30th MAY 2019 - Page 86

FEBRUARY 14 2019
HRH The Princess Royal visits
CAFRE Enniskillen Campus
Be prepared for the season ahead
By Toni Donnelly, Equine Technologist, CAFRE
RACING UNIT: HRH Princess Royal chats to
CAFRE student Mark Nolan in the racing unit
at Enniskillen campus. (FW07-552NN)
HE Department of Agriculture,
Environment and Rural Affairs
(DAERA) welcomed HRH The Princess
Royal to the College of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)
campus in Enniskillen on Friday, February 8,
as part of a two-day visit to NI.
On arrival, HRH was greeted by CAFRE’s
Director Martin McKendry, who accompanied
her on a tour of the equine facilities, where
she met with CAFRE staff and students.
Martin McKendry said: “I am delighted to
welcome The Princess Royal to the campus
today to showcase our facilities at the campus
and to introduce her to the students and staff.
“CAFRE has excellent facilities for the
delivery of our equine education courses
including breeding, racing, equitation and
farriery units. These facilities provide
students with invaluable experience in
managing and riding horses.
“During the visit, staff highlighted to The
Princess Royal that 93% of the students gain
employment or continue further education
within six months of graduation. The
College also has excellent links to America,
in particular with Coolmore and Darley in
Kentucky,” he concluded.
CAFRE BSc student Naoisa Faux, from
Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh added: “I
was excited to meet The Princess Royal and
HAVING A CHAT: HRH Princess Royal chats
with CAFRE student Naoisa Faux in the racing
unit at Enniskillen campus. (FW07-553NN)
PICTURES: courtesy of Simon Graham
The winter months are often down time
for horses that have competed solidly
into late autumn, and the perfect time for
a general check on your horse’s health
and soundness. If the vet has any doubt in
regards to the soundness, they may refer
your horse to a listed physiotherapist for
further investigation and to rule out any
major problems, helping to prevent future
injury. If shoes were removed over winter,
then shoeing will likely be required in order
to get the horse fit and perform any physical
activity on different surfaces.
receiving a miniature version of the new
CAFRE Racing Colours from Emily Webb, Chair,
Student Representative Council at Enniskillen
campus. (FW07-557NN)
discuss how I’m really enjoying my time at
CAFRE, studying for my Honours Degree and
developing a deeper understanding of the
academic side of equine management, as well
as my practical skills.
“I was delighted to outline how I had the
opportunity to lead up one of the College
Thoroughbred foals for sale at Goffs recently.
I’m now looking forward to travelling to
Kentucky, USA with six other students,
and three staff to develop my international
views CAFRE upskilling Farriers at work in the
forge at Enniskillen campus. (FW07-554NN)
ILDRA at Tollymore
ILDRA (the Irish Long Distance Riding
Association) are running a Valentine’s ride
in Tollymore on Sunday, February 17, start
time 10am to 1pm. All welcome.
FOR almost all horse owners, this is the time
of year when an individual plan is established
for the year ahead. It is important to set out
your goals and challenges, which are within
your capability. A good plan in regards
to equine management, administration
requirements and transport will make
achieving your goal a lot easier. Horses are
infamous for changing the best laid plans no
matter how organised you are.
CONVERSATION: HRH Princess Royal pictured
with Head of Equine at CAFRE’s Enniskillen
campus, Seamus McAlinney and Farriery
lecturer Martin Payne. (FW07-555NN)
Infectious diseases remain a continuous and
significant danger to the health of horses, with
vaccination playing a vital role in protecting
against such diseases. Regular vaccination
of horses and ponies is an essential part of
their routine care, which helps to sustain
both individual and herd immunity against
life-threatening diseases. Equine Influenza
and Equine Herpes are the two diseases that
horse owners would commonly vaccinate
against. Additionally, owners of competition
horses should be conscious that an up
to date vaccination record is required by
many sporting governing bodies for horses
competing under their rules. Such bodies
include Show Jumping Association of Ireland,
Eventing Ireland and Pony Club. Riders
wishing to compete internationally will need
to adhere to FEI vaccination requirements.
To control Equine Influenza and Tetanus, all
equines must be vaccinated every year as a
routine measure. The primary vaccination
must consist of two inoculations given at
intervals not less than 21 days and not more
than 92 days apart. The booster inoculation
is given between 150 days (five months)
and 215 (seven months) after the primary
vaccination. The annual booster dose must
be administered within 12 months of the
previous inoculation.
Vaccinations must be properly documented
on the animal’s passport. If your horse has not
been vaccinated and it develops a wound, it is
essential that a Tetanus anti-toxin injection is
given as soon as possible to prevent Tetanus
infection. This is not a vaccination but will
protect your horse against Tetanus for at least
three weeks.
The competition horse should undergo a
thorough oral examination biannually to help
them to perform efficiently. An owner should
be mindful of any dental problems that can
affect a horse’s performance and success.
It is essential to keep your horse’s mouth
comfortable for two reasons; firstly to help
them achieve the maximum nutrient value
from their diet, thus reducing feed cost, and
secondly, to ensure the horse is comfortable
in their mouth, as dental disorders can disturb
the horse during training and competition,
affecting their performance.
Most horses are currently awaiting their
second and final clip of the season, however
for some it may be their first clip. Clipping
is a necessity for horses to stay in work
comfortably in the colder months without
sweating excessively, but the decision
of when to do the final clip is always an
ongoing debate. Traditionally, clipping after
the middle of February risks damaging the
summer coat and is a definite no for many
show producers. Clipping later on in early
REGULAR CHECKS: Ensure that transport is
in good working order and that all checks are
performed regularly. (FW07-503NN)
spring risks having horses looking bald or
patchy in early summer.
Coat development in horses is controlled by
a reaction to variations in daylight hours. As
winter arrives and daylight hours shorten, a
surge in melatonin production stimulates the
growth of thick winter coats. Correspondingly,
as daylight increases in January and February,
the horse’s hair follicles are already priming a
summer coat. Subsequently, horses’ coats can
be managed appropriately accordingly to the
time of year.
If your horse box or lorry is not currently in
use, it is imperative it is checked internally
and externally for general wear and tear. Such
checks should be a definite weekly activity in
the competition season, and the day before
competing the vehicle should be thoroughly
checked including the floor, ramp, lights and
tyre pressure. You should also check that
there is enough fuel to reach the destination.
It is vital that all documentation is up to date
and packed, including passports, insurance
papers and contact details for vets.
In recent years, a lot of research has gone
into specifying safety guidelines for equine
transport. It is not legal for the majority of
drivers in the UK to drive an HGV horse lorry
or tow a horse box trailer without an extra
entitlement or a new licence altogether. The
appropriate licence for you depends on the
kind of vehicle you drive and the size and
weights involved.
- Anyone who has passed his or her cardriving test on or after January 1, 1997 is now
required to pass an additional test in order to
tow a trailer of an MAM (maximum authorised
mass) over 750kg.
- Vehicles of 3.5 tonnes and up to 7.5 tonnes
MAM can be driven by any driver with a
category B Licence. If the driving test was
taken after January 1, 1997, the driver must
take a PCV (passenger carrying vehicle) test.
- To drive a lorry over 7.5 tonnes MAM, an
LGV (HGV) licence will be required.
- Remember the MAM includes the total
loaded weight of the box including horses,
passengers, water, fuel etc.
Equestrian associations or governing
body registrations and membership fees
are usually due at the start of the year and
your own financial particulars will dictate
when you decide to join. A factor to consider
is when you and your animal will be ready
to really benefit from membership. This
includes factors such as level of training and
horse and rider fitness. Horse and rider must
be physically and mentally ready for any
competition they intend to enter. It can take
eight to 12 weeks to get a horse and rider to full
physical fitness and targeted training specific
to the competition demands is needed.
It is also important to read the association
membership rules as several require ponies
and horses to be measured officially at
approved measuring days, to participate in
restricted classes. It may sound ironic, but it
is vital to plan backwards from competition
dates to be properly organised and avoid


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