Dead or dead slow? New equine safety video released

In support of this year’s Road Safety Week (18 – 24 November) The British Horse Society has launched a new safety video as part of its ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ campaign.

The new safety video features the BHS’s Director of Safety, Alan Hiscox and Laura Thorogood of Canewdon Equestrians, an equestrian group formed following a tragic road incident involving Laura and her horse Angel. Angel tragically lost her life following the incident and Laura was left with serious injuries.

The video features a raw and honest conversation between Laura and Alan, discussing the strong bond she shared with her horse Angel and the road incident where she and Angel were struck by a vehicle at 53mph. The video has been created to highlight the seriousness of road safety for equestrians and the importance of passing horses on the road both safely and slowly.

Canewdon Equestrians have campaigned for three years to get the speed limit reduced where Laura’s accident took place in Essex. Last month they were told that the speed limit will be reduced from 60mph to 40mph.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS said: “Incidents similar to the one highlighted in the video is sadly becoming a reality for many equestrians across the country. The aim of this video is to clearly demonstrate the devastating impact these incidents can have on riders and horses. If drivers adhere to our Dead Slow key messages by slowing down and allowing enough space between themselves and the horse then we can help bring this incident rate right down.”

Laura Thorogood of Canewdon Equestrians said: “As the third year anniversary of our accident approaches, although a number of years have passed the pain of losing Angel in such tragic circumstances still remains very prominent, to this day, in my mind. It was and will remain the worst day of my life. If anything can be learned from our message highlighted in this video and in addition to the Dead? Or Dead Slow? message it would be to take it slowly on country lanes in order to increase your reaction time and to “think” bend. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the fact that our roads are shared by all vulnerable road users, everyone’s safety is paramount.”

The BHS launched its ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ road safety campaign to help better educate drivers on how to pass horses safely on the road. The key behavioural change messages to drivers are:

If I see a horse on the road then I will …

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
  • Be patient – I won’t sound my horn or rev the engine
  • Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
  • Drive slowly away

The BHS urges all riders or carriage drivers to report all incidents they are involved in, regardless of severity, to the BHS’s horse accidents website. Since November 2010:


  • 3,737 road incidents have been reported to the site
  • 43 people have lost their lives and 1085 injured
  • 315 horses have lost their lives and 945 injured

To help support the work of the BHS and the Dead? Or Dead Slow? campaign please visit

Racing hit by wet weather

WET weather has hit horse racing throughout the country, with the Cheltenham track  so badly affected that day one of the November meeting has been cancelled because of waterlogging of the course.

A spokesperson for Cheltenham Racecourse said the event was cancelled due to “37mm rainfall in the past 18 hours.”

Now Saturday’s card depends on a 3pm Friday inspection and any more rain could see that fixture called off.

Cheltenham track today Photo courtesy of the Jockey Club


Meanwhile racing goes ahead at Newcastle, where the first race is at noon, with a decent card for racing. Highlights include a Veterans’ handicap chase over two and a half miles at 1.40pm.

The going there is soft, and heavy in places. Simply The Betts aims to follow up a recent Chepstow victory in the 2.50pm race, while  the appropriately-named Wetlands is fancied to win the 3.25pm race.

Meanwhile there is racing at Southwell starting at 12.50 where the going is heavy and at Dundalk (5.15pm) good.


BHS plays valuable role in horse safety

THE British Horse Society plays a valuable role in making the world safer for horses and those who care for them.

It works alongside other leading organisations, including the National Police Chiefs Council, Blue Cross, RSPCA, Forestry Commission Wales, GEM Motoring Assist, the Ministry of Defence, NFU Mutual and PRP Rescue in order to raise awareness on equestrian safety.

The society launched its horse incidents website to help better understand the rate of equine-related incidents across the UK. The website provides users with a simple and easily accessible method of reporting an incident they have been involved in.

Slow down for horses and pass wide

It covers a range of incidents including road traffic incidents and near misses, dog related incidents, fireworks, cycling, and more. In addition,  the website allows the BHS to collate statistics on the range and rate of incidents occurring across the UK.

Anyone can report their incidents or near misses to it- you don’t have to be a BHS member. It is vital each and every incident is recorded in order to be added to its national statistics.

The BHS can lobby and advise MP’s, road safety partnerships, the police and other safety organisations. The statistics are used in government debates on subjects such as road safety and fireworks, and high profile presentations. This database ensures it is a significant partner with all equine safety stakeholders, which:

  • Can use its statistics in offering support to BHS members in local safety campaigns.
  • Can identify hotspots if everyone reports all types of equine incidents.
  • Can use this data to hold special equine safety events in your area to give greater awareness of the serious issues equestrians faced by horse owners and riders.
  • Needs the evidence to show there is an issue, but requires the factual data to be reported; which really can make a difference to equine safety.


Since the launch of our Horse Accidents website in 2010 there have been:

  • More than 3,700 reports of road incidents involving horses; 315 horses have died and 43 people have lost their lives
  • Over 1,400 reported incidents involving dogs and horses
  • Over 250 incidents involving fireworks and horses reported


Our Equestrian Safety Advisers work hard to achieve safer conditions for all equines and those involved in the care and use of equines. If you are interested in becoming an Equestrian Safety Adviser  contact or call 02476 840516 for more information.

Buy tickets now for Sussex National at Fontwell Park


ON  Sunday November 17, Fontwell Park Racecourse, the UK’s only figure of eight jumps track, will host one of the most popular Jump Racedays in the county- THE SUSSEX NATIONAL –

Gates open for this popular Raceday at 10.30am, while the first race is at 12.25pm and the last at 3.45pm.

This is one of the biggest race days of the year at this popular racecourse, while the feature race itself is a three mile, three furlongs test of endurance for both horse and jockey.

The action will also be screened on ITV Racing channel. At the same time it is possible to experience this outstanding raceday from the exclusive Premier Lounge restaurant at Fontwell Park.

Expect competitive racing at Fontwell Park
Photo: Jeannie Knight

There are two enclosures at Fontwell Park- Paddock and Premier Admission. The Paddock enclosure has access to three grandstands, the Parade Ring, Winning Circland a number of bars and food outlets.

The Land & Power Premier Enclosure includes entry to all of the above, as well as access to the Ground Floor of the Land & Power Premier Grandstand where the Premier Bar and Café are situated.

Jockey Liam Treadwell with Sussex Grand National Winner 2018, Shanroe Santos trained by Lucy Wadham.
Photo Jeannie Knight

This is guaranteed to be an outstanding day of racing, building up to the feature race.

Book your tickets now for this raceday- children under 18 go free when accompanied by an adult- by contacting Fontwell Park on 01243 543335.


WHW conference will ask ‘Who is responsible?’

‘Who is responsible?’ This is the theme for this year’s World Horse Welfare Conference, which will take place at the Royal Geographic Society London tomorrow, Wednesday, November 13 2019.

Speakers include BHA Chair Annamarie Phelps on welfare in racing, Dr Rachel Murray on the impact of bridle fit, mental health nurse, trainer and educator Bronwen Williams on animal hoarding and much more, including WHW President, HRH The Princess Royal.

Responsibility for equine welfare is a shared concern and this year’s conference will involve a wealth of speakers representing many aspects of the horse world to discuss what shared responsibility actually means, for all of us.

Questions of responsibility in racing, for tack fit, for animal hoarding and for equine crime will be explored and a Q&A session will enable the audience to join the debate.

Roly Owers pictured with an equine successfully rehabilitated by World Horse

A discussion panel featuring well-known names in sports news, showjumping, and the equine veterinary sector together with a New Forest commoner will debate that no matter how one is involved with horses, whether hands-on or as a voice of equestrian sport, a responsible approach is a duty.

The conference will be attended by HRH The Princess Royal.

Brigadier Roger Hood, HRH Princess Anne, World Horse Welfare Chairman Barry Johnson and Chief Executive Roly Owers pictured at an earlier event.

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said: ”At a time in society when accountability all too often seems to slip through our fingers, it is vital that the horse sector actively recognise, understand and meet our responsibilities to address the many persistent welfare challenges we see and bring about genuine change.

“We are proud to welcome such a respected panel of speakers from such diverse areas of the equine sector for what is sure to be a thought-provoking conference.”

Each year the conference is live-streamed on our YouTube channel

The full programme for the day can be found below:

9.00am Registration and refreshments

9.45am Welcome George Freeman

9.50am Opening : Michael Baines

10.00am Who is responsible? : Roly Owers

10.10am Taking responsibility in racing: our horses, our future : Annamarie Phelps, Chair, British Horseracing Authority

10.25am Don’t forget about the bridle! The importance of correct bridle fit : Rachel Murray, Animal Health Trust and Rossdales

10.40am Animal hoarding: why telling doesn’t work : Bronwen Williams, independent trainer and educator

10.55am Q&A

11.10am Morning break

11.50am Responsibility: a personal perspective : This Esme, YouTube star

11.55am National equine crime – where does responsibility lie? : Inspector Dave Smith, Kent Police

12.05pm Q&A

12.10pm A responsible approach

Discussion panel with Mike Cattermole, Joe Stockdale, Madeleine Campbell, Joe Wilson, Lyndsey Stride & Julie Ross will consider the questions:

  • What role do elite riders have in promoting appropriate training methods to the wider equestrian world?
  • Given our understanding of the environmental benefits of equines grazing on open grasslands such as the New Forest, what lessons can other owners learn in how they keep their horses?
  • With reputedly only around 30% of British horses vaccinated against equine influenza, what role do equine veterinarians have in increasing this?  Would reducing the cost of vaccinations help?
  • In an increasingly polarised world, does the media tend towards highlighting the extreme views on equine welfare issues rather than the mainstream view?

1.10pm Closing address : HRH The Princess Royal

1.15pm Summing up :Roly Owers

1.20pm :Lunch

1.55pm :Charity in action

UK: the many layers of responsibility
Campaigns: improving UK horse health through human behaviour change
International: how can behavioural science improve horse-human partnerships?

3.00pm :Afternoon refreshments

4.00pm :Conference closes

Don’t miss pre-season special of Go Pointing

Co-editors Adam Hurley and Tom Chilman have produced a pre-season special edition of Go Pointing to mark the fact that the 2019/20 point-to-point season is just days away.

Not to be missed, this edition includes Carl Evans’ scene-setter for the months ahead while Jake Exelby has been to visit the yards of some current point-to-point champions. Men’s victor Will Biddick who regained his leading rider title last campaign, and he was first on the Exelby hit-list.

Action at a previous Vine and Craven point to point at Hackwood

Next up was a trip to Warwickshire, and in a nice example of multi-tasking Jake spent
an afternoon in Warwickshire, with husband and wife team of dual champions Gina Andrews and Tom Ellis.

Gina’s score of 58 winners last term smashed the previous season’s best
score of 40 by a woman rider – set by Polly Curling in 1995 – and
this leading point to point lady will be looking for a seventh Skinner’s
title in the coming season.

Top lady point to point rider Gina Andrews
Photo: John Simpson

Tom took the Foran Equine trainers’ championship (eight or more horses) for the first time and Jake gives the lowdown on how this phenomenal team hope to replicate
their best ever campaign.

The PPA has been working hard over the summer to secure fresh investment in the sport, and the pages detail some exciting new national sponsorships.

Most offer something different, and should allow increased opportunities for
pointing participants.

The increased support available for young riders hoping to take part in the sport for the first time, is also highlighted, along with a chat to a teenager who has certainly benefited from this.

He could be one to watch in the months ahead, so be sure to not
miss that feature towards the end of this issue, which contains a wealth of  news and information.

Thanks to co-editors Adam Hurley and Tom Chilman, there is plenty of local news from the various point-to-point areas, giving an update on all the latest goings-on, and there is the full 2019/20 point-to-point fixture list for you to digest – when and where will you next Go Pointing?

The traditional Crawley and Horsham point to point meeting takes place at Parham in West Sussex on March 28 and is one of the most popular events in the Sussex calendar as well as a great day out for families.  Put this date in your diary.

Youngsters love the annual dog show at Parham point to point  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Parham Race Day is a really entertaining country day out for all the family with a little something for everyone; six horse races over fences, pony racing, fun dog show, beer tent, fun fair and a wide variety of trade stands for you to browse, plus local food and drink stalls to keep you fed and watered.



Rising dressage star impresses ahead of BHS conference

A DATE for the diary for all riders is the National Access Conference on Saturday November 16 at British Horse Society Headquarters in Warwickshire.

This offers the chance to hear from expert speakers about project 2026, the future for access in England, Active Travel and more. There will also be opportunities to increase  knowledge during interactive breakout sessions and great opportunities to network with others interested in equestrian access.

Experts Sarah Bucks and Will Steel will be running a 2026 surgery as a follow-up to their training days. Appointments have been booked with the Access Department in advance and prior to the conference to allow time for Sarah and Will to assess them. Appointments have been given on a first come, first served basis.

Ahead of this month’s National Convention in association with Harrison Clark Rickerbys, there has been the chance meet international sensation Daniel Bachmann Andersen at Addington Equestrian for his first training convention in the UK.

Daniel Bachmaan Anderson  has become a  major dressage star      Photo courtesy of British Dressage

Daniel Bachmann Andersen became a household name to those passionate followers of the FEI dressage scene. Numerous Western European World Cup league wins followed, and this 28-year-old Danish rider is rapidly becoming a major star through his partnership with Blue Horse Stud and the string of talented stallions under his care at the esteemed Randbøl breeding and training centre.

This season, Daniel earned fourth spot in the World Cup Final on board Blue Hors Zack – the impressive Rousseau x Jazz stallion with major achievements in both the sports arena and the breeding industry – before going on to achieve further strong results at this summer’s FEI European Championships in Rotterdam.

From  being a  notable under 25s rider, he has progressed to become one of the most exciting talents of the modern dressage era.  Daniel will make his first UK training appearance at this year’s National Convention in association with Harrison Clark Rickerbys.


Fusil Raffles in action at Wincanton

Today’s meeting at Doncaster has been cancelled because of wet weather but racing is set to go ahead at Wincanton.

There, jockey Daryl Jacob has high hopes for his mount Fusil Raffles, which runs in the Grade Two Unibet Elite Hurdle.

Jockey Daryl Jacob
Photo: John Simpson

Trained by Nicky Henderson, this four-year-old gelding has impressed with his performances so far. He has three wins and a second to his credit so far, accumulating more than £80,000 in prize money so far.

Fusil Raffles and Daryl Jacob in action  Photo: John Simpson


Daryl Jacob told the racing press that Fusil Raffles impressed when he schooled him on Thursday. But he also warned that the Grade Two race could be tough for four-year-olds. He believes that the way he performs in this race will be a good indicator of where to aim Fusil Raffles in the future.

He said it could show whether he could be a Champion Hurdle horse, or one to bring on carefully looking ahead to a future chasing career. So far this horse has only had two runs in England but his rider said he has grown signficantly and filled out in recent months.

With the Champion Hurdle division looking wide open, Daryl Jacob believes that going down this route will give a good indication of how far has has progressed and can continue to do so.

He could be the rider in form today, with another promising ride on Kalahari Queen, trained by Jamie Snowdon. The mare is back over hurdles, having gone novice chasing last season. There, she was second to Roksana, a subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner, and Kalahari Queen has continued to improve.

He also rides Whisper for Sam Thomas in the Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap.  Whisper is now 11 years old and rated highly,  but has a formidable task off top weight- though if he jumps well and enjoys himself, he could have a chance here.




Isabella wins BHS Charity race

Jockey Isabella Budge secured a victory on Bird to Love in The British Horse Society’s (BHS) second annual charity flat race at Newbury Racecourse yesterday (7 November).

The midday, one mile flat race saw a tense finish with racehorse trainer Michael Appleby following a close second on Bancuanaheireann (IRE).

Eleven jockeys, from across the country competed in the race at Newbury and had to undertake months of intense training to reach the fitness levels and stamina required to compete. The jockeys were also tasked with each raising a minimum of £2,500 for a BHS campaign of their choice.

Isabella Budge in the paddock
Photo: British Horse Society

Following her win, Isabella Budge said: “I don’t know when I last travelled that fast, it was over in a flash! It was just an unbelievable, unforgettable day. I’m on cloud nine and I don’t think I’m coming down anytime soon!”

Tracy Casstles, Director of Fundraising at The British Horse Society said: “We are hugely grateful to all the jockeys for their incredible efforts over the past couple of months whilst preparing for the fantastic race at Newbury yesterday. It has not been an easy challenge but the money they’ve all raised so far will make an invaluable difference to the work of the BHS. We’d also like to extend our thanks to all the owners and trainers who loaned a horse to our jockeys and the trainers who trained them so perfectly for the closely fought race. Without their time and generosity, the race would not have been possible”.

To find out more about the BHS’s second annual charity race please head to

RDA South East Regional conference marks outstanding successes

Two Riding for the Disabled carriage drivers, who are heading into the world of the para elite, were part of an inspirational morning of presentations and awards at the RDA’s recent South East Regional Conference.

The event was sold out with delegates from across four counties. They were treated to several presentations from World Championship Para Driver, Joanne McNicol and current RDA National Champion, Sandra Spinner, while the RDA Regional Vet, Judy Scrine spoke on Equine Flu, Carol Perryer from Sight for Surrey who gave top tips on handling blind or visually impaired participants and Andrew Pinner spoke on his life as a Royal Coachman. 

Conor Crozier of Hope in the Valley RDA receives the Cowan Trophy from Cowan MD, Phillip Mumford

There was also the annual presentation of the regional awards by the presenters, as well as from the Regional Sponsor, Phillip Mumford of Cowan Architects with the Cowan Challenge Trophy in recognition of the Young Volunteer of the Year.

Hilary Gilson of Cherry Park with Phillip Mumford
Photo: Joanna Sale

The morning started with Sandra Spinner for Cherry Park RDA Group (West Sussex) describing her journey from ailing physical health into the world of carriage driving which in a little over 3 years has seen her rise to be National RDA Champion.

Carol Perryer, a Habilitation Specialist from Sight for Surrey, gave some extremely useful advice on helping visually impaired or blind riders the best experience and highlighting how important it is to know the difference and subsequent impact on their lives.

Receiving her award for 25 years of service is Jenna Leight of Bradbourne RDA Photo: Joanna Sale


Joanne McNicol from Kipling County RDA, described her journey from the RDA to the GB National Para Team culminating in being placed fourth at the World Championships in Kronenburg last year. Judy Scrine, the RDA’s Regional Vet, gave a fascinating presentation on Equine Flu and how best to manage it with the latest vaccination advice. The morning was completed with a humourous and fascinating insight into the Royal Mews by Coachman Andrew Pinner who is also an RDA volunteer.

Interspersed through the day were a number of well-deserved accolades and awards, not least of which was a presentation of a beautiful bronze resin sculpture called The Knight by Peter Newell to outgoing Chair, Lindsay Correa.

Isla Williams, Quest Participant of the Year
Photo Joanna Sale

Lindsay has left a significant legacy over seven years of her rein, introducing numerous new initiatives and improved systems to the region to make it one of the most progressive in the UK. She’s achieved this with an energy and enthusiasm that has been second to none.

Twenty five years service award received by Jenna Leight of Bradbourne RDA Photo: Joanna Sale

The presentation of the sculpture, theatre tokens and garden centre vouchers which came from donations from the Groups from across the region, was made by Pauline Roestenburg of Chalkdown Group. Lindsay will now join the RDA UK Trustees responsible for volunteer development.


Cowan Challenge Trophy for the Young Volunteer of the Year – Conor Crozier (Hope in the Valley): Conor started volunteering at Hope in the Valley as a D of E student, and soon became a much valued member of the team and stayed on Plumpton. “In my view, Conor embodies the true qualities and values of a volunteer, giving his time selflessly and consistently to the benefit of others who rely on his help” says Phillip Mumford, Managing Director of Regional Sponsor, Cowan Architects. “He sets and excellent example to us all at an age where there are so many other distractions and demands on his time. He is a worthy winner of the Cowan Trophy”.

Young Volunteer Hebe Award – Joe Roud (Fairlight Hall): starting as a participant with two side walkers, Joe is now a coach in training and competes at National level. In Joe’s own words ”lots of people helped me achieve. I can now help others”

Young Volunteer Hebe Award – Kate Pole (Quest): a volunteer with disabilities of her own, Kate has given total commitment and dedication to her role at Quest, taking great pride in everything she does. She has a maturity beyond her years and is now a coach in training.

Participant of the Year Titan Award – Isla Williams (Quest): from the start of her riding two years ago, Isla had very limited movement in her neck, shoulders, back and spine and her arms were locked bent at the elbow. Despite this, she has shown resilience and resolve, facing challenges head on and being creative to overcome her physical limitations, always rewarding us with her infectious smile. She is a true inspiration.

Horses of the Year – Jim (Cherry Park), Marigold (Epsom) and Fenella (Chalkdown)

Buchan Bobby Group Award – presented to Bradbourne (Kent) as the group who has battled through thick and thin, struggled to find horses who will stay fit enough to work and even take their drivers to great heights of regional and national competitions and a group who selflessly host regional events and lend their trainer, Sara Howe, for the wider benefit.

Tora Bray Award  Hilary Gilson, Chair, Cherry Park RDA. Despite her own difficulties, Hilary has steered the group through a tricky venue change and turbulent times, always as cheerful as she can be. She is totally committed to the Group and always trying new ways to raise funds and recruit new volunteers. 

Volunteers of the Year – Jo Angear (Heron’s Ghyll), Diana Cotell  and Joe Coulman (Epsom). 

Long Service Awards

25 years: Graham Bourne and Anne A’hearne (Godstone) Suzi Dyer (Court Meadow), Jennifer Capon and Sue Underhill (Happy Landings), Gill Sherratt (Kingley Vale), Jenna Leight and Jan Hills (Bradbourne)

30 Years:  Jan Abrahams (RDA UK), Gill Morrison and Fiona Bigg (Godstone).

35 years: Carol Rycroft (Court Meadow)

40 years: Stella Fuller (Horsehills), Paddy Porter (Court Meadow)

50 years: Trish Lebus (Happy Landings)