OTLEY AND DISTRICT MEN’S FORUM

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My Work as a Mounted Policeman & in Horse Racing…….

David Muir

7th June 2012

A superb end to our season of talks was provided by David Muir, a former horseman and Chief Inspector in the Lancashire Police Force. His knowledge of horses and their welfare gained in his 30 years employment has enabled him to become the RSPCA’s Equine Consultant in his “retirement”.

Fluency, clarity and knowledge were the bedrock of his talk which covered his mounted police work and later his endeavours to better the welfare of race horses, particularly those that competed over jumps. Both serious and at times humorous his talk enlightened and entertained. We heard about the correct use of police horses when controlling crowds and of the competitions used by the police to increase the quality of horsemanship. These competitions have now been banned due to “Health and Safety”.

 From this he moved on to tell us about horse racing and the safety improvements being obtained by modifying the jumps. Aintree and the Grand National is of concern and the Beechers Brook jump in particular is being studied in an endeavour to reduce the number falls and possible fatalities. Hurdle racing is also being investigated with Southampton University researching ways to improve and make the hurdles safer.

 The last item of which David spoke, probably the main subject relating to horse cruelty, was the use of the whip. Both David Muir and one of our members David McDowell worked to reduce the use of the whip by jockeys and to introduce the shock absorbent whip. They have not yet succeeded in banning the whip entirely but public sentiment could win the day.  


A coach outing on Thursday 21st June is our last meeting until Thursday 6th September  again at the Methodist Church at 10-00am when Alan Stuttard will tell us whether he saw Marilyn. 

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