Competing Horses in Summer

Kylie Roddy - Shearwater Insurance

With the Summer competition season in full swing, the Shearwater team have put together some handy hints and tips for a successful and safe competition season.

  1. Travelling horses in hot weather will not affect your horsebox insurance

A common misconception is that travelling horses, when the temperature is over 30 degrees (centigrade) will invalidate your insurance.  There is no impact on your horsebox or trailer insurance, as this only covers the vehicle rather than the welfare of the equines travelling within it.  The exception to the rule could be commercial transporters who operate under different rules.  If you hold an operators licence and are continuing to transport horses for commercial purposes it is worth seeking clarification from your insurance provider ahead of travelling.

There are various DEFRA guidelines around travelling horses in hot weather, with 30 degrees often talked about.  The guidelines are aimed at commercial transporters and those undertaking journeys of 8-hours more, however these guidelines are there to protect the welfare of the animals travelling within the vehicles and should be used as guidelines for all those looking at travelling horses during hot weather.

2. Ensure that vehicles are well ventilated & breaks are planned

Ensure that any horseboxes or trailers are well ventilated to help with cooling during travelling.  Check that windows and vents are open to encourage air flow.

For longer journeys plan breaks to open doors and increase air flow and offer horses water

3. Carry plenty of fresh water for horses (and passengers)

Check that all water onboard is fresh and safe to drink.  

Offer horses water before travelling, during if possible and during any planned breaks.

4. Check your horsebox insurance

With rising costs it may be tempting to share transport to an event.  Carrying another horse on your horsebox will not affect your insurance, unless you are making a profit from it.

5. Public Liability insurance 

Public Liability Insurance is to cover you for any claim made against you by a member of the public for personal injury or property damage.  Examples of the sort of claims horse owner can expect are from those injured should your horse get loose and injury a person or damage their property. Although any claimant would have to prove that you were in some way responsible for the incident and therefore liable, it will also cover you for any legal fees incurred in defending yourself against such a claim.

Many memberships carry a level of Public Liability insurance, but it is always worth checking membership and policy details to ensure you have the correct level of cover.