1. The fact you won’t need to pass a test to tow a trailer
The car and trailer towing test is being scrapped as part of Government plans to tackle the HGV driver shortage crisis. Many equestrians have safety concerns, or are simply unsure how they feel about being allowed to take their pride and joy on the road in a trailer without training – though there’s nothing to stop anyone continuing to seek instruction to feel safe behind the wheel. Otherwise this is potentially very bad news for centres offering training services – and conversely good news for those selling trailers and 4x4s. There is anger from people who have recently paid to take tests they now won’t need. The change doesn’t come in straight away, so horse owners are being urged to read the detail before getting caught out, fined and receiving points on their licence.
2. Altior retiring
Altior, jump racing’s record breaking superstar, has retired after a “fantastic innings” headlined by his world record-setting 19 consecutive victories and brace of Champion Chase titles. Trainer Nicky Henderson said that Altior’s owners Christopher and Patricia Pugh wanted to retire the 11-year-old “while still at his peak, fit, sound and healthy and ready for a new career”.
3. This farrier’s cautionary tale
A farrier whose eyeball burst in a freak accident while he was shoeing is sharing his story to protect others. Charlie Madden is urging equestrians to consider wearing eye protection while dealing with horses as his loss of vision was the result of an accident that could happen to anyone. The horse he was shoeing was cross-tied, and as Charlie finished a hind foot and put it down the horse pulled back. “The string didn’t break but the headcollar did and the metal cheek ring catapulted off, like a shotgun, and went straight into my eyeball,” Charlie explains. This incident follows recent research on the impact of headcollars on horse injuries.
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