3 things the horse world is talking about today: Monday 4 October 2021

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

  • 1. Complaints about trailer tests being ditched

    There are serious concerns, being voiced by leading industry figures, that scrapping the car and trailer towing test is an “accident waiting to happen” – and also that it won’t achieve its goal of solving the HGV driver shortage. The B+E test, introduced in 1997, has been scrapped as the Government attempts to get more drivers through their HGV tests instead. This will more or less mean that anyone with a car licence will be able to tow a trailer weighing up to 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass – not that the law has actually changed yet, nobody knows exactly when that will happen… The decision has sparked road safety concerns, and there is debate as to whether it may result in a high demand for towing vehicles and trailers. Experts are urging drivers to do their training before hitching up, regardless of the law change, for safety reasons.

    Read the full story

    2. That young British team’s Nations Cup performance

    Great Britain’s Nations Cup Final team scored a dazzling victory in Saturday night’s Challenge Cup, the consolation round ahead of Sunday’s final decider in Barcelona, Spain. Fans were excited by the wealth of young talent among the squad, and the confidence and horsemanship on show. Harry Charles (21), Emily Moffitt (23), Holly Smith (32) and reserve rider Jack Whitaker, (19), were joined by team stalwart John Whitaker, 66. But such was the ability of the younger team players, the competition was won before John even had to jump on Saturday night. “The three young ones really took care of me!” said John. “They did an unbelievable job. Yesterday we were a bit disappointed – it didn’t really go to plan – but we were still fighting today, well they were fighting, and we pulled it off.”

    What John Whitaker had to say

    3. Concerns over possible injuries from headcollars not breaking

    Inconsistencies have been found in terms of the force needed in order for headcollars and safety devices to break. Following a study that found nearly a third of respondents had experienced horses’ suffering headcollar-related injuries, the same researchers looked into the issue further. They found that although, as expected and in general, safety headcollars opened under less force than it took to break leather ones, which in turn was less than for synthetic collars, the inconsistency in the pressure under which the items broke or opened was “cause for concern”. The feeling is we as riders and horse owners can take it for granted that headcollars will break before they cause injury – and they don’t necessarily.

    Read more about this research

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