Behaviour Change Scientist Partners with The Horse Trust and Liverpool University to Raise Awareness of Healthy Body Condition in Show Horses
Behaviour change scientist Dr Tamzin Furtado from Liverpool University has joined forces with The Horse Trust to reward healthy body condition in show horses and spread the word on how best to go about maintaining the healthiest weight.
Instigated by Tamzin and Jan Rogers at The Horse Trust, the programme targets both affiliated and unaffiliated shows up and down the country, providing friendly, supportive advice and guidance to owners, riders and producers, helping them to recognize the benefits of maintaining a healthy body condition. Both local and on-site vets work in conjunction with the judges to score horses in the chosen classes and award a rosette to the healthiest body condition within the class.
The pilot programme ran prior to the Covid-19 disruptions in 2019 and was very well received by competitors and professionals alike. David Ingle, Chairman of The Showing Council and Director of Showing at the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead, said, “Showing is keen to become more educational and we are in an era of great improvement in equine welfare, with increasing scrutiny under social license. This initiative will help to shine a light on this important aspect of showing.”
The Royal International Horse Show, participated in the 2019 pilot programme and are pleased to include the initiative in their show schedule again at this year’s show. Other participants in the 2019 pilot included Bucks County Show, Great Yorkshire Show and Wheatley Horse Show.
Tamzin Furtado says “Horses who are overweight or cresty are often celebrated for their condition – and we want to slightly challenge that, by celebrating horses in ideal body condition."
Fellow Liverpool University graduate and vet, Ben Curnow, MRCVS, who judged body condition as part of the 2019 pilot programme, added, "It’s not about being critical of or challenging the judges, just showcasing what ideal body condition looks like"
Jan Rogers Press Release says, “We get very upset by seeing photos of underweight horses in the media, but in reality, far more horses are obese than are underweight. This is very worrying for vets who are finding that they have to treat these horses with serious health conditions like Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Laminitis. Peoples’ perceptions of what is a healthy weight have shifted towards the higher body condition scores. We would like to help to reset this balance”.
Beginning at the start of July, the programme will run at events throughout the showing season and hopes to continue expanding its calendar in 2022.
For further information and details of how to get involved in the 2021 programme, contact via email email@example.com or telephone on 01903 892060.
If you are concerned about your horse's weight contact our team - 01577 841010