We are pleased to announce that our Equestrian Facilities Manager, Rachael Robertson, will be joining SRUC in April 2022.
Rachael currently works at the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital, part of the Glasgow University Vet School and in addition to her expertise in horse care and welfare, she brings significant business development, management and marketing experience.
The equestrian facilities manager role is a new position at Oatridge and Rachael will take overall responsibility for the direction and leadership of both the Scottish National Equestrian Centre and the Oatridge stables, and her appointment is part of our strategy to enhance our external cooperation for the benefit of the Scottish equestrian sector as well as maximise the benefits to our students.
Reacting to her appointment, Rachael said “I am delighted to be joining the team at SRUC. Oatridge already boasts fantastic facilities and education opportunities and I’m eager to pursue this exciting development. With the right partnerships the facilities will become Scotland’s epicentre of equine education, training and competition.”
Now that the Covid guidance from the Scottish Government for colleges and for sporting venues are aligned and many of the restrictions are being relaxed, SNEC is pleased to be able to start taking bookings starting from 1st February 2022.
We appreciate that this has been a difficult period but the guidance for colleges in recent weeks has been more restrictive than for sporting venues and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
In addition, we are implementing a number of changes in the staffing and operation of SNEC which users will start to see over the coming weeks. These include creating some new roles at Oatridge which will be advertised shortly.
Following a review of the guidance today we can confirm that activities at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre will remain suspended until 31 January at the earliest.
The continuing focus for SRUC is delivering on our commitments to our students’ education and training. To reduce the risk of disruption to their studies and qualifications we must limit other activities on campus.
We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you back at the earliest possible opportunity.
It is with great regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the British Showjumping show due to be held at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre this weekend and all events scheduled until 17 January.
With the increasing need for caution in the run up to the Christmas period we feel it is best to adopt a careful approach to keep our colleagues, students and customers safe. In the first part of next year, SRUC will focus on making sure we can deliver our commitments to our students’ education and training. To reduce the risk of disruption to their studies and qualifications we may need to limit other activities on campus. In the New Year we will have a clearer picture about when events can resume.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We look froward to seeing you later in 2022 for an exciting calendar of equestrian events.
We are delighted to be hosting qualifiers for the 2022 Royal Highland Show. Below are the dates and classes we are running, you can click on the date to view more information. Schedules will be made available in the coming weeks.
It is one of Scotland’s largest equestrian events providing opportunities for show jumpers from across the British Isles to qualify for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show.
This year’s event was due to take place from 16-19 July.
In a statement released today (6 April), Show Director Craig Blackie said: “It is with regret that we have made the decision today to cancel the 2020 running of the Harbro Scottish Home Pony. This decision has been one of the most difficult ones we have had to make regarding the show since we re-launched in 2017.
“From all of the team behind the show, thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you back to Scotland’s National Equestrian Centre at SRUC Oatridge Campus in 2021.
“In the meantime, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Last year saw 490 ponies and 290 under-16 riders attending, with around 325 ponies stabled onsite at Oatridge.
For more information about studying at SRUC, which offers a wide range of courses including Equine, Veterinary Nursing and Animal Management, visit: www.sruc.ac.uk/study.
Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College are calling on pony owners to help them get to the root of laminitis – a painful condition which affects many ponies and horses.
PhD students Philippa Davies and Ashley Ward are carrying out two linked research projects to try and identify previously unconsidered triggers for laminitis in ponies as part of a collaboration between SRUC, WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute and the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute.
They are asking owners of native-breed ponies across the north east of Scotland to help them by completing questionnaires and allowing them to collect samples from their pasture and ponies.
Laminitis cases are commonly linked to changes in the content of the grass and/or consumption of this grass – so-called pasture-associated laminitis (PAL). One of the projects aims to find out why some animals are more susceptible to developing the condition than others.
Obese animals and those with altered levels of key blood hormones such as insulin and adiponectin have been found to be at increased risk – but not all of these animals develop laminitis and lean animals can also develop the condition.
By studying the faeces and urine of individual animals, the researchers hope to find if differences in the ability of individual ponies to metabolise and utilise pasture may help identify those at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Grasses high in sugars are considered to be unsuitable for animals prone to laminitis, but not enough is known about what this means in practical management terms. The second project will look at the species make-up of Scottish pony pastures and evaluate, among other things, the sugar content of the different grass species throughout the year in order to establish associations between the chemical composition of grass and laminitis risk.
SRUC’s Dr Pippa Morrison, one of the supervisors on the studies, said: “We know that for many owners of horses and ponies, the possibility of their animal developing laminitis is a constant worry and a very real concern.
“When it happens, laminitis can arrive with little or no warning and can be quite shocking. All too often animals suffer extreme pain and the consequences can be devastating.
“These studies have been carefully designed to help us better understand some of the risk factors associated with laminitis, both at the pony and pasture level, and may help to identify animals at increased risk and those for which recurrence of the disease is more likely.”
It is hoped the research, which is also supported by the Roland Sutton Trust and World Horse Welfare, will lead to the development of evidence-based biomarkers to identify animals at high risk of developing the condition, in addition to establishing suitable management strategies to help reduce the occurrence of PAL. This would provide valuable information for vets and horse owners and could greatly improve the welfare of horses and ponies.
Philippa and Ashley are looking for healthy native-breed ponies aged four years old and over, with no previous diagnosis of PPID (equine Cushing’s disease), to take part in these studies.
If you are interested in getting involved, or if you would like more information, please contact: projectPAL@sruc.ac.uk or 01224 711026.