Timely help from world class eventers as horse owners prepare their horses for end of lockdown - Veterinary Practice
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Timely help from world class eventers as horse owners prepare their horses for end of lockdown

Two of the world’s most successful eventers, Mark Todd and Pippa Funnell, will discuss “Preparing Your Horse for Competition”

As many horse owners are beginning to think about bringing their animals back into work in preparation for the spring, hopeful that Coronavirus restrictions will begin to ease, World Horse Welfare is hosting a highly pertinent webinar. On Wednesday 17 February at 7pm two of the world’s most successful eventers, Mark Todd and Pippa Funnell, will discuss “Preparing Your Horse for Competition”.

2021 promises to be a season like no other, with preparation and early competitions blighted by Coronavirus. Many people’s horses will have taken the past year quietly, or even been turned away for some or all of the time. However, as hope rises that restrictions will start to lift and life will begin to return to normal, many owners are now bringing their horses back into work with a view to enjoying riding and competing as soon as they are able.

Mark and Pippa will discuss a number of things to bear in mind when bringing a horse back into work, increasing its fitness and aiming for competition. Not only will they consider how to get your horse fit to compete and talk us through the training programme, they will also point out common mistakes and how to avoid them. They will help us to recognise when a combination is ready to move up a level, understand interval training, and how to help horses stay sound and fit over the long term. We will also get an insight into Mark and Pippa’s views on what good equine welfare looks like, and their opinions on the FEI’s blood rules, the upcoming ban on trimming whiskers, and new recommendations on noseband tightness.

By registering for the webinar through Zoom, you will be able to take part in the various polls, ask questions during the Q and A and enjoy an interactive experience. If you are keen to be part of the conversation, then please join.

The fortnightly webinars are free to attend and, if you are unable to attend via Zoom, they can be viewed as a Facebook Live session. If you have missed any of the previous webinars – which have tackled subjects as fascinating and diverse as keeping horses fit, weight management, euthanasia, biosecurity and travelling – they are all available to watch on the World Horse Welfare YouTube channel.

More about the presenters

Pippa Funnell MBE became the first person to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in 2003 and is a three-time Olympic medallist, winning two team silvers and an individual bronze. She has also won Badminton Horse Trials three times and Burghley Horse Trials twice, along with a number of European titles. Pippa has also had a successful showjumping career and, alongside her husband, showjumper William Funnell, she is heavily involved with the breeding and producing of British-bred horses at The Billy Stud in Surrey.

Sir Mark Todd KNZM CBE is one of the world’s most celebrated equestrians, with two Olympic gold medals and numerous other honours. Mark was a pioneer of three-day eventing in New Zealand and in 1980 won the internationally acclaimed Badminton Horse Trials, despite it being his debut appearance. It was his first major victory in what was to become a glittering 20-year career at the top – to this day Mark remains one of only two riders to win back-to-back individual Olympic titles since World War II. He was voted FEI Event Rider of the 20th Century in 2000. He retired in the same year, but returned in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics and continued to be at the forefront of his sport until he retired for a second time in 2019. Mark has ridden since childhood, thanks to his grandfather borrowing a neighbour’s pony for him to ride.

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