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Practical Horse Nutrition - Reader Offer
PRACTICAL Horse Nutrition by R.H. Kerrigan B.ScAgr. M.A.A.S. M.A.A.A.C. 
Australian born Robert Kerrigan was instrumental in establishing the Horse Management Certificate Course within the NSW Dept of Technical and Further Education, and is renowned for advising horse-owners across the disciplines on feeding methods.  
In his book, the comparison between the digestive systems of ‘commercial’ animals, such as sheep and cattle at first glance may seem irrelevant, but in fact it forms the basis of just how horses eat, why they are unable to eat the same feeds as these animals, and why they need ‘clean’ uncontaminated feeds.  
Importantly, he also addresses the problem of why horses do not cope with nutrition in excess of their requirements.  
The horse, by nature, was designed to use excess feed to support its ‘flight’ response, therefore, to produce energy, so horses overfed in relation to their actual requirements, have no way in which to utilize the excess.  
He states: “Modern horse management practices, where we ‘hard feed’ horses confined in stables without adequate exercise, are directly opposite and contrary to how nature designed the horse to function.” 
The nutritional requirements of the horse are broken down and covered in detail, together with potential problems created by imbalances, and a comprehensive section on condition scoring.  
Importantly, he includes a very useful section on just what is contained in a feed, and whether it gives value for money.  
Kerrigan concludes his book with several pages of practical horse nutrition guidelines, which, if they were to be observed by the horse owner, would lead to sound equine feeding practice. 
Exclusive Offer for Horse Health Readers: 
This book is already in it’s third edition, which gives some idea of it’s popularity.  
It is published in Australia by the author and is available exclusively in the UK and Ireland from Thoroughbred Interntational Inc for £34.50. 
To order please contact Kelly Tarff on 01226 734695 or e-mail: kt@whpl.net.  

Woman jailed after pregnant horse starved to death
A WOMAN who allowed a pregnant horse to starve to death has been jailed for breaching her ban on keeping horses.  
Delia Stacey of Strachey Close, Tidmarsh, Reading appeared before Guildford Crown Court earlier this month where she was given a 35 day prison sentence, an extra five year ban and was ordered to pay £2000 costs.  
Stacey’s 86 acre Pepperbox Stud in Bramley was visited by ILPH and RSPCA officers in March 2005.  
They found three emaciated horses including a bay mare, Desert Sand, who was pregnant and unable to stand as she was so weak.  
A vet was called in to treat the horses, but it was too late to save the mare and she was finally euthanased.  
In the next field, in full view of the horses, were 1000 bales of hay.  
In May 2006 Stacey was given a three year ban, a one month suspended sentence, 120 hours community service and a fine of £9,000.  
However, she was spotted transporting horses along the M25 by an RSPCA inspector a few days later.  
As she was travelling four polo ponies on her own and breaching her ban, she was arrested and taken into custody.  
ILPH Field Officer Ted Barnes said: “This has been a very long and protracted case and I am absolutely delighted with the outcome. 
“It goes to show that people who mistreat horses and flout their ban can run but they can’t hide. 
“I totally endorse the sentence given to Delia Stacey and hope that it will be a lesson to her.”  

College to host second conference
The Open College of Equine Studies is set to host a second Equine Science Conference this October, following the success of last year’s event.  
The first conference achieved its aim of bringing together veterinary surgeons, scientists, educators, students and others involved in owning, riding or managing horses.  
This year’s function, to be held over the 20 and 21 October at Boxted Hall near Bury St Edmunds, will be open to all.  
It will be of interest and benefit to equine science graduates and undergraduates, yard and stud managers, as well as the interested private horse owner.  
World renowned experts, including Professor Twink Allen and Dr David Marlin, will speak on a range of topical and emerging areas of equine science, giving visitors the opportunity to discuss the latest findings with people involved at the ‘cutting edge’.  
Talks will include a discussion of heart murmurs and collapse from Dr Lesley E Young, new developments in assessing fitness and ability from Dr David Marlin and the role of exercise in rehabilitation from Kathryn Nankervis.  
Dr Mark Kennedy will be speaking on equine welfare in the 21st century and Dr Colin Roberts will be looking into chronic fatigue syndrome in horses and medication issues in sport.  
Other speakers will be addressing new and emerging threats to equine health, advances in performance horse feeds, the development and application of modern breeding technologies and the role of the team vet.  

New 'safety' flags to be used to reduce injury risk
NEW ‘safety’ cross-country flags are to be used on certain fences from this month, in line with revised British Eventing rules.  
In order to reduce the risk of injury to horse or rider, all flags and poles on certain fence types must meet four criteria based on construction, material, design and how the flags are secured to the fence.  
Among other requirements, poles must be made of material that cannot shatter or splinter and poles and flags must have no points or sharp corners.  
Flags must also be secured in such a way that they ‘break away’ from the fence if it is struck, to reduce the chance or the horse or rider being injured.  
The rules will apply to several types of fences including narrow jumps and those with corner approaches. 
The change follows the freak accident at Badminton in which French rider Jean-Lou Bigot's horse Icare D'Auzay died after being staked by a wooden flag at the Vicarage Vee that snapped and pierced several arteries. 
British Eventing Sport Director, Mike Etherington-Smith, said: “Safety of horse and rider is the number one priority in our sport and any steps which can be taken to further improve it will be taken.  
“This rule is a safety measure to avoid potential accidents and it is hoped that all organisers will understand the importance of introducing such flags as soon as possible.”  
A number of manufacturers are currently supply flags which meet the criteria and British Eventing will make a list available to help event organisers source the required equipment.  
All flags and flagpoles to be used in eventing situations will now need to be approved by the BE Field Staff. 

Society warning over companion horses
THE British Horse Society is warning people to be wary when responding to adverts seeking companion horses.  
The caution comes after an increase in the number of reports that these animals are being sold on to new homes.  
The BHS is concerned for their welfare as animals deemed suitable as companions often have physical reasons why they should not be ridden.  
A number of calls have been received by the BHS from concerned members who have responded to these adverts. 
Some months after selling their horse as a companion, it has been sold on to a new home as a riding horse.  
In some cases this appears to be a money making venture as companion horses often change hands for little or no money, but can be sold for hundreds or thousands of pounds.  
Lee Hackett, BHS Welfare Senior Executive, said: “Although it only happens in a small number of cases, the increase in the number of reports of this practice we have received is worrying.  
“We are obviously concerned for the horses and the calls we have received have highlighted how distressing this is for the animal’s previous owners.  
“We must stress that this is not a common occurrence and we would not seek to put people off finding homes for their horses as companions. 
“It can be an excellent way to ensure and injured or elderly horse has a safe and permanent home.”  
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