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Showing society continues to combat fat ponies in the ring

The National Pony Society (NPS) is set to reintroduce its summer weigh-in scheme at the annual summer championship show in August.

In 2019, Baileys Horse Feeds visited the show held at Three Counties Showground in Malvern with a weighbridge, and expert nutritionists were on hand to measure ponies’ body condition scores and offer feed advice.

The NPS says that the aim of the scheme was “not to pass judgement but to offer practical advice and guidance on feeding to ensure ponies receive a healthy balanced diet and can be maintained in optimum condition”.

At the show, 62 ponies were presented to be weighed by their owners and riders.

A broad range of breeds was seen and all were weighed, weigh-taped and body condition scored to gain an objective measure of their levels of body fat. They were also assessed for the quality of their muscle and topline.

Baileys uses a nine-point body condition score system, where five is considered moderate, one poor and nine extremely fat.

Of the ponies, 21 were given a body condition score of 6.5 while only two were scored at 8.

The topline assessment uses a four-point scale, ranging from poor to excellent. Most of the participants inspected had a “good” or “adequate” topline.

The scheme will be expanded in 2020 and it is hoped that the number of ponies presented for assessment will increase.

“We are really keen to get people talking about this and taking advantage of the free advice available through the scheme at this year’s summer championships,” said NPS representative Sacha Shaw.

For details on the NPS or the summer championships please visit www.nationalponysociety.com

What do you think of this scheme? Let us know your views by emailing hhletters@ti-media.com with your name and nearest town for the chance to be featured in the letters page a future issue of Horse & Hound magazine….

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