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How top riders manage their mares

Top riders share their tips for beating the effects of hormones in competition mares

Lucinda Fredericks has eight eventing mares in her yard, four of which are on Regumate.

She says: “Neither of my top mares, Brit [Headley Britannia] nor Prada, are on any form of medication — in fact, the year Brit won Badminton [2008], she was in season.

“Every mare is an individual; some are mareish, some aren’t, but, for those who are, I would always try them on Regumate.

“It doesn’t work in every case, but most of the time it gives them a little bit of help.”

Richard Davison’s Olympic dressage partner Ballaseyr Royale was on Regumate when she competed in Athens 2004.

He explains: “When a mare comes into season she can be at a definite disadvantage, so it’s only fair that she should be able to be given medication to help put her on a level playing field competitively with the geldings.

“As far as the future is concerned, I would welcome any kind of scientific development that benefits a competition mare long-term, but it must not compromise their welfare — either now or later on in their career.”

Helen Tredwell has never used any form of medication to manage oestrus in her top showjumping mares.

She says: “I have never found them a problem when they are in season. Neither Opportunity B nor Naomi V has ever been affected by their hormones.

“But if they were, I certainly wouldn’t have any hesitation putting them on a supplement.”

For the full article on managing competition mares, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (1 July, ’10)

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