World Horse Welfare backed by almost 44,000 in campaign for CCTV in slaughterhouses

World Horse Welfare can look back on a year in which it made big strides forward in different campaigns, as well as continuing to do its best to rehome horses at risk.

One outstanding success was the campaign aiming for mandatory CCTV inside Britain’s slaughterhouses, which received the backing of 43,737 members of the public.

William and Pippa Funnell handing over the petition Photo courtesy of Woorld Horse Welfare

William and Pippa Funnell handing over the petition
Photo courtesy of World Horse Welfare

The introduction and monitoring of CCTV at all slaughterhouses licenced to take horses in the UK would help the FSA (Food Standards Agency) in their duty of enforcement so that cruelty inside a UK abattoir this year can be prevented from happening again.

The popular petition was signed by the likes of BBC Formula One presenter, Lee Mckenzie; British Olympic equestrian sportswoman, Mary King and three-day eventing elite, Pippa Funnell and her show jumping husband, William. The Funnells handed the petition over to Defra at the end of November.

World Horse Welfare had been appalled at one slaughterhouse by the catalogue of breaches of laws meant to protect horses at slaughter – horses being beaten, dispatched in view of other horses, and other inhumane treatment.

World Horse Welfare called for suspension of all activities at this abattoir until new systems ensuring humane treatment were put in place. The abattoir was subsequently ordered to close temporarily, not on welfare grounds, but because the FSA said that the establishment did not meet all the infrastructure requirements which permit the safe production of meat.

Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers said: “The public and horse owners need to have confidence that equine slaughter is carried out humanely in Britain. World Horse Welfare believes that complusory CCTV is a vital aid to help protect horses and while we believe there is a role for humane slaughter in Britain, inhumane slaughter has no place and is indeed illegal.”

He said World Horse Welfare hopes to make a strong impact on Defra with the number of signagtures collected from compassionate supporters and Defra could not ignore the importance of the call for action or fail to recognise the importance of public confidence in humane slaughter- or food safety.

The charity had pledged to continue to press the case for CCTV with Defra which is reluctant to compell slaughterhouses on cost grounds. It does not accept this argument and says CCTV can be installed at relatively low expense and would bring with it cost and other benefits.

- See more at: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Article/Mandatory-CCTV-in-slaughterhouse-petition-backed-by-over-40000-members-of-public-is-handed-to-Defra#sthash.bk1xFilM.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plumpton College horse competitions planned for New Year

Plumpton College in East Sussex has announced a Winter Show Series for 2014, starting with a Show Jumping Show on Saturday January 11, followed by CombinedTraining on Saturday February 8 and a Showing Show on Saturday March 15.

Winners at a previous Plumpton show Photo: Plumpton College

Winners at a previous Plumpton show
Photo: Plumpton College

In show jumping on January 11, the first class starts at 9am prompt with Cross Poles for genuine first time competitors, who may be led or assisted. Class 2 for Restricted  Novice and Novice 2 for combinations not having won a show jumping competition. Class 3- Leap frog Novice, is open to all and Class 4, Tom and Jerry Scurry over 2’3″ and 2’6″ and one round against the clock, open to all. Class 5- Time to Take Off, is Intermediate 2’6-2’9, open to all. Class 6 is New Year’s Open, 2’9-3′ Open to all. Fees for all classes are £6.

Combined Training on Saturday February 8 includes Introductory B Walk and Trot (Open to all never placed first or second in any dressage competition).Preliminary 04 (2002)  and 2’3″ jumping course. Class 3 Novice 24 (2010) 2’9″ jumping course. £15 entry for all classes.

An Indoor Showing Show will be held on Saturday March 15 2014 in two arenas. Arena A is indoor school with outside warm-up and Rosettes 1-6 in all classes. These are In-Hand Youngstock, In Hand Condition and Turnout, Lead Rein, Riding Club Horse / Pony Club Pony, Ridden Hunter, Ridden Cob, Ridden Veteran, Ridden Coloured Horse or Pony.

Arena B—Indoor School (Outside warm-up)- Working Hunter Horses under 15hh only – Jumps approx 2ft-2ft3’ Horses over 15.1hh – Jumps approx 2ft6’
Showing: Ridden Mountain & Moorland small breeds; Ridden Mountain & Moorland large breeds. In-hand Classes:Coloured Horse & Pony; Young handlers; Cute and Cuddliest; Prettiest mare; Handsomest gelding.

These events will all be held at the college in Ditchling Road, near Lewes in East Sussex BN7 3AE and full details can be obtained on 01273 892107.

 

World Equestrian Games eventing 2014 to be held across the channel in Normandy this August

The showjumping  and dressage phases of eventing at the World Equestrian Games 2014 will be held at Haras du Pin, Normandy, in 2014 offering British enthusiasts the opportunity to step across the channel to France to watch their favourite horses and riders perform.
Haras du Pin, site for dressage and cross-country sections of 2014 World Equesgtrian Games

Haras du Pin, site for dressage and cross-country sections of 2014 World Equesgtrian Games

On August  28 2014, an anticipated eighty riders and horses in the eventing dressage will compete at the Le Pin National Stud, in Orne, Normandy to be followed the day after by the cross-country phase.

Le Pin National Stud, located in the Orne area of Normandy, has long been known for its fine cross-country track. Winding beneath the castle and through the Hautbois park that surrounds it, the course has already hosted a 3* competition every August.

The FEI CIC 3* World Cup event, Le Grand Complet, which attracts approximately 20,000 spectators, has been held there for the past three years and has grown in favour with the competitors.

The event is held on the grounds of the impressive National Stud, Haras du Pin whose main Chateau overlooks the cross country course. The course is undulating and the natural terrain will give led itself to an interesting design for the  2014 Cross Country element, where Pierre Michelet is likely to design a tough course.

He has caught the eye with tough courses at Saumur 3* and Pay 4* and was consultant course designer for London 2012, so has plenty of experience to his credit and organisers also predict that the sound system at Haras du Pin will be excellent, enabling it to be heard all over the course.

Work is already underway on the ground to ensure that the course will be well established and mature when the event takes place.

The showjumping section will take place on August 30 in Caen,  which is only an hour north of Haras du Pin.

Stadium at Caen

Dornano Stadium at Caen

That has been chosen because of its capacity and it will enable riders to be awarded their medals in main stadium which seats more than 20,000 spectators.

Van der Vleuten makes history at Olympia’s thrilling Longines World Cup qualifier

MAIKEL Van der Vleuten made history at the weekend at The London International Horse Show  at Olympia, when he matched his father Eric’s achievement in 2009 of winning the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup qualifier presented by H & M.

The packed house was treated to a thrilling 11-horse jump-off which built to the dream finish – the very last rider into the arena pulling off victory. Riding VDL Groep Sapphire B, Maikel beat Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr on Polinska des Isles by the tiny margin of 5/100th of a second.

Britain’s Daniel Neilson, riding in Olympia’s international classes for the first time, produced an outstanding debut performance on Varo M to take third place- making him one to follow in the future.

Maikel Van Der Leuten (NED) riding VDL Groep Sapphire B to victory at Olympia Photo: Olympia Horse Show

Maikel Van Der Leuten (NED) riding VDL Groep Sapphire B to victory at Olympia
Photo: Olympia Horse Show

Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on Nice Stephanie and Lars Nieberg  (GER) on Leonie W also produced double clears to finish fourth and fifth.

Scott Brash (Hello Ursula Xll, sixth), Michael Whitaker (Viking, seventh) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Odie de Frevent, 10th) kept home hopes alive by making it into the jump-off but they all faulted.

An enthralled audience held its breath as Michael Whitaker made an ambitious switch-back turn to the fifth fence, giving him the fastest time of all, but his gallant horse Viking unfortunately had a penalty when hitting the upright black-and-white Longines FEI World Cup fence.

It was a first Longines FEI World Cup win for Maikel, the fifth Dutch winner since 1979, and he and Eric are the first father-son combination to win this class at Olympia, described by the FEI’s World Cup Director John Roche as “one of the jewels in our crown”.

This Longines FEI World Cup event achieved the highest calibre of performances, as is fitting for an event of this stature in world show jumping, and mesmerised the capacity crowd.

 

A new Palomino pony is helping to heal Annabelle’s broken heart

HUNDREDS of people responded with sadness when a much-loved West Sussex pony had to be put down in October after being stolen by heartless thieves.

But now a lovely palomino pony is helping to heal the broken heart of Annabelle Harvey-Mason ( 10) who had been so devastated by the loss of her award-winning pony Oke. The tragic story of Oke, who had sustained a broken leg during the theft had tugged at heartstrings all over the country.

Annabelle with he new pony,     Photo by Robert Gee LRG Photography

Annabelle with her new pony, Griashall Gethin Photo by Robert Gee LRG Photography

This Christmas, tragedy has turned into a new beginning  for Annabelle of Aldingbourne, who had been inconsolable by the loss her her pony. The duo had been about to be presented with a Star of the Future award by Arundel Riding Club because of their outstanding partnership in competitions.

Six weeks ago, Annabelle was given Griashall Gethin,  a beautiful three-year-old palomino Welsh Section B, chosen for her in Wales by her mother Kerry’s good friend Lizzie Deacon.

Soon after he arrived, Annabelle took him to the South East Welsh Pony and Cob Association Show at Merrist Wood and they were second in both classes they entered- Best Three Year Old and Best Small Mountain and Moorland.

Her mother said: ” Since Annabelle has been backing him, the pair continue growing going from strength to strength, and each day amaze me more. It is as if Gethin knows he has an important job to do- to try and heal a broken heart. Their bond is growing with each new day it is lovely to see that special spark coming back into Annabelle.”

On Sunday December 15, Annabelle and Gethin entered the Manhood Riding Club Charity Show at Thorney Island, competing against riders which included  adults and other children. Annabelle was the highest placed child in each of her classes.

Annabelle and Gethin in the foreground waiting to be judged Photo by Robert Gee LRG Photography

Annabelle and Gethin in the foreground waiting to be judged
Photo by Robert Gee LRG Photography

The duo were placed third in the Best Solid Colour, third in the Best Novice Pony 12.2-14.2hh and third in the Best Novice Pony Classes. All were good strong classes of 17 entrants.

“We are very pleased with the results so far and it was lovely to see Annabelle and her eight-year-old sister Phoebe both out with their ponies again. The sisters are looking forward to riding together again over the winter months and enjoying our beach rides and wood rides as a family. With Gethin already showing such promise I think the pair will have a lot of fun for the 2014 showing season,” added Kerry.

End of an era sees Court Meadow Group RDA move to new home

November saw the end of an era for Court Meadow Group RDA, which for 26 years has been holding weekly riding as therapy lessons at Ditchling Common Stud.

Unfortunately, due to the imminent development of land used by the Stud as part of the Kingsway housing development scheme, the Stud has been left with no choice but to close. As a result, over the past few months the local Riding for the Disabled Group has been urgently seeking a new base for its activities.

Chairman Anna Kerr makes a presentation to

Chairman Anna Kerr makes a glassware presentation to John Dudeney to mark his family enbling the group to use  Ditchling Common Stud for so many years

After an exhaustive search to find a new home which could offer the necessary facilities, and importantly be within easy travelling distance of Burgess Hill, agreement has been reached with the owners of Albourne Equestrian Centre.

From January 2014 those children with learning difficulties who are students at Woodland Mead School will be able to continue benefiting from their weekly riding sessions. The RDA Group are immensley grateful to Megan and Lester, owners of Albourne Equestrian Centre, for meeting their requirements.

The Court Meadow RDA Group was founded 36 years ago to provide riding as therapy for pupils of Court Meadow School, Cuckfield. The school has now been amalgamated with Newick House school within the new Woodlands Mead school Burgess Hill.

Some 60 students aged 2 – 19 years who have a wide spectrum of special needs and learning difficulties regularly benefit from their weekly riding lessons. Riding has been proven to encourage co-ordination, develop muscle strength and build self confidence and many of the Groups’ pupils have participated in national RDA events with considerable success and the value of the Groups work was recognised when receiving the Queens Golden Jubilee Award.

Court Meadow RDA Group at one of its sessions at Ditchling Common Stud

Court Meadow RDA Group at one of its sessions at Ditchling Common Stud

More than  40 volunteer ‘helpers’ give up their time not only to assist with the riding lessons but also with the fund raising necessary to keep the Group functioning. Some £15,000 per year is needed to meet all running costs.

Anna Kerr, chairman of the Court Meadow Group RDA would like to express her thanks to the Dudeny family, owners of Ditchling Common Stud, for their support. During the past three decades John Dudeney and his father before him had done everything possible to enable the smooth running of the childrens riding activities and the group is truly grateful.

.Please visit www.courtmeadow-rda.org.uk for more information about the group.

It’s time to protect your frozen assets and keep stables running smoothly in icy weather!

STABLE buckets stiff with ice, frozen taps, empty field troughs, flooded tack rooms and endless kettles of hot water- does this sound familiar?

The uncomfortably long cold spell last spring stayed fresh in the mind with one West Sussex-based company, MJA Heat Trace Products, which is leading the way with an affordable way to keep stables and other livestock buildings running smoothly through the next Arctic blast, whenever it happens.

Protect your stables with the MJA system

Protect your stables with the MJA system

“March 2013 was the coldest since 1962 with average temperatures dropping to just 2.6C and plummeting overnight to -12.9C in some areas, which took may people by surprise, considering that it was nearly Easter!” said MJA managing director Jane Terris.

She added: ” We had lots of inquiries asking if there was anything we could provide to help not only horse owners  but smallholders and farmers who were struggling to keep water flowing to livestock and diesel fuel lines from tanks for vehicles carrying out other essential tasks. Thermal insulation alone does not prevent pipes from freezing as many found to their cost.”7

Keith Taylor, who runs the Seagry Stud, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, whose Seagry Rohsan and international dressage rider Sam Rahmatalla are currently training with Olympian Carl Hester, was grateful he had already fitted an MJA Digistat frost protection system to his stable block when the last cold spell hit.

Sam Rhamatalla is based at   Stud

Sam Rahmatalla rides Seagry Rohsan based at Seagry Stud

“There’s no heating other than the horses’ bodies and I had been having all sorts of problems, even though the pipes had extra lagging,” said Keith. “The stable block is fed by both mains and rainwater and each horse has an automatic 1.5l drinker in its box. The water in the drinkers also froze and the pipes were freezing, then thawing and flooding. The water tank header is above the tack room and that flooded too.”

Because the MJA system can be retro-fitted to virtually any environment, Keith was able not only to protect his pipes, but also rig up heaters for each of the horse drinkers.

” When the heating system comes on, it warms up inside the drinkers as well. I leave it on year-round now so we can monitor what the temperature is. From a welfare point of view, that is ideal,” he said.

Typically set to come on at 3C and go off at 5C, each of these new thermlostatic controllers has a digital read-pout and can be manually programmed. Operating costs are kept low because there is a low-energy output of 10 watts per metre up to a maximum length of 150m.

Previously used in  critical areas of food manufacturing, health and water and sewerage treatment, the kits have proven to be robust, reliably and safe in some of the toughest conditions.

For Keith the investment was worth every penny since it stopped his pipes freezing and he hasn’t had to run around with buckets of water or turn the horses’ drinkers off once since it was installed.

These frost protection kits, including 123m of trace cable terminated with a 1m cold tail and three-pin plug, Digistat plug and warning labels costs £146 ( including VAT) plus delivery. Extra cabling and plugs and also available.

For more information ring 01403 823560, email jane@mjaheattrace.co.uk

Rock On Ruby star attraction at Plumpton’s meeting tomorrow

 

Top action at Plumpton

Top action promised at Plumpton tomorrow

Rock On Ruby is expected be a star attraction at Plumpton’s Christmas meeting tomorrow, Monday, making his debut over larger obstacles. This talented eight-year-old Oscar gelding came tantalisingly close to winning the Champion Hurdle for the second time in March, beaten narrowly by Hurricane Fly.

Rock On Ruby with trainer Harry Fry Photo courtesy of John Simpson

Rock On Ruby with trainer Harry Fry
Photo courtesy of John Simpson

He is trained by Harry Fry at Manor Farm, Seaborough, near Crewkerne. Harry worked as pupil assistant to former Champion trainer Paul Nicholls for four years and Rock On Ruby was one horse which went with him when he started out on his own.

Rock On Ruby is entered in the Winter Gala Novices Chase over two miles one furlong- the most valuable race of the day- and has the in-form Noel Fehily booked to ride. The going is currently good at Plumpton, which will suit this talented horse, which has won on good and good to soft ground.

Other combinations to take note of are trainer John Ferguson and jockey Denis O’ Regan- successful at Fontwell Park last week. They have a choice of two entries in the opening two mile novice hurdle, with previous winner Honour System carrying top weight and grey Sadma, which was not given a hard race when finishing sixth on his debut over hurdles at Plumpton’s last meeting.

Denis O'Regan in winning form at Fontwell Park last week

Denis O’Regan in winning form at Fontwell Park last week

Local trainer Gary Moore has three horses entered for the meeting,  with son Jamie booked to ride Auld Sthock in the novice hurdle over two mile five furlongs. Joshua Moore is booked for Reblis in the Jean Horsburgh Memorial Handicap Chase and for Gallioto in the final handicap hurdle of the day.

The first race is at 12.10pm and gates open at 10.30am.

 

Lavant House Stables celebrates social media marketing success

EIGHTEEN months after stepping tentatively into social media marketing, renowned Chichester riding centre Lavant House Stables has been nominated for a global award by ESMA (Equestrian Social Media Awards), for which public voting started this week.

Their Youtube videos and fun daily photos on facebook have been achieving great response, including when one of their donkeys -Two Stroke – posted a rather sad photograph of himself next to a few carrots, asking for more likes for more carrots.

 

The first donkey photograph

The first donkey photograph

 “That photo was crazily popular and received almost 1300 likes, so we then posted a thank you photo of Two Stroke sharing a huge pile of carrots with his best friend Diesel,” said social media manager, Amelia Thomson. “We are lucky we have such wonderful ‘models’ here and we’re still learning every day about all the tools we can use in the social media world.”

Celebrating the success with carrots

Celebrating the success with carrots

 With 60 horses and ponies, 30 liveries, 15 staff and 250 regular riders every week, plus a full calendar of events for all ages throughout the year, many businesses might not find time for marketing.

 “No matter how busy we are, we are constantly developing our marketing both on and offline” explained owner Lucy Thomson. “We are building a fabulous and fun new worldwide community through social media and being nominated for this award is great reward for our efforts.”

To vote for Lavant House Stables in the ESMAs visit http://www.equestriansocialmediaawards.com/nominations, selecting category 11. 

 The facebook page (/lavanthousestables) is currently running a photo competition to win £100 of riding vouchers and a competition for any local children to win 2 places on an ‘Own your own Pony’ morning in Spring 2014. For more information visit www.lhstables.co.uk

 

Competitors with 52 year age gap win British Carriagedriving Awards this year

Two worthy winners of 2013 British Carriagedriving Awards reflected the age inclusivity of the sport – with a 52 year gap between them.

Alice Pritchard (23) was the recipient of the Young Driver Award while Barry Hilditch, now 75, was presented with the Chairman’s Award at the organisation’s recent AGM and Members’ Conference.

Barry Hilditch

Barry Hilditch

Alice has been driving since she was just four years old and has the benefit of John Parker – well-known coach driver and President of the British Driving Society – as her god-father.

Alice Pritchard in action

Alice Pritchard in action: Photo Britsh Carriagedriving

 

Starting out in private driving, Alice moved across to horse driving trials and has successfully competed with her parents’ British Riding Pony, Parrock Thatchers Tupenny Bit, winning the 2013 National Intermediate Pony Championship and 2011 National Novice Pony Championship.

She and the pony repeated the latter in the intervening year, when the pony was driven by Katie Cooper and Alice acted as groom.

Barry Hilditch has been a volunteer, steward and BC Council member for many years, as well as sitting on the North Eastern Driving Trials Ltd club committee, of which he is currently chairman.

The retired head teacher is also BC Vice-Chairman, chairman of the BC Competitions Committee and sits on the BC Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Before handing over the award, BC Chairman Jock McFarlane paid tribute to Barry for his many hours spent calculating statistics, overall support and willingness to step into [Jock’s] role earlier in the year following a close family bereavement.

In reply, Barry said he was: “flattered, proud and surprised”.