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The first ever Equine Welfare Week, a new initiative sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health Ltd and part of the Jeep National Riding Festival, will take place from 8th to 16th September. The week has attracted support from the leading charities throughout Britain including The British Horse Society (BHS), The Home of Rest for Horses, The International League for the protection of Horses (ILPH), The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) and Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Welfare Week
Jonny McIrvine, Chief Executive of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) on Trigger, with Tania Larrigan and her team of Mini Marvels at the ILPH Summer Show on 23 June.

The Equine Welfare Week will promote responsible horse ownership, highlighting the important aspects of horse care, the consequences of neglect and where to get help and advice when it is needed. With the assistance of the ILPH, a series of seminars and open days will take place throughout the country to deliver this message to students, riders and members of the public. Seminars will include a presentation by the ILPH on The Consequences of Neglect, plus information on horse care. Each venue will offer opportunities to learn about different aspects of horse care, including behaviour, nutrition and farriery with various invited speakers. For a fun day out and to find out more about horse care and welfare, visit one of the open days or seminars. A full list of dates and venues is available on the website at, or telephone 01903 893312 for more details.

Trigger, the mechanical horse who has introduced so many children to the idea of riding a horse and has become a mascot of the Jeep National Riding Festival, will be present at many of the open days, including Redwings Horse Sanctuary on Saturday 1st September and the BHS Rescue Centre on Saturday 8th September. A seminar on care of the elderly or retired horse followed by a guided tour of the farm and veterinary unit will take place at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk. Lynn Cuttress, Press Officer, said “Redwings is keen to be involved with Equine Welfare Week and is looking forward to hosting Trigger on 1 September at Hapton, the Sanctuary's largest farm. The Sanctuary places great importance on education in the care and welfare of equines and this year has launched its own education programme working with schools and colleges” .

The BHS has produced a comprehensive booklet A Guide to Horse Care and Welfare, in conjunction with Home of Rest for Horses, which will be widely distributed throughout Welfare Week. The booklet covers all aspects of horse care and copies can be obtained by sending an email request to or call 01903 893312.

The welfare message is being delivered to children through the many school visits being made as part of the Jeep National Riding Festival. A leaflet called A Horse of Your Own was specially designed by The National Equine Welfare Council to encourage young children who are keen to take up riding to think about the welfare aspects of keeping a pony. With interesting puzzles and a colouring picture, each child has the chance to win a prize and receive a copy of the Guide to Horse Care and Welfare.

Equine Welfare Week will be officially launched at Madness 2001 organised by the ILPH. Roly Owers, Director of Support at the ILPH says ‘Equine Welfare Week is an essential addition to the Jeep National Riding Festival. We are delighted that so many equine welfare charities are pulling together with one voice to highlight the importance of responsible horse ownership and the consequences of neglect.’

“The Jeep National Riding Festival aims to create interest in all aspects of the horse world from taking up the reins for the first time to competing and the responsibilities of becoming a horse owner,” says Jane Holderness-Roddam, Chairman of the Festival. “We believe it is very important that everybody involved in equestrianism is knowledgeable about a horse’s health and welfare requirements, which is why we are supporting Equine Welfare Week. The work of the welfare organisations will enable newcomers introduced to riding by the Jeep National Riding Festival to learn about horse care right from the start.”

The week will include events throughout the country ranging from Open Days and Seminars to Hunter Trials and even a race night.

Equine Welfare Week - Events

Date in September Event Contact for more information
Sat 1st Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Norfolk Seminar and Tour 01508 481029
Sun 2nd Glenda Spooner Farm, Herefordshire Open Day 01432 840253
Sat 8th BHS Responsible Ownership Day Oxhill, Warwickshire 08701 299992
8th/16th The Donkey Sanctuary
Sidmouth, Devon
Welfare days and demonstrations
01395 578222
Sun 9th ILPH Fun Day - Madness 2001
Brackley, Northants
01295 811607

Sun 9th

Bishop Burton College, E.Yorkshire Seminar 01964 553000
Tue 11th Warwickshire College,
Moreton Morrell, Warwick
Evening Seminar
01926 318266
Wed 12th Moulton College, Club Equus, Northants. Evening Seminar 01604 491131

Wed 12th

Friends of Bristol Horses, Bristol Seminar 01275 832425
Thur 13th Holme Lacy College, Hereford Seminars
Thu 13th ILPH Race Night & Auction,
Charlton, Northants
01295 811607
‘HorseWorld’ Whitchurch, Nr Bristol Open Weekend 01275 540173
Sun 16th ILPH/Horsewatch Hunter Trials Banbury, Oxon 01608 730346
Sun 16th BHS TREC
Oxhill, Warwickshire
01926 707740
Sat 22nd ILPH/BHS Scotland Sponsored Ride
Balmoral, Scotland
01339 887186
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