Equine events to showcase how Cheshire horse owners can look after their land while also supporting the county’s water sources

09 Jan 2023

A series of equine events is being hosted in Cheshire over the coming weeks to help horse owners find out how they can manage their land in a way that benefits their animals as well as the local water sources.

Hosted by water company United Utilities, the three sessions will bring together equestrian and land management experts to share knowledge and best practice on how to keep horses happy and healthy while also looking after land responsibly.

As part of the company’s catchment approach to land management, United Utilities works with a range of stakeholders and partners to encourage everyone who looks after farms and fields to help support streams and rivers. A range of initiatives have taken place at Cheshire farms in recent years, such as under-sowing maize, reducing nitrate leaching through improved nitrogen measurement, and alternative ways to manage weeds and pests, and now United Utilities is looking to reach the equestrian community.

The three evening sessions will bring horse owners and stable managers together to help them find out more about land management approaches that also support water quality, and hear the latest in equestrian research. Talks will be given by experts from environmental consultancy ADAS and the University of Liverpool Equine Hospital.

There will also be free soil samples available, details on how to order covered muck wagons at a heavily subsidised rate, and information on grants towards improvements that would protect raw water sources. United Utilities teams will also be on hand to talk to horse and stable owners about their specific land management challenges, and can organise site visits to look at individual options and opportunities.

The free sessions will take place at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre in Tarporley, on Tuesdays 28th January, 7th February and 28th February. People are welcome to come along from 6.10pm for refreshments, with talks starting at 6.30pm.

The subjects are:

  • 24th January – Paddock maintenance and fertiliser use, and gastric ulcers
  • 7th February – Grazing management and weed control, and why is soundness so elusive
  • 28th February – Muck heap and yard maintenance, and how to help your horse grow old gracefully

Tanis Slattery-Penfold, Catchment Advisor at United Utilities, said: “We’re already working with many farmers throughout Cheshire to encourage and support them to manage their land in a way that supports and enhances the wider environment, and we’ve seen some great successes through this partnership approach.

“We’re now expanding our focus to those who keep horses, whether at their homes, in small yards, or larger stables, to showcase how we can help them, from tips and free products, to subsidies and grants.

“The sessions are free to attend and we’d love to welcome all equine enthusiasts to come and learn from our expert speakers and discuss how we can work together to help their horses and our region’s precious water sources.”


Full details for the talks are:

  • Location: Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre, Middlewich Rd, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 0SR
  • Timing: Refreshments (including bacon butties) available from 6.10pm, talks start at 6.30pm



Land management with ADAS

Equine expertise with University of Liverpool

Tuesday  24th January

Paddock maintenance and fertiliser use

Ruth Gardner-Morris

Gastric ulcers – what do they mean for my horse and how do we manage them?  

Dr Harry Carslake

(MA, VetMB, PhD, DipACVIM, DipECEIM, MRCVS Head of Equine Medicine)

Tuesday 7th February

Grazing management and weed control

Ruth Gardner-Morris

Why is soundness so elusive?

David Stack

(MVB MSc DVMS DipECVS FHEA MRCVS, EBVS European Specialist in Equine Surgery, Head of Equine Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, and Diagnostic Imaging Services)

Tuesday 28th February

Muck heap and yard maintenance

Ruth Gardner-Morris

How to help your horse grow old gracefully

Dr Jo Ireland

(BVMS PhD CertAVP(EM) FHEA FRCVS Senior Lecturer in Equine Practice)