Successful ILPH Seminar

More than 200 invited guests attended the ILPH’s Annual Seminar on November 10th at Newmarket Racecourse. The Seminar was opened by ILPH President HRH The Princess Royal stressing that the seminar reminds us of what we can achieve in terms of horse welfare and the potential for what could be achieved in the future.

Athens, a success story for the Paralympic Dressage Team, was the first lecture, a gripping account delivered in an entertaining fashion by David Hunter, Performance Manager for the Paralympic Dressage Team and Deborah Criddle, Triple Gold Medalist from Athens.

The ILPH has a major new project in the Gambia Ian Kelly, the ILPH’s Head of International Training gave a 262 second overview of the ILPH’s International Training. At the end of his gallop through Ian revealed he had talked for 262 seconds as every second represented one days international training delivered by the ILPH so far this year. Stella Marsden, Co-founder and Trustee of The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust who had drawn attention to the equine problems in the Gambia and asked for ILPH help, gave an account of the background to the welfare problem that currently exists.

James Bradley, Head of Division, Rural Partnerships at DEFRA gave a DEFRA perspective on Horse Matters. During his talk he mentioned DEFRA’s belief that the horse industry makes a great contribution to the rural economy and society and that he hopes that DEFRA can assist the horse industry make a greater contribution in years to come.

Welfare in Endurance was the subject of the talk by Dr David Marlin, the Head of Physiology at the Animal Health Trust. He highlighted past problems and outlined veterinary thinking on current improvements.

As light relief before lunch the audience were treated to a very entertaining talk “Around Aintree” by Richard Dunwoody MBE, the former Champion Jockey, where he recounted his adventures in the Grand National and in polar races.

The afternoon opened with ‘Equine Crime Investigation is it seen as a Cinderella or Princess Concern?’ David Guy, the ILPH Field Officer whose area includes Hampshire, held up as a shining example to other police forces the Hampshire Police Forces Equine Liaison Officer system. Hampshire Police Equine Liaison Officer WPC Liz Parsonage gave further details of this scheme and talked about how it was reducing equine crime in the area.

The following sessions represented a review of the Scientific Research currently sponsored by the ILPH. An introduction by Dr Colin Roberts, Secretary of the Veterinary Advisory Committee was followed by a talk by Emma Jones demonstrating the benefits to both parties of the close relationship between the ILPH and the Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Studies Equine Department. Rachel Eager also of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies then gave details of her ILPH Funded postgraduate project into Pain Assessment in Horses. Expanding on this theme Professor Daniel Mills reported on the work of his Cognition and Welfare Group at the University of Lincoln on Behaviour and Stress in horses.

Miss Shirley Renowden, a long-term riding school proprietor, representing the Association of British Riding Schools gave an extremely entertaining talk about the riding school perspective on ‘Health, Safety and Insurance impacts for Riding Schools’. This was followed by the insurance company perspective from Guy Prest, of KBIS Insurance and David Buckton, of South Essex

ILPH appoints two new Field Officers

Two new Field Officers have been appointed by the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH). Jenny Chryss has been appointed as Field Officer responsible for Oxfordshire, Glos, Warks, Worcs and NE and N Somerset, while Allison Williment has been appointed as Field Officer covering Greater London, Herts, Bucks, Beds and Northants.

The ILPH Field Officers occupy the frontline of the ILPH’s UK Operations. They travel a total of over 350,000 miles each year to assess horses at risk of cruelty or neglect. They also perform home checks on the 2,000 horses currently on the ILPH loan scheme and give educational talks and presentations.

Jenny Chryss is making the second major career switch of her life, joining the ILPH from a highly successful career in Journalism. Having worked as a riding instructor and a groom - during which time Jenny gained her BHSII qualification - she enrolled as a mature student at Huddersfield Polytechnic gaining her degree before taking her postgraduate National Council for the Training of Journalists Proficiency Exam. Jenny worked on various papers and as a radio journalist in the Reading area before joining the BBC as a Parliamentary Journalist. During 14 years at the BBC Jenny has worked in a variety of environments, including in the Bosnian War for Radio 5 Live. She finished her career in front of the camera as Senior Reporter for BBC Newsroom South East, before becoming Senior Producer at BBC Radio 4’s File on Four in April 2001. In 3 years in this role Jenny’s programmes won two major awards, the Norwich Union Medical Journalism Award’s Radio Programme of the Year for a programme on medical accidents and a Peabody Award in the USA for a programme investigating how material has leaked from the UK into the nuclear weapons programmes of Iran and Pakistan.

Allison, who graduated with a Law degree, also began her working life as a groom, riding instructor and stable manager during which time she gained her BHSAI. Ten years ago she joined the Thames Valley Mounted Police as Civilian Support. She remained there for five years dealing with the day to day care of Police Horses, co-ordinating Horsewatch locally and nationally and liaising with local Police Officers and animal welfare charities regarding equine crime and welfare issues. Allison moved on to the role of Dog Welfare Advice and Enforcement Officer for Milton Keynes Council. Two years before joining the ILPH she joined the Civil Service. Her role involved interviewing suspected offenders at police stations, detaining and removing immigration offenders from their home addresses or place of employment and liaising with the police and other government agencies to gain intelligence and mount joint operations.

Director of UK Operations Tony Tyler commented: “Our Field Officers need to combine knowledge of the law with knowledge of horses and the ability to handle themselves in tricky situations. Jenny and Allison both demonstrated extensive experience of dealing with a wide range of difficult and hostile people as an investigative journalist and immigration officer respectively. In their different fields both have needed a detailed knowledge of the law. Combine this with their BHS qualifications and the fact that they have had a continued involvement with horses and you have the complete package.”


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