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Researchers to assess impact of coronavirus on horse owners

Equestrians are being urged to complete a survey looking at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on horse management in the hope of producing more targeted advice for owners.

The survey, which takes around five minutes to complete, was launched yesterday (26 March) by researchers David Marlin, Jane Williams of Hartpury University and vet Louisa Taylor.

Dr Marlin told H&H the aim of the survey is to identify owners’ concerns and what changes they have had to make – or will have to make as a result of the pandemic.

“A lot of owners are finding it hard to make decisions because they don’t really know what’s happening and some have said there is a need for much clearer advice,” he said.

“It’s difficult for some owners to gauge on social media what the current situation is because some people are saying they’re not as affected by what’s going on as others are.”

**Take the survey here**

Dr Marlin said the survey will be open for around seven days.

“We’re trying to get a snapshot of what the current situation is and then we will try to discuss that with potential stakeholders such as the British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA. We want to say ‘this is what people are concerned about’. It’s about really trying to provide good information, reassurance and support to people.”

“Louisa, Jane and I have looked at what’s on social media and in the press and discussed what we think the important issues are. It’s always important ask the right type of questions in the right sort of way, without trying to bias it so we get reasonably accurate and reliable information.”

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The results of the survey will be shared in due course.

“In a few hours we’ve had 1,000 responses and I’d like to get to 10,000 to give us a good sample,” said Dr Marlin.

“Potentially we will launch the survey again in a month or two gauge how the situation is moving.”

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