13 October 2022 - Flipbook - Page 73
OPEN DAY: Kit with Joanne driving ‘Bert’ with a group of
volunteers at the Ballyward RDA Open Day. (FW35-514NN)
SEPTEMBER 01 2022
ACTION: Leo driving ‘Bear’ at the recent open day at Ballyward
CELEBRATION: The tea party at the Ballyward RDA Open Day.
Ballyward RDA Carriage Driving Group celebration
TROPHY: Jill Hanna and her guide dog receiving her trophy
from Regional Chairman Celia McMorran at the Ballyward RDA
Open Day. Also included are Coach Gareth Quinn and Joanne
HERE was a welcome
return to normality
and their volunteers
when their Open Day took
place in beautiful weather
at Joanne Orr’s farm last
week. 11 RDA drivers took
part in the display, which
as always was perfectly
organised by Joanne and her
team and everyone enjoyed
a celebratory tea in the yard
afterwards. The ponies all
looked magniﬁcent, with
‘Bert’ stepping out as well
as ever at a youthful 26 with
Jill Hanna (who is registered
blind), performing a beautiful
dressage test. She won the
Senior Shield this year and
the Junior Shield went to
James driving ‘Bambi’.
The group have generously
decided to support two local
charities with donations
of £100 each, in memory
of much loved volunteer
William Singer (Slieve Croob
1st Responders) and long
time supporter Berry McCrea
They are always on the look
out for more volunteers, so if
you live in the area and would
be interested in helping,
please get in touch with
Joanne at joorr@btinternet.
SHIELD: James receiving his
shield from Joanne Orr and
the Regional Chairman Celia
McMorran at the Ballyward
RDA Open Day. (FW35-516NN)
The makers of Spillers help tackle equine obesity
EQUINE obesity is a global welfare concern with
numerous associated health risks, not least
laminitis. That’s why the makers of Spillers, via
the Waltham Equine Studies Group, are working
hard with collaborators worldwide to improve their
understanding of equine obesity, with the ultimate
aim of making it a problem of the past.
It’s common knowledge that obesity increases
the risk of laminitis, but it also poses other health
and welfare concerns. These include joint strain,
respiratory stress, heat intolerance, an increased risk
of certain types of colic, reduced fertility, an increased
risk of OCD and insulin dysregulation in foals born to
obese mares and increased ‘inﬂamm-aging’ - chronic
low-grade inﬂammation associated with ageing.
The Spillers team and world leading collaborators
are striving hard in many areas to develop knowledge
to help manage equine waistlines and reduce the risk
of obesity-related health and welfare concerns.
Over the past 20 years they have:
- Developed several, now commonly recommended,
methods for monitoring condition, such as the cresty
neck score and belly girth/ rump width measurements.
- Identiﬁed that weight loss may not initially result
in a change in body condition score (BCS, especially
in very obese ponies) - hence the need for other
- Validated Deuterium oxide dilution (a specialist
clinical test) as the gold standard method for
determining total body fat percentage in ponies. This
has since been used in several studies, which has
helped them to further the understanding of obesity.
- Produced evidence to support the recommendation
that horses and ponies with a BCS of ≥7/9 should be
considered obese, which has now become the globally
- Identiﬁed that some horses and ponies may be
weight loss resistant - this means they may need
greater calorie restriction to promote weight loss.
- Conﬁrmed that obesity rates may be as high as 70%
in some groups of leisure horses and ponies.
- Developed the body condition index (BCI), a
method of assessing body fat similar to the body mass
index (BMI) used in humans.
- Conducted the very ﬁrst study to evaluate the effect
of strip grazing on bodyweight.
- Evaluated the effect of grazing muzzles on pasture
intake and bodyweight.
- Showed that the severity of calorie restriction may
affect the rate of future weight gain - safe weight loss
- Identiﬁed that becoming obese does not always
result in becoming insulin dysregulated - the source of
Summer show at Ballyrusley Stables
UNDERSTANDING EQUINE OBESITY: The makers of
Spillers, via the Waltham Equine Studies Group, are
working hard with collaborators worldwide to
improve their understanding of equine obesity.
PICTURE: courtesy of Sarah Shephard
excess calories in the diet may have more of an effect.
- Discovered that even small amounts of exercise
may improve insulin sensitivity in overweight horses,
even if it doesn’t result in additional weight loss.
- Detected certain characteristics in faeces that may
be able to help predict which horses and ponies may
be weight loss resistant.
- Found that in some weight loss resistance ponies,
gut microﬂora involved in ﬁbre digestion may be able
to adapt to counteract a restricted diet.
“We are very proud of our ongoing work to increase
our knowledge of obesity and related health risks and
use it to provide practical support for horse owners,”
said Spillers Product Manager, Sarah Nelson.
“We are now working on improving the accuracy
of the BCI, so that it is even more valuable for those
who prefer using measurements rather than the more
subjective descriptions used for body condition
“We are also evaluating the effect of strip grazing on
behaviour, pasture recovery and the WSC or ‘sugar’
content of the pasture and continuing to look at how
diet inﬂuences weight management in ponies.”
For advice on feeding your good doer, contact the
Spillers Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626 or visit
www.spillers-feeds.com. You can also join the Spillers
Slimmers’ Club, which is helping more than 3,500
members address the problem of equine obesity in a
ALLYRUSLEY Stables, near
Portaferry, held their ﬁrst
summer show on Monday,
August 29. There was great
excitement amongst the young riders
in the morning, as they washed and
plaited their ponies, cleaned their
tack and got dressed in their best
jodhpurs and show jackets.
The younger riders put their ponies
through their paces in ridden classes
ﬁrst, and then the more experienced
riders competed in show jumping
Everyone went home with rosettes,
medals and sweets, with extra prizes
(vouchers for Morelli’s ice cream) for
those who had ridden particularly
well. It was hard to decide who to
award these prizes to, as everyone
tried so hard!
Thank you to Jasmin Mason,
proprietor; Kelsie Dean, chief
organiser; and to Christine Casey,
Right, The very
out riders at
IN THE RIBBONS: Competitors at the
Ballyrusley Stables summer show
went home with rosettes, medals
and sweets. (FW35-544NN)
judge. And an especially big thank
you to all the riders, their ponies,
parents and supporters for making
the day a huge success.