Horse owners across Aberdeenshire are being urged to join the ScotEquine card scheme which will assist in the event of a disease outbreak, further protect Scotland’s equine population and support industry-led research. ScotEquine aims to put all of Scotland’s horses and ponies on the map and to track their movements across the country. Horse owners are invited to sign up for the scheme. The wallet-sized ScotEquine card is more convenient for carrying around than the existing paper horse passports
Horse owners across Scotland have welcomed the scheme which adds another element of protection for horses and ponies and means that a horse owner has their full horse details with them wherever they are. ScotEquine’s ethos is, “The more equines we know about, the better the system will work for everyone.”
Riding school and livery owner Julie Thompson has 21 ponies and horses at Wardhaugh Farm Riding Centre in Inverkeithny, Aberdeenshire which she runs with her daughter Andrea.
We offer hacks from one hour to a full day, and theoretically we should have our horses’ passports with them so should we be stopped we have all their details,” Julie explained.
Taking the paper passports out on the hacks isn’t practical and, if asked, we then have three hours to produce the details for our horses. If we are out for the day, this wouldn’t be possible.
But with the ScotEquine cards, we can put them in a bum bag for the ride leader to carry so we can always have their passport details to hand.
The ability to connect more than one individual to each horse’s ScotEquine card was also a big draw for Julie as several of her riding school horses are also on part-loan to riders.
Part-loaning a horse or pony is a convenient way to get that first step on the horse-owning ladder and we have several people who part-loan some of our riding school horses. This means they have several people connected with them, rather than a single owner. With the ScotEquine scheme, you can allocate several individuals to a horse’s database record and issue a card for each to carry.
Wardhaugh Farm’s livery facilities were another reason for Julie to sign up to the ScotEquine scheme as it also acts as an ‘early warning system’ should there be a risk of transferrable diseases.
If we or any of our liveries are competing at a show and another horse at that show has a transmittable disease, then we will be notified. The same applies if there is a local outbreak, for example, strangles. This means we are protected both ways and gives us that extra peace of mind,
Highland pony breeder Morven Campbell is another new ScotEquine cardholder. The owner of six Highland ponies, including one stallion which she puts out to stud, Morven says that holding the ScotEquine card had given her that extra peace of mind.
The ScotEquine scheme gives you another layer of reassurance, and anything that makes things easier as a horse owner is a great idea!
With the Highland breed still considered ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Morven needs to be able to keep track of her ponies when at shows as well as managing any disease transmission risk when breeding mares are brought to her yard. Each one of her Highland ponies now has its own ScotEquine card, with its photo and details held on ScotEquine.
Working from an arable and livestock farm on the Strathallan Estate in Auchterarder, Perthshire, Morven welcomed the convenience that the ScotEquine scheme and its associated tracking App will bring, both when showing and breeding her ponies.
The ScotEquine card means I don’t have to take all my ponies’ passports with me when I take them out to shows, I just need to carry their cards,
The ScotEquine card will be a real positive to the showing scene and will play an important role in the management and tracking of potentially transferrable diseases,” she added.
The cards are much easier to carry than the full paper horse passport and will also come in handy when I am out hacking or hunting.
Morven is now encouraging other horse owners in Scotland to sign up for the scheme.
Having a ScotEquine card makes sense, and I’d recommend anyone who is the keeper of a horse and moves their horses around to get one.
Owners can find out more about the ScotEquine card and sign up for their card at www.scotequine.com