Equestrian roundup

The UK's most exclusive sponsored ride is back, giving you the opportunity to ride around the world famous Burghley estate and raise money for charity at the same time.

The Burghley Sponsored Ride, will take place on Sunday, September 8, over a special 12km track on the Burghley Horse Trials course and across the breath-taking landscape of the surrounding parkland.

The Burghley Sponsored Ride has become a legend among leisure riders. It presents a one-off chance to follow in the hoof prints of Olympic three-day-event heroes and heroines such as William Fox-Pitt and Mary King. Although even the bravest of sponsored riders still won't be allowed to jump any fences, everyone will be able to get up close to some of Burghley's famous cross-country landmarks such as the Dairy Mound and Trout Hatchery to see how huge they look from the back of a horse. They will also be able to explore tracks and grasslands of the beautiful Burghley estate. The ride is open to anyone aged five years and upwards, for a minimum donation of £30 per rider and 100pc of the money raised will be donated to equine and local charities, including World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Society and Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund.

Every rider is urged to seek as many sponsors as possible beyond the minimum entry fee in order to raise as much money as possible for these very worthy charities.

Participants will also have access to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials at pedestrian rates, where they can enjoy the shopping and the show jumping phase of the event – grandstand tickets must be purchased separately. Stabling and accommodation are available for participants making the journey from further afield.

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For further details and to download an application form visit www.icommentate.co.uk/burghley or email burghleysponsoredride@btconnect.com. Entries are limited and cannot be taken on the day so it's advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

As 7,000 horses in Britain are deemed at risk of needing rescue or new homes, World Horse Welfare has launched a new initiative to help horse owners understand the impacts, costs and risks associated with breeding.

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This initiative comes in the light of research conducted by the charity showing that collectively, twice as many foals were produced by those who had bred only one to five foals in their lifetime than by those who had bred over 100 each.

According to the breeding survey from World Horse Welfare, that was completed by nearly 4,000 horse owners in the UK. Almost a quarter of respondents had bred from the horses they currently own, producing a total of 4,129 foals, and many more were hoping to breed in the future.

Horses are the same as anything else in that the more there are, the less money they sell for. When horses are readily available for little money, some being sold for as little as £5, this often leads to unscrupulous people taking advantage.

You can now rehome foals from World Horse Welfare and bring them on yourselves. If you don't gel then World Horse Welfare will be happy to take him or her back again.

Visit World Horse Welfare's webpage to find out more about the 'Need to Breed?' initiative, where you can access the leaflet: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/needtobreed

The terrible fire earlier this week in Smethwick brought to the attention of the nation the long held concerns that the horse and farming community have about the use of Chinese lanterns.

The risk of causing fires is not the only danger when they land. The component parts can be ingested by livestock and horses causing serious internal injuries and even death.

The British Horse Society runs a website dedicated to the reporting of incidents involving horses – www.horseaccidents.org.uk. The charity has had a number of instances of sky lanterns causing problems for horses.

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