4 things the horse world is talking about right now: Tuesday 26 October 2021

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Liverpool International Horse Show being called off

    Voltaire Design Liverpool International Horse Show has had to cancel, owing to changing restrictions and uncertainty around how indoor events will be affected by the pandemic by the end of the year. Founder Nina Babour said: “We are naturally devastated to be making this decision and can only hope that our loyal supporters understand our genuine reasons for being forced to cancel this year’s event. The reality of the situation is that we have to measure the risks of moving forward with an indoor event in early January, with the facts and concerns that we currently face whilst having to carefully negotiate the ongoing uncertainty relating to this pandemic.”

    2. Hotly contested BSPS Heritage Championships

    There was a record turnout for the BSPS Heritage Championships at Arena UK, with Liverpool qualifers proving as popular as those for Olympia were previously, though Liverpool has sadly now been cancelled. Karen Johnson’s reigning Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) champion, Menai Eurostar (GB), took his and rider/producer Adam Forster’s first BSPS overall Heritage supreme title. The Welsh section D stallion impressed judges Allister Hood and his wife Anne. “Its basic conformation and wellbeing were excellent – it was good to see it was not too fat – plus it looked a picture,” said Allister.

    Read more from the championships

    3. New technology to assist pointing judges

    The 2021/22 point-to-point season kicks off this Saturday with East Devon opening the calendar at Bishops Court, and for the first time judges will have access to slow-motion video footage of horses crossing the finishing line at all courses to aid close decisions – and hopefully put a stop to the vitriol some receive after an event. Point-to-Point Authority (PPA) chief executive Peter Wright said that participants will now have the right to object to race results, but hopes that there will be no need, with the technology avoiding opportunity for human error. “For those who are concerned that this takes us away from the amateur values of the sport, I believe strongly that this is vital for the protection of our volunteer judges who have on occasion been pilloried by social media for just doing their best in difficult circumstances,” he added.

    How the technology will work

    4. How bad riders can be at going to A&E

    Recent research has established that riding is still a dangerous sport – so no surprise there. The research was carried out in the US, where crash hats are less commonly used, and so is difficult to compare to the UK, where we do not have the necessary data on riders’ injuries that would help doctors. However major trauma consultant Diane Fisher, the British Equestrian Trade Association’s chief medical officer, has commented: “You have a community as a whole who jump back on with fractured ribs or broken arms. They’re late presenters and don’t go to hospital unless something is hanging off, and even then it can be days later.” Dr Fisher added the importance of wearing safety helmets when handling horses on the ground and praised Charlotte Dujardin for wearing her helmet during her Tokyo Olympic trot-up with Gio.

    What the research said

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