Category Archives: horse

‘Handsome, hardworking and consistently brave’: tributes to police horse killed by tumour

connor west yorkshire police horse

A popular police horse with a “huge personality” has died after more than a decade serving with West Yorkshire Police’s mounted section.

Nineteen-year-old gelding Connor joined the force in October 2003 and served for 14 years. He was described by the force as a “handsome, hardworking and consistently brave” horse.

He was admitted to an equine veterinary clinic in North Yorkshire last Monday (16 October) after he became unwell.

Tests revealed he had a tumour in his abdomen. It was not treatable and he died at midnight on Wednesday (18 October).

connor west yorkshire police horse

“Connor was a handsome, hardworking and consistently brave horse who was popular with the team at Carr Gate and the public alike,” said Inspector Julie Fitzpatrick.

“He policed many significant events across the force during his long service.

“Standing at almost 18hh, his size was matched by his huge personality both on and off the yard.”

connor west yorkshire police horse

Connor was on duty at countless football matches during his career, becoming a familiar figure at Leeds United’s home games at Elland Road as well as Bradford City matches.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said Connor was a particular favourite with the public.

Article continues below…

You might also be interested in:

“When out on patrol in the city and town centres across West Yorkshire he was so imposing with his size and always drew a large crowd,” she added.

Connor also served at the Grande Depart as part of the Tour de Yorkshire and was on patrol at the “Great Get Together” held in memory of MP Jo Cox.

connor west yorkshire police horse

He also served in numerous ceremonial events and awards ceremonies.

Inspector Fitzpatrick added: “His unexpected death has come as a massive shock to the team and he will be sadly missed.”

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

The entire article can be viewed

Queen meets her own former racehorse at King’s Troop anniversary parade

Pictured: Her Majesty The Queen inspects the parade.

Seventy years after Her Father, King George VI, named the Royal Artillery’s Riding Troop as “The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery”; Her Majesty The Queen inspected The Troop on their anniversary parade today in Hyde Park. Six Guns, more than eighty horses and their riders from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery paraded in all their ceremonial finery in front of their Captain General, the Master Gunner St James’s Palace, and their Honorary Colonel.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is Her Majesty The Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery firing Gun Salutes for state occasions and Royal birthdays. Stationed in King George VI Lines, Woolwich Barracks in London, it is a mounted Army unit and all of its soldiers are superb equestrians who are trained to drive teams of six horses that pull six First World War ‘thirteen pounder’ state saluting guns. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery gunners are also trained as fighting soldiers. All soldiers from the unit deploy on operations around the world when required.

Corporal Dek Traylor / MoD Crown

A soldier who was on parade when the King’s Troop was created by George VI in 1947 was present when The Queen inspected the troop on its 70th anniversary — as was a former racehorse once owned by Her Majesty.

Percy Austen, who was serving as C sub-section centre driver when the Queen’s father renamed the Royal Artillery’s riding troop in 1947, was presented with an engraved cartridge case to mark the occasion, in Hyde Park yesterday (19 October).

Six guns and more than 80 horses and their riders from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Queen’s ceremonial saluting battery, were on parade today (19 October).

A spokesman for the troop said: “After a royal salute and the National Anthem, parade commander Major Harry Wallace invited Her Majesty to inspect the troop, which she did from a Range Rover.

“Her Majesty then watched the troop with their guns perform a trot past, canter past, and an advance in review order.”

Pictures by Corporal Dek Traylor / MoD Crown

The Queen also met her own former racehorse Knock Castle, whom she has given to the troop to be retrained as a parade horse, and soldiers and veterans including Mr Austen.

“Her Majesty was shown the first review document signed by her father in 1947 in which he struck out the word “Riding” and inserted “King’s” to name the troop as his own,” said the spokesman, who added that The Queen signed another document to mark the anniversary.

All soldiers of the King’s Troop, which is stationed in Woolwich Barracks in London, are “superb equestrians” trained to drive teams of six horses who pull the First World War “13-pounder” state saluting guns.

The gunners are also trained as soldiers and deploy internationally as and when required.

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

The entire article can be viewed

Take a whistle-stop tour of Valegro’s career in 46 minutes

Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro at Hartpury Festival of Dressage 2017

Thanks to a new video released by Horse & Country TV, you can now enjoy the highlights of Olympic gold-medallist Valegro’s stellar career in one sitting.

In 46 minutes, viewers can be taken on the wonder horse’s journey dating back to 2009 when the channel first filmed Valegro, right through to the moving farewell ceremony at last year’s London International Horse Show at Olympia.

We meet a fresh-faced Charlotte Dujardin riding Blueberry at home in 2010 in the days before Olympic glory, under strict instruction from Carl, as well as watching the pair cantering around the Gloucestershire countryside — a far cry from the high pressure arenas that we became so used to seeing Valegro performing in.

Charting his unrelenting success, the film finishes at Olympia Horse Show in December 2016, when all eyes were on the world’s greatest dressage horse as he prepared to officially retire in the spotlight.

Continued below…

“Not only does he give dressage fans pleasure, and Charlotte and myself and his owners, but he also has people who come and visit him at the yard that people don’t know about — lots of children and lots of unwell people,” reveals Carl. “He makes people cry when they come into the yard! There are a lot of things that we don’t say because we can’t have the whole world descending on our Valegro, but he’s done a lot of things for a lot of people.

“At various stages through his career, we kept saying that he’s going to be a really good horse,” adds Carl. “But it wasn’t until 2011 when we went on that team (for the European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam, where Britain took team gold), that not only did I realise that he was a superstar, but that Charlotte was as well, because of her temperament in her first major championship. And it was what the world needed. It was a new combination, a young girl who had not been there before and a young horse with terribly exciting potential. And I thought, they’re going to go places.”

Buy Valegro DVD from Amazon for £19.99

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

The entire article can be viewed

Bogus vet jailed for three years

A bogus vet who stole a legitimate practitioner’s identity in order to work has been jailed for three years.

Peter Keniry, of Cross Lane, Purton Stoke, Swindon, admitted one count each of fraud and practising as a vet without being registered. He was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court today (17 October).

The 59-year-old was described as a “threat to animal health and welfare” by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) registrar Eleanor Ferguson.

An RCVS spokesman said the college was alerted to the fact Keniry, who has previous convictions for similar offences, was working at a practice in Taunton, Somerset, this year. The RCVS had released his name and picture in July to warn prospective employers, saying he had previously worked in large and small animal practices.

“Within 24 hours, [RCVS chief investigator] Michael Hepper reported this to Avon & Somerset Police and attended the practice with officers to assist in Mr Keniry’s identification and arrest,” the spokesman added.

Ms Ferguson thanked the vet who told the RCVS of her suspicions, and Mr Hepper and police for their actions.

“Mr Keniry was known to the RCVS as we have assisted in previous police investigations into him for similar offences,” she added. “As with recent cases, Mr Keniry impersonated a legitimate member of the veterinary profession using fraudulent documentation and this is why we have previously published photographs of him to raise awareness with veterinary practices and to try and stop him being employed in the future.

“We believe that Mr Keniry is a threat to animal health and welfare. He is a repeat offender and so we are glad that he has been handed a significant custodial sentence.”

Ms Ferguson urged veterinary practices to be vigilant, such as by contacting the RCVS’s registration department to make checks and asking to see supporting identity documents.

“For members of the public we recommend that, if they have concerns about the legitimacy of their veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurses, they talk to someone else in the practice about their concerns or contact us so that we can make further enquiries,” she added.

“Members of the public can also check on the status of veterinary professionals using our Find a Vet search tool.

“We would like to emphasise that cases such as that of Peter Keniry are, in our experience, extremely rare. There are around 23,000 veterinary surgeons registered to practise in the UK who are fully trained professionals dedicated to upholding and improving the health and welfare of animals under their care. We don’t believe that the unprecedented actions of this one fraudulent individual should in any way undermine the confidence and trust that animal owners place in their veterinary team.”

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



The entire article can be viewed

Book your tickets to WEG 2018

Tryon International Equestrian Centre

Tickets for the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, USA, have gone on sale today (16 October).

The first tickets that have become available are all-discipline passes and all-games passes for both of the two weeks of the competition, which will now be available for two weeks before single event tickets go on sale. This is to ensure those wishing to buy ticket packages get the same seats throughout the event.

All-discipline pass

This ticket package provides admission to the entirety of a discipline; dressage, eventing, showjumping, para-dressage, driving, vaulting or reining. It does not include access to the opening or closing ceremonies.

Prices for this ticket package are as follows:

Dressage — $300 (£226)

Eventing — $215

Showjumping — $350

Para-dressage — $105

Driving — $80

Vaulting — $100

Reining — $190

As the endurance competition is held on one day, there is no all-discipline pass available for this event; tickets will come out when the single event tickets are released.

All-Games pass

This ticket package provides access to a whole week’s worth of WEG action, no matter which discipline you would like to watch. Prices and details of each week’s action are as follows:

Week one — $750: provides admission to dressage, eventing, endurance and reining, excluding the opening ceremony

Week two — $650: provides admission to showjumping, vaulting, para-dressage and driving, excluding the closing ceremony

All-games pass (both weeks) — $1,295: provides admission to all events for the duration of the Games, excluding the opening and closing ceremonies

Ticket prices will increase as the event gets closer. Prices do not include tax and an 8.5% processing fee — this will be applied once you reach the checkout area when buying tickets online.

Seats will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date and timestamp of the ticket purchase.

More information on WEG and tickets can be found here.

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

The entire article can be viewed

8 times outstanding livery yard owners went above and beyond

Some livery yard owners really do go above and beyond the call of duty for their clients and their horses. We asked you to give us some examples of outstanding livery yard performance and here’s what you came up with…

business rates
Stock image

1. It’s as if your horse was theirs

“Juliet Francis of Gunns Farm Livery, Ipswich looks after all the horses like they were her own. She has often gone above and beyond her remit to help livery owners” — Ann Williams

2. Top carers in your time of need

“Terri Hill of Terri Hill Livery went above and beyond to help my pony Amber who was only at her yard for three weeks before she was injured while out in the field — a broken leg coupled with toxic shock, colitis, salmonella, an infection and then toxic shock again. She was very sick. I was also new to the area (Bristol) and Terri went above and beyond to help my pony that only had a 10% chance of survival.

“Terri took on the challenge of nursing Amber herself as we couldn’t afford the isolation unit at our equine veterinary clinic. This involved changing the drip bags every four hours for around two weeks. Terri was up every four hours throughout the night and day to monitor Amber.

“I can’t even begin to describe all of the details and tasks Terri underwent without us ever having to ask — she saved my pony’s life and now I still have my best friend two years on from the incident. I’ve never met such a hard working individual who always puts the welfare of her clients’ horses above everything else — it’s truly astonishing” — Katy Dixon

3. Yard maintenance like no other

“Totney Wick Livery yard, Somerset, owned by Richard and Penny Weight was fantastic. The yard was beautiful and Penny ran it to the highest standards. The horses had year-round turnout on lovely grazing, yet I would always find my horse Nia clean and dry in her spotless stable when I arrived after work, so all I had to do was tack up and ride. An absolute godsend in the winter when you work full-time!

“Penny did countless other things that went above and beyond the call of duty. My only regret is not telling her just how much we did appreciate her. Tragically Penny passed away earlier this year, taken from us far too soon. Thank you to Richard for allowing me to write about Penny” — Jen Unwin

4. Help and training

“Our yard owner, Keely Harrison of Lower Brenchley Farm, Kent, is the best ever. When we go to events she is on the yard early (sometimes before 5am) to bring in the horses early and wash/plait for shows and hunting. She comes out to support and encourage and is always thinking about us” — Dr Louisa Whittaker

5. Friendly faces

“From being up throughout the night checking my horse hourly when he wasn’t well to coming with us to our first affiliated British Dressage competition, our livery yard owner, Laura Clark of EquiSalus, Leicestershire is not only my horses carer but a friend too” — Jade Ormandy

6. Immaculate stable management

“I am fortunate enough to keep my horse on a yard with an exceptionally wonderful yard owner, Chantal Sparrow, proprietor of Eastmere Stables, Fontwell. It’s a lovely, friendly yard. There are rules, but they are very much common sense, and ensure the safety and comfort of owner and horse. The yard, stables, tack room, storage areas and facilities are kept immaculately. Nothing is too much trouble including OCD-level beds and multiple rug changes a day” — Helen Yeo

Continued below…

7. Flexible

“Shelley Brooks Langdale Farm, Essex, always goes above and beyond. No task is too much and at the drop of a hat when you need to say ‘I can’t get down’ you never have to worry about your horse as they will always be done as if they were her own. For such a busy lady she will always put herself out to help” — Emma Carpenter

8. Trust

“SIM Equestrian, Reading, run by Stacey Donnison and her grooms is amazing. Your horse comes first every time and the care is 110%. They listen to the owners and horses and I can relax knowing my horse is at a yard that will look after him and not just take money and not provide any service” — Amanda Howell

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

The entire article can be viewed

Pony in the porch: 10 horses and ponies who’ve made a sneaky appearance indoors

Who blames these horses and ponies for taking a closer look at the delights of what goes on indoors (central heating, comfy sofas, well-stocked larders…)? We’re just glad we’re not the ones doing the clearing up…

The entire article can be viewed

‘Brash’ thieves steal Pony Club’s jumps worth £5,000

A Pony Club branch was “shocked and frustrated” to find its trailer full of jumps worth £5,000 had been stolen.

The trailer was taken overnight between 10 and 11 October from a field in Lypiatt, Gloucestershire, where the Stroud branch holds its summer rallies and camps.

The lock on the gate of the field was cut by the thieves, as well as a lock on the trailer itself.

A horse trailer, which had been parked in front of the one containing the jumps for security, had been rammed out of the way.

“It seemed so brash,” district commissioner Catie Howard told H&H.

“It was so tucked away and you couldn’t see it from the road.

“There were four horses in the field too – thankfully they were sectioned off as [the thieves] left the main gate open when they took the trailer.”

The trailer is an Indespension V675 and the stolen equipment includes around 40 poles, 22 wings, six planks, two gates, a ladder, eight fillers, dressage markers and cups.

A filler and a wing were found on the road outside a local pub and Mrs Howard believes they fell from the trailer, as the jumps were not properly secured.

The small branch, which has around 30 members, has been left with a couple of wings but no poles or cups.

“The Stroud branch is a really good bunch and very supportive,” Mrs Howard said.

“It makes me feel angry that people feel that they can just do that and not realise how it will have an impact on people.

“Fortunately the trailer was insured but we have worked hard and gradually built up our stock of jumps; the children chose a lot of the designs and patterns and sponsors provided some of the jumps.

“Some of them are quite distinctive so hopefully they will be too hot to handle.”

The branch is hopeful local riding clubs and other Pony Club branches might be able to donate jumps.

“The support and some of the offers and kindness that we’ve seen shown is quite overwhelming,” Mrs Howard added.

“We will just crack on with what we do.”

Continued below…

Police have been notified and anyone with information should call 101.

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

The entire article can be viewed

10 brilliant body brushes you need in your horse’s grooming kit

Whether your horse is clipped or not, this selection of body brushes will give your horse’s coat a healthy shine.

Body brushes are the best horse grooming brushes to remove the finer particles of dust and detritus from your horse’s coat and leave them with a good shine. The stiffness and strength of the bristle is important. A brush with stiffer bristles are good on horses with thicker coats, although a softer bristle can give a better shine and will be more comfortable for sensitive horses. The bristle needs to be made of a hard-wearing material such as polyester, pig hair or an other strong fibre, otherwise you will find they will not last. Lastly, a well designed shape to fit your hand will make your job of grooming easier.

HySHINE Pro Groom body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: HySHINE Pro Groom body brush
This HySHINE Pro Groom Body Brush is ergonomically designed to make light work of brushing your horse’s body. Also, there is a handy strap where you can easily place your hand in to give you better control over the strokes. The brush has a blue cover and multicoloured bristles.
Buy Now: HySHINE Pro Groom body brush at Amazon from £8.34

Roma Soft Touch body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Roma Soft Touch body brush
This colourful brush has a soft touch handle that is contoured to the hand making it comfortable to hold whilst grooming.
Buy Now: Roma Soft Touch body brush at Naylors from £7.75

Leistner Schimmel grooming brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Leistner Schimmel grooming brush
Made with pure coco fibre, this brush removes all stains from light coloured coats and will be particularly useful to owners of grey, coloured and palomino horses
Buy Now: Leistner Schimmel grooming brush at Horze from £15.99

Cottage Craft Mix-Bristle body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Cottage Craft Mix-Bristle body brush
This small body brush is good for small hands or for children. Features include a wooden back, fabric strap and mixed bristles to remove finer particles and dust and add a shine.
Buy Now: Cottage Craft Mix-Bristle Body Brush at Amazon from £5.96

LeMieux Oval body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: LeMieux Oval body brush
The LeMieux Oval Striped Body Brush features alternate rows of pig and horse hair ,complete with a leather strap. This brush is perfect for deep cleaning and putting a shine on the coat.
Buy Now: LeMieux Oval body brush at Naylors from £14.95

Karoo Equine Crystal body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Karoo Equine Crystal body brush
The Karoo equine body brush has tightly packed, strong and durable synthetic bristles, set into a dark wood body with quality crystal inserts on strap. Ideal if you like a bit of bling.
Buy Now: Karoo Equine Crystal body brush at Amazon from £13.55

Imperial Flexi brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Imperial Flexi brush
This brush has an unusual flexible design that moulds to your hand, the bristles are made of strong polyester and there is a canvas handle to help keep it securely in your hand.
Buy Now: Imperial Flexi brush at Horze from £7.19

Wahl body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Wahl body brush
This body brush comes in varying bristle stiffness with a rubber grip, ergonomic shape and stylish design. We think the combo brush makes a good travel brush as one side removes tough dirt and with a quick flip, the other side adds shine.
Buy Now: Wahl body brush at Amazon From £12.99

Horka soft body brush

Best horse grooming brushes: Horka soft body brush
A wooden brush with soft bristles, although there is also one with hard bristles one available. This brush comes in black, light blue, pink or purple.
Buy Now: Horka Soft Body Brush at Amazon from £5.80

Gloria Design body brush

best horse grooming brushes: Gloria Design body brush
A brush available in two versions: either with pig hair bristles for coarse hair, or with horsehair for finer hair. The anatomically formed back minimises hand fatigue allowing you to work longer without discomfort. Ideal for those who enjoy spending a long time grooming.
Buy Now: Gloria Design body brush at Horze from £34 is the home of expert buyers guides covering all things equestrian, from clippers to rugs, riding boots to safety hats. Whatever you’re looking for, we can help you to chose the products that really suit your needs.

The entire article can be viewed

Get your hands on rare edition of Black Beauty

black beauty

A limited edition of Black Beauty is being auctioned to raise funds for a horse sanctuary.

Bidding has opened on the 1915 edition of the literary classic, which celebrates its 140th anniversary this year.

The rare edition was donated by a supporter, who asked that the book be sold to help care for horses in need.

It features colour illustrations by Lucy Kemp-Welch and is currently housed at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell as part of a special exhibition celebrating the book’s anniversary.

Black Beauty is the only novel of the late Anna Sewell and was first published in 1877.

It is told through the eyes of a horse who witnesses and experiences kindness and suffering at the hands of humans through his life.

Lynn Cutress, chief executive, said this “stunning edition” is a “most fitting donation”.

“It is not only a rare copy of a classic novel that deserves to be treasured, but a symbol of respect for animals and a lasting reminder of author Anna Sewell’s lifelong passion for preventing horses from suffering,” she said.

The bearing rein was abolished in Victorian Britain following outcry over its depiction in the novel.

Article continues below…

You might also be interested in:

“Since [Anna Sewell’s] time, the world of animal welfare has evolved and there are new laws in place and organisations, like Redwings, working hard to protect animals, such as Black Beauty and his friend Ginger, from suffering neglect and abuse,” added Ms Cutress.

“Sadly, however, our rescue work goes on but as a charity completely funded by donations this can only continue with support from the public.

“We hope as many people as possible will take part in the auction and we wish all bidders the best of luck.”

Silent bids are being taken until 25 November and can be submitted at the museum or via the charity on 01508 481000 or

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

The entire article can be viewed