease & Excel This high oil, low starch blend is ideal for providing slow release calories for condition, stamina or performance and is ideal for stressy or fizzy types and those prone to gastric ulcers. SRP: around £15/15kg. All www.baileyshorse feeds.co.uk

O-Mega Shine oil supplement boasts 87% Omega oils. Its pure vegetarian formula contains Omega 3, 6 and 9. Customers have seen results with as little as 10ml a day, making it a very economical. Great for skin and coat as well as general health and wellbeing. Available in 1lt, 2.5lt and 5lt bottles. www.animal-health.co.uk


.. Love and Mollichaff Saved Lottie. Mollichaff Condition - a highly digestible, high fibre, high oil and low starch mix, which can be fed as a complete concentrate feed alongside good quality forage. It contains a balanced blend of alfalfa, dried grass, oat straw, fibre pellets, barley, soya flakes, soya oil and mint as well as Yea-sacc and a prebiotic, plus vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

A

nn Bishop rescued and fostered a 13.2hh mare called Lottie. She’d originally set out to buy a bomb-proof cob so Lottie was everything Ann didn’t want. Lottie was young at around 18-months-old, full of worms, covered in lice and totally emaciated. However Ann just couldn’t leave her. On arrival at Ann’s yard Lottie was so dehydrated, and Ann soon realised that Lottie must have been physical abused too, as she flinched every time anyone went to stroke her. Despite everything she had been through she eventually began to settle. However little did Ann know that Lottie was in fact pregnant. Lottie rejected her foal, named Harley, but after lots of time spent encouraging Lottie, she finally took to him. Ann said, “I’m sure that feeding Lottie excellent feed before and after Harley was born played a big part in him surviving. With Lottie being in such poor condition I needed to know she was getting everything she needed which I did by feeding Mollichaff Condition Complete.” www.horsehage.co.uk


NUTRITION

NEW PRODUCT ALERT

RB KEEP WELL SUPPORTING THE OLDER HORSE

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ver the last few years the team at Rowen Barbary have noticed an increase in calls to the helpline relating to older horses which unfortunately suffer from a number of health concerns. These can be associated with more common problems such as joint or digestive health, which can often be exacerbated by underlining conditions such as laminitis or PPID. Although there are a number of senior feeds on the market the majority of these cater for the older horse requiring a higher calorie diet where starch and sugar are not a concern, so Rowen Barbary have developed a new product designed to help support the older horse where obesity and conditions such as laminitis and PPID are prevalent. The key ingredients within the specifically designed formula are an equal ration of Glucosamine and MSM, Turmeric and Black Pepper, Omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids alongside key antioxidants, Yeasacc 1026,

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Cinnamon and fully balanced with essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Keep Well is also cereal and molasses free with a very low starch and sugar content. Keep Well contains an equal ratio of Glucosamine and MSM at 10g which is recommended as a daily intake for a 500kg horse to support joint function and health. The Glucosamine helps to reduce stiffness, support the production of synovial fluid and aids the manufacturing of collagen. The MSM helps to maintain connective tissue and help with flexibility and mobility. The Turmeric is included at the recommended level of 20g for a 500kg horse per day, alongside Black Pepper to help aid bioavailability. Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, supporting digestive health and help with overall health. The Black Pepper used alongside the Turmeric aids with the Bio-availability. Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids alongside key antioxidants and Vitamin E and

Vitamin C ensure skin health and coat condition. Yeasacc 1026 is also included at the recommended level of 10g per 500kg horse per day. Yeasacc is used to help with greater digestion of fibre and helps to enhance the uptake of energy. Cinnamon is included at 5g and has high anti-oxidant properties and helps to maintain blood glucose levels. Cinnamon is also known for its antimicrobial activity which supports health and vitality. RB Keep Well – The Journey Keep Well was trialled and tested with two groups of horses. The first group of horses were randomly selected to receive a placebo supplement while the other group received the correct supplement Keep Well. During this process owners were advised that there were people on the trial that may be selected

to receive the placebo, but were not told which group they were in until the trial finished. During the trial owners gave weekly updates that were recorded, looking at everything from palatability to energy levels and overall condition. Over the course of the trial the feedback was positive with some owners saying their horse had ‘an increase in energy levels and looking great’. Throughout the trial owners were noticing improvements in their appearance and some in their physical abilities. Feedback to the question ‘Have you noticed any changes?’ resulted in many positive results ‘more energy’, ‘shiny coat’, ‘free in movement’ and ‘looking and feeling fabulous’. The feedback allowed the team at Rowen Barbary to ensure we are providing the best quality products, packaging and measuring scoops suitable for the recommended dosage. Overall, RB Keep Well was a success with the candidates and is now ready for the rest of the equestrian population to use! www.rowenbarbary.co.uk



SADDLERY & TACK

THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS ANSWER YOUR

FREQUENTLY

ASKED QUESTIONS

Q

UESTION:

“My friend’s tack always looks much cleaner than mine, is there a ‘best process’ I should go through when cleaning my saddle and bridle?”

ANSWER: As we all know, investing in good quality tack is likely to be one of the most expensive and important purchases you make for you and your horse. Once you have the right saddle, bridle and other tack accessories it is then over to you to ensure they remain in good condition and last for years. Your saddle and bridle should be checked each time you tack up and a more in depth look taken when cleaning. In general leather should be supple and

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free from cracks. If allowed to dry out, leather becomes brittle and weak, making it prone to splitting. Pay particular attention to straps which are subjected to a lot of stress e.g. girth straps and stirrup leathers. Make sure stitching is secure, metalwork e.g. buckles are not damaged and that holes have not become enlarged. If the tack is in poor condition it can injure you and your horse or cause a serious accident. Checks to tack should be thorough; this will involve turning your saddle upside

down to check underneath it and lifting up all flaps. To check a bridle properly it will need to be taken apart as buckles often hide cracks in the leather. Steps to maintain leather must be taken to ensure it stays supple and safe. Ideally tack should be cleaned every time it has been used, but this is not always possible. At the very least

bits should be washed in clean water and dried with a clean cloth after they have been used. Also if tack gets wet and muddy it should not be left or it is likely to become brittle or may stretch. Remove mud and dirt with a warm damp cloth and allow it to dry at room temperature, and then apply a leather conditioner. It is advisable therefore to thoroughly clean your saddle and bridle at least once a week. The aim of thorough cleaning is to remove all dirt and grease and then to feed and condition the leather. There are numerous products available on the market for conditioning leather. Always read manufacturer’s instructions carefully to make sure the product is suitable for your particular type of leather. Whether you use a sponge, brush or cloth to clean and apply product make sure it is not too abrasive so that the leather isn’t scratched. To clean metalwork you can use a metal polish, this will leave buckles and stirrups etc looking brighter and clean. Never use polishes on bits though as they may be harmful to your horse. Even if you think you have washed a polish off there is likely a residue is left behind which you cannot see. Your horse changes shape regularly. The frequency of these changes will relate to his age, training, management and so on. Try to develop an eye to recognise these changes. Viewed on a daily basis, the changes may seem inconsequential but over a period of just a week or so they can be surprisingly substantial. Have your saddle


Your Questions Answered... checked regularly and always use a Qualified Saddle Fitter. If a saddle is good quality and well cared for it should last for years, and if it still fits your horse there is no need to replace it. You might like to replace certain parts though such as the girth straps and stirrup leathers. Stitching may also need re-doing on certain parts of your saddle or bridle after a few years. www.master saddlers.co.uk

QUESTION: “What are some quick checks I can make day to day to ensure my horse’s saddle fits him well between visits from the saddler.”

ANSWER: “Once a saddle has been selected and carefully fitted by a SMS qualified saddle fitter there are four main elements to the fit that you can watch out for. These are balance, clearance, stability and straightness. Balance can be seen initially when standing by the tacked- up horse. “The saddle should look level, so that the rider will sit in the centre of the saddle. However, this is just a preliminary view, and nothing can be assumed from this until the horse is being ridden. “Luckily these days we all have

phones with a video function, and these are a huge help with saddle fitting. Get a friend to film you riding the horse at all paces, not galloping about in the distance but rather more up close so that you can see the balance of the saddle as the horse works. “On some horses the saddle will stay level, some horses drop their back under the saddle and some lift. The film will show you what is happening. Stability can be checked at the same time as any lifting, bouncing Continued overleaf...

FORMER SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS’ PRESIDENT, KAY HASTILOW PROVIDES ADVICE ON MAKING SADDLE FITTING CHECKS AT HOME.


SADDLERY & TACK Continued from previous page...

or movement in the saddle will also be apparent. “When you are being filmed, take some footage from behind and in front as you are riding on a straight line, walk and trot. You will see any slippage over to one side or the other or any excessive movement and of course you will do this on the right rein and the left. It will also pick up any faults that you are developing as well. “Clearance should be checked both before moving off and after some work. Remember to check both the front and the back of the saddle. Make sure that there is sufficient clearance so that, when the horse is working

there is no contact from the saddle to the top or sides of the spine. Best to get a friend to check this whilst you are mounted so that you can sit straight. “PLEASE do not be tempted to have someone run their hand under the front part of the panel and on down the underside of the knee roll whilst you are sitting on it as you should expect there to be pressure here at that time. If there isn’t, then what is supporting your weight? I hear this all the time from so called ‘experts’ who believe that you should be able to do this, not realising that to get good distribution of weight and pressure THE WHOLE AREA OF THE PANEL that is supported by the tree must bear the pressures as evenly over its length as possible.”

LARA EDWARDS LAUNCHES CATHEDRAL EQUINE

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nternational British dressage rider, Lara Edwards has launched a new and exciting range of leatherwork and other essential equine accessories. The Cathedral Equine range aims to provide quality products that are durable, comfortable and stylish at a price that is affordable to all. Using her knowledge of the equestrian industry through her years of working with various brands and making good use of her business degree, Lara relished the task of sourcing and creating the fantastic products that are in the range. At the heart of the Cathedral Equine range is an extensive selection of bridles from practical everyday snaffle bridles to bridles with added bling that cater for a rider’s individual taste as well as comfort for the horse,

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all available at a reasonable price. To completely customise your Cathedral Equine bridle, there are a number of headpieces, nosebands and browbands available to buy separately. The range also includes essential items like reins, head collars and lead ropes, as well as stunning dog collars and leads and belts for the rider. Said Lara, “To have my own range allows me to use my own experience to create products that I hope riders will love. “I wanted the range to appeal to riders of every discipline and to every budget; Cathedral “Equine bridles are excellent value for money without compromising

on the craftsmanship.” Lara with be combining building her new business venture with her competing commitments, riding at international level with her top horse Felix (Jazzed Up) and bringing her own homebred horses up through the ranks. www.cathedral-equine.co.uk

If your saddle fits, you shouldn’t use a half pad.’ We’ve all heard that, yep? In fact, we’ve probably even heard that if your saddle fits you don’t need to use a saddle cloth at all. Is this true? Should you not be using a saddle cloth? I try to explain this by using a shoe analogy. Your shoes can fit, but no-one (literally no-one) wants to wear their shoes without socks (yuck, think about the sweaty feet sliding around and how stinky your shoes would get). The saddle cloth acts as a bit of a buffer against the the saddle, and helps soak up the sweat; it protects the leather, the flocking and your horse’s back. But what about half pads? Surely half pads are a big ‘nono’. Because if your shoes fit, you don’t want to squeeze a big fat pair of slipper socks in there too, do you? Your shoes wouldn’t fit anymore. So, does that mean that half pads are the work of the devil, reserved only for people with illfitting saddles, who don’t care about their horse and just want to look super cool with half a sheep under their saddle? Well, this is where my sock/shoe analogy fails miserably. Keep reading… Recently there has been a lot of


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF

POPPY WEBBER

BY POPPY WEBBER, QUALIFIED SADDLE FITTER FOR THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS, COVERING CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, NORFOLK AND SURROUNDING AREAS. SHE ALSO WRITES REGULAR ADVICE POSTS ON PEEWEE SADDLERY’S SOCIAL MEDIA. saddle and saddle cloth. They can also be excellent for helping to fill in muscle wastage (atrophy). And, there’s no denying it… sometimes a little bit of fluff can look cute too. So, what do you need to know, if you’re thinking of using a half pad? Well, the important thing to check is that it has a clear gullet

Photo: Abbi Grief Photography *reference: *MacKechnie-Guire, Fisher, Pfau, 2020

research* and pressure testing undertaken on the subject of half pads proving that half pads do NOT affect the fit of the saddle. In many cases, even when used with a well-fitting saddle; they absorb shock and help distribute the pressure. As a saddle fitter, I often see horses who definitely prefer having a half pad between their

on the underside, so it doesn’t impinge (pinch) the spine; and if you’re using a fluffy one, it has got to be real lambskin (in my opinion the faux stuff doesn’t do the same job and can cause sores). Oh, and one more thing, a very essential thing to remember… do not EVER put gel directly onto your horse’s back. Because that causes many more problems than it cures. www.peeweesaddlery.co.uk

Suggested Products... The range of saddle pads from Yaris Equestrian features the Jumping Saddle Pad, the Hi Wither Saddle Pad and the Close Contact Saddle Pad, each pad is made from hardwearing polyester/cotton quilting with durable wadding inside. A luxury lambs wool pad sits on the withers for added comfort. RRP: from £37. www.yarisequestrian.co.uk

EQUIAMI ‘HOW TO’ GUIDES

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quiAmi, manufacturer of the patented lunge aid which is endorsed by leading event riders and racehorse trainers, is pleased to announce the launch of a new range of how-to guides and videos. These videos will enable the brand to educate horse owners on the fit and function of the aid whilst online. The EquiAmi is a patented lunge aid popular with both professional and leisure riders. It is widely used by riders to educate their horses in selfcarriage and accepting contact and is perfect for use with rehabilitation of horses from injury. It works by placing the horse in a self-centering loop which aims to replicate the movement of a rider as they lengthen and shorten and adjust for circles and transitions. www.equiami.com

Equitex Classic Dressage Saddle Pad and close contact/jump pads. RRP: from £199. Personalised and team colours available. www.thesaddlepad company.com

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SPECIAL REPORT

A ‘SEISMIC DAY’ FOR ANIMAL WELFARE:

STIFFER PUNISHMENTS FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY

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orld Horse Welfare warmly welcomes the news that the long-awaited Bill to increase sentencing for the worst cases of animal cruelty offences from six months to five years received Royal Assent on 29th April. As Britain’s largest equine rescue and rehoming charity, World Horse Welfare has been part of a coalition of leading animal welfare organisations that has been pushing UK Parliament to increase these penalties. Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare said: “This is a seismic day for animal welfare and I just want to express a huge thank you to all our supporters who campaigned to help make this happen – you really did make the difference. We are delighted that the Bill has finally become law - giving courts the opportunity to hand out much heftier sentences that are in line with other countries - and go some way towards acknowledging how heinous animal cruelty can be. “Of course, we recognise that most equine offences are for neglect and do not receive prison sentences and whilst this Bill is a huge step in the

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right direction, there is still so much more to achieve. This will include pushing hard for accessible registers of equine offenders so that investigators in any part of Great Britain will be able to immediately confirm if a person has received a ban on keeping animals.” The coalition of welfare organisations - consisting of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Compassion in World Farming, Dogs Trust, Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, UK Centre for Animal Law, and World Horse Welfare - was brought together by The League Against Cruel Sports and RSPCA in June 2019. They have been campaigning together to see maximum

sentences for the most heinous crimes against animals increased from six months to five years, in line with sentencing policy across Europe and internationally. In a joint statement, the coalition said: “It’s nearly two years since we first went to Downing Street to call on Theresa May’s government to bring this Bill back to parliament, and more than five years since it was first proposed by Anna Turley, the then Labour MP for Redcar. “Our coalition, representing the interests of millions of animal lovers across the UK, was determined to bring about this momentous change in law that will act as a deterrent. We finally have a punishment that fits the crime. It is a huge and long-

awaited win for animals and the public alike. “We heartily thank Chris Loder MP and Lord Randall of Uxbridge for their excellent work in getting this Bill into law, as well as the Government and politicians on all sides of both Houses of Parliament who have signalled their commitment to animals in this Bill.” Andy Knott, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Animals need us to speak up for them, and our close collaboration lent them a voice that was both compelling and deafening. We now have a meaningful deterrence to protect animals from wilful abuse or cruel sports such as dog-fighting.” Peter Laurie, chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home,


EVENT REPORTS said: “After many years of campaigning, I’m delighted that the Government has listened to our coalition and finally increased maximum sentences from six months to five years for the worst animal cruelty offences. As a nation of animal lovers, the previous punishment was wholly inadequate.” Chris Sherwood, chief executive of the RSPCA said: “Our officers are faced with cases of the most unimaginable cruelty; from organised criminals making money from the suffering of animals, to pets starved, shot, stabbed, beaten to death and drowned. At least now, in those most shocking of cases, courts will be able to hand out sentences that truly reflect the severity of the crimes.” Lord Randall of Uxbridge, former Special Advisor on the Environment to then Prime Minister Theresa May MP, met with the coalition in June 2019, and has spearheaded the Bill’s passage through the House of Lords. He said: “It is a much-needed measure that will now ensure that those who harm an animal by, for example, causing unnecessary suffering, mutilation or poisoning, face the full force of the law. I commend all of the charities involved for the weight and purpose that they brought to this campaign, to secure one of the most significant changes to animal welfare legislation since the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.”

BRITISH EVENTING AFFILIATED HORSE TRIALS AT HORSEHEATH 24th-25th April

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he return of British Eventing to Horseheath, Cambridgeshire, was particularly welcome this year, after a two-year absence. With so many events cancelled due to the pandemic, Horseheath were fortunate to run and the focus was very much on the condition of the ground, having had exceptionally dry weather throughout April across the country. The thorough preparations of Horseheath’s ground care team meant competitors were delighted to find near-perfect footing. Over two inches of water had gone down over the dressage and showjumping arenas and respective warm-up areas, in addition to the extensive irrigation of the crosscountry course. The team had also invested several days equivating the ground to ensure the going was good for the 500 riders that had travelled from across five counties to compete. In addition to BE80 (T) to Teresa Halsall

BE105, there were two BE Under Michael Paveley in the course walk earlier that day and put 18 classes open to junior them to good use riding competitors competing in the BE90 and the BE100. The cross- Ballingowan Chiara. Imogen country course had, once again, said: “We all really love been expertly designed by British Horseheath. The organisers and volunteers put in so much work Eventing Accredited Coach and to enable us to enjoy one of the Course Designer Tina Ure of Ely best events in the BE calendar, Eventing Centre and built by and to win was the icing on the David Carpenter and his team. cake!” Among the winners was World Event organiser, Tim Barling Class Podium eventer, Sarah said: “On behalf of the Vestey Bullimore who won her section in the BE100 riding Quiwi Sprite. family who so generously provide the ground Sarah said: “We ” I very much hope and infrastructure had a good outing at that the rest of for this event, and brilliant Horseheath and the season goes our sponsors, I wanted really appreciated well for all to say how all the arenas and fantastic it was to entrants” warm-up areas see so many being watered. Eventers back out again and The going was great with riding so well at Horseheath. I educational courses, looking also want to thank our after our horses for the future.” Imogen Pohl was another of the wonderful committee, and our Horseheath winners. Competing superb team of volunteers who give up so much time to enable in the BE100 under 18 class, this to happen. It is a big team Imogen had picked up some effort.” valuable tips from BE Trainer Sarah Bullimore

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EVENT REPORTS

I

t was certainly a showcase of the country’s leading riders at Oasby Elite, the first event of the season, with many of the major players heading to the Lincolnshire venue. Organised by the team at BEDE Events, Oasby Elite saw more than 150 horses taking part in five strong Open Intermediate sections. The line-up was second to none with many riders bringing their top horses to compete, get their season started and make their way around Stuart Buntine’s pipe-opener cross-country course. Said Stuart: “We were delighted with how the event ran and it was great to get the season underway. With strict Covid-19 guidelines in place, we were unable to welcome owners and supporters but it was fantastic

to have Horse & Country TV in attendance to live stream the cross-country action.” Section A provided a great win for North Yorkshire-based Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin, finishing on a score of 26.4 penalties to hold off Laura Collett and Dacapo taking the runner-up spot. Oliver Townend and his winning Burghley ride, Ballaghmor Class secured Section B, heading the winner’s enclosure with plenty in hand over Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo. Piggy March got 2021 off to a great start with two wins, the first in Section C on Brookfield Inocent who galloped home ahead of Polly Stockton and Chicko. Pau 5* winner, Laura Collett and London 52 were certainly ones to watch and made their trip worthwhile when winning Piggy March and Fonbherna Lancer

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Photos: Athalens

OASBY ELITE ATTRACTS THE WHO’S WHO OF THE WORLD OF EVENTING Monday 22nd March

Laura Collett

Section D beating off Ludwig Svennerstal and Balham Mist. Piggy March took third on her second Brookfield ride, Brookfield Quality. And it was the Northamptonshireriders turn once again in Section E when rounding off a very successful day to win on Fonbherna Lancer over second placed Emilie Chandler on

Oliver Townend

Gortfadda Diamond, third going to Pippa Funnell and Billy Walk On. Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent.


O

asby Horse Trials saw a packed three days of British Eventing competition over the Easter weekend, with a full unaffiliated programme running on the fourth and final day. With the likes of Oliver Townend, Izzy Taylor, Nicola Wilson, Piggy French and Laura Collett, to name just a few of the sport’s leading players, all vying for podium positions, competition was fierce throughout. The first day started well for Oliver when heading the first of two Open Intermediate sections on Miss Cooley ahead of Yasmin Ingham and Rehy DJ. The inform Piggy March and striking chestnut, Dargun ran out the winners of the second Open Intermediate with Izzy Taylor and Happy Days taking the runner-up spot. Izzy was another rider starting the season in winning mode Izzy Taylor and Caroline’s Air KM

when heading the two Intermediate sections with Ballingowan Leia and Caroline’s Air KM. Heidi Coy set the standard in the NAF sponsored Open Intermediate Under 21 section when winning on Russal Z and also claimed third on Royal Fury; leaving Daisy Proctor and Quarryman to fill the runner-up slot. The Open Novice saw Piggy March again taking the section with the attractive I Diablo Joe, and to round off a hugely successful day, saw the grey, Cooley Goodwood finish in third, with Emily Finston and Morelands Casanova taking second. Laura Collett and Canyon Du Fort Vert ran out the winners in the Novice over Ben Way and Eliza Stoddart with Codebreaker. Said Stuart Buntine of organisers BEDE Events: “It was fantastic to have so many of the country’s top riders travelling to

Photos: Athalens

LEADING EVENTING NAMES TRIUMPH AT OASBY Easter Weekend

Piggy March and Dargun

Oasby for an early season run. Whilst the dry weather had the ground on the firm side of good, we couldn’t have been more pleased with how the event ran.” Saturday’s competition included eleven sections ranging from BE90 to BE100 Open classes with Under 18 and Pony Trial categories. Willa Newton’s team of young contenders were in great form winning the BE100 Open on Light The Fuse on the Saturday, taking a Novice section on the Sunday with Escape Route and a BE100 Open on Quality Time. Holly Woodhead was also in

Heidi Coy and Russal Z

competitive spirit on the Sunday when capturing the Open Novice on Beneicia B and the final BE100 of the day with Jackpot DHI to round off a busy but brilliant Oasby 1.

Oliver Townend and Miss Cooley

Laura Collett and Canyon Du Fort Vert

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EVENT REPORTS

CLASSIFIEDS

Photo: First Class Images

SEIB SEARCH FOR A STAR QUALIFIER 2nd April

Megan Godridge and Penrock Purposely Puzzled

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he first SEIB Search for a Star qualifier of the season for the Your Horse Live championship took place on the 2nd April at the Dallas Burston Polo Club. In a new venture for Search for a Star, the qualifier consisted of just the three new classes launched this spring – PartBred Traditional Gypsy Cob, Veteran Pony and Veteran Horse. Judge, Mr Richard Ramsay was impressed with the quality of entries that came forward and was delighted to see that each of the three winners were very worthy of their qualification for the Search for a Star championship at Your Horse Live in November. The veteran pony class went to Ellie Taylor and her mother Gill Bostock’s chestnut gelding, Meillion Sovereign. Ellie and her mother have owned 19-year-old Meillion Sovereign since he was just sixteen months old. The

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pair have previously competed in the Search for a Star Show Hunter Pony class and qualified for the Horse of the Year Show finals back in 2014. Former Search for a Star Riding Horse HOYS finalist, Atlantic Flight and his owner, rider and breeder, Debbie Fitzpatrick won the veteran horse class at Dallas Burston. Since this pair took seventh place in the Search for a Star HOYS finals in 2018, Debbie has battled bladder cancer and is delighted to be back out competing with 19-year-old Atlantic Flight. The new Search for a Star veteran classes are the only Search for a Star classes in which it is within the rules for the horse and rider to have competed previously in the HOYS Search for a Star finals. Megan Godridge and her own striking piebald gelding, Penrock Purposely Puzzled took the top spot in the Part-Bred Traditional Gypsy Cob class.