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22 August 2016
"Without horseytalk we might as well all dig a hole and jump into it."
- Maureen Comber
Stables boss was killed by one of her horses when it bolted and pulled a rope around her neck before dragging her 450ft across a field
- Kathryn Bull was an experienced rider and died instantly of broken neck
- The 39-year-old from Nottinghamshire spent her life with horses
- Her husband of 14 years said 'I wouldTRADE everything to say goodbye'
I just love the first page of horseytalk
Tony Barnett has done amazingly with the forestry commission fight
Please pass my congratulations to him
This sign is illegal
Equestrians are entitled to use this route - legally.
There are thousands of other illegal signs all over the country banning equestrians.
THEY MUST BE REMOVED
Thousands of wild mountain horses immortalised in famous Man From Snowy River poem to be shot under controversial plan
- Government scheme will see 6,000 brumbies become 600 in 20 years
- Australian wild horses feature in famous Man From Snowy River poem
- Animals will be shot, trapped or subjected to fertility control measures
The BHS and Maureen Comber
How the BHS treats somebody who has been a loyal, dedicated and hard-working member for over 50 years.
It is now 781 days since the BHS shamefully dismissed Maureen Comber after more than 50-years of dedicated and hard-working service.
Still no regret.
Still no sympathy.
Still no apology.
What is more they have still not paid her back the outstanding money they owe her.
How long can the BHS continue to behave in this disgraceful manner?
Other hard-working BHS members and volunteers beware. This is obviously the way you are going to be treated one day.
Says Steve McCarron
What is the point of the OPEN SPACES SOCIETY if it does not act to preserve open spaces ..............
COMEBACK KING SKELTON SCOOPS BRITAIN'S FIRST OLYMPIC INDIVIDUAL JUMPING GOLD
Nick Skelton made Olympic history when becoming the first ever British rider to win individual Jumping gold at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro today. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)
He broke his neck in a fall 16 years ago, he has a replacement hip, he's 58 years old, competing at his seventh Olympic Games and he was riding a horse that has been struggling with injury for over two years, but Nick Skelton made Olympic history when becoming the first ever British rider to win individual Jumping gold at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro today.
In a thrilling finale to an extraordinary two weeks of equestrian sport, the man who helped claim his country's first Olympic team Jumping medals – and golden ones at that – for 60 years in London (GBR) four years ago, simply galloped the rest into the ground when pace-setter in a third-round jump-off against the clock with Big Star.
Sweden's Peder Fredricson and the brilliant All In claimed silver when producing the only other fault-free performance in the closing stages, while Canada's Eric Lamaze took the bronze when posting the fastest time but leaving a fence on the floor with Fine Lady.
Skelton is not a man known for displays of emotion, but he couldn't hold back the tears when he climbed onto the podium to receive the ultimate sporting accolade. And the response of his fellow-riders showed just how respected he is, 2008 Olympic champion Lamaze grinning as though he was taking the gold himself as he congratulated the British rider with an enormous hug.
"I've been in this sport a long, long time and to win this at my age makes me so happy, I always wanted to do it and nearly did it in London", Skelton said, referring to his fifth-place finish in 2012.
He wasn't the only tearful athlete this afternoon, world and European double-champion Jeroen Dubbeldam from The Netherlands was distraught after picking up a time fault in the second round when clearing the line 0.02 seconds over the time with Zenith.
Reflecting the extraordinary quality of the horse-and-rider combinations at these Games, a total of 13 went clear over the Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge's first-round track and six managed to keep a clean sheet second time out.
And the passionate fans roared their approval from the stands, joined by plenty of VIPs who flocked to see equestrian sport at its very best, including the Dutch royal family, the King and Queen of Sweden, members of the Qatari royal household, former IOC President Jacques Rogge, IOC members Gerardo Werthein and Denis Oswald, and IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper.
First to go in jump-off for the medals, the equestrian equivalent of a penalty shoot-out, Skelton decided "to go as fast as I could but be safe and not take risks, he's a quick horse anyway. I wanted to put pressure on everyone else and I had luck on my side", he explained afterwards. As it happened his target time of 42.82 seconds would prove unbeatable.
This final course began with a wall topped by a pole, and Steve Guerdat's dream of a back-to-back Olympic double with his gelding Nino des Buissonnets was shattered when this toppled. He raced on to break the beam in 43.08 seconds, and when Qatar's Sheikh Ali Al Thani (First Devision) and America's Kent Farrington (Voyeur) both faulted twice it seemed a medal might still be within the Swiss star's grasp. But then Sweden's Peder Fredricson steered All In home and clear in 43.35 seconds to up the stakes and definitely slot into a medal position with just one left to go.
Canada's Eric Lamaze is one of the most feared opponents in the sport, and with his mare Fine Lady in spectacular form from the outset last Sunday, he was leading the individual standings until all 35 qualified riders reverted to zero status on this final morning. Setting off at a blistering pace he was clearly in the lead coming to the second-last, but a tiny slip as he made a tight turn to angle this vertical left his mare off-balance and she clipped the top rail to gallop on home in 42.09 seconds with four faults on her scoresheet.
"My biggest nerves of the Games was waiting for the others to go in the jump-off", Skelton admitted. "I didn't look too hard, I walked around and took an odd look but I had to watch Eric and he made me sweat for a minute!"
He can hardly believe that the horse that carried him to that glorious team victory on home turf four years ago has managed to overcome adversity and injury to do it all again for the individual title.
"Today was amazing", Skelton said. "Big Star has been a bit rusty. The last time he won was in Aachen (GER) in 2013 and it's taken two years to get him back on track again. A lot of people put a lot of time into bringing him back. He's always been amazing, he wants to do it all and he has all the right attributes - he's the best horse I've ever had and the best I'm ever likely to have. I'm so pleased for him. On his way back we nursed him and nursed him and today he came good for me."
Skelton is a pretty tough cookie himself. The courage and tenacity he showed in his own recovery after breaking his neck in a fall in 2000, retiring in 2001 and then changing his mind the following year, and the pain he battles with on an ongoing basis might be enough to put a stop to most competitive careers. He needed a set of steps to climb back into the saddle after the medal ceremony. "I've got chronic back pain so getting legged up is painful and I have a metal hip on my left side so I only get on like this." But the tearful smile said it all.
Lamaze put it into perspective. "The Olympics is the most difficult challenge in our sport, we try our hardest to do our best. Anybody in that jump-off deserved a medal. Most of us go to shows every week and you can win a big Grand Prix, but an Olympic medal - well that stays with you forever!"
"It's pretty emotional for all my team, my groom Mark has been in my team for 30 years, he works with this horse nine hours a day. My two boys (his sons) are at home, they're both very busy but I spoke with them on the phone and they're really happy. I have to thank Laura (his partner, American rider Laura Kraut) too, she's been a great help.
"I was surprised there were so many clears in the first round, 13 is a lot and six in the jump-off is a lot - you've got to feel for the riders that finished fourth, fifth and sixth.
"I'm not going to stop riding now, the only horse I ride is Big Star and when he stops I'll stop."
THE BEST BRITISH HORSE RACINGS
Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports of all time.
As it was very popular with the royalty of British society, it soon earned the title of "Sport of Kings". With racing taking place in Britain all year, there is always some interesting top-notch events not to be missed.
No matter whether you just want to keep yourself updated or bet on races, by registering at betway.com, you will find everything you need to know about horse racings and many other kinds of sport betting.
This prestigious bookmaker also rewards its players from the first time they start wagering.
Temporary. What does it mean?
Different inspectors have different meanings
For Chailey, it was 20-years.
For Chobham, it was six-months.
For Odiham, it was five-years x twice ......... read more
Meet the man who composed the music
Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro after being awarded her gold medal
The composer behind the music that helped Charlotte Dujardin win her third Olympic gold medal had admitted the performance was "nerve-racking" to watch.
Tom Hunt used Brazilian beats for the piece for the individual dressage event in Rio - having put together rousing British themes like Land of Hope and Glory for Dujardin's London 2012 victory.
He told BBC Radio 4's Front Row he was "very surprised" other artists did not take the same approach of using the host country as inspiration - and admitted he is "not specifically horsey" himself.
Hunt, who has been working with Dujardin since 2010, said of his introduction to the world of composing music for horses: "I studied music at university and kind of fell into it, like a fluke really.Media captionComposer tells how he wrote the music for Charlotte Dujardin's winning routine in Rio
"I saw some dressage to music on television. I personally thought that the music could fit better to the horses, so my idea was to compose original music for the riders - and that was the starting point for me."
He said it was "always a good experience" working with Dujardin - and her horse Valegro - as "she knows exactly what she wants and has a keen ear for detail".
"The first watch through was pretty stressful," Hunt said of Dujardin's most recent gold medal-winning performance.
"There was so much detail going on and I just hoped she could have a clean test and clean run through. So many factors have to come together.
"It was very nerve-racking to watch. But she actually rode it perfectly."
Tom Hunt with Charlotte Dujardin
The composition process began with Hunt watching film of Dujardin's choreography.
He said they were clear from the outset that they wanted to do Brazilian music for the Rio Games. "The London Games went so well celebrating British music, so it seemed the obvious thing to do."
He added: "I would have thought there would be more Brazilian music out there. It was probably good, because it meant our music stood out more.
"Maybe it will be a trend that does come eventually."
"I would recommend loaning a BTRC horse, because all the horses have already been assessed and the team at the centre try to match the rider's ability and expectations for the horse."
We talk to Charlotte Bowery about her experience after loaning Leopard Rock and Right You Right from the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre.
With a keen interest in dressage and showing, Charlotte Bowery stumbled upon two hidden treasures, Leopard Rock and Right You Are whilst helping at the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre ........read more
THE MOST RECOGNISABLE RUNNING SHOES IN THE OLYMPICS AREN'T ON USAIN BOLT'S FEET
The most recognisable brand of running shoes, and definitely the fastest running shoes in the Olympic movement are not on the track and field athletes in Rio 2016. They're the shoes on the only four-legged athletes at the Games - the horses! Whether it's heels up in Europe to keep the good luck in, or heels down in Asia to stop the bad luck dropping in, the horseshoe is a universal sign of good luck. And the hardest working shoe fitters in Rio are the team of British and Brazilian farriers working round the clock to keep the well-heeled equine athletes well-shod at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro.
Just like their human counterparts, the equine athletes have the choice of hand-made shoes and off-the-shelf versions, but the Olympic horses here in Rio have bespoke shoes to help them perform at the very highest level. These are shoes with a variety of styles: flat shoes, tapered shoes, heart-bar shoes that encase the entire foot, and shoes with studs for grip. And some even come with gel pads for cushioned comfort.
There's no tying laces for these athletes. Their shoes, which are made of either iron or aluminium, are nailed on. To achieve the ultimate equine fit, the shoe is heated to a red-hot 800DEGREES before being forged on the anvil to the correct shape. When the temperature of the shoe has dropped, it's pressed onto the foot and, once the fit is optimal, the shoe is quenched in a bucket of water to cool it down. Then it's nailed onto the insensitive hoof, the equivalent of a 10mm thick toenail. A pedicure and shoe-fitting in one package! There's also a glue-on aluminium option, using a special glue that sets in two minutes. This requires fast, accurate work and is a really specialisedJOB. One of the horses that was re-shod by the Olympic farriery team using this method went on to win gold!
And then there are apparently decorative effects that actually play an important role, like copper-coated anti-microbial nails which tackle the equine equivalent of athlete's foot. Just like track and field athletes or footballers, when grip is crucial, studded shoes are the only answer. And for horses, there's a huge variety of different lengths and shapes of studs for different ground conditions. According to the Rio 2016 Lead Farrier Jim Blurton, "stud selection is nearly as important as tyre selection for Formula 1".
Former world champion Blurton (57), a third-generation farrier from Wales (GBR), heads up a five-man British team that also includes Jim's right-hand man Ben Benson (36), himself a second-generation farrier, who will take over as lead farrier for next month's Paralympics. Both of them worked at the London 2012 Games, along with forge general manager Emma Cornish (41). The British side of the team is completed by Ed Dailly (26) and Craig D'Arcy (48) and Dean Bland (45).
And overseeing them all is Luiz Tenorio (44), the man in charge of Farrier Services Coordination for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tenorio, who designed and equipped the Rio 2016 forge, is a first-generation farrier born and bred in Rio de Janeiro. He's responsible for making sure that wherever there's a horse there's a farrier ready to step in if a shoe needs to be replaced, even moments before they're due onto the field of play.
"The major players come with their own farriers", Blurton says. "All the Olympic horses come with a spare set of pre-fitted shoes so that if they lose one the team can produce a shoe that already fits. In London 2012 we had a horse that lost a shoe in the warm-up 10 minutes before it was due to jump. We had the shoe back on in seven minutes, that's the equivalent of a 3.5 second pitstop!"
Tenorio has also hand-selected the Brazilian team that includes 13 volunteer farriers. As part of the Games' legacy programme, each day's schedule includes lectures and one-on-one training sessions, allowing the less-experienced Brazilian farriers to add to their knowledge bank, particularly about remedial shoeing.
This is a major legacy for Brazil, but there's also a global legacy, as the national team farriers and the Rio 2016 team meet up in the forge on an almost daily basis to discuss changes within the industry. As the sport evolves, horse-breeding is also evolving to produce more athletic horses, which in turn puts more demands on their shoes and on the farriers, so this meeting of minds involves knowledge-exchange at the highest level.
Farriery is an incredibly physicalJOB dealing with an animal weighing between 500 and 600 kilograms and with a mind of its own. So what about gender equality in an industry servicing a sport which, uniquely in the Olympic movement, sees male and female athletes competing for the same medals? There are females working as farriers, although not as many as their male counterparts, and what they may lack in physical strength they make up for in agility and ability to get on with temperamental horses.
And what about injuries? "I've had three broken legs and I've broken my back, but none of those were from shoeing horses", Jim Blurton says. "Broken toes are part of the job, and you get backache from the very first day you start shoeing horses. You're constantly bent over, but you adapt and you get extremely strong back and arm muscles! But there's incredible job satisfaction. I see farriers as legal equine performance enhancers."
Frensham Common, rrey
Official. The National Trust does not own or have any other interest on the common land apart from the burial mounds .............. read more
Artist creates unicorn sculpture from beer cans
Artist Tom Hiscocks used 150 used cans of Fosters to create his unicorn sculpture
An artist with a love for recycling, has created a sculpture of a unicorn out of 150 used beer cans.
Tom Hiscocks, who is based in Pewsey, Wiltshire began using Fosters cans to create art in 2010 and his work has been sold for charity.
He said the unicorn is "the size of a large horse, at 16 hands high" and was fashioned using a pair of tin scissors.
The work is titled "Unicorn of France" and was built in England but is being displayed in Provence.
"The blue of Fosters is rather nice and different colours fade at different rates," added Mr Hiscocks.
"The man at the council offices in the Isle of Wight said that if they stopped adopting/resurfacing bridle paths, the council would need to close down that department" - Tony Barnett
Says Sandra Smith
The speed required to ensure that a gate closes is greater than the velocity required to amputate a finger, crush a child or the head of a dog, trap a push or wheelchair, or – literally - tear a hole in the side of a horse ......... read more
UK Government Urged to Stop Live Long-distance Transport of Horses Across Europe to Slaughter
Leading international charity, World Horse Welfare, is gathering public support as it lobbies the UK government to join many other European countries in calling for a review of the Animal Transport Regulation under which livestock, including horses, destined for slaughter are transported live for days on end with little food, water or rest.
Several European member states including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark publicly support a change to the Transport Regulation (1/2005) which governs these long-distance journeys -- but the UK has not yet given its support and World Horse Welfare believes it should whilst we still remain in the EU.
Since World Horse Welfare began in 1927, the charity has been campaigning to put a stop to the needless long-distance journeys of horses to slaughter and is asking supporters to contact Farming Minister, George Eustice, and Rural Affairs and Biosecurity Minister, Lord Gardiner, urging them to add Britain's support to the debate and help end the practice which is still endured by more than 50,000 horses every year.
In part as a result of World Horse Welfare's campaigning, there has already been important progress made with more horses now being transported in lorries with suitable partitions that reduce injuries and deaths – and according to official figures, the number of horses transported over long distances has dropped from 165,000 in 2001 to 54,000 in 2012, but more still needs to be done.
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said:
"While the UK can still influence laws in Europe that affect the welfare of millions of animals including tens of thousands of horses, it should use this opportunity to live up to its values and call for changes to this outdated legislation. The rules now cause immense agony and do not reflect current scientific evidence which shows that horse health and welfare deteriorate on long journeys, especially in poor conditions.
"Now is the time for our supporters and all those who care about horses to put their emotion into action and write to our Government now while they can still make a real difference."
The current transport regulation governs the transport of 1 billion poultry and 37 million cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and equines who are all transported live within and outside Europe each year to slaughter, enduring long, arduous journeys and arriving at their destination weak, injured and exhausted.
A revision of the transport regulation could reduce maximum journey times and aim to improve the quality of transport for animals going to slaughter.
Says Steve Yandall
Grazing is always used as an excuse for fencing And fencing creates problems for riders read more
Says Adrienne Yentis
A friend of mine recently was riding on the heath
and she came across a group of cattle strung out across the bridlepath with no way through – the only way off was to turn round. Fortunately her horse
remained calm throughout. But you can imagine how a nervous horse might react ........... read more
If animals ran the Olympics
Says Linda Wright
We moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more
Phew - he did it!
I have been given an ASBO by the Hampshire County Council for standing up for riders rights.
How many other people have been silenced by Hampshire County Council? ........... read more
A New Lease Of Life For Bonito
and The Family He Supports
In Guatemala, Guillermo Canox and his horse Bonito live in the Community of Panimaquin in San Andres Itzapa. Bonito and Guillermo work long, gruelling hours to provide for Guillermo's family. When we met him, Bonito was suffering from open wounds on his back caused by a poorly-made pack saddle.
Guillermo tells us:
"From very early in the morning I use Bonito to carry firewood and water to my crops. In the afternoon I use him to carry feed for my cow. Bonito supports all of our family. He is responsible for the lives of five people. My wife and I, our two daughters and one son The firewood he carries heats our home and allows us to cook our meals. By bringing feed to the other animals and taking water to my crops, we can have corn and beans to eat throughout the year.
"Without Bonito I would need to carry my own pack of firewood. As I am getting older that is something that I would not be able to do leaving a great burden for my wife, daughters and son. Without my horse I would need to work outside of my community working for other people and I would be away from my family and would struggle to provide for them.
"In our community, horses often suffer from malnutrition (poor body condition); back lesions; lameness and colic problems. Since World Horse Welfare's project begun, it has really helped me by poviding advice and services close to my home. I know that I can take my horse to the local farrier or saddler and they will look after him. I feel very much at ease now that I know that my horse will have better care for his hooves and better equipment.
"World Horse Welfare were able to provide me for a new model of pack saddle that I could afford. The new does not cause any injuries to my horse and helps him carry better the different loads. The wound Bonito had on his back has now completely healed and he works in comfort. That wouldn't have happened without World Horse Welfaree.
"Horses are essential to all of us here in the communities, if we don't have them we don´t eat and we can't take good care of our crops and other animals. We are very happy to have a project that can teach us and provides us with services that will always be here to support all of us as equine owners. I know that our local farriers, saddlers and community advisers that have been trained by the project are very good people and will always be here to help us."
A horse that thinks it's a hippo
GATES OR STILE’S WILL ONLY BE LAWFUL AS LONG AS THE REASONS FOR THE INSTALLATIONS ARE SERVING THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THEY WERE INTENDED.
ANY STOPPING UP OR CLOSING OFF OF RIGHTS OF WAY SHOULD BE CHALLENGED FOR APPROVAL/CONSENT FROM THE APPROPRIATE MINISTER OF THE CROWN ........... read more
What would your horse do if he saw this?
We moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more
Making the Most of Fibre
With the arrival of autumn and as we stare winter in the face, the plentiful grazing of summer will be a distant memory. As the digestive system is so reliant on fibre to function efficiently, ensuring a diet that is high in fibre is essential at this time of year.
For a large animal, the horse's digestive system is incredibly sensitive, and good digestive health greatly impacts the overall health, wellbeing and performance of a horse.
A horse's diet should always be based on fibre regardless of their workload and discipline, as they require a minimum amount of fibre to mirror the natural diet they would have consumed in the wild, as well as satisfy their natural desire to chew.
Fibre should make up at least 60% of the horses total rations with other concentrate feeds being considered as an added extra when energy levels need to be increased, such as in the case of a racehorse.
During the winter months horses that are stabled can sometimes be forced to endure periods of time without forage when they have consumed their rations.
Fibre is usually fed in the form of grazed grass, conserved forage, such as hay or haylage and is fermented by micro-organisms (mainly bacteria) to produce volatile fatty acids, an energy source for the horse, in the caecum and colon.
If there is insufficient fibre reaching the hindgut, as can be the case in stabled horses, this delicate microbial ecosystem can be upset, resulting in digestive disturbances, such as acidosis (mainly from excess lactic acid) and colic.
The Lifeforce Range from Alltech has been tailored to meet the needs of horses at every stage of life from the early developmental stages as a foal, through the demands of competition, and well into retirement.
The Range consists of three all natural, daily nutritional supplements, each specialized supplement delivers the right balance of natural ingredients to optimize digestive health for horses of a specific lifestyle, providing an effective way of maintaining a healthy horse.
For further information visit www.lifeforcehorse.co.uk or telephone 01780 764512
Says Naomi Smith
It is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more
Nick Skelton - our oldest gold medal winner since 1908
Why shouldn't alligators have a birthday party ?.
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