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Non-jumping option for BHS exams?

BHS exam
BHS exam

The British Horse Society (BHS) is considering allowing candidates to specialise by providing a non-jumping option as part of “extensive consultation” into its exam system.

The suggestion is one that has come from feedback provided during the consultation which has been running for nine months and is part of a “modernisation of the whole education system”.

The BHS said the initiative, which has been running since January, has involved more than 2,000 people in the industry.

A spokesman said: “As the UK’s largest equine examination establishment, the BHS is dedicated to constantly improving its standards.

“The BHS believes the thousands of people who take its exams every year have a right to expect the highest standards.

All education systems need to review their procedures constantly in order to modernise and improve. The BHS is no different.”

The society is now entering a “more in-depth phase” of consultation involving focus groups made up of industry professionals and those participating in exams.

The spokeman added: “The aim is to give all people with BHS qualifications the practical skills required to work in the industry. The society wants all training to be an ongoing development for everybody in the industry, whether recreational or professional.

“The BHS will utilise important insight from the consultation to shape the education system going forward, with a view to having the revised system in place by 2017.”

One trainer told H&H she felt candidates should be able to specialise beyond the BHSAI qualification, and be able to omit the jumping requirement of the riding exam should they solely want to teach dressage.

A spokesman said this suggestion “reflected feedback we are receiving from the consultation” and that a non-jumping option would be “explored”.

BHS director of education Alex Copeland added: “We take our exam system very seriously.

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“We know we need to modernise and this is precisely why we began this process consulting people from across the industry.

We are here to listen and here to help the people who use our services. We are a listening organisation and have an open door policy welcoming all views from industry professionals.

We are passionate about equestrian education and the UK horse industry, and we are determined to remain the world’s most valued equestrian education system, representing every coach, instructor, teacher, rider and groom at every level.”

To submit views, queries and ideas on the exam system, email

Original Source File

New Healthcare Regulations Impose Accessible Technology Requirements

Seyfarth Synopsis: New Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Regulations will require covered entities providing health care programs and services have accessible electronic information technology, including accessible websites.

While we continue to wait for new regulations for the websites of state and local governments, federal agencies and public accommodations, two new regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strongly suggest that health care provider websites must conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA to meet their non-discrimination obligations.

Effective July 18, 2016, a new “Meaningful Access” rule interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Section 1557 Anti-Discrimination requirements will require providers of health care programs and services that receive federal financial assistance comply with new requirements for effective communication (EIT) (including accessible electronic information technology), and physical accessibility.  Because most health care providers do receive federal funds through Medicare reimbursements, this rule has broad coverage.  Effective July 1, 2017, new Medicaid rules will require managed care programs to have (EIT) that complies with “modern accessibility standards,” and impose other effective-communication requirements such as large print and other alternative formats.

Section 1557 of the ACA requires covered entities to ensure that health programs and services provided through EIT be accessible to individuals with disabilities unless doing so would result in undue financial and administrative burdens (in which case the entity must provide the information in an equally accessible alternative format) or a fundamental alteration in the nature of the health program or activity.   HHS did not specify a website accessibility standard in the new rule.   However, the agency said that compliance with accessibility requirements would be “difficult” for covered entities that do not adhere “to standards such as the WCAG 2.0 AA standards or the Section 508 standards,” and “encourages compliance” with these standards. Moreover, recipients of federal funding and State-based Marketplaces” must ensure that their health programs and activities provided through websites comply with the requirements of Title II of the ADA — requirements that are the subject of a pending rulemaking at the Department of Justice.  The Rule also requires providers to give “primary consideration” to the patient or customer’s auxiliary aid or service for communication.

The new Medicaid Rule will require that entities providing managed care programs provide information in a format that is “readily accessible”, which it defines to mean “electronic information and services which comply with modern accessibility standards such as section 508 guidelines, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA and successor versions.”  The agency intends this definition to be more clear, reflect technology advances, and align with the requirements of Section 504, and recommends entities consult the latest section 508 guidelines or WCAG 2.0 AA.

While both rules make reference to the Section 508 standards for accessible websites which has been the standard for federal agency sites for many years, all indicators point to WCAG 2.0 AA as the standard to use when working to improve the accessibility of a website.  The federal government has issued a proposed rule to replace the existing Section 508 standards with WCAG 2.0 AA.  Most experts we deal with consider the Section 508 standards outdated.  WCAG 2.0 AA was developed by a private consortium of experts called the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), and is the website access “standard” in all U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreements. It is also the legal standard for all airline websites covered by the Air Carrier Access Act.  Moreover, DOJ has indicated in its Supplemental Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for state and local government websites that WCAG 2.0 AA should be the legal standard for such websites.

Source Article:

Get tips on improving straightness and leg yield with Spencer Wilton and the Saracen bursary winner *Promotion*

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Sian Barton, who events her former racehorse Kama Night at novice level is the winner of the Saracen Horse Feeds/Horse & Hound Ex Racehorse to Event Horse bursary, and would like to improve her dressage performance with the aim of contesting a one-star event in the autumn.

As part of her bursary, she has a lesson with international dressage rider and trainer Spencer Wilton. She explains that she normally scores in the low 30s in novice events, but would like to get more competitive and achieve scores in the 20s. She has identified exactly what she wants Spencer’s help with.

Watch highlights of the training session where Spencer gives Sian advice on improving straightness, engagement and leg yield:

Watch video

A month ago Kama was assessed by Lizzie Drury, Saracen’s senior nutritionist, who advised using cereal free high energy Re-Leve to help with Kama’s stamina, hydration and to tighten his belly. In addition, she recommended Equi-Jewel, a high fat rice bran supplement to help build his topline.

She watches Kama work in the lesson and then assesses his condition.

Find out how Kama’s ration is assessed and tweaked to further support his energy and stamina for the eventing season:

Watch video

Kama’s New Feed Ration

  • 2 to 2.5 kilos of Enduro-Performance split between two feeds.
  • 250 grams of Equi-Jewel
  • A joint supplement
  • Nine kilos of haylage as before

She will assess Kama again in another month.

“We’re competing soon, so I can’t wait to put the suggested training and new feeding regime into practice.” says Sian.

For an individual feeding plan for your horse from the Saracen Nutrition team – click here and complete the Feed Advice Form


Original Source File

Is this the most chaotic foaling? Filly enters the world during farm inferno


A foal has been born in the chaos of a fire, while bulls and horses ran loose on the yard.

The filly, aptly named Ember, was foaled during a blaze at a farm in Ryhill, South Yorkshire, on 21 June.

Sarah Scott, the owner of the dam, a 13.2hh coloured cob called Mica, only realised her pony was in foal two weeks prior to the birth, having recently bought the mare.

Sarah Hall, whose aunt owns the farm, had been helping with the birth.

“I had a call at 7.45pm saying she was about to foal,” Ms Hall told H&H.

“I shot over to the yard and went into the mare’s stable. A nose and two front feet were out.

“Then I heard shouting and screaming. I saw the smoke and knew there was something wrong.

“I jumped over the mare, ran around the corner and all I could see was a wall of flames.”


Ms Hall ran into the neighbouring barn to let out the nine bulls who were also kept on the farm.

She returned to the stable and found the foal on the floor.

“She was still stuck in her sack, so I got her out and freed her airways,” Ms Hall said.

“Meanwhile the stampede of bulls came out of the barn. A friend was herding them and one ended up in the stable.

“The mare was doing a fabulous job, she didn’t even react. The little baby was like, ‘What’s happening?’

“Next the bulls crashed into the horses’ paddock so they were released too.”

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Meanwhile, firefighters from six forces battled with the flames.

“Gas cylinders were exploding and machinery was crashing around,” Ms Hall said.

“There was a massive diesel tank on the front of the barn — if that had gone up we would have been annihilated.”

The fire destroyed buildings, machinery, hay and straw, but the farm’s 15 horses and nine bulls were not hurt.

“The next day we brought the mare and foal out,” added Ms Hall.

“Ember’s in perfect health and has become a bit of a celebrity and the mare has been superb throughout.”

Original Source File

*Breaking* Uthopia auction update: Carl Hester confirms positive outcome

Carl Hester and Uthopia

The long-running saga of the ownership of the London Olympic gold medal winning horse Uthopia has been resolved.

The horse will remain with his long-time rider Carl Hester at his Gloucestershire base.

“Apologies for the long wait, but it has been worth it,” said Carl. “I can now confirm that Uthopia has been secured and will stay at home where he is much loved.

“Those involved [in the purchase] wish to remain anonymous and I hope everyone will respect that; suffice to say I am enormously grateful to them.”

The sale has attracted huge worldwide interest, with fans clamoring to know who the new owner was after the auction in Northern Ireland on Friday 27 May through Wilsons Auctions.

Carl added: “Thank you all for your support, it has been overwhelming to know so many people care.
“[This is] a very happy ending to a stressful time and will make by birthday celebrations tomorrow extra special!”

The horse was sold for £165,000 but the bidder does not wish to reveal their identity.

Related articles:

In a recent statement from the auction house, they confirmed the “the sale of Uthopia has now been completed”.

The highest bidder on the night and new owner of Uthopia, does not wish to be identified at this time.

“We wish Uthopia and his new owner all the very best for the future. Uthopia has resided at his usual stable yard throughout this entire process.”

Fans of the charismatic 15-year-old son of Metall will be delighted that he is to remain on British soil.

Original Source File

Mark Todd set for eighth Olympics as New Zealand team announced

2012: London Olympics
Mark and NZB Campino are part of the bronze medal-winning team in London, where he finished 12th as an individual

Mark Todd heads the list for New Zealand’s Rio eventing team and will make history as his country’s most senior Olympian.

Rio will be the eighth Olympics for the eventing legend, who has two horses on the list — his London 2012 team bronze medal-winning ride NZB Campino and Leonidas II.

“I am very excited about it,” he told H&H. “I think we have a pretty good team — there are no real weak links. We are a pretty even, strong team and that is going to be our strength.”

He added he will ride Leonidas II at Barbury (9-10 July) and NZB Campino is entered for Aachen (15-16 July), after which the decision will be made about which horse he will take.

The 60-year-old is also set to break his country’s record for its most senior Olympian.

“I don’t think about it really — I don’t feel my age, what are you meant to feel like at my age?” he said.

Joining him on the team are Jonelle Price, Jock Paget and Clarke Johnstone, with Tim Price as travelling reserve. The final horse selection has not yet been revealed.

New Zealand’s individual dressage place at this summer’s Games goes to Julie Brougham on Vom Feinstein.

“It has been an incredibly difficult process for selectors for both dressage and eventing,” said Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout.

“But when selection is difficult, it’s a positive sign for New Zealand’s equestrian sport for the future.

“There were a lot of solid performances at the highest level from our eventers over the past 18 months, with the majority of riders having successful performances on multiple horses.

“For dressage, it has been an exciting time as new levels have been reached by our two high performance combinations (Ms Brougham and John Thompson).

“With such a hard-fought contest for this single place, it was disappointing to not be able to have selected them both.”

Jonelle and Jock were both on the London 2012 team and Clarke won team bronze at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Related articles:

“To have athletes selected who can draw on multiple Olympic medal-winning experiences from previous campaigns is a powerful thing,” added New Zealand Olympic committee CEO Kereyn Smith.

“I would like to congratulate Sir Mark Todd on continuing to raise the bar ahead of his eighth Olympic Games appearance and wish every one of the athletes selected today all the very best in Rio.”

The team riders and their horses are as follows:

  • Mark Todd (NZB Campino or Leonidas II)
  • Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo or Classic Moet)
  • Jock Paget (Clifton Lush)
  • Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation)


  • Tim Price (Bango or Ringwood Sky Boy)

Original Source File

Spooking at buttercups — and other ways your horse always manages to surprise you

There’s one thing that you can count on with horses — they’re predictably unpredictable, whether out on a hack or going cross-country

stable stereotypes

1. You’re galloping around the cross-country…

…To your delight, your horse flies over the huge corner that you were worried about, without the slightest hesitation. Then he dumps you at the (relatively) tiny brush fence you barely bothered looking at when you walked the course. What is that — taking advantage while you’re off guard? Reverse psychology? Your horse’s sense of humour? Who knows!

2. It’s absolutely hammering down with rain…

…You put on your waterproofs and schlep out to the field to bring in your horse, thinking he’ll be delighted to see you and desperate to get into his cosy, dry stable. Nope. He spends the next hour playing a fun game of ‘catch’ with you, slithering happily round his mud-slide of a field, oblivious to the golf ball-sized drops of rain bouncing off his back. You don’t know what you’re cursing more — him, or the British ‘summer!’

3. Your hacks can be a wee bit hairy, to say the least, so you’re dead proud of your boy for walking calmly past a group of evil-eyed hikers, a vicious-looking wheelie bin and a field of murderous cows…

…You’re almost home and totally relaxed, when out of nowhere, you find yourself riding a snorting, backwards-running, rearing rodeo pony. The source of this freakout? A buttercup. Well, it wasn’t there last week, was it?

4. He’s all decked out in his snazzy summer uniform of fly mask and reflective fly rug that makes him look like a weird horse-robot…

…To your enormous surprise, he doesn’t manage to lose/tear this ensemble within the first day of wearing it — it takes him almost a week. Whoop!

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5. You’ve spent days, weeks, months trying to get a straight, collected walk down the centre line and perfect, graceful halt, instead of your normal shamble like a couple of drunks stumbling down the road in search of the offy…

…But as you finish off your dressage test, your boy arches his neck, picks up his feet and pulls off a smart halt that Valegro would be proud of. ‘See, I was listening,’ he tells you telepathically. ‘I was just ignoring you. Until now.’ Better late than never!

Original Source File

AP McCoy ‘very honoured’ to receive knighthood

AP McCoy

AP McCoy received his knighthood for services to horse racing at Buckingham Palace this week (22 June).

The 20-time champion jockey was presented with the honour by Princess Anne.

He said he was “very honoured” to receive the title and dedicated it to all those involved in horse racing.

Sir Tony is the second jockey in history to receive a knighthood, the last being Sir Gordon Richards in 1953.

The 42-year-old jockey retired last year, having ridden 4,348 winners from 17,546 rides, including the 2010 Grand National on Don’t Push It (pictured below).

1 Dont push it

Having dominated the sport for two decades, he rode his last race in front of a sell-out crowd at Sandown Park on 25 April 2015.

“I always dreamed of getting out while I was still performing well. I’m going to miss what I do…. What I did,” he told H&H after his last ride.

The knighthood puts McCoy alongside other sporting greats including Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Steve Redgrave.

Last December, he said he would use his title only among friends.

“They came to the conclusion that Sir Anthony sounded best,” he said.

“It’s only my close friends who I’m going to make call me Sir Anthony. I think everybody else can call me Tony or AP or whatever they like.”

Related articles:

Sir Tony rode his first winner on the Jim Bolger-trained Legal Steps in a Flat race in Ireland aged 17.

When riding for Bolger as an apprentice he broke his leg and by the time it had mended had grown taller, so it was decided he should become a jump jockey.

He began riding in England in 1994 and his first win came at Exeter that year, riding the Gordon Edwards-trained Chickbiddy.

Sir Tony set a new record of 289 winners in the 2001-2002 season, which counts, he has said, as his greatest achievement.

Original Source File

Victoria Pendleton returns with winning ways

From peddle power to horse power – Victoria Pendleton starts her challenge with Betfair to become a jockey.

Victoria Pendleton made her reappearance on a racecourse a winning one in the Countryside Alliance’s charity race at Newmarket yesterday (23 June).

Riding the Lawney Hill-trained Royal Etiquette, Victoria, who lined up against seven other charity riders was delighted with the result: “It was amazing to win here today, and to be asked to take part in the race.”

“I hope the charity money raised will help many people access the countryside through the Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF) charities.

The TCAF administers three charities including Casting For Recovery, which offers healing fly-fishing retreats to ladies who have, or are recovering from breast cancer.

Victoria’s success follows news that a racehorse syndicate has also been named after her.

This week Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (HTR) announced it has launched nine syndicates named after well-known Olympians, who between them won 22 Olympic gold medals.

Sir Mark Todd is another equestrian representative on the list, which includes Sir Steve Redgrave, David Weir and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Up to 20 shares will be available in each syndicate, and the horses are being trained by some of racing’s most prominent trainers including Sir Michael Stoute, John Gosden and Richard Hannon.

The syndicate horses will first be seen on a racecourse in 2017.

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Victoria said: “Horseracing and riding has become a real passion of mine so I am delighted to have a new Highclere syndicate in my name. I can’t wait to see how the horses progress over the next few years.”

The gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist made the headlines earlier this year when she finished in fifth place in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

As part of Betfair’s Switching Saddles Challenge, Victoria rode in her first ever charity race at Newbury on 2 July 2015, four months after she took on the challenge to switch from being a cyclist to become a jockey.

Original Source File

MFHA to host independent investigation into South Herefordshire Hunt’s activities


The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) has announced it will be conducting an independent inquiry into activities that suggest breaches of the Association’s rules have taken place at the South Herefordshire Hunt.

This follows the release of footage by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) taken at the hunt’s kennels in Wormelow, Herefords, by an independent group backed by LACS.

LACS claims the video shows fox cubs being kept in cages in the kennels. It also says that fox carcasses discovered during the undercover filming at the kennels were later removed for examination.

West Mercia Police confirmed they questioned a 37-year-old male and a 27-year-old female from Hereford on 28 May in connection with suspected animal cruelty. Another 37-year-old man from Abergavenny was also later questioned. They have all been released on police bail.

The South Herefordshire Hunt recently confirmed to its members that all salaried staff have been suspended and an internal enquiry launched.

A statement from the MFHA, which represents 186 packs of foxhounds in England, Wales and Scotland, said: “The South Herefordshire hounds are being looked after by other hunts which are members of the Association.

“The inquiry will be chaired by The Rt Hon. Sir John Chadwick — a former Appeal Court Judge — and will include Bill Andrewes, an experienced former master and hunt chairman, and Pauline Tolhurst BVSc, MRVCS, a practising veterinary surgeon.”

Continued below…

The Countryside Alliance said: “The Countryside Alliance is aware of a police investigation involving activities at the South Herefordshire Hunt kennels. We cannot comment on any criminal allegations, but welcome the independent inquiry set up by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The allegations have nothing to do with normal hunting activity, and there is no place for such behaviour in registered hunts.”

A statement from LACS said the footage has been released as part on an ongoing League investigation.

In the statement, LACS CEO Eduardo Goncalves said: “With this evidence in front of them, we hope those administering the law, and the people of the UK, accept once and for all that there is no justification for the cruelty that seeps through every aspect of fox hunting.”

Original Source File