Two new policies have been approved by the DPS Council. The first is the Social Media and Electronic Communication Policy which comes into effect immediately and the second is the Equine Influenza Policy which comes into effect from 1 January 2020. More details can be found on the Policies page.
The Dales Pony Society Breed Show scheduled to take place on August 3rd at Streatlam Farm, Barnard Castle has been cancelled due to the increasing number of equine flu cases in northern areas and subsequent strong feeling among members and others that unvaccinated ponies should not attend. It is now too late to introduce an effective mandatory vaccination policy and the Society has been left with no option but to regretfully cancel the event.
All competitors entered for the show will receive a full refund of entry fees in due course.
The Horse of the Year Show Breed Qualifying class has been moved to the Performance Show on Sunday 25th August at West Park Arena, Tow Law, Co Durham, DL13 4NR and will take place at 1.30pm. The judges remain as Mr Brian Williams for ride and Mr Ernest Coulthard for conformation. All entrants will be contacted to check if they still wish to compete. All ponies at this event must be vaccinated on a 12 month basis.
Rare Breeds of the Year Show 2019 and the Dales Ridden Pony of the Year 2019. Rather than waiting until the following year for the final of the Dales Ridden Pony of the Year, it has been decided to hold it in the same year as those shows that have the qualifiers and at a more central location. The Rare Breeds of the Year Show has kindly added the final to its schedule in 2019. This show is held on Saturday 5 October 2019 at Arena UK, near Grantham. For more details, please see the Events page.
Pony Rescued From Stream: Owner Praises Fire Crews But Has Concerns Over Staffing Levels
A dramatic rescue of a pony trapped in a stream has left its owner thankful to the skills of fire and rescue crews but fearful over perceived lack of cover within Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.
The drama unfolded last Sunday (June 2) when Sam Foreman made her daily morning visit to her 27-year-old pony, Storm, who she stables at a smallholding in Worplesdon. She has owned him since he was nine months old and says he is a “beautiful gentle soul”.
Sam Foreman’s pony, Storm, trapped in the stream. All pictures by Sam Foreman.
Sam takes up the story: “I arrived at about 8.30am and at first I couldn’t see him. Storm was lying down in the stream when I found him, the very cold water was washing around him, he whinnied when he saw me.
“I managed to put a head collar on him and tried to pull him out. He was fighting to get free but his back legs were stuck. The owner of the smallholding arrived and phoned the fire service.
“A crew from Guildford’s white watch soon arrived and assessed the situation. They told me they were calling an animal rescue team, but it would be coming from Lyndhurst in Hampshire as the Surrey one, based at Painshill in Cobham, was not on duty that weekend.”
Sam says that by this time her pony was in a poor condition, having probably been in the water for several hours. “He was cold,” continued Sam, “and his eyes were starting to roll and were white. Luckily it had not been a cold night.
“He’s a Dales pony and a native breed, so quite hardy by nature. But he is old – in human years equivalent to an 88-year-old.”
The animal rescue team, with firefighters from Lyndhurst and also Winchester, arrived at about 11am, and Sam says they carefully assessed the situation and it took numerous attempts to be push a body bar under Storm.”
Hay bales placed around the pony to make him more comfortable.
Sam had also called a vet and she and the Guildford crew put hay bales beneath Storm that made him more comfortable.
She continues: “Finally, after about an hour, they managed to pull Storm free. The vet had sedated him and was concerned that he might be suffering from shock, hypothermia and the fact that he had been down so long, lack of circulation, and weight on internal organs. The longer a horse is down the less likely it is to survive.
Fire crews work to free the trapped pony.
“There was no circulation in his back legs and at first he wouldn’t stand up. He was propped up by more hay bales and the fire crews then rolled him over. Finally, he stood up and staggered around for a bit.
All working together to pull the pony from the water.
“The vet said his temperature was very low and she gave him some painkillers.”
Nearly there. . .
They all pull together. . .
Happily, Storm is now making a good recovery from his ordeal, but Sam wonders how he came to be in the stream as she knows that he does not usually go anywhere near water.
Storm was unable to stand and lays supported by hay bales.
Sam says: “He just doesn’t like water and we’ve noticed some cut marks on his back that were nothing to do with his rescue.”
She is extremely grateful to the fire crews but is alarmed at what appears to be a shortage of staff at Surrey fire stations. She said if the Surrey animal rescue team from Painshill had been on duty they would surely have arrived much quicker and her pony’s ordeal would not have been so prolonged.
Sam with her beloved Dales pony Storm.
Surrey Fire & Rescue has issued a statement following the incident. A spokesman said: “We have tried-and-tested plans in place to make sure we can always deal with incidents effectively and we continually monitor all our vehicles around the county, using new technology, so that people and equipment are in the right place at the right time.
“As a specialist appliance needing specific skills, the availability of the animal rescue unit is always subject to the availability of specially trained firefighters which naturally varies on a shift by shift basis, across the county. On the day of this incident, specialist assistance was requested from a neighbouring fire and rescue service – this is normal practice and we reciprocate for them when needed.”
If you are interested in taking part in a survey about the wildness of UK Native Ponies, please read the attached document here and contact David Murray for any further details.
The Survey is taking place from March through August 2019. The Questionnaire is attached here and also on the internet at equine-wildness.uk. The website email address to return questionnaires is also on the website. This is: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have recently been contacted by Cécile Zahorka, a freelance photographer from Germany. There follows an extract from her email:
“In the past year I have been working on a project called “Forgotten Horses”, where I photograph and document rare and endangered horse breeds. We have a similar society to the RBST in Germany regarding animal breeds with endangered populations and I have been working together with breeders and owners. I have planned to make a journey to UK for this project, with the mission to find and document native British breeds, such as the Dales Pony.
I’m looking for passionates, breeders, owners this breed, which I could contact and visit during my journey.
It is my aim to portrait the breed in its traditional context and in typical landscapes, in front of barns or whatever the surroundings offer and fit to the horse, to make high quality pictures for all media and raise awareness to the matter.
I would be very happy if you would be interested in having a session with me.