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Barefoot grand prix winners, non-spooky street markings, and different issues the horse world is speaking about

  • 1. The barefoot and bootless chestnut mare winning at grand prix

    The barefoot and bootless chestnut mare Mom’s Toupie De La Roque gave her all to head the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) grand prix of London for Belgium’s Pieter Devos this weekend. The mare jumps without traditional tendon boots and she’s unshod, too – a decision made when she was in the care of the Hecart family. “She performed like this with Julien Epaillard, so it was very easy for me – if it worked, why would I change it?” explains Pieter.

    And they’re not the only ones – after being crowned the new world champion, Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann said of his horse King Edward: “Taking off his shoes was a complete game changer. Directly you felt he was more relaxed and more satisfied.”

    Read about this shoeless and bootless mare’s latest win

    2. Getting horses used to new road designs

    Here’s one for anyone whose horse launches themselves over “Give way” markings and zebra crossings on your average hack… A forward-thinking council that is installing colourful new road markings has created a practice panel of tarmac to allow horses to become used to the designs in advance. Marvellous. Wokingham Borough Council is planning an “innovative overhaul” of the California Crossroads at Finchampstead, which includes multi-coloured leaf designs on the tarmac near two mini roundabouts, aimed at making them more attractive and encouraging drivers to slow down. There will also be white leaves painted on new crossings, “so the area feels less centred around vehicles”, a council spokesman said. How fantastic to see horses being considered here, too.

    What this initiative is all about

    3. Taking on equine crime

    On the subject of welcome moves, in a drive to reduce theft, tackle fly-grazing and neglect, and improve collaboration between regions to reduce cross-border equine crime, horse owners are high on the agenda as police forces come together to tackle equine and rural crime. A number of forces have relaunched horsewatch schemes this year including West Yorkshire Police, as they look to build on relationships with horse owners.

    “Not only will we be concentrating on crime prevention advice, we want to focus on incident reporting, how to gather best evidence and what we can do with it. We will look at local neighbourhood policing teams and make sure we have a contact in each team that can link in with the equestrian community,” said West Yorkshire Police sergeant Terri Green. “I want to ask owners for their crime prevention advice – police have all the standard stuff, but I want to hear from owners what works and what doesn’t and share this information and learn from each other,” she said.

    Find out what is happening to help reduce equine crime

    Police forces have announced plans to work with horse owners to tackle equine and rural crime

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    ‘It feels good that the funds have come from proceeds of crime and are now being used for crime prevention

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