confirms need for trailer safety campaign
survey conducted by The Blue Cross animal welfare charity at Blenheim
Petplan International Horses Trials last week has identified that
more than 50% of horse owners are unaware of even the most basic
trailer maintenance requirements for the safe transport of their
The survey, conducted at the launch of The Blue Cross Safe Trailer
Campaign, invited horse owners to answer six simple questions on
routine trailer maintenance. A frightening 56% of those asked were
unable to answer all the questions correctly. Towing expert John
Henderson who devised the survey explained: It was of particular
concern that some of the answers given suggested a potentially dangerous
lack of knowledge with people being unaware of maintenance vital
to ensure the trailer's braking system worked properly. This included
people who thought trailer brakes only needed adjusting after the
first 200 miles and those who did not realise the drawbar needed
is estimated that up to three horses every day need veterinary treatment
as a result of transport related injuries. Many of these accidents
are the result of poor trailer maintenance, with the collapse of
the trailer floor being one of the most common and often fatal problems.
Blue Cross Safe Trailer Campaign urges owners to undertake simple
checks before transporting horses by trailer. The charity is offering
free practical advice and guidance on trailer safety and maintenance
in the form of an easy-reference leaflet produced in conjunction
with respected towing expert John Henderson. In addition the charity
is liaising with key trailer manufacturers, dealers and towing authorities
to ensure that everything possible is done to provide for safe trailer
travel for horses.
three-day event rider Mary King recognises the importance of such
a campaign. She said: Many years ago I had just bought a lorry
from a reputable company and my horse King Boris put a foot through
the rotten floor. Although Boris was luckily not injured it was
a very frightening experience and I now make sure my lorries always
have an aluminium floor. These statistics are really scary. As a
nation who loves their horses so much we should make sure we do
as much as we can for them.
France trailers are registered and given an MOT-style test annually.
Leading French event rider Franck Bourny was shocked to learn that
we do not do this in Britain. He said: If you look at trailers
here its sad compared with the trailers used in France. If
you go to a show in France you might see two in poor condition but
in Britain youll see 50.
details of the Safe Trailer campaign visit the Blue Cross website
Blue Cross is Britain's pet charity, providing information, advice
and practical support for pet and horse owners. Through its network
of animal adoption centres it rehomes thousands of animals each
year. Its hospitals provide veterinary care for the pets of people
who cannot afford private vets' fees.