Monthly Archives: February 2018

‘She kicked me square in the head’: rider air-lifted to hospital avoids serious injury

A rider left feeling like she had been “hit by a bus” after her horse reared and fell on her has credited her helmet for saving her life.

Ashburton-based Beth Shimmel was hacking her loan horse Ruby just before Christmas when the accident took place.

Beth was riding with a group on Dartmoor when the usually well-behaved quarter horse Ruby “got a little too excited”.

“As I tried to keep her collected we had a disagreement, and she reared and toppled back on top of me,” said Beth.

“She landed on my pelvis and rolled around on top of me trying to get her footing, leaving me winded and trying to push her off.

“When she finally got up, she stood on the side of my knee and somehow kicked my head.”

Beth was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

“Many scans later I was given the all-clear,” she said.

“The next day I felt like I had been hit by a bus, I was black and blue and had a perfect horse shoe mark on my knee.”

Beth believes her helmet saved her from a far more serious injury.

“I was wearing a Harry Hall hat and I believe that saved my life,” she said.

“She kicked me square in the head just above the peak.

“As riders we always hear about hat safety and why it’s important to wear one. I’ve never ridden without one but never thought I’d find out why it’s so important.

“If it wasn’t for that hat I’d be undergoing some serious surgery. I really believe that hat saved my life. I could be half the person I am today.”

Beth returned to work at Moretonhampstead’s Miniature Pony Centre the following day and was back in the saddle the next week. Ruby was not injured in the fall.

“I don’t blame my mare for what happened, it was excitement that got the better of her,” she told H&H.

“I’m still riding, hasn’t affected me in anyway. I was still very bruised [when she first started riding again] but wanted to get back in the saddle.

“The only thing I have to show for it now is slight muscle trauma on the side of my knee where she stood on me.

“I had one day off work, and although I was a bit slow and couldn’t do certain things like lifting hay bales, I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing.”

Beth is urging other riders always to wear a helmet and to pay attention to its condition and fit.

“I have never ridden without a hat, even if I knew a horse was 100% safe, it’s not worth the risk,” she said.

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“Ruby has never done anything like that before and it just goes to show any horse is capable of doing something silly and injuring the rider.

“She didn’t intend to harm me at all, it was just excitement that got a little out of hand.”

A spokesman for Harry Hall said the company is “always pleased” to hear when its hats or body protectors have done their job and helped keep a rider safe.

“Beth’s hat, the Harry Hall Legend, has been a hugely popular hat for years and of course meets all the current safety standards,” she told H&H.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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‘He’s a little fighter’: exhausted one-eyed colt defies the odds to survive

A pony “hours from death” has been given a new chance in life.

The three-year-old colt, since named Valentino (Tino), was found abandoned in Leeds on 11 February.

A member of the public discovered the coloured youngster collapsed on the side of a footpath and contacted Hope Pastures rescue centre.

Charity workers attended the site alongside RSPCA officers and police.

“After receiving the call from the kind person who was struggling to help him to his hooves, we knew that we needed to attend urgently with our lorry, blankets, feed and water,” said Hope Pastures trustee Kim Pengelly.

“Our hearts broke at the sight we were met with, a young male pony who was extremely underweight and weak and with eyes so badly ulcerated and infected that he was virtually blind.”

The group decided it was in Tino’s interests to be taken into the care of Hope Pastures.

Firefighters had to cut through a locked gate so the charity could drive its lorry as close as possible.

“He was still very wobbly so asking him to walk any distance wasn’t going to be possible,” said Ms Pengelly.

“With some difficulty due to him having limited sight, being weak and unused to being handled, we loaded him into our lorry using positive reinforcement to keep his stress levels to a minimum.”

Once at Hope Pastures Tino was checked by a vet.

“We were very concerned at the severe infection which was showing in his eyes and his nasal discharge,” said Ms Pengelly.

“He was also very sensitive around his head and clearly in pain, suffering scrapes and bruises on his right side from struggling to get up from the ground for so long.

“To our relief his temperature, heart and lungs were normal, and our vet managed to clean his eyes as best they could and apply some dye to check for ulcers.”

Some small ulcers and chronic infection were identified and Tino was put on a course of antibiotics, painkillers and eye drops.

After a brief stay at the sanctuary to recuperate his strength, he was taken to Rainbow Equine Hospital for further treatment.

“He’s come on leaps and bounds,” Ms Pengelly told H&H.

“He had a massive worm burden which we were really worried about, but he’s come out the other side and is doing well.

“His right eye had to be removed but his other eye is fine.

“Initially he was very tentative but he’s really come on and is very friendly. It’s clear he’s a little fighter.”

Ms Pengelly thanked all those who had shared their support for Tino through donations and comments and shares on social media.

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She hopes Tino will eventually be able to be rehomed to a loving family once he has fully recovered.

“If he had been left for a few more hours there is no doubt that he would have perished, cold alone and in pain,” added Ms Pengelly.

“His lucky stars were watching over him when he was discovered by one of our supporters, just in time for help to be called.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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Is your horse care knowledge up to Pony Club standards? Take this quiz to find out…

pony club horse and pony care competition

The Blue Cross horse and pony care competition is an integral part of The Pony Club Championships, and features teams of three Pony Club members who demonstrate their knowledge and practical horsemanship skills.

Through training for the quiz, members learn about the care, management and welfare of horses and ponies, as well as having fun with their friends.

There are two championship levels; senior and junior, with a new mini level being introduced at area competitions for the first time this year .

Qualifying area competitions are currently underway and will run until June. Here, members will have the chance to qualify for The Pony Club Championships in August.

The mini competition is for those aged 10 years and under, the junior competition is for under 13s while the senior competition is for 14 to 25-year-olds.

Here we bring you a taster of what Pony Clubbers can expect when they take part in this competition. Questions one to five are for minis, six to 10 are for juniors and 11 to 15 are for seniors.

How did you get on? Don’t forget to share your result with your friends on social media.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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8 stallions who stole our hearts in the show ring last season

Just because Valentine’s has been and gone, doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate these gorgeous boys who took our breath away last year. Check out these 8 stunning stallions who graced the 2017 show circuit.

1. Gwerniago Gethin

The Welsh section D Gwerniago Gethin, ridden by Ashley Bird, repeated his 2016 successes last year, by standing 2nd at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) and winning his section of the Mountain and Moorland (M&M) working hunter at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

2. Billy King Of The North

King Of The North Handler & producer Megan Hewitt Horse No 189, Megan Hewitt & King of the North winner of Class 3 (CHAPS (UK) Open In-hand Qualifier) at The North Yorkshire Showcase of Champions held at the Harrogate Riding Centre, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire in the UK on 29th January 2017

The then six-year-old CHAPS-graded stallion King Of The North stood in-hand champion at the North Yorkshire Showcase of Champions with his producer Megan Hewitt. Later in the season he went on to win his in-hand class at the Royal Cheshire show and took first reserve supreme under saddle at the CHAPS championships.

3. Alonby Chardonnier

Cuddy Supreme In Hand Championship Champion 146 ALONBY CHARDONNIER Handler, lan Boylan Reserve 442 SKELLORN BRONZE SOLDIER

Shown as a three-year-old last term, the part-bred Arab colt Alonby Chardonnier snapped up his Cuddy ticket at Nottinghamshire County with co-owner Ian Boylan at his head.

4. Dunedin Duncan

Harriet Dennison riding DUNEDIN DUNCAN, during the BSPS Heritage M & M Ridden Championship at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the private grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor in Berkshire in the UK between 10th-14th May 2017

The charismatic Highland pony Dunedin Duncan owned by Dianne Brereton netted his Olympia ticket at the Royal Windsor Horse Show when he took the Heritage supreme ridden tricolour.

5. Moortown Crusader

Diane and John Jordan’s exquisite Dartmoor Moortown Crusader took the Cuddy championship at Devon County show, after standing reserve the previous year.

6. Marsevarno

Andrea Taylor’s home-bred five-year-old Arab stallion Marsevarno was crowned senior male gold champion at the Midland Arab show. Shown by Rod Jones, the chestnut scored nines all-round for type and movement on the victorious occasion.

7. Snelson Gatsby

Snelson Gatsby, owned by Alistair and Matthew King, claimed the coveted National supreme stallion at last year’s National Shire horse show. The then three-year-old won his age class before adding the junior and overall supreme championship to his tally.

8. Shanbo Rory

The mannerly Connemara Shanbo Rory and Sophie James headed the amateur ridden mountain and moorland championship at the Royal International and was also HOYS ridden champion at NPS Area 25.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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Jockeys bounce for glory in space hopper challenge

space hopper race

Space hoppers may handle a little differently to horses, but that didn’t stop top jockeys from getting competitive in a charity race.

Some of the leading names in jump racing lined up at Plumpton on 12 February to take part in the fiercely competitive Grand Hop Gold Cup in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).

Tom Cannon was an early faller — taking a tumble ahead of the start following co-ordinated sabotage by a couple of his weighing room colleagues.

Wocket Woy’s partner in crime Mattie Batchelor was keen to get going, which nearly caused a false start, but after this initial eagerness the field settled and the flag dropped on a clean start.

The race was marked with a high rate of fallers, and several loose space hoppers — and jockeys — threatened to take out the leaders.

Amid the chaos Tom Scudamore broke free from the rabble and bounced into a strong lead.

A forward roll over the line secured a clear 10-hop victory for Tom, while last year’s winner Joshua Moore never really travelled and finished well down the line.

The hoppers were signed by their jockeys and have all been auctioned to raise money for the charity — with the exception of Tom’s winning “ride”, which will be auctioned this week.

The total raised at the IJF race day is still being calculated.

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An IJF spokesman told H&H: “This was the second year we have done the IJF race day at Plumpton and it was a great success, enjoyed by racegoers and the jockeys alike.”

The charity offers help, support and rehabilitation from injury to all jockeys. It has two centres — Jack Berry House in Malton and Oaksey House in Lambourn — with plans for a third base at the British Racing School in Newmaket.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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House Passes Bill to Amend Title III of the ADA In Attempt to Curb Drive-By Lawsuits

By Minh N. Vu

Seyfarth Synopsis:  HR 620 requires potential plaintiffs to provide businesses with notice of architectural barriers and give them an opportunity to remove them before filing suit. 

Today, the House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act (HR 620) by a vote of 225 to 192, with 12 Democrats voting for the bill.  As we recently reported , the number of ADA Title III lawsuits has risen dramatically in the past four years.  HR 620 is primarily an attempt to stem the tide of lawsuits brought by serial plaintiffs who bring dozens, if not hundreds, of lawsuits against businesses based on relatively minor physical access barriers found in their facilities for quick settlements.

HR 620 requires a would-be plaintiff to send the business a pre-suit notice that specifies (1) the alleged barriers in the facility, with a citation of the section of the ADA that has been violated; (2) “the circumstances under which the individual was actually denied access to a public accommodation;” and (3) whether a “request for assistance in removing the barrier was made.”  A lawsuit can only be filed after sending this notice if the business does not respond within 60 days with a description of the improvements that it will make to remove the barrier.  If the business responds as required, but fails to remove the barrier or make “substantial progress” toward removing the barrier within 120 days, a lawsuit can be filed.  HR 620 also requires the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop a program to educate state and local governments and property owners about the ADA’s requirements, and directs the Judicial Conference of the United States to develop a model program to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (including a stay of discovery during mediation – similar in concept to what some courts already require by local rule, such as in the Northern District of California) to facilitate early resolution rather than litigation  of ADA claims based on alleged architectural barriers.

Supporters of the bill say that — because there are so many technical requirements that businesses can violate unknowingly (e.g., the toilet paper roll is half an inch too far away from the toilet, or the mirror is 1” too high) — providing businesses with notice and an opportunity to remove barriers is a good thing and does exactly what the law was designed to do — make businesses accessible.  Opponents say that the amendment will cause businesses to sit back and take no action to comply with the law until they receive a notice.  In addition, they claim that attorneys will be reluctant to take on these cases because there is no chance to receive a fee award by a court if a business does in fact remove the barriers identified in the notice.

Whether HR 620 (or some form of it) will ever become law remains to be seen, as the Senate has taken little action on this issue.  That said, HR 620 is the most significant development thus far in the effort to deter serial ADA lawsuit filers and may provide some momentum for legislative reform.

Edited by Kristina Launey

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H&H question of the week: how do I teach my young horse to be a good jumper?

how to teach young horse to be a good jumper

Q: “How do I teach my young horse to be a good jumper? I’ve just had a horse dropped off for me to ride. He’s a five-year-old and I’ve been told he’s a good jumper with potential. On the flat he’s lovely, just what I’m looking for. We’ve had a go over some little (60/70cm) jumps and it’s hit and miss whether he clears or goes through it. What would you suggest I do for training with him? I have a plan I just maybe want some fresh ideas to consider. I really want this to work and for him to be what I want in a jumper. Ideally he’d get round a 90cm/1m course and around 1.25m single fences.”

A: I’d put a lot of time into pole work so that your horse develops his confidence and gets his timing right.

Working over poles will encourage your horse to use his back correctly, and also encourage greater flexibility in the joints. Poles will also help him develop confidence over distances and an awareness of his legs and feet as he will have to figure things out for himself.

As a rider, the ground poles will test your balance and independence of seat. Remain balanced while your horse navigates the poles, keeping a light seat and making sure your knees and ankles are free to absorb the extra bounce and movement. You don’t want to become stiff and rigid.

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Don’t be afraid to adjust the poles to your horse’s stride as you are working on building your horse’s confidence. Allowing him to feel comfortable going over the poles is key.

Start with five canter poles on the ground three paces or nine feet apart. Once your horse is cantering down the poles calmly and in a good rhythm on both reins, raise them; alternate ends first and then both ends. We use potties at home which are only a £1 each and really easy to move around!

As he is young, he’s bound to be weak so make sure you get that box ticked first doing plenty of work with poles. You can lunge him over poles too.

When you are ready to progress to jumps, use poles with your jumping. Put a placing pole three yards in front of a fence and a landing pole a good three and a half to four yards on the other side.

You can use this for a cross pole or an oxer. A cross pole is great for teaching your horse to jump and stay in the centre of the fence and encourage him to make a tidy shape.

By using canter poles before and after the fence, it will help your horse to jump in the right spot and will help with his timing, which could be why he is a bit might be a bit hit and miss at times.

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Don’t be afraid to ask a trainer for help too as having someone on the ground is invaluable.

I personally wouldn’t be worried about jumping too big too soon. Keep it small so that he develops his confidence and he gets his timing right.

On the flat, make sure you have good gears in your canter. Not only will this help your horse develop strength and balance but it will also help you with your distances when you are jumping courses.

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Rider’s shock as horse who died at Liverpool tests positive for ketamine

K36F4F Gijon, Spain. 1st Sep, 2017. Sanne Thijssen (Netherland) with Sara Galotiere during the equestrian competition show jumping of CSIO Gijon at Las Mestas Center on September 1, 2017 in Gijon, Spain. Credit: David Gato/Alamy Live News

The rider of a horse who tested positive for banned substances after she suffered a fatal injury in competition says she did not even know the horse was being tested.

Dutch showjumper Sanne Thijssen’s ride Sara Galotiere had to be put down at the Liverpool International Horse Show on 30 December as she had suffered a broken leg while competing in the CSI4* class.

Sanne told H&H she received a letter last week suspending her for six months as the 11-year-old mare had tested positive for ketamine and altrenogest (sold under the brand name Regumate).

“It was a very strange story,” Sanne’s mother Dorien said.

“When the mare broke her leg, the [FEI] vet gave her painkillers, and she was later put to sleep. When she was on the trailer, no one was allowed to be with her.

“Sanne was so sad, she wanted to stay with her when she was put to sleep but wasn’t allowed, so we don’t know what happened.

“We begged the vet to let her stay. Sanne could handle it as she didn’t want her horse to die alone but they said no.

“The horse was alone, and we don’t know what happened.”

Sanne and her mother said when they received the letter, they consulted vets, who said ketamine is used to anaesthetise horses, as well as being a painkiller, so they believe it may have been given to Sara Galotiere for this reason owing to her injury.

“I don’t know how it got there otherwise,” Sanne said. “Ketamine is an anaesthetic; of course you couldn’t ride on it, it’s stupid to think you could jump a 1.50m class.”

“Vets explained what it was to us and they were laughing,” Dorien added. “They said: ‘That’s stupid, you can’t ride a horse on that’.”

Sanne said Sara Galotiere was also on Regumate, which is allowed under FEI rules for mares with oestress-related behavioural problems, as long as the rider has the appropriate form signed by a vet. She said she did have this form, in the horse’s passport, but that as she was unaware the mare was being tested, she had no chance to provide the document.

“She was dope-tested last July when she was on that and there was no problem,” Sanne said. “Suddenly they’re saying she tested positive for that, but it’s legal and it was signed by the clinic. If I’d known they were testing her, I’d have showed it to them.”

Dorien added that she has never known a horse be dope-tested without a member of the rider’s team present.

“Everything was wrong from the start [in this situation],” she said. “The mare did a lot of good things and worked so hard for Sanne, who loved her, and it ended up like this. If we could have kept her for breeding, or to live in the field, we would have done but there was no chance.”

Sanne is to take the matter to the FEI Tribunal, in an attempt to clear her name.

“We’ve got a lawyer working on it,” she said. “It’s so sad, and then after all the drama, this happens. Something went wrong, for sure.”

The FEI said it was unable to comment as the case is open but confirmed that: “in the event of an equine fatality, samples are taken from the horse”. A spokesman for the show’s organisers said they had not been advised by the FEI of a positive dope test.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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Prepare to be amazed — meet the 18hh giant with a unique jumping style

07/02/2018 ; Wellington FL ; Winter Equestrian Festival – Week 5 ; 242, CLENUR, CIAN O’CONNOR ; grand prix ; Sportfot

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Cian O’Connor’s new flying horse Clenur! This 18hh gelding, by Carinue, only joined the Irishman’s stable in December, but the combination has been causing quite a stir at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit in Florida — not least for 12-year-old Clenur’s extravagant front-leg action over the fences.

“He’s 18hh and I have to keep his body closed,” says Cian. “When I’m coming down to big oxers, I’m telling myself, ‘Don’t put leg on’ because if you get too close he goes too high. So I have to be disciplined that I leave it late to ask him to jump the back pole. But he’s starting to give fewer awkward jumps and more classical ones.”

The Oldenburg gelding was brought up to the top level by Germany’s Marco Kutscher, having been produced in his early days by owner Armin Himmelreich, before Cian took over the reins at the end of last year. The pair finished third in WEF’s five-star grand prix on Saturday (10 February), with just a time-fault in round one keeping them out of a two-way jump-off for the top honours.

“He’s a very big horse to manoeuvre around,” says Cian. “The big ring suits him. It’s only the fourth or fifth class that I’ve done with him here. He took a little bit of a wobble down the last line to the water tray vertical. I was clear then, and I just cantered down. Maybe I could have been a little quicker coming to the third last. But I’m very happy with my cheque.”

Cian and Clenur now look set to be a very strong addition to Ireland’s squad for the five-star Nations Cup at Ocala, Florida, this Sunday (18 February), where the team will be hoping to defend the title won at the venue last year. Cian will be joined by Daniel Coyle (Cita or Grafton), Darragh Kenny (Go Easy De Muze), Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) and Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z or Main Road).

*Photos courtesy of Sportfot*

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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‘She has everything I’ve been looking for’: para champion unveils exciting new ride

Para multi medallist Natasha Baker has found a new ride that she will aim for the World Equestrian Games (WEG), after 10 months of searching.

The nine-year-old Don Schufro mare Mount St John Diva Dannebrog arrived at Natasha’s base two weeks ago, and Natasha plans to begin their international campaign at the Roosendaal CPEDI3* in May.

She’s just an absolute dream horse, and takes everything in her stride,” enthused Natasha, whose London and Rio Olympic gold medallist Cabral (JP) was put to sleep suddenly in February 2017 after contracting a bacterial infection.

I’ve been looking for a new horse since April, and I was pulling my hair out as I couldn’t find anything,” explained Natasha. “Between Christmas and New Year I was desperately sending messages to all my Facebook contacts thinking there just had to be a horse out there. Emma Blundell said she couldn’t sell Diva as she is Mount St John’s top broodmare, but asked whether I had considered a lease.

“The first time I went up to the stud to see Diva it felt like I’d been riding her for months. Mum and I whispered, “She’s perfect” to each other. We had wanted a gelding, certainly not a chestnut mare, but she’s so sweet and relaxed — really cuddly.”

The chestnut Hanoverian mare has been one of the Mount St John’s top broodmares in recent years, with a 2015 colt by the Furstenball son Finest sold to Charlotte Dujardin at just one week old. Diva has produced several embryo transfer (ET) foals since, and is in foal via ET to Vitalis and Charmeur this year.

In between breeding, she has competed successfully up to medium level, including finishing second under Lucinda Elliott at the 2017 winter championships at elementary.

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Diva has the most incredible trot and a really good walk, which reminds me a lot of JP and the way he used to flick his toes in walk,” says Natasha, a grade III rider who has no use of her legs while riding.

“We’re working on getting her voice activated — it takes a while but she’s getting better every time. We’re doing lots of work on the lunge using voice, and we’ve ridden through our para tests now.

“I hope to get out competing at the start of March and target a place on the team for WEG. I’m so excited as I had almost resigned myself to another year of missing out — I missed competing so much last year, and just being with the team.

It takes a long time to build a partnership, but she has every quality I’ve been looking for. And as she’s a gold colour, I’m just hoping she likes gold medals!”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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