Posted on November 27th, 2018

Councils need more funds or animals could suffer says RSPCA

Cash-strapped councils are legally obliged to run stray dog services, care for pets belonging to owners in hospital, ensure pets shops and kennels are properly licensed, and protect animals from environmental health and noise issues. More recently they were also tasked to tackle problems with fly-grazed horses and will soon be expected to enforce even stricter conditions on an even bigger range of animal establishments but with no extra funding.

Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor are the RSPCA said: “Councils are under increasing pressure from budget cuts, and, sadly, animal services are often the first to be affected.”

There is no sign that demand for these services is reducing and if anything councils are being asked to do more crucial animal welfare work – with no extra funding.

“We are already seeing the impact of this in the number of services being cut or outsourced, the number of previously specialist animal welfare staff being given ever wider remits and, in the most extreme cases, some local authorities abandoning aspects of animal welfare provision altogether.

“We’re concerned that councils need more funds or animals could suffer. Everyone involved, at all levels of government, must start to recognise and value the work of the hardworking staff involved in protecting animal welfare.”

An RSPCA report, Ten Ideas in 10 Years – has been released as the charity recognises local authorities for pioneering initiatives to improve animal welfare through its PawPrints Awards.

The RSPCA’s report features the 10 best examples of ideas that have won the charity’s prestigious Innovator in Animal Welfare Award in the last ten years since the RSPCA PawPrints awards were created  – innovation that makes a real and lasting improvement to animal welfare without placing a huge financial burden on the cash-strapped organisations who are delivering them.

The 10 ideas:

1 Multi-agency working

2 Protecting equine welfare and tackling fly-grazing

3 Promoting responsible dog ownership

4 Ensuring the welfare of dogs in kennels

5 Tackling the illegal pet trade

6 Ensuring animals are not forgotten in contingency planning

7 Protecting the welfare of pets in housing

8 Protecting vulnerable people – and their animals

9 Enforcement, education and prevention

10 Protecting farm animal welfare


Rachel Williams added: “The work that local authorities, housing providers, contingency planners, the police and other public sector organisations do to protect and improve animal welfare is absolutely vital and should be recognised and celebrated.

“However we feel there needs to be political will from elected representatives to stop animal welfare services from being sacrificed when budgets are tight or tightened further, and crucially, there needs to be more money, more guidance and more support from national governments to help protect animal welfare services and dedicated animal welfare staff.”

Posted on November 27th, 2018

Redwings is honoured with National Welfare Award

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is delighted to have been honoured by the British Horse Society for its innovative approach to promoting horse health at Appleby Horse Fair.

Education and Campaigns Manager Andie Vilela and Chief Executive Lynn Cutress were presented with the Welfare Award on Friday 23rd November at the Society’s annual awards ceremony which celebrates individuals and organisations positively impacting the lives of horses and the people who care for them.

For over 10 years, Redwings has been attending the historic Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, which attracts thousands of Gypsies and Travellers with their horses, for trade and for leisure, every year.

The charity, working alongside other equine welfare organisations, provides a vital service to fair-goers, including veterinary care and advice.

Looking for a way to engage with more fair-goers, Redwings launched the Appleby Welfare Awards in 2015 to celebrate some of the high-quality horses and examples of good horsemanship seen at the Fair.

Winners chosen by the charity’s vets, in categories such as Best Trotter, Best Horse Handler and Best Hoof Health, are presented with rosettes, sponsored by the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association.

Their photos are also shared on social media so their success can be celebrated with their friends, family and other fair-goers. To date, the Appleby Welfare Awards’ social media page has been followed by over 3,700 people.

Last year, winners were invited to take part in a participatory video project where they were filmed sharing their own horse care advice, from the consequences of using inappropriate shoes to avoiding rub wounds, also widely shared on social media.

Andie Vilela, Education and Campaigns Manager (pictured), said: “One of the really powerful aspects of the project has been to give a voice to responsible horse owners within a community not often heard.

“By recognising great examples of equine care and giving fair-goers an opportunity to share their stories with their peers, we hope to encourage more meaningful conversations about welfare, not just between fair-goers, but between fair-goers and charities – such as ourselves – too.

“We know some horse owners are apprehensive about turning to welfare organisations for advice through fear of being judged. By embracing a positive approach through our awards, we’re starting to see this change, for example, our vets are able to provide more preventative health care advice because fair-goers are not as worried about speaking to them.

“This is opening up opportunities for two-way learning as we become more aware of the equine welfare issues they’re particularly concerned about and we can tailor our advice and support to be more relevant to their needs.”

Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive, added: “Making the effort to break down the barriers between different horse-owning communities is so important because when we celebrate our common ground everyone is inspired to do more for horses.

“We’d like to thank the British Horse Society for this wonderful honour, all our staff who have made this project a success and everyone who has supported us, especially our sponsor the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association.”

Posted on November 27th, 2018

National Equine Forum to lead latest debate on Brexit’s impact on the equine sector

The outline programme for the 27th National Equine Forum has been confirmed. This popular annual event, to be held in London on 7th March 2019 is shaping up as a calendar essential for all those wanting to learn the latest about the horse industry in a changing world. It will include a leading section on the impact of Brexit, with Britain scheduled to leave the EU just three weeks after the event.

The National Equine Forum provides a dynamic platform for government officials, vets and equestrian industry leaders to share their knowledge and inspire debate with representatives from all areas of the UK’s equine sector. The coveted Sir Colin Spedding Award is also presented at the event, to a worthy unsung hero of the horse world.

The 2019 programme is highly relevant for anyone who has an interest in horses. Defra officials will discuss the impending EU Exit and what it means to the UK’s equine sector in practical terms.

Stewart Everett, Chief Executive of Equine Register, together with leading equine organisation representatives will give an insight on making the most of the Central Equine Database on an everyday basis.

NEF 2019’s panel discussion will explore how charities fit into the modern world, involving representatives from the main equine charitable sectors. As the UK’s equine welfare crisis continues, the major charities are more frequently pooling their strengths and resources to tackle major cases to best effect.

Dr Simon Curtis FWCF will present the Memorial Lecture on his lifetime in farriery and aspects of foot care. These lectures are given each year and link to past winners of the Sir Colin Spedding Award; Simon was last year’s winner.

A special horse and rider fitness section will involve world-leading experts sharing their knowledge on the science behind fitness and the practical aspects of training both equine and human athletes.

Dr Andrew Hemmings, Head of the Equine Management and Science School at the Royal Agricultural University will give an enlightening presentation on equine stereotypical behaviours – an area that is continuing to see considerable advancement in knowledge and management guidance.

The winner of the Sir Colin Spedding Award will be announced and the award presented. This award was established in 2013 in recognition of the late Professor Sir Colin Spedding’s services to the equine sector – most especially founding the National Equine Forum and Chairing it for 19 years.

Early Bird tickets are available for the Forum from Monday 3rd December until Tuesday 15th January 2019 with the first ticket offered at the special price of £50. After this date the first ticket purchased by an individual or organisation will cost £65; subsequent tickets for the same organisation will cost £100.  The ticket price includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. To apply or to find out how you could enjoy the privilege of becoming a Friend of the Forum please email

Further details on the NEF 2019 programme will be released in the New Year. For further information on the NEF visit

Posted on November 22nd, 2018

Exclusive Christmas prizes to be won at new horse show High Flyers

High Flyers, the prestigious new horse show coming to the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough next year, has announced exciting prizes for the High Flyers Christmas Draw, which is now open to enter.

The star prize is a private viewing box on the Saturday of the show, the winner plus five guests will enjoy the show from one of the Arena’s VIP Pods, VIP parking for 3 vehicles, a complimentary of glass of Prosecco, and tea and coffee all day. The runner up will receive an exclusive hamper of goodies plus two for the day of their tickets choice.

The prize draw is easy to enter, contestants simply need to visit  and fill in the form. Betsy Branyan, equestrian event director at East of England Arena, said, “These are prizes that will appeal to every horse enthusiast, and with the draw for first prize on December 17th, it will be just in time to give someone a very special Christmas present.”

Betsy added “We’re also looking forward to holding another draw in time for St. Valentine’s day next year, with two more great prizes on offer.”

High Flyers will be at the East of England Arena from March 15th to March 17th 2019, showcasing a range of competitive showing classes, and brand new championships for young sports horses.

Posted on November 14th, 2018

Essex’s Falcon swoops to take the inaugural SEIB Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship

The first ever SEIB Insurance Brokers Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland Championship took place at Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park on the 9thNovember. Chantelle Chapman from Manningtree, riding her mother Victoria Oliver’s Fell pony, Greenholme Falcon took this brand-new title in the BETA arena at Your Horse Live in front of an enthusiastic audience.

SEIB Insurance Brokers have set up the new Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland championship with the help of Your Horse Live to create more opportunities for amateur riders at a national championship level.

There was added anticipation for the Search for a Star Mountain and Moorland final as it was the first ever championship competition to take place at Your Horse Live. The BETA arena truly provided a real feel of the big occasion for each of the Search for a Star finalists.

Read all about it in our next issue…

Photo: SMR Photos

Posted on November 13th, 2018

Suffolk Rider Features in Omega Equine All Star Academy – The Hit TV Show of the Year

The ‘must watch’ programme of the year on Horse & Country TV – the Omega Equine All Star Academy – is set to have you crying, laughing and wanting more! This five-part, hit equestrian reality TV show premieres on 25th November at 9pm and is the channel’s biggest and most anticipated event of the year.

Starring eight wannabe academy students the hour long programmes provide warts and all action as they strive to impress the celebrity judges and instructors during their stay with Pammy Hutton at the legendary Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire.

The contestants, six female and two male, will undertake a battle-royal as they do everything in their power to be the third winner of the prestigious title which includes the chance to co-present an episode of the channel’s Rudall’s Round-Up programme with well-known host, Jenny Rudall.

Providing plenty of laughs, highs and lows along the way the Omega Equine All Star Academy is set to prove very entertaining and great viewing over the forthcoming weeks.

The team include Tessa Halsall from Suffolk who bought her horse Hal as a gangly yearling hoping he would make 17hh, she says with a smile, he became an overgrown pony but certainly wouldn’t swap him for another!

Guy Simmonds, a 30-year-old from West Wales, is a falconer by profession. He has been working hard to compete at BE90 level and his dream is to fly falcons from horseback.

Debbie Day will partner her 16.3hh Clydesdale Farra, and after getting over a fractured pelvis a year ago is aiming at dressage and show jumping.

Coloured mare, Remi belongs to Sophie Wratting and their four year partnership has come on in leaps and bounds thanks to being bold and not afraid to be different.

Nikki Sinclair (35) is a geography teacher with two young boys who will partner her bay gelding Jake in the series.

Student veterinary nurse Gabrielle Wheatley from Wiltshire and her seven-year-old mare, Fleur are currently focusing on show jumping, while Georgia Russell and Barney are now eventing after a set-back when she sustained a broken leg while out eventing.

Last, but not least, in the Omega Equine All Star Academy team is Jake Tarrant, an event rider who has big ambitions for his rides Troy and Waldo.

The programme will see the students not only riding and training but also demonstrating their skills when it comes to turnout, natural horsemanship, equine anatomy and media expertise.

Look out for leading names Charlie and Pippa Hutton, Harry Meade and many more as they guide the students over the series.

Tune in to Horse&Country TV on 25th November at 9pm – SKY Channel 184 or Virgin Media channel 298, H&C web and mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Roku.

Posted on November 1st, 2018



Sir Peter O’Sullevan (Voice of Racing) established his Charitable Trust in 1997, to raise funds for equine causes. Last year the auction raised £122,000.

Each year a perpetual bronze trophy in the shape of Peter’s own racing binoculars is awarded for a lifetime’s contribution to the sport. HM The Queen and HM Queen Elizabeth were winners in 2002 and 2009.

However the highlight of this year’s auction and luncheon on 22nd November at the Dorchester Hotel, is a rare volume from his personal collection, ‘I Walked by Night’ the Life and History of King of the Norfolk Poachers, written by Himself.

Original pencil sketches by major 20th century Norfolk artist Edward Seago were given to Peter O’Sullevan by the artist, which gives the book its uniqueness and exceptional provenance.

This lively memoir was edited by Lilias Rider Haggard, Norfolk countrywoman herself, daughter of the celebrated Sir Henry, with a feast of illustrations by Edward Seago. It was first published in 1935 and ran into many editions.

Seago shared a love of all things equine with Sir Peter, who became a close friend.