BEVA was extremely disappointed to see overweight horses taking part in The Royal Windsor Horse Show and being highly placed. A huge amount of effort has been put into educating the equestrian world on the risk to health posed by obesity, and there has been great progress made at a number of shows and classes. However, despite this, some horses continue to be willingly and intentionally kept in obese condition and rosettes continue to be awarded for it.
Obesity-related laminitis is a frequent cause of death in horses in the UK. We strongly urge owners, riders and judges to speak to their vet or qualified nutritionist and learn how to identify horses that are overweight. This will enable weight management measures to be instigated to avoid this agonising, preventable and life-threatening condition, as well as other adverse effects of equine obesity. BEVA has been discussing the subject with members of the showing community, and recognises that work is being done alongside welfare organisations to clarify judging standards in relation to obesity. We will continue to support these efforts and applaud those members who are improving equine welfare in this regard.
Read the Horse and Hound story.