Yesterday’s interactive launch of the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy went down a storm with local children at London’s Lee Valley Riding Centre.

The Equine Health and Welfare Strategy has been put together by more than 20 organisations including the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH), British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and DEFRA. The strategy is a 10-year plan to improve horse welfare in Britain.

At Lee Valley Riding Centre in Leyton, east London, children from local schools were treated to demonstrations on all aspects of horsemanship from farriery and dentistry to dressage and show jumping. They took part in quizzes and computer games — but the longest queue by far was to ride the mechanical horse brought along by the British Equestrian Trade Association.

A local child tries out the mechanical horse at the interactive launch of the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy
The mechanical horse proved popular at the interactive launch of the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy

“To see so many children at the launch event is right, as they will be the next generation of horse owners,” said vet Lesley Barwise-Munro, honorary vice president of the National Equine Welfare Council. “The strategy aims to achieve high standards of health and welfare for all horses in Britain whatever their breed, type or useage — and I look forward to seeing it unfold.”

www.equinehealthandwelfarestrategy.co.uk