The 2024 Strangles Awareness Week (SAW) campaign reached over 2.8 million equestrians and yard owners. In addition, over 150 new Ambassadors joined the campaign to help spread the word about prevention of the disease.

SAW, held annually during the first week of May, is co-ordinated by a team of eminent equine welfare organisations, research institutes and companies. The campaign produces content to share information about Strangles and biosecurity, as well as the latest research, to help protect horses and businesses from the misery of a Strangles outbreak.

The 2024 campaign was supported by event riders Lucinda Green and William Fox-Pitt, dressage rider Richard Davison and equestrian influencer Riding with Rhi, who starred in videos promoting actions horse owners could take to give their horses the BEST protection from Strangles:

Boost immunity by vaccinating against Strangles

Educate yourself and others

Separate new horses

Temperature check routinely

Over 40 leading equestrian brands, including Champion, Toggi, Equilibrium and Spillers, donated prizes for the SAW BEST prize draw– for horse owners who could correctly identify the BEST actions. The fantastic prize worth over £6,000 was won by Elaine Macdonald, yard owner at Thornhill Stables in East Ayrshire, who is also an Ambassador for Strangles Awareness Week.

Elaine said: “I am over the moon to be receiving the prize but equally proud to be a SAW ambassador. Even when designing our yard 15 years ago we had reduction of the spread of infectious disease in mind, with the construction of a separate quarantine facility. Prevention and biosecurity have been at the forefront of practices put in place on our yard.”

Horse owners are now urged to watch the ‘Never an isolated case’ animation produced by Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Horse Trust and Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES), which highlights how easily Strangles can spread when horses move or mix. Presenting research by the SES network, which has shown links between Strangles outbreaks, not only in different counties, but different countries, the animation shows the many situations in which horse owners can be vigilant to protect their horses.

Lydia Duce, Campaigns Manager for Redwings Horse Sanctuary, who coordinates SAW, said: “2.8 million is a huge number of equestrians who are now more aware of how to protect their horses from the threat of the infectious disease. As our animation shows, Strangles loves to ‘hitch a ride’ when horses move or mix, and I’d encourage all owners to watch and recognise themselves and the situations that could impact their horse. Because any horse can get Strangles and every person can make a difference.”

For more information and to sign up to become a free Strangles Awareness Week Ambassador please visit: https://www.redwings.org.uk/strangles/strangles-awareness-week

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