Food for Thought

By: Horse Deals

Food for Thought
Scribbles with six-year-old Maddie Eathorne

Scribbles, aged 51, stays on top form

Feed company SPILLERS® has been contacted by the owner of what is thought to be the oldest pony in the UK. Alison Eathorne, who owns 51-year-old Scribbles, wanted tell the company she believes its senior conditioning mix has helped keep him healthy and active.

Scribbles, a part-bred Shetland gelding, worked for many years at a riding school near Camborne in Cornwall. When the school closed down, Alison leapt at the chance to take him on as a schoolmaster for her young children and a companion for her horse.

"He taught my two stepdaughters to ride at the school in the 1990s and I found his cheeky character irresistible," said Alison. "Over the past few years he’s been brilliant at teaching my youngest girls the basics. He may be old, but he’s no plod. He’s always had a great sense of humour and can still be a handful for our vet!"

SPILLERS® Senior Conditioning Mix is for oldies who need a little extra help to maintain weight and topline. For more information visit

HorseHage help for Dartmoor centre

Gail Booker, feeding adviser for HorseHage, attended an open day at the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre (DPTC) in Devon to give advice on feeding native ponies and offer free samples from the Mollichaff range.

This was the culmination of a three-day training programme for anyone thinking of buying a Dartmoor pony at the sales.

Natalie Torr of the DPTC said: "We were set up in 2005 to take on ponies left unsold at the markets, but felt we could do more promotional work for the breed. At the moment, the market price of hill ponies is low, particularly when you consider many are sold for around £20 and go on to make fabulous all-rounders."

BETA introduces code for feed companies

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has introduced a voluntary code of practice for feed manufacturers to reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances (NOPS) in
equine feeds.

The code has commitment from many leading manufacturers and was developed in response to an increased incidence of positive dope tests for morphine, a high priority NOPS in racehorses.

FEI rules for competition and the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Rules of Racing state a no-threshold policy for naturally occurring substances that could affect performance, with the exception of theobromine.

Feeds and supplements conforming to the code will carry labelling to reassure owners and trainers of the stringent quality management procedures undertaken during every step of the sourcing, storage, transport and manufacturing processes. Suppliers of raw materials will be regularly audited and staff will undergo rigorous training to ensure strict adherence
to the code.

Professor Tim Morris, BHA director of equine science and welfare, said: "The code provides important protection for those competing or racing under rules. The fact that most of the UK’s major feed manufacturers have already agreed to comply confirms its viability as a workable
verification system."

For more information visit