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News

Posted on March 31st, 2020

ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW, ROYAL WINDSOR ENDURANCE AND THE EDWARDIAN PAGEANT CANCELLED

Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show, which includes Royal Windsor Endurance and The Edwardian Pageant, have announced the cancellation of the 2020 events following the Government’s announcements around COVID-19. Royal Windsor Horse Show was due to be held from 13th-17th May, Royal Windsor Endurance on 15th May and The Edwardian Pageant on the evenings of 14th-16th May.  

Commenting on the decision, Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “It is with enormous regret that we have to reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Royal Windsor Horse Show, Royal Windsor Endurance and The Edwardian Pageant. The health of the competitors, tradestand holders, sponsors, officials, volunteers and visiting public is our top priority. We would like to thank everyone associated with the event for their continued support, and we are already planning a bumper show in 2021 to compensate for this year’s disappointment.”

All individuals who have already purchased a ticket will receive a refund from The Ticket Factory in due course. All competitors who have already paid for their entry will receive a refund, including any stabling fees in due course.

Details of the cancellation, refund process and all future plans will be available on the Royal Windsor Horse Show website www.rwhs.co.uk


Posted on March 30th, 2020

RSPCA Emergency Appeal to care for hundreds of horses and rescue more

The RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal supported by comedian Ricky Gervais to keep its rescue teams out on the frontline saving animals through the Coronavirus crisis.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the Government but vital funding is needed to keep them out on the road, continuing to rescue animals from the worst cruelty and neglect.

The RSPCA is currently caring for 842 horses and the number is expected to grow as even more come into their care in the coming weeks as its rescue teams bring in more equines in need.

Staff at six centres are focusing on keeping the horses and ponies in their care happy and healthy throughout the crisis as rehoming and fostering has been paused in line with Government advice.

Almost 80% of the horses in the RSPCA’s care (almost 650) are in private boarding stables across England and Wales as there is not enough room in rehoming centres and the charity will be paying for their care throughout the crisis.

Alongside this, the charity is also facing a huge financial strain as it is already seeing the damaging effect of this crisis on its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue.

Animal lover Ricky said: “It is really important for us all to pull together to help each other at this difficult time and someone needs to be there for animals too. I would urge people to give whatever they can spare at this really difficult time to support the RSPCA so they can stay out on the frontline rescuing the animals who need them most.

“They are facing huge challenges through this crisis, but their amazing staff are committed to being there for animals in danger in any way they can and they can only do it with your help.”

RSPCA Inspectorate staff are providing an emergency-only service throughout the lockdown period.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer, said: “This is a time of national crisis, and many of us are anxious about the future and our loved ones. This crisis has touched all areas of life and the RSPCA is no different. As we all face the biggest challenge of a generation, the RSPCA must continue to be on the frontline, rescuing and caring for the animals who need us most.

“Our rescuers, vets and nurses have been designated key workers by the Government which means we can carry on saving animals from cruelty and neglect but we rely entirely on generous public donations to fund our vital services.

“We are facing immense challenges and huge pressures on strained resources, but our hugely dedicated teams are out there dealing with emergencies and our centres continue to deliver vital care to thousands of animals, with more expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

Since the crisis deepened at the beginning of March, our animal cruelty line has already received nearly 60,000 calls.

These include:

  • Rescuers spent 5 hours saving Harris (pictured), a black colt stuck in freezing water in marshland in Gravesend, Kent on 15th March. The young horse had a huge open wound across his right shoulder, where it appeared he had been impaled on something sharp. RSPCA rescuer Grace Harris-Bridge worked with a vet, police, the fire service and other charity workers to bring the scared and flighty horse out of the mud and into a horsebox. He was taken to a vet for urgent treatment for his wound and is now recovering in RSPCA care in private boarding.

  • Animal care officer Julie Parson feeding a herd of Shetland ponies near Brighton after their owner was taken ill at the start of the year. Julie has been caring for the ponies in her own time to help make sure they are socialised and able to be rehomed once lockdown is over.

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid


Posted on March 27th, 2020

BD and BS update

Monday’s UK Government announcement to increase measures to combat the current coronavirus pandemic has effectively put the nation in lockdown until mid-April. As National Governing Bodies, British Dressage (BD) and British Showjumping (BS) continue to urge all members and stakeholders to adhere to this guidance and advice, particularly on social distancing, in order to help contain the spread of the virus and protect frontline staff in the emergency services.

As previously stated on 17th March, all affiliated BD and BS competitions, events and training activities are suspended up to and including 16th April. This time period falls in line with the Government’s three week period of lockdown.  This will continue to be monitored closely and reviewed on a regular basis.

Major dates for National and Regional competitions take a great deal of planning, organisation and financial outlay. It is important that we continue to make timely decisions on whether these need to be cancelled or postponed, to allow enough notice for all participants as well as minimising costs for venues. In consultation with our organisers, we can now announce the following key fixtures have been cancelled across the two disciplines:

  • Keysoe Premier League, 24 – 26 April (BD)
  • Senior Inter Regionals and Para Home International at Keysoe, 2 – 3 May (BD)
  • Addington Premier League, 8 – 10 May (BD)
  • Royal Windsor Horse Show, 13 – 17 May (BD and BS)
  • Wellington International, 19 – 21 May (BS)
  • Somerford Park Premier League, 22 – 24 May (BD)
  • Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show, 9 – 14 June (BD and BS)
  • Hickstead International, 24 – 27 June (BD)
  • Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting at Hickstead, 24 – 28 June (BS)
  • Wettenhall International at South View EC, 2 – 5 July (BS)

For any competition or training events that have been cancelled to date, please allow up to 28 days for refunds to be processed as there is a significant volume to get through.

We will provide further updates on the cessation of regular competitions and training activity in due course, based on the latest government advice, with a view to extending the current suspension on a rolling four week basis.

BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said; “I’d like to thank all our members for their support during these uncertain and challenging times. Our priority has to be supporting the management of the pandemic by taking socially responsible action to contain further spread of the virus.  Understandably members will be disappointed with these cancellations – and, at this stage, it’s too early to determine what competitions could potentially be rescheduled or when the sport is able to resume.

We’ll keep everyone updated regularly on our contingency plans as the lockdown continues, so activity can restart as and when the restrictions are lifted. However, realistically this could continue for some time yet, so in the meantime we all have a role to play in adhering to social distancing measures and following the official advice on horse care during this difficult period.”

Iain Graham, BS Chief Executive, added; “The showjumping community has been incredibly supportive and we’re grateful for their backing, despite facing their own challenges, as we all work to combat the virus. Making any decision to cancel events is always difficult, but we have to help our organisers and venues to stay solvent so that the resources and facilities are there when sporting action can resume. I would urge everyone to strictly follow the government guidelines, as we all want our sport, livelihoods and daily lives to return to normal as quickly as possible.”

The Meriden headquarters for both organisations is now closed, with all staff working remotely to provide a normal service to members.  Staff can be contacted in the usual manner by phone or email. Please note that BD’s online shop is closed until further notice as orders cannot currently be fulfilled.


Posted on March 25th, 2020

Cancelled: Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials

Due to the continued spread and impact of the coronavirus, the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials event has now been cancelled.

The decision has been taken to protect the health and wellbeing of visitors, competitors and staff.

Full refunds will be available in due course to those who have already purchased tickets or trade stands for the event, which was scheduled to take place from 15-17 May 2020.

Subject to confirmation from British Eventing, the next Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials event will take place from 14th – 16th May 2021.

Chatsworth House, Garden, Farmyard and Adventure Playground have already been closed until further notice in light of the most recent Government guidance. The car parks and public toilets are also closed.

As a vital food service outlet, the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop in Pilsley remains open, and everyone is working hard to ensure staff and customers are protected with social distancing measures, and to maintain stocks and replenish shelves, so it can best serve the community.  More products are being added to the online shop, and local delivery and click and collect services have been set up to support those who are self-isolating. The café at the farm shop remains closed.

Updates will be posted when available on the Chatsworth website and social media channels, so please look out for these.

For more information, visit www.chatsworth.org


Posted on March 24th, 2020

BEF advice on caring for horses and riding in the current climate

The British Equestrian Federation urges all members of the equestrian community to strictly adhere to the Government’s directive to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to travel. The welfare of horses, and other livestock, is still essential, making your travel as an employee, owner or volunteer to provide care valid under the current guidance. Please keep your own health and safety in mind, as well as that of everyone around you.

At present, there are no definitive guidelines or restrictions around caring for and riding horses, and we will share anything which becomes available from government via the British Horse Council. To help through these uncertain and ever-changing times, we’ve put together some guidance for you around looking after and riding horses under the current requirements.

Going to the yard

  • Keep visits to a minimum without compromising your horse’s welfare – consider a buddy system with another livery
  • Go to the yard solo – no passengers, family or children
  • Change into clean yard clothes
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before leaving the house
  • Consider putting your horse on full livery if it’s available and financially viable
  • If your horse is on full livery, only make essential yard journeys. Keep in touch by phone, email or video call with the yard.

At the yard

  • Respect any restrictions put in place by the yard owner or manager – they are for your safety and their own. It’s their business and/or home.
  • Wash hands thoroughly on arrival – take soap and water with you if the facilities aren’t available
  • Maintain social distancing with other liveries and avoid common areas, such as tea rooms, as much as possible. Keep at least two metres apart at any time
  • Use your own equipment. If you need to use shared equipment such as wheelbarrows or hosepipes, disinfect the areas you’re touching or wear disposable gloves
  • Avoid activities that carry an increased risk of injury and consider wearing an up-to-standard riding hat while handling your horse
  • Assess your horse’s diet, and reduce energy intake according to the reduced levels of exercise you may be providing
  • Take advantage of feed, hay and bedding suppliers who offer a delivery service, and liaise with them closely to ensure that their service isn’t impacted. Make provision of essential supplies so you are prepared in the event of a shortage
  • Limit the number of visitors to the yard, and ask that those who do visit closely follow hygiene and social distancing guidance

Leaving the yard

  • Keep your visit timely and avoid lingering – only carry out what’s necessary to ensure your horse’s welfare and wellbeing
  • Wash hands thoroughly before leaving the yard
  • If you have hand sanitiser that’s at least 60% alcohol, use it to clean your hands when you get into your car

Arriving home

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap straight away
  • Have a specific ‘yard visit’ towel to dry your hands on
  • Get changed immediately into clean, fresh clothes

If you keep your horse(s) at home, many of these points, particularly around hygiene and clothing, should be observed.

Prepare for self-isolation

Make a plan with your yard owner or manager, or your fellow liveries, for what will happen if you’re unable to get to the yard. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or if somebody in your household does, even if they’re only mild, do not visit your horse. You will need to self-isolate for at least seven days or 14 in a shared household. If you have no alternative and it’s a question of welfare, you can attend to your horse but only as a last resort and within your own property boundaries when riding.

Riding

There is currently no Government guidance that we are aware of in relation to riding, so it is down to you to decide whether this is necessary. Given that health services are currently stretched to capacity, it’s sensible to avoid any activities that carry an increased risk of injury, such as jumping, fast work and riding a young, fresh or spooky horse. If you must hack out, be mindful of other people walking, cycling and running, and keep the two-metre distance. Lungeing, in-hand work and turn-out are good alternatives to ridden exercise.

We continue to strongly recommend against any unnecessary travel, which includes transporting your horse for anything other than emergency care. Travel to competition or training venues, having a coach travel to your yard, having a lesson at a riding centre or riding in large groups is not advised.

Equine professionals

Check in with your vet regarding their current policy for non-essential or non-emergency visits, which may include booster vaccinations. The British Equestrian Veterinary Association has advised its members to focus on emergency treatment at present. Farriers are permitted to work, but it’s best to contact them before any visit to discuss precautionary measures so you’re both ready for them.

Regular updates

The situation changes regularly so the guidance above is correct at the time of publication. We’ll endeavour to keep everyone as up to date as possible as any new information is made public. Please follow the GOV.UK website for all the latest general advice.

Other helpful links

British Horse Society

World Horse Welfare

British Grooms Association

Equestrian Employers Association


Posted on March 24th, 2020

SEIB Insurance Brokers £50K charity Awards go virtual

The 2020 running of the SEIB Insurance Brokers Giving Awards will now take place online. Over £50,000 will be presented to good causes at the SEIB Giving ‘Virtual’ Awards through the company’s social media channels. Each of the 10 shortlisted charities will get their moment in the spotlight, although online, to help celebrate the tremendous work that they do.

The virtual awards will start Monday 30th March on the SEIB Insurance Brokers Facebook page and two prizes will be presented each day until the 3rd April, one at 1.00pm and the other at 1.30pm. There will be a daily draw throughout the week to determine which prizes will be presented each day. The virtual prize presentations will be accompanied by pre-recorded video footage about each charity.

SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie said: “As soon as we realized it was not going to be possible to hold our charity awards in London on the 20th March, we set about finding a way in which we could truly celebrate the amazing work undertaken by each of our 10 shortlisted charities. Everyone has pulled out all the stops to move the awards online and I am very grateful to the team and the charities for their support.”

Traditionally the grants presented to the winning charities at the SEIB Giving Awards had to be spent on a capital investment project. However, SEIB understands how difficult it will be for charities to operate this year and on this occasion the money may be used towards running costs to keep the charities going.

To watch – and take part in – the SEIB Virtual Giving Awards please visit www.facebook.com/seibltd. The awards will be live at 1pm and 1.30pm each day of the week commencing 30th March.

The ten finalist charities and their projects for 2020 are:

Bransby Horses – Keeping horses safe. Following devastating flooding, Bransby needs to adjust by moving 59 horses to a new site. The SEIB grant would help purchase an all-terrain-vehicle and a mobile stable unit for the new site.

Doris Banham Dog Rescue – Thermal kennels to give pound dogs their last chance to live. The SEIB grant would finance the build of a block of 10 thermal kennels to give a final chance for dogs due for euthanasia who have been abandoned at council pounds or brought in to be put to sleep at veterinary surgeries.

Gaddesden Place RDA – Mechanical horse for physical and psychological therapy. The purchase of the mechanical horse with the SEIB grant money would increase the number of riders participating in a beneficial RDA activity without needing more ponies or grazing.

Hope Pastures – A centre of excellence for laminitis prevention and recovery. The SEIB grant would be used to create a dedicated unit to show-case best practice for laminitis in a practical way and pass on expertise to others.

Hope Rescue – Sensory garden project. The garden is planned to help rescue dogs and volunteers to get out and play and interact with one another. The SEIB grant would be used to purchase fencing for the garden.

Once Upon A Smile – Facilities to provide emotional support to bereaved families.  The SEIB grant would be used for the charity’s new Sidley House. It would finance lego therapy, new flooring, a sound proof room and to update the toilet facilities.

Redwings – Purpose built donkey barn. The existing donkey barn at Redwings is 30 years old and set for demolition. The SEIB Grant would be used for a new donkey facility to support the health and welfare needs of the donkeys.

South Essex Wildlife Hospital – Wildlife rehabilitation unit. The hospital sees around 10,000 animals each year and aims to provide a specialist facility for an increasing number of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife.

The Flicka Foundation – Vital donkey transport vehicle. The charity’s current vehicle has high mileage, is unreliable and costly to repair. The SEIB grant would be used to purchase a second-hand, custom converted horse lorry.

The Horse Trust – Multi use large animal rescue education unit. The charity currently delivers award-winning training for emergency responders, providing them with the skills needed to deal with horses during frightening and life-threatening situations. The new unit would allow for courses to be delivered across the country.

Always known for ‘putting something back’, SEIB is a commercial business with a charitable purpose. The company insures numerous charities and not for profit organisations. SEIB is an independent broker but is ultimately owned by a charity called the Allchurches Trust Limited and profits are used for good causes.

To find out more about each of the finalists and their projects please visit: www.seib.co.uk/giving


Posted on March 23rd, 2020

Remus Horse Sanctuary Concerns for Animals

The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) is putting a major strain on local, national and global resources. At Remus Horse Sanctuary in Essex, the stark reality – so far – is that all fundraising events have been cancelled and many of the older volunteers have had to stand down. The charity is now reliant on a small group of yard staff maintaining their own health to continue to feed and care for the animals residing at the Sanctuary.

Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary, said: “We are all living through very difficult times at the moment due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  Its impact is showing in all aspects of life and business and I want to offer my well wishes for everyone’s health and wellbeing.”

Whilst the position surrounding Coronavirus changes daily and continues to create fear and anxiety around the world, the horse welfare crisis in this country also remains unchecked. In fact, many more animals will likely be in need of help and rescue.

From a financial perspective this puts the charity in a very worrying position. Not least, because the Government advice of social isolation also means no fundraising, whether on the street or as a result of organised events, and yet Remus still have animals at the Sanctuary to feed and care for. The staff are hoping that its suppliers can still supply the quantities of feed, hay and straw required.

Many larger charities may be able to withstand this type of business interruption, but Remus simply don’t have the reserves to do so – financially or otherwise – especially given even the experts can’t accurately forecast how long this situation might continue.

Ms Burton commented, “It’s strange here, everything goes on as normal and the animals still have their same set routine and are oblivious to what’s going on around them. Thankfully they are all in good health.”

The horse welfare charity is calling on people everywhere to help by making a donation to the Sanctuary or by setting up a monthly standing order. Remus’ rescued animals need help and support now more than at any other time. Any help that can be offered will be gratefully received by the charity.

Ms Burton said, “I know times are hard for everyone at the moment but if you can do something to help us during the coming months, we really would appreciate it. With your help and support we will get through this and come out the other side.”

 Remus Horse Sanctuary offer many ways to aid donations, as listed on their website at www.remussanctuary.org/donate.

For further information about the charity, visit www.remussanctuary.org or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.


Posted on March 20th, 2020

An announcement from the Game Fair Team…

OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

It is with immense sadness and regret that we have to inform you that The East Anglian Game & Country Fair, due to take place at Euston Estate on Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th April 2020 will no longer be able to go ahead due to the potential risk of spreading the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We have been following the UK Government’s daily briefings very closely, and were hopeful that the rapidly changing unprecedented situation in which we all find ourselves would be much improved by the time of the show (still 5 weeks away) but this now seems unlikely.

Part of the frustrations we all feel is the not knowing but we all must do our best to look after one another, stay safe and follow the advice that we are given, based on the science and expert opinion.

We would like to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors, contributors and sponsors for their continued support of the show and we very much look forward to having even longer to plan a fantastic show for you all at Euston Estate on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th April 2021.

We will be contacting all of our exhibitors and customers shortly, informing them of how we propose to look after them going forward. We are a very small team so please be patient whilst we put plans into action.


Posted on March 20th, 2020

Cancellation of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show 2020

OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

We have been closely monitoring the status of the COVID-19 pandemic as events have unfolded Nationally and Internationally.  Following the Government public health guidance regarding social distancing, and the termination of non-essential travel, together with the statement that emergency services have been withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings, it is clear that events of this scale pose far too great a risk to continue for the foreseeable future.

We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show which was due to take place from 9th – 14th June.

We would like to acknowledge that many riders, visitors and supporters will be disappointed by this news, and would like to reassure everyone that we are totally committed to planning a spectacular event for next year.

All pre-purchased tickets and Hospitality will be refunded in full.  Online bookings will be automatically processed within 28 working days.  If you booked Hospitality via our office, our team will be in touch shortly.

Nina Barbour said: “Whilst we are very disappointed, our focus is to support the huge efforts being made by the government to keep us all safe.  The Bolesworth Elite Yearling Auction was also due to take place at Bolesworth on Friday 12th June.  We are currently evaluating the feasibility of running this as an online auction on a similar date, and are committed to supporting the industry in any way that we can under the current challenging circumstances.”

“We have been closely monitoring the status of the COVID-19 pandemic as events have unfolded Nationally and Internationally.  Following the Government public health guidance regarding social distancing, and the termination of non-essential travel, together with the statement that emergency services have been withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings, it is clear that events of this scale pose far too great a risk to continue for the foreseeable future.

“We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.

“We would like to acknowledge that many riders, visitors and supporters will be disappointed by this news, and would like to reassure everyone that we are totally committed to planning a spectacular event for next year.

“All pre-purchased tickets and Hospitality will be refunded in full.  Online bookings will be automatically processed within 28 working days.  If you booked Hospitality via our office, our team will be in touch shortly.”


Posted on March 20th, 2020

Bransby Horses closes to visitors as a precaution amid UK coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Lincolnshire-based equine charity, Bransby Horses, has decided to close its site to visitors at 4pm Friday 20th March for the foreseeable future and cancel all spring activities, as a precaution in light of the continually evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The site in Bransby, which welcomes thousands of visitors each year, will close to visitors but remain operational, so they can continue to care for the 362 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules living on site. Another 60 equines live at their second site at Barlings but this additional site isn’t open to visitors.

Jo Snell, CEO at Bransby Horses said:

“This really is a period of uncertainty for many people across the UK, with heavy flooding during the winter and now the coronavirus pandemic. Like many, we have been impacted too and it is important we prioritise the health and safety of our staff, visitors and equines.”

“Not only do we want to do our bit by limiting gatherings of people here but we need to face the very real possibility that some of our staff may need to self-isolate, meaning we have to work with a slim team on the ground. Some of our staff and visitors are vulnerable and we need to consider this in all decision-making. We want to make the best decision for them.”

“It’s been a hard few months, with the flooding and now the coronavirus outbreak but we are putting plans in place to do what we can to protect our staff and supporters and have the best chance of continuing to be able to look after our animals at this uncertain time.”

The Charity will be continuing to share news, stories and updates on social media throughout the closure, so supporters can follow the progress of the Charity. Yard teams and office teams will continue to keep the Charity functioning over the next few weeks, following the guidelines the Government have issued. In April, the situation will be re-evaluated and the site will only reopen if guidelines from the Government confirm this is the best course of action at that time.

Jo Snell added:

“Our horses, ponies, donkeys and mules will continue to receive the high quality of care we are known for providing and our many fosterers across the UK will continue to receive support from our foster liaison team. It may not be business as normal but we have responsibilities to our people and our animals, which we must continue to look after.”

Bransby Horses have been facing the most challenging times since serious flooding of their land, due to heavy rainfall, in 2019. During the flooding, an additional £200,000 was needed to urgently move some of the equines from the Bransby site to their site at Barlings, and set up temporary facilities there. This spring, as coronavirus hits the UK, like many organisations, the charity is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. More than 180 people work for the charity, across two sites in Lincolnshire. The site is usually open 362 days per year, 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm and only usually closes Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. For more information about Bransby Horses and the work they do, visitwww.bransbyhorses.co.uk or find them on Facebook as ‘Bransby Horses – Rescue and Welfare’.