Safety survey on county’s horseboxes

CONCERNS about lack of horsebox safety in West Sussex have been expressed following more than 100 breakdowns with horses on board so far this year. Figures have shown that the most common breakdowns are as a result of tyre blow-outs involving very old tyre sizes that cannot be sourced at the time.

This, or the damage done to lorries when a tyre has blown out, involves lengthy waits, putting horses in danger or stress.

Other common breakdowns include blocked fuel filters (easily preventable with proper maintenance schedule), running out of fuel, non starts, electrical problems and clutch/gearbox issues.

Now a joint safety initiative to help horse owners get a grip on safety has been launched through a team-up between NFU Mutual, British Horse Society and PRP Equine Rescue .

An online safety survey and Equifest horsebox ‘weigh-in’ results revealed that 62 per cent of horse owners admit to not taking safety issues seriously enough and that 64 per cent of their vehicles were overloaded and this would have resulted in enforcement action.

NFU Mutual is working with the British Horse Society and PRP Equine Rescue to help raise awareness on safety best practice for the loading and transportation of horses, following the results of an online survey and horsebox ‘weigh-in’ event which took place at Equifest in August 2011. The three organisations joined forces to survey more than 2,000 horse owners in July this year. The survey aimed to assess the level of awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding the use of horseboxes and trailers and people’s general attitudes on the subject of safety.

For full story see equestrian page in West Sussex Gazette November 30