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Welcome to the BHS Scotland website
BHS Scotland is Scotland's largest equine membership organisation with around 8000 members and rising. We have enthusiastic and informed volunteers who help deliver our work throughout Scotland in the areas of access, welfare, safety, competitions, education, exams, riding clubs and more.
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Scottish Success at the Annual BHS Awards
We are truly grateful for the valuable contribution made by these individuals and organisations and this is our way to ensure that they receive the appreciation and recognition they deserve. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations go to this year’s winners. It was such an achievement to have so many award winners from Scotland this year – 6 award winners in total.
The Bodynfoel Award
Presented to an individual or group for excellent service in promoting the work of the Society.
Young Persons Award 2019
For a person under 25 years who shows outstanding potential and achievement.
Ms Robyn Smith
For excellent service by an organisation, business or business associate in the cause of equestrian safety.
Police Scotland Road Policing Unit and the Mounted Unit (Lisa Dunlop and Craig Turnbull)
For the centre that has made the greatest difference to their community.
RDA Sandyflat, Glasgow
2 awards are still to be presented in December:
For a superlative effort in raising funds for the Society or in recognition of an innovative fundraising method e.g. this may be a new idea that can be successfully repeated year after year.
Volunteer of the Year Award 2019
For the volunteer who has made a positive impact on their fellow volunteer and/or a significant achievement for the Society.
Ms Jane McDowall, BHS Dumfries & Galloway
Well done everybody – such great achievements and what a brilliant year for Scotland.
Sam York FBHS delivers inspirational training in Scotland
Two full days of CPD took place on Sunday 3 November 2019 at Easterton Farm Park and on Monday 4 December 2019 at Chapelton Equestrian Centre, Inverness. A couple of lessons were given by Sam on the Saturday afternoon prior to the CPD Days.
The CPD days were focused on the BHS Challenge Awards and were instrumental in promoting innovative and enjoyable ways of delivering the Challenge awards to our accredited coaches. They also showed coaches how technology can be used to enhance learning and rider understanding and ultimately to improve equine welfare. The days were open to everybody and riders, coaches and proprietors were able to find out more about the challenge awards including the riding, lunging and care. During the two CPD days more coaches were trained up in order to deliver Challenge Awards in their area.
Both BHS Approved Centres were key to delivering these CPD days and organised exceptional demo riders for these days and did an amazing job hosting these CPD days.
Sam York FBHS certainly inspired lots of members and coaches and the coaches now feel they are a step closer and highly motivated to delivering the challenge awards.
Dumfries House Ride
40 riders enjoyed a ride at Dumfries House Estate in October - with a faster ride in the morning and a slower ride in the afternoon. The rides were taken out by BHS Accredited Professional Coach Denise Richardson Rowell.
Huge thanks to Dumfries House and in particular to Denise and John for facilitating this day and to all the stewards from Dumfries house.
Thanks to all the BHS volunteers - Susan, Eleanor and Judy - these events could not happen without our wonderful volunteers.
£800 was raised for Help for Heroes and Ride Out UK/BHS Scotland.
Scottish National Equestrian Survey
Horsescotland Equality Survey
Following on from work carried out by the Horsescotland Equality Group, which BHS Scotland is part of, an equality survey has been circulated to help find out what equality means to the Equestrian industry and those engaging in the world of horse riding in Scotland.
The survey can be accessed online
Over the last weekend in October BHS Scotland sponsored equine classes at the Scottish and European Vintage Ploughing Championships. The sun shone throughout and we met members old and new from across Europe and enjoyed seeing true horsepower in action.
Barskimming Ride 2019
The British Horse Society has extended Ride Out UK from May to October – BHS Scotland once again worked with Barskimming Estate and Eglinton Horse Trials to offer riders the chance to saddle up and explore beautiful scenic views at Barskimming Estate, Mauchline, which took place on Sunday 15 September 2019. In doing so, over £1700 was raised, which will be split between Eglinton Horse Trials and BHS Paths for Communities Fund to be used for access in Scotland.
60 riders booked onto this event and had the pleasure to ride within small groups around the grounds of Barskimming Estate. There were 2 rides on offer – a shorter 5K ride or a longer 15K ride. The longer ride lasted over 2 hours and the riders benefited from the amazing views throughout the ride. This ride explored Barskimming Estate through farmland, mature woods and tree lined avenues, and followed the River Ayr as it carves its way through Ayrshire and discovered beautiful haugh land, sandstone caves and enticing estate tracks. A mixture of ponies, horses and riders took part in the ride and each rider was provided with a lovely silver ROUK rosette on completion and free hi-viz provided by the RAF.
Dengie provided free feed samples for the goody bags. Botanica donated two lovely hampers to be presented to the highest fundraiser in each ride. Congratulations to Heather Allan for raising over £270 in the long ride and Liz McKay was the highest fundraiser in the shorter ride.
These access rides cannot take place without our valuable and hard working volunteers – so thank you to all of those who made this such a great success. All the riders and volunteers enjoyed freshly made soup, bacon rolls, bready, tea/coffee and cakes after the ride – huge thanks to Ros Cartner for the catering.
Thanks to Kris Clay Photography for taking such great photographs – the photographs are available online
BHS Scotland Camp 2019
28 riders enjoyed an action packed fun weekend at Lindores Equestrian on the 20-22 September 2019 at BHS Scotland Camp. All riders enjoyed a flatwork lesson from Carole Broad FBHS, a polework/grid lesson from Sarah-Jayne Bowers, a working hunter lesson from Richard Johnston-Smith and a XC lesson from Diana Zajda. Camp kicked off with a trot up and assessment lessons took place after lunch on the Friday. Jane Cumberlidge presented a very interesting bitting demo after the assessment lessons prior to dinner. On the Saturday, between lessons all horses were weighed on the weigh bridge and received advice from Dodson & Horrell. During lunch, Hannah from Dodson & Horrell gave us all an insight into Dodson & Horrell and provided some feeding tips . Saturday evening saw the fin quiz night, which was won by the Wibbly Wobbly team consisting of Stephen MacGregor, Christine Stewart and June MacGeachy.
Camp came to a close on the Sunday afternoon after all lessons had finished, where all riders received a rosette and a goody bag. A selection of trophies were also presented as follows:
Most improved horse and rider: Wendy Strachan
Best Helper: Karen Gilmore
Best Condition Horse or Pony: Giddy, owned by Katie Nisbet
Favourite Horse or Pony: William owned by Irene McKelvey.
Thanks to everybody for coming to camp and to Anna at Lindores Equestrian for making everybody so welcome – what a fun weekend had by all. Lots of great training and such beautiful weather and surroundings.
BHS Scotland Camp will return to Lindores next year on the 19-21 September so put the date in your diary.
Blair 2019 Champions
Congratulations to all our new Champions and a big thank you to our sponsors of the 2019 Championship series:
Clemmie Style Jumping Championship
Congratulations to Jade Paterson for winning the BHS Scotland Clemmie Style Jumping Championships.
Thanks to BHS Accredited Professional Coach Gail Smith for judging this class.
Thanks to Pam Dykes for representing Clemmie joining Gail Smith in the prize giving and to Clemmie for sponsoring this competition series.
Well done Jade!
Botanica Working Hunter Championships
Congratulations to Clare Pearson for winning the BHS Scotland Botanica Working Hunter Championships.
Thanks to Botanica for sponsoring this competition series and to Sally McCarthy of Aberdeen Riding Club for presenting the prizes.
What a season Clare Pearson has had - well done!
Dodson & Horrell Working Hunter Championships
Congratulations to Louise Docherty riding Askinvillar Mayflower who won the BHS Scotland Dodson & Horrell Working Hunter Championships.
Thanks to Dodson & Horrell for sponsoring this competition series and to Sally McCarthy of Aberdeen Riding Club for presenting the prizes.
Well done Louise!
Helene Mauchlen Honoured for 20 Year Working for The BHS
At the BHS Gala Dinner of the National Convention, Helene Mauchlen, National Manager for Scotland, was presented with flowers from David Sheerin and Yogi Breisner to congratulate Helene on her 20 years service for the British Horse Society. Helene has achieved a huge amount working for every horse and rider in Scotland and anybody who has worked alongside Helene will know how passionate and dedicated she is to British Horse Society.
Strengthening horse passports
A Scottish Equine Database (ScotEquine) has been introduced to strengthen the horse passport regime.
Horse passports are a human health measure to ensure that horse meat and products do not enter the food chain if they have been treated with certain veterinary medicines. The passports will also encourage more responsible horse ownership, as abandoned horses can be traced back to owners.
Welcoming the news, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said:
“This is another step forward in building up our data on horses across the country, including who owns them, where they have lived, and various other factors which are essential to ensuring the best possible health and welfare levels for these animals.
“The Scottish Government wants the highest standards of health and welfare for both our animals and consumers. These regulations make it mandatory for owners to have their horse microchipped and will also include the phased introduction of retrospective microchipping. This will help provide us with more detailed information on ownership and location history which will be vital in terms of disease prevention and control. This will also make a difference in deterring some owners from abandoning their horses when the responsibility or expense of keeping them has become too great”.
The Equine Animal (Identification (Scotland) Regulations 2019 will transpose into domestic legislation Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 the (Equine Passport Regulation).
The European Commission decided following the horse meat fraud scandal in 2013 that the current equine identification rules were not fit for purpose. Along with a change to equine identification documents, the new Regulations require each Member State to establish a Central Equine Database.
The horse passport regime is set by European law and aims to create coherent standards that protect public health across the EU. Equine identification is a devolved matter.
Safer Riders, Safer Drivers, Safer Roads and Horses
On March 14 BHS Scotland organised a parliamentary briefing on ‘Safer Riders, Safer Drivers, Safer Roads & Horses’ sponsored by Gillian Martin MSP, within The Fleming Room at the Scottish Parliament. The main speaker was Alan Hiscox Director of Safety and the full briefing is attached. The event featured the British Horse Society’s Dead Slow Campaign and highlight work that is being done for vulnerable road users in Scotland in particular Police Scotland Lose the Blinkers campaign.
Helene Mauchlen (BHS) said: “ Our parliamentary briefing on the Dead Slow campaign was 100% positive with firm engagement from partners, super support from Police Scotland and a great interest from MSPs. There is no doubt this will have furthered the aims of the British Horse Society and improved the public highway for vulnerable road users by raising the needs of riders on the road among decision makers. The latest statistics are horrific so the need for education is immense.”
BEF Advice for Competition and Training Event Organisers During the Current Outbreaks of Equine Flu
In the face of recent equine influenza outbreaks the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) asks all event organisers or coordinators to:
1. Check equine ID passports of all horses attending your event
Ensure that the horse (or pony) has received two injections for primary vaccination against equine influenza given no less than 21 days and no more than 92 days apart. Only these two injections need to have been given before a horse/pony can attend. In addition, if sufficient time has elapsed a first booster injection must be given no less than 150 days and no more than 215 days after the second injection of the primary vaccination. Subsequently, booster injections must be given at intervals of not more than one year apart.
We strongly advise
If attending horses’ last vaccination was longer ago than six months, that they discuss an additional booster vaccination with their vet. If you are imposing a six month booster requirement on local veterinary advice, make sure that your event attendees are aware of this at when making entries and have enough time to comply – at least 7 days.
2. Yard hygiene/biosecurity
In moving from one premises to another, governing body officials or representatives must:
- Change their outer wear to minimise the likelihood of transmission of the flu virus on their clothes
- Change or disinfect shoes or boots before leaving one premises and getting into a vehicle to move to premises
- Wear disposable gloves or use alcohol hand gel between contact with individual horses and minimise contact with all horses
Check correct vaccination intervals with the EquiBioSafe app. Download free:
What are the differences between the British Horse Society (BHS) qualified coaches and UKCC endorsed qualified coaches?
The BHS Coaching pathway provides and all-round programme of assessments encompassing riding, horse care and management along with teaching and training practices. We believe this combination of qualifications and all-round knowledge develops coaches to put the welfare of the horse at the heart of everything they do. As a result of their breadth of knowledge and skills in care, welfare and management and riding of horses, BHS coaches are qualified to advise and support a rider on any aspect of horsemanship, not just specifically coaching a practical riding lesson. The BHS are introducing discipline specific coaching qualifications from Stage 4 and above for coaches who work in a dressage, show jumping or eventing environment only.
The UKCC endorsed series of qualifications is a standardised approach across many equine disciplines with the focus on coaching practice in the context of equestrianism. There are no requirements for a horse care or riding qualification to be achieved alongside the coaching qualifications, although a level of experiential knowledge is required to register for the qualification. There are generic coaching options available (that cover coaching on the flat and over fences) or a candidate can register with a BEF member body and work towards a discipline specific qualification.
UPDATED STATEMENT ON EQUINE FLU
The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes that the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has reported more positive tests for equine flu over the weekend in Shropshire, Worcestershire, Norfolk and Buckinghamshire.
16 horses returned positive tests at one premises in Worcestershire. The AHT reports that this is thought to be related to unvaccinated horses coming into contact with other horses at an event. The BEF continues to recommend strongly that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other horses. Our advice remains that owners MUST NOT take their horse to an event or competition if horses at their yard appear to be unwell.
The current outbreak has demonstrated the importance of vaccinations and the BEF continues to urge all owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. If it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.
The BEF has asked all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses attending their event to make sure that they comply with vaccination rules. A number of venues have put extra precautionary measures in place regarding flu vaccinations. We would also remind participants that they should check venue requirements before setting out.
Read here for more information on the signs of Equine Influenza:
• UK Equine influenza outbreaks reported in 2019
• BEF Horse Health & Biosecurity
• AHT Equiflunet for horse owners
Your Dog - Your Responsibility Campaign
Chief superintendent John McKenzie Head of Safer Communities for Police Scotland and chair of SPARC and Emma Harper MSP who is putting through the members bill on livestock worrying at today's photocall to launch a five-month multi-agency campaign to highlight the reality of livestock attacks and distress caused primarily by dogs at Penicuik House, Penicuik Estate, Midlothian by the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC).
The aim of the campaign - "Your Dog - Your Responsibility" is to ensure dog owners understand the distressing and emotive nature as well as emotional and financial impacts such incidents can have, not just on farmers but everyone having to deal with the aftermath.
Experience has shown that more often than not, livestock attacks and distress occur when dog owners living, working or enjoying the rural environment, are not present. Regardless of whether a dog has been let off a lead and not obeyed commands, whether someone else was in charge of the dog at that time; or through the increasing number of dogs left alone at home or in gardens then escaping, owners are reminded that they must take responsibility for the actions of their dog.
The campaign draws attention to other animals such as camelids, (currently not included under the definition of 'livestock') such as alpacas and llamas, plus horses due to reports being received of these animals being attacked with increasing frequency.
Over the next few months, local events will be held around Scotland concluding in May at Conic Hill, Balmaha, which is located within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. It is hoped by having a harder-hitting message that reaches communities throughout Scotland, that it will encourage farmers and landowners to report all instances of attacks and distress to their animals.
SPARC is made up of partners from across the rural community, including NFU Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, NFU Mutual, British Horse Society Scotland, Forestry Commission and Police Scotland. This new campaign complements work being done by rural organisations to combat livestock worrying and the impact it can have on farmers and landowners.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, who chairs SPARC said: "Tackling livestock attacks is an important issue and remains a priority for SPARC.
"Further work requires to be done in highlighting not just the message about an owner or person responsible keeping a dog on a lead if there is livestock nearby, but a more general awareness message regarding responsible dog ownership, both in the home and when outside. To that end, SPARC is launching this campaign with key messages of awareness raising, education and prevention."
BHS Scotland were delighted that Sarah and Constance were able to bring horses to the photocall and that equestrian worrying is very much part of this initiative -horses that are chased by dogs will get a sympathetic response from Police Scotland and BHS Scotland will continue to run our safe familiarisation days.
The Economic Impact of Equines in Scotland
The equestrian economy of Scotland is worth £326million to our economy driven by out 83,848 horses. Seventy seven per cent of which regularly see a farrier and the postcodes with the highest equine populations are AB EH PH and KY.
These statistics are among other interesting findings thrown up by research undertaken in 2018.
During the summer BHS Scotland and Robert Gordon’s University commissioned an MSC Postgraduate Project on the subject of the Scottish Equestrian Economy. Our researcher was James Mahoney from Calgary in Canada and he used the weeks encompassing Blair Castle International Horse Trails to carry out his research and a questionnaire was also sent to all BHS Scotland members via our monthly newsletter.
His brief from BHS Scotland was; “Despite the general misconception that horses are a luxury pursuit for wealthy people, the horse community remains the poor relation of the rural sector. Unlike farming, forestry and tourism sectors who receive government subsidies, horse riding enterprises and coaches provide highly effective; learning, sporting, health, and therapeutic benefits for local people in line with 4 of the 5 Scottish Government Objectives:- Smarter, Healthier, Safer and Stronger, and Greener.
Crippling business rates continue to be one of the greatest challenges affecting equestrian enterprises, and as such the horse community struggle to see how they fit with the government’s wealthier and fairer strategic objective.
The full report and infographic are available for download here.
Aberdeen Riding Club Honoured
Aberdeen Riding Club (ARC) was nominated and subsequently shortlisted for the Horse and Hound, HorseDialog sponsored Club of the Year award. ARC was nominated in recognition of its ethos to make riding accessible, the work it has done with therapy riding and its success training three riders who were selected for the Under 18 (100) Scottish eventing team.
The awards were held at Cheltenham racecourse and it was a brilliant evening, made even better by ARC winning their category.
ARC is a BHS approved riding school and career training centre and is hosting its first BHS assessments in early 2019. ARC manager Sally McCarthy presented at a BHS Scotland business mentoring day in 2018 and is also happy to provide any advice or assistance for any other centres who are already BHS approved or are hoping to become BHS approved.
BHS Scotland Anniversary Dinner
On Saturday 3 November 2018, over 100 people attended the BHS 70th Anniversary Dinner at Airth Castle, Stirling.
The evening consisted of a pre-dinner drinks reception followed by an excellent 3 course meal. Sarah-Jayne Bowers (BHS Scotland Chair) welcomed everybody, gave a very enlightening talk about the BHS and how we can all reflect on what the BHS has done for us all as members and carried out the official cutting of the cake. Patrick Print FBHS and Professor Derek Knottenbelt provided excellent talks between the courses to keep the guests entertained. A fun game of Irish/Stand Up bingo followed the dinner, prior to an excellent talk by Peter Shaw - ‘Keeping it Real and Making it Relevant’. Peter’s talk was one of the best speeches in a long time – sensitive, funny and emotional at times. Peter certainly captured what is going on in the horse world at present. Following Peter’s talk, various BHS Scotland awards were presented followed by the raffle.
In terms of fundraising on the evening – the Irish Bingo raised £224 and the raffle raised a fabulous £1009 so well done everybody who supported this night.
Thank you to everybody for supporting this event, to our fabulous speakers (especially to Peter Shaw who travelled from Australia for the event), to everybody who donated raffle prizes, to all award winners and to Airth Castle for such a fantastic venue and great service during the evening.
This evening was a perfect way in which to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the British Horse Society.
BHS Scotland presented various awards at the BHS 70th Anniversary Dinner at Airth Castle on the 3 November:
Most Popular Instructor Award:
The 2018 winner is Jane Gilchrist. Particular reference is made to her help over on the Western Isles and it is great seeing the Western Isles being represented this evening. Jane goes above and beyond each time she is over and has really improved riding, from lead rein to advanced riders, and horsemanship levels. Jane is also accommodating when dates require to be moved due to weather conditions.
This is presented to the BHS Scotland Equine Personality of the Year. This year this trophy is being awarded to Police Scotland Mounted Branch for the police horses (Lewis, Harris and Stewarton) involved in Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers.’ This award shall be formally presented at the CPD Day with Adam Kemp FBHS on the 19 November 2018 at Ingliston.
Most Improved BHS Scotland Committee:
The most improved BHS Scotland committee was a new award introduced last year, which was awarded to BHS Fife. This award does not solely relate to the growth of membership in a region.
This years winning committee has improved significantly during the year, with a much larger and stronger committee, more frequent and productive committee meetings, increased social media and more activity in terms of events etc. This committee has recently organised a very successful event at RDA Sandyflats last month attracting nearly 200 people.
The 2018 Most Improved BHS Scotland Committee goes to BHS Strathclyde.
This award shall formally be presented at the BHS Scotland Committee Meeting on the 10 December 2018.
The BHS cannot operate without all our valuable volunteers.
This person is an active volunteer for BHS Scotland, rather than a committee volunteer and is always willing to get involved. This person is always willing to help at events and this year has helped at various events including the ROUK Ride at Culzean, the Sponsored Ride at Balmoral, helped at each day of Blair Atholl Horse Trials, the racing day at Lucinda Russell’s yard, BHS Scotland camp and at the Saddle Up Riding Club Championships at Auchlishie.
The 2018 Volunteer Award goes to Eleanor Pottinger.
Liz Rennie Award for 45 Years of Excellence at Lomondside Stud & Equestrian Centre
For 45 years Liz and Pat Rennie have run the Lomondside Stud and Equestrian Centre as a superb breeding centre of New Forest Ponies and quality hunters from their Thoroughbred stallions, together with a livery yard and riding centre. For most of these years their centre was BHS approved and the Rennies worked as BHS senior assessors supporting the Society in Scotland almost from its inception, promoting good horse care and equitation, and teaching countless children, along with serious exam students, many of whom are instructors today.
Making the Good Better
BHS Scotland held a well-attended equestrian access conference in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park on the last day of October giving a snap shot of where equestrian access in Scotland currently is - in terms of the 15 year old access legislation. The conference was chaired by Euan McIlwraith from BBC Scotland
The Land Reform (Scotland) 2003 Act gave horse riders the same rights of responsible access as walkers, cyclists, canoeists, non-motorised buggy users, pram pushers, hang gliders and cavers (not that we want to ride below ground or fly in the air!) yet sometimes in Scotland equestrians are unable to use their rights because of discrimination which leads of locked gates, off putting signage and other obstacles.
The keynote speech was delivered by Roseanna Cunningham, MSP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and she said: “Scotlands world leading right of responsible access is the envy of the world and it is so important that the principles of responsible access are instilled in newer generations.”
Education in responsible access is a preoccupation of the BHS in Scotland. The conference was also used to examine the recent Drumlean judgement and its significance in terms of caseload was the subject of much discussion.
Other presentations included; ‘Multi-use access and Scotland’s Great Trails’: Vyv Wood-Gee, Countryside Consultant, ‘Developing Falkirk’s Access Network - in the Hoof Prints of the Kelpies’: Angus Duncan, Outdoor Access Team Leader Falkirk Council Challenging Obstructed Access - Drumlean Case Study: Kenny Auld, LLTNPA. ‘Legal Implications of Drumlean and Other Cases’: David Blair, Anderson Strathern. ‘Expectations vs Reality - Access Officers’ Perspective’: Richard Barron Operations Director- Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society (ScotWays)’The Equestrian Perspective’: Helene Mauchlen, BHS and ‘Responsibility and Liability’ - The Legal Perspective: Catherine Macdonald, Anderson Strathern.
The overall conclusion from the event was that; thanks to The BHS horse riders do enjoy the same rights of responsible access as others, how full this right is remains very regional – it depends where you live. And that that Scotland’s legislation is excellent and should work for horse riders but as it is still relatively new we all have to continue to work in partnership with other stakeholders and with exemplary responsibility to “Make the best even better” and set the example for other access takers.
Download Presentation from the Day:
Expectations v Reality Access Officers’ Perspective - Richard Barron
Responsibility and Liability - Catherine Macdonald
Legal Implications of Drumlean - David Blair
Off Road Riding in Scotland - Helene Mauchlen
Multi-use and Scotland’s Great Trails - Vyv Wood-Gee
Developing Falkirk’s Access Network; In the Hoof Prints of the Kelpies! - Angus Duncan
Rewarding Access Work
Kenny Auld, Access, Recreation and Health Manager for Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority received a BHS access award in recognition of his contribution to equestrian access in Scotland because of the way he has been diligent in pursuing access cases over many years, especially the difficult and ground breaking Drumlean case.
In particular, Kenny has recently masterminded a plan to introduce an equestrian friendly surface on a new key east west route in the centre of Scotland as part of the Lochearnhead to St Fillans Railway route. At this venue Kenny is putting a horse friendly vegetative canter strip.
The British Horse Society is delighted to have such a positive case study in Scotland. On top of this particular instance, it is Kenny’s inclusive, friendly and professional approach to equestrian access at a time when we are so often left out or discriminated against that makes him deserve this award.
From left to right; Euan McIlwraith from BBC Scotland, Helene Mauchlen BHS, Kenny Auld LLATNP & Mark Weston BHS Director of Access
First Anniversary Event of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’
On Monday 15 October 2018, approximately 200 people attended the First Anniversary event of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ at RDA Sandyflats, Glasgow.
Operation Lose the Blinkers, supported by the British Horse Society and Glasgow City Council, is aimed at all road users, with particular emphasis on the fringes of large towns and cities, where many riders keep and exercise their horses. Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ involves plainclothes officers from Police Scotland’s mounted branch patrolling areas of concern and recording incidents of bad driving on camera.
The event commenced with presentations from Julie Hanna (Regional Manager for Scotland, BHS) on the BHS Dead Slow campaign, safety statistics and reporting accidents, Lisa Dunlop (Road Policing Unit, Police Scotland) on Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ and Alan Gilbert (Mounted Branch, Police Scotland) on the operational side of this campaign. During the presentations, two of the horses that attend many of the action days along with one of the unmarked police cars were on display in the indoor arena at Sandyflats.
During the first year of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ there has been 21 action days with the following results:
247 Drivers Have Been Stopped and Educated and Given An Advice Leaflet
27 Seatbelt Offences
18 Mobile Phone Offences
7 Careless Driving Offences
5 Miscellaneous Offences
2 Possession of Drugs
2 Arrests for Warrants
10 Drivers Stopped and Commended On Their Patience and Professionalism Shown When Passing Horses.
Following on from the presentations, the Mounted Branch gave a fantastic display and showed some of their hazard training exercises. Watching a quadrille doing a serpentine in trot and then cantering large around the arena was very impressive! The pony club members had great fun helping with the hazard training exercises – it was coming close to the noise expected from a football match that these horses regularly attend,
Thanks to BHS Strathclyde committee for organising the event and to RDA Sandyflats for the use of the venue and with all their help prior to and during the night. The staff and volunteers at RDA Sandyflats were so helpful and accommodating and a pleasure to work with.
At the end of the evening, Sonya Perry (BHS Ayrshire Chair) and Isabel Forsyth (BHS Ayrshire Vice-Chair) presented Police Scotland Mounted Branch and RDA Glasgow Group with a cheque each that was fundraised by the BHS Ayrshire committee at their recent Charity Show.
First joint equine welfare clinic in Scotland hailed great success
The first in a series of equine healthcare and education clinics to be held in Scotland has been hailed a huge success, with over 22 horses and ponies having attended.
The clinic, run by The British Horse Society (BHS) in association with British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) was hosted at Bowhouse Equestrian Livery, Kinglassie at the end of September.
A total of 22 horses and ponies were treated and offered services such as castration, worming, passporting, dental checks and microchipping. The clinics are designed to help alleviate the equine overpopulation crisis currently occurring throughout the UK.
Helene Mauchlen, National Manager for The British Horse Society Scotland said:
“The introduction of healthcare and education clinics in Scotland is an important advancement in Scottish equine welfare. We have noticed a trend in displacement across the Scottish border due the recent Control of Horses Act 2015 in England and Wales and the relatively cheap and widely available land in Scotland, therefore the demand for these clinics is increasing.
“The clinics offer vital healthcare to those horses in need of it most and helps ensure they have a more secure future. The clinics provide a positive environment where we are able to provide advice, support and education to a large numbers of owners.”
The clinic was run with support from the SSPCA, Bransby, World Horse Welfare and The Donkey Sanctuary. BEVA members provided all the veterinary expertise needed for the day and Zoetis provided all the wormers. 18 horses were castrated, 16 passported and microchipped and all 22 horses were given a full dental check.
The British Horse Society has been provided health care clinics in England for the last three years, 948 horses have now attended the clinics and 453 have been castrated.
Ponies, Progression and Prosecco all win the day at BHS Scotlands first Residential Camp
For those fortunate to take part in the first BHS Scotland Camp at Lindores Equestrian in Fife, the excellent venue, superb weather and calm wise coaches all conspired to make this the ‘equitation holiday of a lifetime’ offering confidence, progression, fun and education in an enthusiastic and nurturing atmosphere to both riders and their mounts.
Accredited Professional Coaches Nick Turner FBHS, Julia Gourlay and Sarah Jayne Bowers delivered inspiring sessions in flatwork, polework, jumping and cross country. There was a fun competition on the last day of camp, consisting of a dressage test and a round of trec obstacles. Other sessions included a bitting talk, a talk on clean sport and tailored individual nutrition sessions with Mary Wastie (NAF representative and bitting consultant). Juliet Loudon of Outline Physio presented a great interactive session on rider biomechanics, rider position and rider symmetry. The Bothy at Lindores lent itself to friendly meals and evenings where entertainment including a competitive quiz was laid on.
The campers were delighted by the good organisation and thoughtful touches from Julie Hanna and on the last day trophies were presented to:
Most Improved Horse and Rider: Carol Wilson
Best Condition Horse: won by Karen O'Donnell
The Instructors Most Favourite Horse: won by Jennifer Adams
The Best Helper: Caroline Gilchrist
Senior Coach Nick Turner FBHS said: “This was one of the best organised and friendly camps I have attended and I was so impressed by the warm Scottish hospitality and fellow feeling that was engendered among the campers; we saw everyone improve and the view from the top of Lindores Hill (where the XC training course offers so much for everyone) of the Firth of Tay and beyond into Fife, Perthshire and Angus was memorable – I hope BHS Scotland will make this a regular feature!”
BHS Scotland Camp shall return next year from the 19-22 September 2019.
Celebrating 70 years of the British Horse Society and 60 Years of Eglinton Horse Trials
On 16 September, over 50 riders enjoyed a wonderful ride around Barskimming Estate, Mauchline, Ayrshire. Most riders opted for the longer ride, while some riders did the shorter 5K ride. This was such a great opportunity to be able to ride around the grounds of Eglinton Horse Trials.
This was a sponsored ride and over £1800 was raised, which shall be split between the British Horse Society and Eglinton Horse Trials.
Botanica kindly donated two fabulous hampers for the best fundraiser in each section, which were won by Heather Allan and local BHS Accredited Professional Coach Angela Mulhearn. Heather raised over £200 which was fantastic, especially since Heather’s horse is kept within the estate.
Jet Set Equestrian provided lovely goody bags for all riders and Dodson & Horrell also sponsored the event by providing free bags of feed for all riders.
Thank you to the owners of the estate for allowing this organised ride to go ahead, to all our wonderful helpers who helped the day run so smoothly and to Ros Cartner for the excellent catering.
Keep an eye out for the 2019 date.
Never underestimate the “Arthur” factor if you are planning an encounter with Lucinda Russell’s Grand National winning Arlary House Stables, Scotland’s leading National Hunt yard. Then again never underestimate the “Lucinda” factor in the same case! Well our luck was in because that indomitable duo was the icing on the cake at a superb yard visit on 8 September where generous funds were shared between The BHS and The Injured Jockeys Fund. It was lovely to share the occasion with Tayside Chasers and The British Racing Club too.
Lucinda Russell has been the premier National Hunt trainer in Scotland since 2009/10 training over six hundred winners including nine graded winners and winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. In 2013/14 the yard sent out more winners in a season than any other Scottish National Hunt yard and in 2017 they won the Aintree Grand National with One For Arthur. In 2018 Lucinda was awarded an OBE for services to horseracing. Nearly two hundred people took the chance to meet Scotland’s most famous horse, learn about life at a racing stable and enjoy a super parade with great insider commentary from Lucinda; where most of the 27 in training were trotted up eventing style. The September sun shone and everyone enjoyed their day seeing a yard in action with the courteous staff and Scotland’s most famous horse.
The amazing day raised £1434 in total for the two benefiting charities, many thanks to all of our supporters.
Brodie Ride - A day in the Sun
Four carriages and forty eight riders took part in the Brodie Castle BHS NTS ROUK ride in blazing sunshine – enjoying the wonderful sandy Caledonian forest, estate parkland and beautiful Scottish Baronial Home of the Brodie Clan. With a fantastic atmosphere and stunning weather this was an excellent event.
New Sponsor for BRC Working Hunter Series
BHS Scotland is pleased to confirm that a new sponsorship has been agreed with Dodson & Horrell Ltd for the BHS Scotland Riding Club Working Hunter Championships.
Looking forward to working with another great sponsor.
Riding Clubs can still apply to hold a qualifier - full details and entry form and qualifier dates here
Scottish Rider Access Group receives award
Strathearn Rider Access Group have been awarded an Access Award for Excellent Service by an Equestrian Access Group by The British Horse Society. Sheena Haddow from StrathRRAG said : "This is a great achievement and we are all very proud that our wee group has received this recognition".
A Night on Bitting
Over 100 people attended a “Bitting Night” with Dr Caroline Benoist at Oatridge College on Monday 20 November – this has certainly been our most popular evening to date with the room full to capacity. This was such an informative evening and one lucky person won a voucher for a new bit. It is hoped to have another similar evening next year further north so remember to book quickly. Thanks to Caroline, Heather and Megan for such an interesting evening.
New Regional Committee Formed on Shetland
BHS Scotland is pleased to report that Shetland is now the 14th Regional Committee within Scotland. Over the last year, members on Shetland have demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment, which was evident during the recent BHS Scotland Highlands and Islands Tour with Professor Derek Knottenbelt. There are currently 77 BHS members on Shetland and this is growing.
The enthusiastic group of individuals have already held one committee meeting and have another one planned before the end of 2017. It is hoped that a few events will be organised over the winter months with a presence at one of the shows in summer 2018.
The enthusiasm of all these people is unquestioned – they are desperate to play an active role in the society, which is so inspiring.
Scottish Coach appointed Head Coach of World Special Olympic Summer Games
Julia Gourley BHSI, UKCC3 from Aberdeenshire, has been appointed as Head Coach to the British Equestrian Special Olympic Team for the World Special Olympic Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The World Special Olympic Summer Games are held every 4 years for competitors with learning difficulties. The British Team will consist of 6 riders with learning disabilities from across GB.
The Magic Horse
Hats off to Falkirk Community Trust and other partners (including BHS Scotland), who pulled off an exceptional event at the Helix Park in the shadow of Andy Scott’s Kelpies, that brought horses and ponies to the people in a safe, nostalgic, magical and accessible way.
2017 has been designated the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, a year to celebrate Scotland’s unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. And where better to celebrate the contribution of the horse to the prosperity of Scotland than alongside the industrial landscape of the canals and mines with the shining statues of shape shifting water horses as back drop.
The daylong event had a programme that ranged from truly modern fairy tales to the traditional equestrian heritage. Artistic highlight included Francois Chaussebourg‘s ‘Ma Bete Noire’ captivating and dramatic French play featuring a well-trained Friesian Stallion and his dancer rider in a love hate relationship. There was the beautiful unicorn, or the quadrille which turned the heads of all when the universally popular song “Let of Go” from Disney’s Frozen underpinned a colourful finale. Then the sort of heritage we are all more used to in BHS Scotland – our horse loggers, the Clydesdales demonstrating the heritage of the horse in farming, travel and industry as Benny Duncan and the Balmalcolm horses towed a barge along the Union Canal – a unique privilege to see in this day and age. Police horses getting up close and personal were the icing on the cake for the public.
More than any other event we have been part of in the last two decades, ‘horsepower’ - held in the heart of the central belt and run to a stringent risk assessment - brought equines and people together in an exemplary fun and educational way. The weather, the location, the crowds (it is estimated that between 13 and 15 thousand people visited) all conspired to reignite so many with our human inherent love of; and the pure magic of the horse. Carriage rides and pony rides were open to all (although the queues were so long that -with horse and pony welfare in mind – many people were disappointed.) If there was ever an event to remind is of the vibrancy of our sector and the need for the local riding stables – then this was it. A traditional carousel; so colourful with horses flying to the music of a hurdy-gurdy; straight out of Mary Poppins, was busy all day too. This truly was the sort of day that money simply cannot buy.
A9 engineers meet horses
Engineers working on the A9 joined BHS Scotland and Paths for All for a day on the National Access Demonstration Site at SRUC Oatridge College to be shown the needs of non-motorised users in respect of the A9 Dualling.
Two equine students (Katie and Eilidh) from the college rode Rosie and Branagh demonstrating how surfaces affect horses’ hooves, gate opening and mounting and dismounting as the needs of horse riders were emphasised.
Engineers from Fairhurst, WSP, Jacobs and Transport Scotland attended.
Helene Mauchlen National Manager said; “This is probably one of the most important things we have done this year, as the A9 is 80 miles long and effectively creates a barrier across most of the northern part of Scotland. Transport Scotland has been good at forming a non-motorised users group of which BHS plays an active part.
“But to have the engineers take such an interest in the physiology of a horses foot and wonder at the manoeuvring space a horse and rider need to open a gate is a very gratifying way to demonstrate the needs of riders in a memorable way.
“We are hoping the A9 NMU route will be truly multiuse as a result of today. Graeme Anderson, technical officer from Paths for All was excellent in advising the professionals on the needs of all access takers but it was good to see horses stealing the limelight.” ”
2017 Business Rates Revaluation - Equestrian Centre Guidance Note
BHS Scotland, in partnership with D&R Rural, have created an advice note on the 2017 Business Rate Evaluation for all equestrian business in Scotland.
Download the document here
For more information email Helene Mauchlen
BHS Scotland are proud partners of Save a Life for Scotland
Every year 3500 people have an out of hospital cardiac arrest in Scotland, which is about 70 each week.
Only around 1 in 20 survive to leave hospital, less than 10%. Whilst other European countries have had survival rates of over 50% for more than 10 years. This is due largely to our lack of bystander CPR and availability of Public Access Defibrillators. People living and working in rural areas are particularly vulnerable. The BHS has joined forces with Save A Life for Scotland to try to encourage everyone to have a go at Hands Only CPR and change these statics. We would like to encourage our members to visit the Save a Life website www.savealife.scot were you can access and organise this lifesaving training for yourself, your group or your event.
BHS Scotland Quiz Final
BHS Scotland Chairman honored with Points of Light Award
Points of light award for ECEIM Diplomate and Honorary member Derek Knottenbelt
British Prime Minister Theresa May recognised ECEIM Diplomate and Honorary member Professor Derek Knottenbelt with a Points of Light award on 9th December 2016. This award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, was given in recognition of Derek's work with ‘Vets with Horsepower’, a group of equine veterinarians who go on motorbike tours to raise funds for international animal and human charities by delivering veterinary continuing education. Prime Minister Theresa May said that: “Your initiative, ‘Vets with Horsepower’ takes a brilliantly innovative approach to raising funds for some very worthy causes across the world, as well as supporting charity staff with your team’s professional skills.” Derek, the driving force behind Vets with Horsepower is the 631st recipient of a Points of Light award and said: “This award is truly amazing and I am both honoured and humbled by it. I am part of an amazing team of people who care deeply about the wider world and this is as much their recognition as mine. It is simply amazing to be recognised in this way.” The group recently completed a tour in South Africa and have raised in excess of £280,000 for causes. Plans for the 7th edition of Vets with Horsepower are already underway!
BHS Scotland would like to congratulate our wonderful Chairman on this well-deserved honour!!
BHS Scotland celebrates Scottish award winners
Pandora – Tarragon Trophy
Stable Life is what it says on the tin “A hand to hold, a heart to heal and a horse to love”
Stable Life have some very special ponies who bring unconditional love and acceptance to those who need it the most.
Caroline Taylor Smith tragically lost her life in a car accident and she was an inspirational young lady whose kindness and generosity touched many young people.
Caroline was also one of the first young people who has been supported through her journey with Stable Life and she meant so much to everyone on the project and touched so many others hearts in her role as a peer mentor and volunteer with Stable Life.
Caroline was an advocate for young people and understood the challenges of dealing with anxiety and she showed great understanding and empathy for other young people who were struggling with personal challenges in their life. She also volunteered with RDA and gave so much to others and shared her love of ponies.
Following her tragic accident and all too early death, her family chose that they would like to give the retirement collection to “Stable Life”. It was used to purchase a very special pony called “Pandora”.
Pandora brings sunshine and joy to young people at Stable Life and she is a living reminder of a special girl who everyone at Stable Life misses so much.
Pandora is a firm favourite with everyone especially the “Tiny Trotters” and she just makes everyone smile - a wee pony with a BIG attitude.
“Stable Life is a special place for the most special young people whom we are privileged to support and wee “Pandora” optimises HOPE and underneath everything there is hope.
Gillian Elliot - Farney Grange for Most Popular Instructor
We were over whelmed with votes for Gillian. Gillian is based at Burnbank Equestrian Hamilton, where she is chief coach and yard manager who has worked in BHS approved training Centres and has a BSc in Equine Sports Science, BHS Stable Manager Intermediate Training and UKCC Level 4
The ploughmen of Fife - Beveridge for Fundraising
This amazing group of horse men helped us fundraise £5000 at the 2016 Working Horses Day
Sue Kilby - Volunteer of the Year
Well what can we say about our very own Sue Kilby Welfare officer for BHS Scotland? Sue was nominated for this award for her outstanding commitment to the welfare of our horses here in Scotland. She has been training, coordinating and advising Scottish Welfare Officers for many years and never hesitates to get involved. Once, Sue had been told of a field of where highland horses were grazing with ragwort in. Undaunted, she endeavoured to pull the field of ragwort by herself over a number of weekends in the blazing sun. Just one of many stories that showcase her devotion to the cause.
Yogi double bill leaves Scotland inspired and refreshed
BHS Scotland received a wonderful double helping of Yogi Breisner; retiring British eventing team coach at the end of November, when a master CPD delivered inspirational exercises and straightforward equitation philosophy at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre for nearly 75 coaches and a preceding evening event was held where Yogi shared his Rio Olympic Journey.
Yogi stated his “sadness but tinged with optimism” as he steps down as team coach but cited a bright future for British eventing given the amazing pool of riders and horses currently available.
His amusing presentation covered the chronology of being a performance manager from before the games are even announced to having a team complete and return home. The challenges of planning, climate, geography, accreditation, selection and logistics and of course funding were all covered in his talk about the journey to the Rio Games.
At the CPD Yogi used innovative exercises and various props to make for some exciting yet fun jumping training and his calm knowledge of riders in the flat work as he tackled winter homework, the show jumping course, test preparation and Cross Country Technique.
BHS Scotland Chairman of Training Erik McKechnie BHSI said; ”It was such a privilege to have someone as clever and traditional but with a young fresh view come and amazing insight from the top of the sport of eventing present to us and invigorate our coaches – great early winter revision and very affirming.”
What we learned at the Perth Biosecurity conference – Your industry needs you!
Following a conference held in partnership in Scotland it is clear that equine biosecurity is the job of every single horse owner or groom and that we all have to do more to prevent the spread of disease. Simple easy actions like washing your hands more frequently, not stroking other people’s horses at events or not allowing your pony to touch noses with another would be a great start!
Better still each yard should have isolation for new or ill equines and properly practice quarantine for the new and we all should vaccinate for flu. Create biosecurity for your own horse- look for the critical control points in its life and strengthen these. Think biosecurity during transportation and journeys – in equine world horses move all the time. Livery yards should use blood sampling for strangles and consider joining the SRUC PASS scheme and everyone should use the blood test at point of sale as part of vetting and take your horses’ temperature every day – simple! This is a call for action for BHS members to start the biosecurity movement. There is plenty of proof that good biosecurity is always disease led – meaning those who have suffered from disease makes the biggest effort to avoid it! BHS needs to use education to change that psyche and make our industry more proactive and less reactive when it comes to biosecurity.
BHS Scotland Equestrian Access Conference
BHS Scotland held the first ever Equestrian and Multi-Use Access to the Countryside conference in November to show case the work of BHS access volunteers and equestrian access groups in Scotland in preserving off road riding and barrier free paths and tracks.
The well attended event chaired by Mark Stephen for BBC Scotland’s Out of Doors programme highlighted how horse riders can be discriminated against in Scotland even although they have the same right of responsible access as walkers and cyclists but concentrated on the positive educational, advocacy and advisory role of the BHS.
Scotland has some of the best horse riding in Europe and if this event was anything to go by the opportunities and access to true wilderness for horse riders are in good hands with BHS Scotland who have kept off road riding to the fore of their Scottish agenda for the 51 years they have been in action. Helene Mauchlen, National manager for the BHS in Scotland gave a chronology of access work undertaken in Scotland and introduced some new resources produced in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage.
Local access volunteers presented their positive partnership work at Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire, Balmedie Beach in Grampian, and the Frandy Gate in Strathearn and the event also showcased the valuable work of rangers in Beecraigs Country Park who work inclusively to accommodate all users fairly.
A short film showing horse riders attitudes to off road riding in Scotland was shown before countryside consultant Vyv Wood Gee who is also a long distance rider gave a well-illustrated demonstration that while horse riders are so pleased to have the same rights as walkers and cyclists in Scotland, in practice they have more difficulties exercising them that right than other users. Vyv also touched on the growing evidence that many people including access practitioners and land owners don’t always recognise the right of responsible access that horse riders have and the difficulties hose riders experience in Scotland over finding places to go.
The event then demonstrated some of our more difficult access case studies involving obstructions which include cattle grids with no gate, unnecessary locked gates on well used and promoted tracks, off putting signage and lengthy filibustering in the resolution of cases.
In the afternoon workshops on the Land Reform Act, working with land owners, resolving problems and who represents multi-use were all held with constructive feedback.
Ann Fraser Chairman of BHS Scotland Access said: “Scotland is so proud of its access volunteers and the massive amount of work they do which was evident today. With education, partnership working and everyone riding out responsibly we believe our fortunate position of having equal rights to other non-motorised users can only get better year on year. Mostly the legislation works well for us and we’d like to thank all the people and organisations who support equestrian access in Scotland.”
Across the generations the legacy of the working horse
Battle of the Somme Commemoration Finale at BHS Working Horses Day
In glorious sunshine on the first of October the 700 people who attended the BHS Scotland working horse day at Meadowells Farm in the parish of Collessie, Fife courtesy of RH Black; were treated to an intimate and spectacular display of working horses and vintage machinery.
Under the leadership of Benny Duncan from Balmalcolm Clydesdales horsemen from England, Ireland and Scotland reproduced the farming year in a day when they ploughed, planted, fertilised, harrowed, followed by reaper, binder and cart to transport the sheaves to a barn mill where the wheat was separated from the straw. Twenty five Clydesdale horses took part in the day and were assisted both a highland and a Shetland as the Scottish native breeds put on a good show.
With gentle and well trained working horses on hand, the public were able to ask questions, handle the machinery and harness and even have a go. Our informative MC for the Day was George skinner from Strathorn Stables Aberdeenshire and his knowledgeable insight was greatly appreciated. George even took time out from his commentating to show children how to build a corn stack from the sheaves.
The legendary BHS tearoom provided soup, stovies and home baking for everyone and the event was very sociable as people enjoyed the Royal Highland Society archive on Horses in War and Work in an adjacent large marquee. Side shows included mares and foals, J&K Balfour farriers making working horse shoes and a Robert Sibbald Clydesdale showing Masterclass also a forestry demonstration from James Falconer. Simon Alston demonstrated harness decorating and Jim Wallace brought his film and samples of vintage tools.
BHS Scotland is grateful to all the above and the working horsemen; Benny Duncan Balmalcolm Clydesdales, Davy Duncan from Johnshaven Ross Kinnaird, David Nelson, John McDermot from Newton Abbey, Neil McPhail from Campbeltown and Ronnie Walker. Also Davy Walker and Beverly Brown from Galcantry Clydesdales who provided free dray rides all day.
Scottish Manager for BHS Helene Mauchlen said: “Our fifth working horse day exceeded all expectations; the spectacle of these gentle giants working so hard in such close proximity to people using authentic machinery and equipment was stunning. Those who attended ranged in age from 1 to over 100 and the comments we received have been so warm.
“It was a privilege to show case the horses in War and Work archive and we commemorated the First World War in a moving tableau as a finale when we symbolically unhitched a pair from the plough and hitched them to a World War 1 cannon (made by local wheelwright Ian Grant) to see them led off to war by soldiers while Cupar and District Pipe band played the ‘Battle of the Somme’. This was a fitting tribute to the heritage horses have given us and their sacrifice 100 years ago.”
Thank you for saving equestrian lives
At Blair International Horse Trials BHS Scotland took the opportunity to present Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) with a cheque for over 3k which was fund raised at their recent Balmoral Ride. To date SCAA has attended 75 Scottish equestrian emergencies in total - equating to 9% of all callouts.
This averages at 26 per year or twice a month or once every two weeks , the charity air ambulance is totally funded by fund raising – that is why the BHS Scottish Committee took the decision to thank them for all they do to save equestrian lives across the whole of Scotland.
BHS National Manager Helene Mauchlen is pictured presenting a cheque to Joyce Leslie from SCAA.
Picture by Jim Crichton
Encouraging responsible horse riding
Guidance On Using Signage To Manage Shared Use Outdoor Access
The third part of our multi-use access communications project funded by SNH was to produce a paper on appropriate signage that helps people behave in a responsible manner while accessing the country side.
Download the BHS Scotland Guidance Note on Shared Path Signage here
Access Case Studies
BHS Scotland works tirelessly with their volunteers to improve equestrian access in Scotland. We have compiled several successful case studies to inspire access volunteers and assist with ongoing issues across Scotland. Click on the links below to read and download.
Beecraigs Country Park
Haddington - Longniddry Railway
John Muir Country Park
Oban to Fort William Cycle Route
Old Roman Route
Grass Sickness Season
Be aware during this changeable weather that it is ‘grass sickness season’ and sadly several horses have already lost their lives. The signs can be very subtle and the disease is often mistaken for colic in the early stages. Be on the look out for depressed behaviour, reduced appetite or mucous coated dung. There may be a foul smell, salivation and gastric reflux, patchy sweating and muscle tremors. There could also be a very high heart rate, a lack of gut sounds and a distended abdomen. The onset of the disease can be terrifyingly quick - if you suspect grass sickness please call the vet immediately.
As yet there is no sure way to prevent the disease, but feeding a daily ration of hay, making any changes to feed or management regime very slowly (particularly the change to summer turnout) and manual poo picking are all thought to help reduce the risk. Do worm egg counts to see whether your horse or pony actually needs worming rather than administering a wormer ‘just in case’. Try and keep your fields in good condition, avoiding over grazed, poached ground and keeping the grass evenly topped. For information and advice about the disease please visit www.grasssickness.org.uk’
Download EGSF Risk Leaflet
FORMER ARMY MASCOT ‘CRUACHAN III’ RECIEVES PRESTIGIOUS BHS AWARD
Shetland pony and former Royal Regiment of Scotland Mascot ‘Cruachan III’ was awarded the ‘Tarragon Trophy’ from The British Horse Society today at a special event held in Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
The ‘Tarragon Trophy’ is the British Horse Society ‘Equine Personality’ of the year award and is presented to horses or ponies that have contributed to the community, overcome hardship or deemed to have the personality worthy of the esteemed honour.
Helene Mauchlen from the British Horse Society, said:
“Every so often the BHS is privileged to meet an equine that has delivered untold benefit to humankind, and Cruachan is just that pony
“In his long life he has brightened the lives of so many people, from casual acquaintances at events, veterans and sick children and on top of that he does his day job of representing, inspiring and motivating our army.
“He is a credit to all equines and an example of the untold good that horses and ponies provide. It is our pleasure and a privilege to present him with the Tarragon Trophy.”
Shetland pony, Cruachan III, retired in 2012 at the age of 23 after nearly two decades of military service. For almost 17 years he took part in numerous military parades, Highland games and became a much loved addition to the cast of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The endearing pony was also a personal favourite of Her Majesty The Queen and attended Balmoral Castle each year when she visited Scotland.
Colonel Alastair Campbell, Regimental Secretary of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:
“Cruachan III marched proudly with Scottish infantry soldiers on parade for 17 years, firstly with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then The Royal Regiment of Scotland. So we are extremely pleased that the British Horse Society has recognised his service drawing attention to the contribution of Scottish soldiers by awarding him the Tarragon Trophy.”
Pony Major Corporal Mark Wilkinson, who is responsible for the care, training and welfare of Cruachan III, said:
“Like most old Scottish soldiers he loves to hear the sound of the Pipes which takes him back to being on parade. As a veteran he still attends Armed Forces Day and helps Service and civilian charities when he can. He’s always very popular with young and old alike.”
Originally the Mascot of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Cruachan III was adopted by The Royal Regiment of Scotland on its formation in 2006. He now spends his retirement in Redford Barracks with his companion and successor, Cruachan IV.
A Guide to Path Grading
During 2015 Paths for All and Forestry Commission Scotland have worked together to create a useful comprehensive paths grading guidance which aims to work as a decision making tool – ‘to go or not to go’ – to all access takers under the Land Reform (Scotland ) 2003 Act and a grading tool for paths managers that will lead to uniform interpretation.
Download the guidance information
BHS Scotland and BHS Borders visit a Forest
Key messages for riders visiting working forests reinforced at joint Scottish event
BHS Scotland and BHS Borders joined forces with The Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) at the end of October to run an educational and interesting forest access day at Glentress Visitors Centre east of Peebles . Despite the damp and mist, the riders who attended enjoyed the talks and the forest visit and BHS left having happily reinforced several key messages with FCS that facilitate forest riding during management works. These include:
FCS are keen to encourage riders to check FCS website for details of harvesting and other operations which may affect their riding plans. The dates promoted routes affected by forestry work and maps of the areas will be flagged up on this website.
Warning, route closure and diversion signs should be erected at key entry points to every forest when felling, extraction, haulage and other such operations in place, but should be confined to specific working areas only i.e. not the whole forest closed.
For their own safety, and that of people working in the forest, riders should respect signs about path closures and diversions. Key messages include safety and in particular the very real risk of a forwarder chain breaking and flying off at same speed as a bullet, this has been known to embed in bulletproof windscreens, and in trees within 100 metres.
BHS appreciates FCS good practice e.g. flip-over signs which operators can turn over at end of day when they finish to reopen route and vice versa in morning - not examples where routes are closed with nothing happening or signs left in place over weekend.
Diversions for promoted routes should be well signed on site. We've asked FCS to ensure maps are provided, and to ensure diversions take account of all users.
If riders come across any situations where signs or diversions are not in place, or there are inappropriate closures, e.g. left closed when no work going on, FCS are keen to know so please alert either them or BHSS.
This was an excellent partnership event and more like this will be held in Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire next year.
Working Horse Day 2015
Make hay while the sun shines!
With the treble themes of horse power, agricultural heritage and education, the fourth BHS Scotland working horse day took place in blazing Perthshire sunshine in early October with eighteen different rigs and over 200 members of the public attending.
The packed timetable covered field work; ploughing, carting, harrowing, horse logging, work for individual ponies including deer saddles for the Highlands and peat carrying creels for the Eriskay pony, showing, turnout and care.
The most popular feature demonstration being hay making by heavy horses from Dave and Robert Nelson, Benny Duncan and Ross Kinnaird along with all their helpers. They used hay mowers, turners, kickers and rakes put through their paces alongside a Tumblin Tam which brought hay to the hand made stack. The climax of the hay-making theme was the operation of a pike or ruck maker by Bill Allan, who had brought it all the way from Silloth in Cumbria to use in conjunction with a green crop loader behind Benny Duncan’s pair of Clydesdales.
BHS Scotland was indebted to all our performers including; Robert Sibbald and team, Ruaridh Ormiston, Helena Macdonald, Maggie Macrae, Mary McGillivray, Janice Kirkpatrick, Jen Roy and Andrew Whitaker for bringing their amazing working horses and ponies, their machines and their harness. The legendary BHs Scotland tearoom did a roaring trade in the traditional Scottish fare of soup and stovies.
BHS Scotland Trip to Germany
Scottish BHS Members share Golden Anniversary in Germany
From start to finish the BHS Scotland 50th Anniversary trip to Germany was the equestrian trip of a lifetime for the fortunate members that filled the thirty places available, the happy age group with an age range between 84-12, came from all over Scotland including Orkney, Lewis, and the Borders.
Over three days the group watched over 500 horses, and experienced first-hand how with state support, dedication, discipline and an immense pride in their native horses, the German equestrian industry has become one of the most vibrant, successful and admired worldwide.
The visit coincided with the 50th Westphalian Elite-Auction, where the first day was spent with a guided tour of the outstanding facilities, and viewing the schooling of the current 3 and 4 year old crop of these famous Westphalian performance and breeding horses. The bloodlines from stallions such as Rubinstein, Pilot, Cornet Obolensky, Florestan and current superstar Damon Hill were all on view as testament to the quality and success of the Westphalian sport horse breeding programme. Show casing their young talent from these great dynasties makes the Westphalian Elite and Special auctions such a thrilling event. Scottish BHS members were impressed by the dressage and jumping stars of the future and at the subsequent auction the top horse was sold for Euro 140.000
Day two was spent at the Nordrhein-Westfalisches [NRW] State stud in Warendorf, which began with a comprehensive tour, and was followed by a spectacle that has to be on every horse lovers bucket list – the grandiose and unforgettable “Stallion Parade” or ‘Hengstparaden’.
The history of the 185 year old state stud combined with the German Riding School, which joined the stud fifty years ago – the same year as BHS Scotland came into being- as the ‘Centre of professional Cavalry’ is awe inspiring. There were 160 stallions in residence, less in the breeding season, when they are farmed out to breeding stations; warm bloods, thoroughbreds and cold blooded or draft stallions – the latter are kept to preserve endangered species and provide heavies for forestry work. The three hour parade was a breath-taking spectacle of dressage, long reining, driving, music and beautiful moving horses.
On day three we were taken to visit the hallowed ground and equestrian yard of the late Dr Reiner Klimke, arguably the father of classical dressage in Germany. We were treated to a personal master class by his son Grand Prix rider Michael Klimke. A tour of the yard, followed by schooling a range of horses from four to ten years of age, offered us a privileged insight into Michael’s training methods. After generous hospitality Michael discussed how long horses take to mature, what to look for in a horse, especially a good walk and canter and gymnastic approach, and how to train riders focusing on the importance of the seat with feel and balance.
BHS Scotland Director Helene Mauchlen said: “Words cannot do justice to this trip; from the moment we checked onto Group “Young” at Edinburgh airport until we arrived home we were looked after royally and treated to such an inspiring, enlightening and spectacular equestrian holiday. We are all indebted to Loraine and Ronnie Young for masterminding such a great beginning to BHS Scotland’s 50th Anniversary celebration year.
“We always think about the Scottish horse worlds place in Europe. It seems like fate that our trip coincided with the 50th Elite Auction and the 50th Anniversary of the German riding school joining the NRW State Stud. How fortunate we were to experience in some small way a half century of improving breeding, riding and education, surrounding the welfare and harmony of the horse and rider in another European country.”
In recent years, the frequently fatal muscle disease Atypical Myopathy (AM) has become more prevalent in Great Britain. Statistics collated in 2010 by the Atypical Myopathy Alert Group (AMAG) revealed three reported cases of AM in Britain in the year up to November.
By 2013 the figure had increased to 51 reported cases in the equivalent time period. The increase is not confined to Britain as confirmed cases of AM are also growing throughout Europe at a rapid rate.
Associated with horses kept predominately at grass, AM occurs predominantly during the autumn, although cases are also more rarely seen in the spring. AM can affect individual horses or several horses within the same group. All horses are potentially susceptible to AM, although youngsters and horses above the age of 20 have been found to be at greater risk.
The disease was first recognised in 1984 and is very similar to a disease in America called Seasonal Pasture Myopathy (SPM). Myopathy diseases in horses result in damage to the muscle tissue and cause significant muscular pain in affected animals.
Although research is still in its early stages, links to 'helicopter' seeds from sycamore trees have so far been identified.
This Atypical Myopathy advice leaflet will tell you how and why you need to be aware of this dangerous disease, how to spot it and how you can minimise risks.
Protocol for promoting off-road riding and carriage driving routes in Scotland
BHS Scotland have created a new guidance note on promoting off-road riding and carridage driving routes in Scotland. BHS’ recommendation and in-house policy is that as a matter of courtesy, land owners and managers should usually be consulted before promoting off-road riding and carriage driving routes. The guidance note explains the rationale behind this protocol, exactly what falls within the definition of ‘promoting’ a route, suggests how to consult appropriate individuals, and identifies some exceptions where consultation is not considered necessary. Download the full guidance note here
Equine Health Checklist
This checklist sets out the essential routines to help care for horses responsibly in a simple, accessible format and will encourage – among other good habits – basic disease prevention in routine horse care. Our ultimate aim is to have the poster displayed in every yard, vet’s reception, horse owner’s stable etc. – indeed everywhere that it can be seen by horse owners and keepers. You can also download this chart as a PDF document here .