TAGS:

Fears that horses without six-monthly vaccinations against equine influenza would be prevented from competing at this year’s Horse of the Year Show at the NEC, Birmingham (12-16 October) have been laid to rest by the show’s organisers.

The misunderstanding arose after the FEI amended its rules covering equine influenza vaccinations last year. The new ruling, which came into power on 1 January 2005, requires horses and ponies competing under international rules to have boosters every six months, rather than the traditional 12-monthly intervals.

However, owners that have not yet upgraded their horse’s protection to six monthly boosters have some grace during 2005, as the FEI will only be issuing warnings to remind them that the six monthly vaccinations for influenza are mandatory. From 2006, a system of fines and exclusion from competition for those not complying with the new rules will be in place.

Mark Wein, director of Grandstand Media Limited, organisers of the Horse of the Year Show, says: “While the new vaccination programme operates with a warning-only system for 2005, which should allow everyone to compete at this year’s Horse of the Year Show, our advice to competitors is that anyone who is not complying with the new vaccination system should do so with immediate effect.”

For more information on HOYS visit: www.hoys.co.uk

New sponsor for RIHS hunters

Patey Hats is to support the Royal International Horse Show’s hunter weight classes for the first time in 2005, in a sponsorship that unites the already close links between the hunting and showing communities.

The company dates back to the 17th Century, during which time it has been the preferred choice of headwear for members of the hunting fraternity and competitors alike. The popularity of Patey Hates is such that they were the official supplier of hats to the British Equestrian Team at the Athens Olympics.

Paul Baynham-Honri of Patey Hats says: “We are delighted to be sponsoring these prestigious championships. The cross over between hunter classes and horses in the hunting field has always been important to Patey. It will be an honour to present Patey Hats to the showing world.”

This year’s light, middle and heavyweight classes will take place on Thursday 28 July and will be judged by Norman Allen (ride) from Ireland and Henrietta Knight (conformation).

Roger Stack, showing director at the All England Jumping Course, which has hosted the RIHS since 1992, said: “These classes are amongst the most important showing events on the calendar. To win one of the weights and the supreme is the ultimate accolade. It is a great championship for a distinguished company like Patey to be associated with.”

For more information on the RIHS visit: www.hickstead.co.uk