Category Archives: Equestrian Transport

Horses can be transported in a variety of ways, with the most common being horse trailers or vans that are uniquely designed to cater for their needs.

Do you know someone who deserves a powerful pat on the back? – RDA Nominations are now open


Nominations for the Riding For The Disabled Association 2015 Gala Awards are now OPEN

RDA Gala Awards 2015Nominate now to be part of the Gala Awards Wednesday 30 September 2015, The Long Room at Lords Cricket Ground, London

Tell us about the outstanding achievements of RDA participants, volunteers, horses and supporters. Send in your nominations using the forms below, to download just click on the link. There are two versions of each form, a Word document which can be filled in electronically and a PDF version for printing and submitting hand written nominations.

The six award categories are:

Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Perkins Slade

Brilliant Idea – sponsored by Automotive Insulation

Business Partnership – sponsored by BETA

Most Improved Participant – sponsored by Childs Farm

Vet of the Year – sponsored by Merial Animal Health

Horse or Pony of the Year – sponsored by Snuggy Hoods

Guidance for Writing Citations

The closing date for nominations is 30 July 2015.

Awards will be presented by Clare Balding at the 2015 Gala Awards dinner at Lords Cricket Ground on Wednesday 30 September 2015.


How Glanders in Germany Has Affected Global Equine Transportation


Australia has put a cessation on imports of horses from Germany for 6 months.  DEFRA has not at this time placed restrictions with reference to Glanders and Farcy a highly contagious wasting virus in horses.

Whilst the UK has been free from Glanders and Farcy since 1928 there has been an upsurge of the equine diseases,generally, in Germany has resulted in special quarantine and exportation regulations for global horse transport. It is because of these stricter measures that, recently, a case of Glanders was pick up during routine screening.

What is this disease and what are the ramifications this incident has on the international equine export and import market?

Equine veterinarian and European specialist of the College of Equine internal medicine Lidwien Verdegaal DVM reported the first ever case of Glanders to the Kuwait National Government when she was working in the country as an equine specialist says Sarah Warne for Eurodressage.

Typical signs of glanders are mainly divided in three forms: a cutaneous (skin) form, an (acute) nasal form and a pulmonary (respiratory) form. The horses show signs of skin nodules spread over the body and/or limbs which will eventually form abscesses or ulcerate with discharge. Horses often have mucopurulent (yellow/ greenish) nasal discharge and may cough. Horses may have chronic disease only showing signs of weight loss and an occasional cough or may not show any signs at all (similar to the recent case in Germany).

According to Lidwien what makes Glanders so dangerous is that it is a bacterial zoonotic disease which means it can be transferred from horses to people and cause severe disease in humans.

“Treatment and recovery of human Glanders disease may be difficult and it is currently still registered as a potential biological weapon,” he added.

Feeling that export but also import restrictions are necessary to prevent the spread of the disease, Lidwien advises that particular caution must be taken in chronic cases or a case which only carries the bacteria without showing any clinical signs.

“Carriers are the risk factors of spreading the disease. If we don’t test, we won’t know if they are carrying and spreading the bacteria and as glanders is a notifiable disease it needs to be reported to the National Government and World Organisation of Animal Health; following this procedure, unfortunately horses need to be humanely destroyed,” he explained.

Lidwien advises that prevention mainly involves import and export restrictions; countries won’t be able to export horses until all horses are tested free of the disease. Prevention within a country: transportation and strict biosecurity rules in relation to prevent contamination since bacteria survive in food, water, on equipment and tissues for about a month.

Informed that the Australian Biosecurity Department had issued a six month pause of horse export from Germany, the ban also includes frozen semen. Lidwien feels these measures are important to prevent a deadly spread!

“I think the recent case shows clearly the risk, it is still unknown how this horse got infected. There doesn’t seem to be a direct contact with an infected imported horse and the horse has not travelled. It was a healthy looking horse while carrying and potentially spreading the bacterial disease.”

Germany Loses Its “Glanders Free” Status

To get to the bottom of the question, one needs to find out if the Glanders case was confirmed or not. Dr. Mandy Elschner, Head of the Reference Laboratory for Glanders at the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health in Germany, was in charge of testing the horse in question.

“The affected horse was born in May 2008 and held in a horse population in the Federal State of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany,” Mandy explained. “A blood sample has been taken for export purposes to a Third country to perform a routine test for glanders. The horse showed no clinical signs and has been kept separately from other horses during the pre-export quarantine. The complement fixation test showed a positive result (regional laboratory); the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) OIE and National Reference Laboratory for Glanders) confirmed the result and revealed also a positive result with the immunoblot method. A second blood sample was taken and the results of this investigation confirmed the first results.”

However Mandy added that after the affected horse was euthanized for diagnostic purposes and the pathologically revealed no typical glanderous lesions.

“The bacteriological investigations of the organs showed negative results for Burkholderia mallei. The investigation of skin lesions with immunohistological methods showed doubtful results. Further investigation of scabs of skin samples showed positive PCR results,” she admitted.

The impact of this, according to Mandy, is that Germany has lost its status “free of Glanders” resulting in alteration of import conditions or import restriction for horses or horse products to other countries. However at present the infection with B. mallei has been resolved as of 27 January 2015, while epidemiological investigations are ongoing.

Australia Bans Horse Importation for Six Months

Australia has banned the importation of horses from Germany for a period of six month. The original statement read:“due to an outbreak of the contagious bacterial disease glanders in Germany, the Department of Agriculture in Australia has suspended the importation of horses from Germany for a minimum of six months (July 30, 2015).”

Kuwait, the first country to host the disease, has only just became free of the disease a few months ago. Lidwien says the outbreak carried on for approximately seven years and the country was closed for horse import and export for all those years!


For ever on the road – John Treagood


As I drove home yesterday I saw John’s Wagon on the roundabout outside Exeter.  His camp was looking untidy and he was no where to be seen, nor his horse, Gildor.  I have spotted John and his raggle taggle band around the place in Devon for years.  I was wondering what was up and when I read this story in the Express and Echo it made me wonder how he was going to adapt to life with a new horse or whether, now, he would have to think of parking up somewhere.

TRAVELLING man John Treagood has been left stranded on an Exeter roundabout following the death of his faithful horse Gildor. The even tempered, Irish cob horse, which for the past 18 years has happily hauled Mr Treegood and his small wagon home around Devon, died earlier this week. A bereft Mr Treagood, 79, said: “I am not sure what I am going to do now. I can’t really talk about it. “Gildor was a good friend to me and wonderful horse. “I shall just stay put and not think about what I am going to do for a few days. It is all a bit of a shock. “I have some friends who might be able to help but I shall wait and see. It’s too soon to talk about that sort of thing.” Mr Treagood, who is now camped on a roundabout just outside Alphington, said Gildor was 28 years old and he had owned him for the past 18 years. “He started to lose weight recently and it turned out his kidneys had given up. “I couldn’t stand to see him suffer I had a responsibility not to do that so he had to be put down. “The good people from the World Horse Welfare charity came along and he was put down round the corner, quietly and peacefully.” Mr Treagood has two other constant companions, his dogs Hale and Whisky. Often he would travel the area, “depending on which way my horse goes.”Gildor was able to see white road lines recognise traffic lights, stopping on red.Mr Treagood said:“The only thing that freaked him a bit was the sound of a braying donkey, which isn’t too surprising.”On ‘moving days’, the caravan could travel up to 30 miles a day along Devon’s roads, Mr Treagood walking. Gildor was happy to pull the wagon, but he would not be ridden because he liked to be able to see his owner.Mr Treagood, who was born in Kent, he never knew his mother and was raised by his grandfather until he decided to run away from home when he was 16.He joined the Army and left after six after with a lump sum of money after being blinded in one eye, and used it to get an education.He has a BA in medieval history and a PhD in environmental studies. He became a freelance lecturer and then one day picked up his backpack and went for a walk, and hasn’t stopped travelling since. Eventually John swapped his backpack for a wagon and a horse, and the little money he needs to get by is earned by doing odd jobs. He does not collect a pension, but does tree pruning, gardening and odd jobs taking what is offered in payment. Read more: