Laser measurement of horses and ponies is to be investigated further by the Joint Measurement Board (JMB) after research showed the method might be more consistent than the current manual procedure (news, 14 October).

Owners of equines put forward for measurement with selected JMB measurers across the country will be invited to volunteer their animals to be measured with a laser as well as a stick.

The stick measurement will be officially recorded on the certificate and the laser reading used as part of further research.

The 11 societies that use the JMB for official measurements met on 11 October to discuss research by the Liverpool Vet School into the measurement procedure.

Simon Somers, JMB steward for the British Show Horse Association, said: “We all applauded the JMB for commissioning this research.

“It showed that while the measuring stick is accurate, due to user error there could be minor discrepancies.

“We wanted further research into the possibility of using a horizontal laser.”

The trial is limited to a small number of vets across the country and horse owners are under no pressure to take part.

The JMB said it did not wish make any further comment at this time.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (21 October ’10)