Posted on February 12th, 2019

BEF responds to resumption of racing

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) welcomes the decision by the British Horseracing Authority to resume racing from Wednesday 13th February.

The BEF are cautiously optimistic that after analysis of thousands of samples by the Animal Health Trust, there have been no further positive tests since the weekend.

The BEF continues to closely monitor the situation and assess the risk to health of UK horses whilst in regular consultation with specialist vets and experts in equine influenza and epidemiology with experience of managing previous outbreaks. Their assessment remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events subject to local disease status and local veterinary advice.

The BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for symptoms of equine flu – coughing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy – and call their vet if they think their horses are showing signs.

The BEF strongly recommend that owners ensure that their vaccinations are up to date – if it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination, they recommend you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon. As has been demonstrated in this outbreak, vaccinations are vital in tackling the spread of the disease. Therefore they recommend strongly that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other horses.

The advice remains that you MUST NOT take your horse to an event or competition if horses at your yard are unwell.


Posted on February 7th, 2019


The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is advising horse owners to be extra vigilant following recent outbreaks of equine influenza (EI) across parts of the UK and northern Europe in both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses.

The AHT is encouraging horse owners to be aware of the clinical signs of EI which include harsh, dry coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy and an increase in temperature (>38.5°c).  These clinical signs may be mild and not all horses will present with all of these. If a horse owner is concerned they should consult their vet as soon as possible who can take a swab and blood sample and send it for testing, free of laboratory charges, to the Animal Health Trust’s equine influenza surveillance scheme which is funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the equine influenza virus. The virus is spread from horse to horse via respiratory droplets by direct contact as well as coughing and via indirect contact where appropriate biosecurity is not being followed. The virus relies on this transmission to new horses to survive and one of the most notable features of flu is the very quick spread of clinical signs in groups of horses and its ability to spread large distances in the air. Therefore horse owners are encouraged to consider their existing biosecurity arrangements in their yard.  This includes ensuring they practice good general hygiene and isolating any horses showing flu-like signs.  The AHT is also recommending horse owners re-vaccinate their horse if their vaccination was carried out over 6 months ago, in order to maximise the chance of having protective immunity.

Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, at the Animal Health Trust, said “With frequent movement of horses and an ability to spread without direct contact, equine flu might appear at any time and in any location.  With the increase in cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses, we would urge all horse owners to be extremely vigilant and to follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.  If horse owners are concerned they should contact their vet immediately for advice.”

Advice on equine flu, including information on precautions horse owners can take can be found at

Posted on February 7th, 2019

The High Flyers Show 2019 has been postponed

A statement has been issued by the East of England Arena and Events Centre High Flyers team.

It states: “It is with significant disappointment that we have taken the decision to postpone the High Flyers Show for 2019.”

Posted on February 5th, 2019

Horse Charities Unite in Historic Merger

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has announced a major development in its operations following the completion of a merger with Welsh charity SWHP (Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies) and the establishment of a new centre in Monmouthshire.

The merger became official on 1st February 2019 and will see the new centre taking the name Redwings SWHP. The SWHP charity, which was previously based at a site in St Maughans, Wales, has been carrying out vital welfare work for over 40 years and housed more than 60 rescued horses and ponies with about 250 more out on loan.

The former site of SWHP was not sustainable as it was the home of the founder and former chairman Jenny MacGregor MBE who very sadly passed away in November 2017. Mrs MacGregor and her late husband Alasdair ran the charity from their home for many years and were a real driving force in the animal welfare world. Mrs MacGregor originally began negotiations to merge with Redwings Horse Sanctuary back in 2012 and was fully supportive of the two organisations coming together.

Redwings has now purchased a new site close to Offa’s Dyke near Chepstow and plans have been submitted to the local authority to develop horse care facilities and a visitor centre. The 86-acre site is now home to the previous SWHP equine residents and will offer additional new jobs, as well as the seven existing staff who have transferred there.

Redwings already cares for 1,500 rescued horses and donkeys across England and Scotland, with five visitor centres and several more closed sanctuary farms. The charity conducts rescues right across the United Kingdom, including Wales and Scotland, and also offers support to smaller horse charities in Ireland. Over the last 15 years, Redwings has been working particularly to improve the lives of hundreds of horses across Wales, including leading on a significant project to reduce the numbers grazing illegally on the Welsh commons, and in October 2013 the charity helped rescue over 300 horses and ponies from a site in the Vale of Glamorgan. The merger with SWHP means that Redwings is now responsible for over 2,000 rescued horses across the UK, including 700 living out in Guardian homes.

Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said: “SWHP is a charity we have admired and worked with closely for many years and a merger has been in the pipeline for a while so I am delighted that it has finally concluded successfully after a great deal of hard work. We have extremely strong links with Wales already and to be able to have a base so close by will really benefit the horses that need our help there.

“The merger process has been extremely time-consuming and we would like to thank the staff from both Redwings and SWHP for their hard work and cooperation throughout the process. It’s a privilege to be able to build on the amazing legacy of the MacGregors and the fantastic team they developed; and of course this merger will enable us to help even more horses in desperate need.”

SWHP Trustee Sian Lloyd said: “In line with the MacGregor’s ethos, ‘the horses come first’, many hundreds have found wonderful homes and lead fulfilling and very happy lives, bringing a huge amount of joy to their keepers. We are enormously grateful to all our very dedicated supporters for offering homes to our equines which will continue under the stewardship of Redwings.

“Our charity would not have been able to flourish into the much respected charity it is today without our generous supporters, dedicated staff and teams of volunteers. Jenny and Alasdair wanted the charity to be secure and continue to flourish. In merging with Redwings we hope their wonderful legacy will continue in protecting those abused and neglected equines.”

To find out more about Redwings, visit

Posted on February 4th, 2019

Counterfeit Bedding….

It has recently come to the attention of Nedz that there are some bales of bedding circulating within the UK, that are using their packaging but are not containing their product.

“These bags have not been authorised by ourselves, nor has any company been given permission to use our packaging to sell their bedding in,” said a statement issued by Nedz.

“We want to assure our customers and retailers that the issue is currently being dealt with and Trading Standards have been informed about this incident.”

Nedz has been producing straw bedding in various forms for over 25 years and takes very seriously its production of Nedz Original and Nedz Pro for the equestrian market. The bedding is known for its high quality manufacturing process alongside a superior end product.


Posted on February 4th, 2019

Claudia Moore Triumphs in the Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classics at SouthView Equestrian Centre

The 2019 Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Qualifiers continued this weekend at SouthView Equestrian Centre in Winsford, Cheshire and was held during the 148cm Pony Premier Show.

The hotly contested qualifier saw all riders focused on securing a top three qualifying place for the prestigious Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Championship, which will take place at SouthView Competition & Training Centre in Cheshire across the weekend of the 6th – 7th April 2019.

Fourteen year-old Claudia Moore from Brentwood, Essex took the one-two in Sunday’s qualifier with her European Team Gold and Individual Bronze medal partner Elando Van De Roshoeve, a 15-year-old Belgian bred gelding owned by her mother Katrina.

The initial line up saw twenty-nine competitors come forward but just three made it through to the final round with Claudia producing the only two treble clears and in doing so, she took second place with the 12 year-old Delflip, also owned by Katrina. Third placed Holly Truelove and Rexter D’Or produced the fastest time in the final jump-off but had her hopes of taking the top spot dashed when the final fence fell.

Posted on January 29th, 2019

£7,000 Stock Donation

A Basildon-based equestrian supplies centre has donated over £7,000 worth of equestrian goods to a local horse rescue centre in Essex.

Equidor Leisure Limited, which has recently completed a buyout of East Coast Leisure, has presented Essex Horse & Pony Protection Society (EHPPS) with over 300 items of stock with a total value of more than £7,000, to support the charity in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing equines.

Founded in 1983, before becoming a registered charity in 1987, EHPPS has rescued more than a thousand horses, ponies and donkeys from its sanctuary in Basildon, Essex.

Equidor Leisure’s Charlotte Cooper organised the donation. She says, “EHPPS is our most local equine rescue centre, and they do fantastic work while relying solely upon public donations. Therefore, at Equidor Leisure, we are proud to support them in any way we can.”

To find out more visit or for more information about how you can support Essex Horse & Pony Protection Society visit

Posted on January 29th, 2019

Puddles the pony rescued from sticky situation

RSPCA officers and firefighters launched a rescue mission to free a pony who was stuck neck-high in mud in a ditch recently

Essex Fire & Rescue Service and the RSPCA were called to a field off Marshfoot Road, Grays in Essex recently after a member of the public spotted the little grey pony stuck at the bottom of a deep ditch.

RSPCA Inspector Caroline Richardson said: “It’s amazing that she was spotted as she was absolutely covered head to toe in mud and was neck-high in muddy water. You could just see her ears  – which were the only part of her that were still grey.

“It’s total chance that she was found and she was very lucky to have been spotted.

“She was freezing cold, shivering and clearly exhausted. We believe she may have been stuck in the ditch for days and, with the weather having turned so cold and wet, I don’t think she’d have survived much longer. She’s a very lucky little pony!”

The little Welsh pony – who staff have named Puddles – had apparently been straying in the area for three months. Staff believe she’s around 15 and are appealing to find her owners.

Fire crews managed to winch her up and out of the ditch before she was taken to vets for a check-up and a bath.

Puddles, who is around 11hh, isn’t microchipped so the RSPCA is now trying to trace her owner in the hopes of reuniting her with her family.

“We would love to find Puddles’ owner as she has clearly been on the run for quite some time. However, if no one comes forward to claim her then we’ll find her a loving new home.”

Anyone who recognises Puddles or believes her to belong to them should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Posted on January 29th, 2019

Kimblewick Equestrian Centre Supports Disabled Access Day

Kimblewick Equestrian Centre, based in Dereham, Norfolk, is holding a special event to mark Disabled Access Day.
Disabled Access Day was launched in 2015 to create opportunities for disabled people to try something new, highlighting the fantastic facilities that already exist at venues, as well as a friendly welcome.
Taking place on 16th March, Accessibility Mark has joined forces with Disabled Access Day to encourage more disabled people to consider taking part in horse riding activities and learn about the benefits of spending time with horses.
As an Accessibility Mark accredited centre, Kimblewick Equestrian will open the event with a 30 minute display by their current Accessibility Mark riders before offering a ‘Have a Go’ session where visitors will be able to meet and greet the horses and experience a short ride.
Free tea and coffee will then be available while staff introduce their riding programmes and badge scheme. There will also be a 10% discount for anyone block booking four or more lessons on the day.
The centre has good parking facilities with wheel chair access.
The event will start at 2pm and run until 4.30pm, with booking essential by contacting Kimblewick Equestrian by telephone on 01362 858695 or email
Nikkita Gosling of Kimblewick Equestrian said: “Our Disabled Access Day event not only gives us the opportunity to welcome some potential new clients to the centre but also to showcase the amazing achievements of our disabled riders.”
“Visitors to the event can be assured a warm welcome awaits from both the staff and the horses.”
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide a first class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
Disabled Access Day 2019 is focused on highlighting the availability of Changing Places toilets, and the need for more to be made available. To find the nearest Changing Places toilet to a Disabled Access Day event visit the Changing Places website.
For more information about Disabled Access Day please visit

Posted on January 3rd, 2019

Matt and Michael Soar to Puissance Success

Matt Sampson has reflected on the “amazing” experience of Puissance glory at the TheraPlateUK Liverpool International Horse Show. Yorkshireman Matt and Irish challenger Michael Pender shared the top prize after they both jumped 2.20 metres (7ft 3in) to clear the famous red wall in a class sponsored by Equitop GLME.

And for Matt, it was a remarkable result, given that he only knew about his ride – Top Dollar VI – barely 30 minutes before the start after its regular rider Laura Renwick rang and offered him the ride.

Eleven combinations began the class – it could run for a maximum of five rounds – but the final drama was enacted by Matt and Michael, with his 2018 Dublin Horse Show Puissance title winner Hearton du Bois Halleux.

And they both delivered the goods, sending a capacity crowd wild at the Echo Arena and bringing an end to day three of the show that no-one could have scripted.

“It was a bit different because I hadn’t jumped him before,” Matt said. “I didn’t really know him, so I just tried to ride forward and give him a little bit of room because he is such a big horse, and keep him confident.

“I knew about 30 minutes before the class about the ride. Laura rang me and asked me what I was doing, and I said ‘nothing’ and she said ‘do you want to ride the horse in the puissance?’ and that was that.

“If I don’t ride him again, it was great to end on a high. It was amazing. I had only ever done one puissance before at a show in Holland, so I don’t have a lot of experience in that type of class.

“But the horse jumped amazing and filled me with confidence.”

For Michael, his latest achievement continued an impressve run of success this year, and he said: “He was a little bit sticky in the first round, but he felt more comfortable with each round, and in the last round, it was the best round he put in. I was delighted with him.

“We were equal first in Dublin this year, and I feel like he is getting better and better every time. He has jumped 2.20 metres twice now.”