Update: Lead Welfare OfficerUpdate: Lead Welfare Officer - (Published:23 February 2017)

Unfortunately we wish to inform you that Heather Weston has decided to step down as Lead Welfare Officer due to personal commitments.

Heather fulfilled the LWO role for over three years, and during that time did so diligently and proactively. On behalf of EGB we would like to thank Heather for all her hard work and commitment.  We will be inviting applications for the role and will be issuing full details and job description shortly.  Heather has kindly agreed to assist with a hand over.  We wish Heather every success with her horses in the coming season.  Any queries should be directed to Nicki Thorne, Welfare Director.

 
PILOT BRITISH PROTOCOL SET FOR BRITISH INTERNATIONAL ENDURANCE RIDES IN 2017PILOT BRITISH PROTOCOL SET FOR BRITISH INTERNATIONAL ENDURANCE RIDES IN 2017 - (Published:16 February 2017)

Endurance GB (EGB) and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) have announced plans to develop a new British protocol for all future international endurance rides held in Great Britain, aimed at maximising horse welfare in the sport.  

Acknowledging the major challenges facing the discipline of endurance, EGB and the BEF will be working together to develop a long-term UK strategy, with horse welfare at its heart, with the first step in this process being the creation of a new British protocol. The protocol will be established by a working group, led by BEF Board Director, Dr Tim Watson, and will consist of key stakeholders including veterinarians, the National Federation, event organisers and technical delegates.  

The British protocol will be implemented as a pilot study at British events in 2017, and will be refined after the season based on the experience gained from the events. It is hoped that it will be ready for the first FEI rides of the year, at Kings Forest (14-16 April), Haywood Oaks (28-30 April), Royal Windsor (12 May), and Euston Park (20-21 May).  

Horse welfare has long been at the forefront of the endurance agenda, and the British protocol will, amongst other areas, look to set parameters around optimum speed, heart rate and recovery times, appropriate to the competition environment here in the UK. The new protocol will also seek to go a lot further this year and will include policies on the appointment of officials, the event calendar and how to increase British participation rates.   

Whilst steps to improve horse welfare in endurance events have been initiated by others on the international stage, including the FEI, the ambition is that the British protocol will create rules specifically tailored to British climate and terrain. 

Clare Salmon, Chief Executive of the BEF said; “Horse welfare is an ongoing priority for the BEF and EGB and by initiating this new British protocol, we hope this will ensure a safe sport in which the wellbeing of the horses is paramount. The aim of the protocol is to implement modifications that will ultimately reform the sport by changing the mind-set of trainers and riders competing in this country.”

 

 
News from the International CommitteeNews from the International Committee - (Published:14 February 2017)

As a committee, it was decided that in order to ensure continuity and consistency between squads, there would be two squads moving forward rather than three. This sees the Development and Senior Squads merge to become the International Squad and the Young Rider Squad to remain as it is. The committee would like to thank all those that have been part of the squads in the previous year, both riders and SMT, for their hard work and dedication. 

 

We are confident that the new two squad system will be of benefit to all current squad riders and those considering joining.
• Riders will be supported in their development by the same SMT, enabling the SMT to have a better understanding of those combinations progressing through the levels • The emphasis will be on developing and nurturing talent worthy of representing Team GB 
• There will be a greater level of knowledge sharing from experienced riders with those starting the FEI ladder for the first time.  

For more details please see the International pages

 
Update on Hat StandardsUpdate on Hat Standards - (Published:13 February 2017)

Permissible hat standards no longer include BSEN1384. In line with the other major equestrian disciplines, all riders must wear one of the standards listed below.

 

- British PAS 015: 1998 or 2011 provided they are BSI Kite marked

- European VG1 01.040: 2014-12 provided they are BSI Kite marked

American ASTM F1163: 2004a or 04a onwards provided they are SEI marked

- SNELL E2001

- Australian and New Zealand AS/NZS 3838: 2006 onwards provided they are SAI global marked

 

Click here to see an infographic from the British Horse Society that details these standards in pictorial form.

 

However, we are also aware that several popular brands of Endurance Riding Helmets are aimed at a European market rather than a UK market, and although they carry the VG101.040: 2014-12 standard they do not carry an accompanying UK Kitemark. Having reviewed the situation, and in view of the number of Endurance GB members who already have these hats, we are also prepared to accept VG1 01.040: 2014-12 hats without the Kitemark at Endurance GB rides for the 2017 season.

 

 

 
Statement from Endurance GB and the BEF regarding welfare concerns in the UAEStatement from Endurance GB and the BEF regarding welfare concerns in the UAE - (Published:08 February 2017)

Following the Board meeting on the 29th January, the Board of EGB have worked closely with the BEF to write a joint letter to the FEI regarding welfare concerns in the UAE. Full statement below.

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and Endurance GB (EGB) have jointly written to the FEI to express their profound concerns about the further catastrophic incidents to horses competing in the UAE and to call on the FEI to take firm and prompt action to address the recurrence of chronic injuries and unacceptable practices at both Dubai and Al Wathba venues. 

 

EGB have also made it clear that they will not be submitting entries to the forthcoming HH President of the UAE Cup and the Crown Prince Cup in the light of these concerns. In addition, EGB will be writing to British riders based in the Middle East to urge them not to take part in events in Dubai and Al Wathba until confidence in the welfare procedures in place has been restored. EGB is currently considering withdrawing ‘No Objection Certificates’ from those who do intend to compete.  

 

The BEF and EGB recognises the efforts of Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhan and the FEI to improve horse welfare in Endurance events through the development of the ‘Boudheib’ protocols where efforts have been made to tailor competition to the challenging natural terrain and environment, and to protect horses from the their impact by prescribing speed and recovery parameters with these in mind. We believe there is the scope for these to be adopted more broadly in the Middle East and in similarly stretching geographies. There is also a need for greater scrutiny of training practices and the degree to which these contribute to the development of pre-existing conditions which lead to catastrophic injuries in competition.    

 

We recognise that the FEI is taking steps to investigate these extremely distressing events, and to develop measures to address the issues leading to them in the interests of equine welfare. With this in mind, we support their efforts to work with the UAE Federation as a force for change, rather than to separate from them. Nonetheless we believe a visible and decisive step needs to be taken in banning riders and trainers found to be involved in malpractices as a demonstration that these will not be tolerated and that equine welfare is of paramount concern in sustainable competition.  

 
The Ridgecrest Ride in the USAThe Ridgecrest Ride in the USA - (Published:25 January 2017)

Dominique Freeman, a member of EGB and the 'Overseas Group ', who lives in USA has invited members of EGB members Overseas Group and in the UK to join her at the Ridgecrest Ride in the USA at the end of February.

She is entered in the 3*** but is hoping to make up a group of British riders to ride as an unofficial GB team.

10 years ago a group of EGB members did exactly that and won the event beating both the USA and the Canadians.

There are plenty of good qualified horses for lease and all those interested who are 2** and  3*** are invited to contact her on her email address for more information ASAP in order to get the official paperwork completed and for you to organise your travel arrangements.
It is all self funding and unofficial but it might prove fun and adventurous for those who want an early kick start to the season.