1. Understanding horses’ happiness
Research has highlighted how understanding when horses are expressing positive behaviour is just as important as recognising the negatives, when assessing quality of life. The project focused on understanding how equine quality of life was perceived, and how it can be measured. Key findings included that quality of life should be considered throughout horses’ lives, not just when making end-of-life decisions, and there is a need to consider both positive and negative experiences. It was highlighted there is a need for “collaborative working” to ensure that owners are considered during the research stages, when developing quality-of-life tools.
2. How hunting is helping a Gold Cup contender
Santini is finding variety to be the spice of life in his preparations for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The 10-year-old finished second to Al Boum Photo in 2020, but pulled up in last year’s running, after which it was decided a change of scenery may do him good. He moved from Nicky Henderson’s yard to join Polly Gundry, who originally pre-trained the Milan gelding before he first joined Seven Barrows. Santini has been enjoying hunting and fun rides with Polly as part of his training.
3. Grooming goals
Lacey Smith’s two traditional show cob stallions Domino Bad Boy and Stanray Xrated possess some of the most enviable manes on the circuit. Lacey has owned the pair since they were foals, and both have impressive records in the show ring. “I get asked about how I maintain their hair, especially their manes, a lot,” she said. “But what many don’t realise is that a lot of it is down to breeding; the quality of hair comes from the bloodlines.”
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.