Leading Equine College Backs Strangles Day of Action

One of the UK’s leading education providers on equine care, Hartpury University and Hartpury College in Gloucester, has lent its support to Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s Speak Out On Strangles Day.

Taking place on Saturday 6th July, this special day of action is calling on the equestrian community to come together to stamp out the stigma and fight this prevalent, but preventable infectious disease, which has at least 600 recorded outbreaks per year and causes misery not just for horses but equestrian businesses too.

On the day, Redwings representatives will be talking to participants at Hartpury’s Festival of Dressage, which is taking place from 3rd to 7th July, and encouraging as many people as possible to show their support by taking the Stamp Out Strangles Pledge.

To date, over 450 horse owners and 125 yard managers nationwide have already pledged to take proactive steps to protect their horses from infectious disease and to tackle the stigma sadly still associated with strangles.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ Education and Campaigns Manager, said: “We’re thrilled that our day of action is being backed by Hartpury University and Hartpury College and thank them for the fantastic opportunity to spread the word about our campaign to their competitors and guests.

“With many horses from many different locations coming together to compete, it’s the perfect time to remind everyone about how they can reduce the risk of spreading disease at events and back at home. Our campaign urges yard managers and horse owners not to wait for an outbreak before putting procedures in place, so we’ll be asking everyone to take our Pledge and help us make good biosecurity measures the norm.”

Rosie Scott-Ward, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, added: “Hartpury is delighted to endorse Redwings’ Stamp Out Strangles campaign. Our yard has already made the Yard Manager’s Pledge and we are asking others to do the same. The campaign spreads the word about how we can all do our bit to reduce the risk of this devastating disease and encourages everyone to communicate openly and respectfully – something that is so important when effectively managing an outbreak.

“That’s why we are going to be taking part in Redwings’ Speak Out On Strangles Day on 6th July during the International Dressage event. With support from the campaign, we’ll be asking horse owners at all levels to take a look at what they do on their yards to prevent strangles and make changes to reduce risk further. Whether you’re a yard manager, horse owner, university or sanctuary, we agree with Redwings that by coming together we can stamp out strangles.”

From fun rides to tack sales, from quizzes to picnics, yard managers can get involved with Speak Out On Strangles Day by hosting activities for their clients, which can be used as an opportunity to share top tips on biosecurity and encourage more horse owners to take the Pledge.

All yard managers who sign up to take part will receive a free goodie bag – including resources to support them on the day – and be entered into a prize draw.

Individual horse owners can also join in! They can download a free poster from Redwings’ website showing their support of the day – perfect for taking a selfie with and sharing on social media with the hashtag #SpeakOutOnStranglesDay.

On the day, Redwings’ visitor centres will also be hosting special activities and the charity’s Head of Welfare and Behaviour, and leading strangles expert, Nic de Brauwere will be offering a Facebook Live session where he will be answering questions about infectious disease prevention.

To sign up to Speak Out On Strangles Day and to download a free resources pack, visit www.redwings.org.uk/speak-out