Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes

Hieke Brown, J. S. Williams, C. O'Conner, H. Abrahall

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Background: Obesity has become one of the main welfare considerations within the equine industry, with obese horses being more likely to develop numerous health conditions. Within the UK, there is anecdotal evidence that obese horses are preferred by showing judges, resulting in the term “showing condition” and owners considering it appropriate for showing horses and ponies to carry more weight1 . Native breeds in particular have been reported to be susceptible to developing obesity. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the body condition score and cresty neck score of native showing ponies and the subsequent impact on placing.

Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that ponies with a higher body condition score (BCS) will achieve a higher placing compared to ponies with a lower BCS.

Methods: Eighty-eight native ponies were randomly selected from the Mountain and Moorland classes at nine affiliated shows in the UK. The BCS and cresty neck score (CNS) was determined for each pony using a 0 – 5 scale 2,3 by one of two observers. Inter and intra-observer reliability was determined via a pilot study with observers showing strong agreements (r = 0.926, P<0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS ><0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0).

Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS> 4.0). There was no significant different (P = 0.05) between the BCS of placed ponies (median BCS = 3.6) and non-placed ponies (median BCS = 3.8). However, CNS was significantly (P=0.001) higher in non-placed ponies (median CNS = 4.0) than in placed ponies (median CNS = 3.0). Within the group of placed ponies, significant negative correlations were found between placing (1st – 6 th) and BCS (r = -0.313, P<0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P><0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. ><0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P<0.05).

Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings.

1 Morrison et al. (2015). Acta Vet Scand 57: O6

2 Carroll and Huntington (1988). Equin Vet J 20: 41-45

3 Carter et al. (2009). Vet J 179: 204-210

 

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
EventEuropean Equine Health and Nutrition Congress - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 23 Mar 201724 Mar 2017

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Equine Health and Nutrition Congress
CountryBelgium
CityAntwerp
Period23/3/1724/3/17

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Horses
Obesity
Neck
Research

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Brown, H., Williams, J. S., O'Conner, C., & Abrahall, H. (2017). Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes. Poster session presented at European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Antwerp, Belgium.
Brown, Hieke ; Williams, J. S. ; O'Conner, C. ; Abrahall, H. / Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes. Poster session presented at European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Antwerp, Belgium.
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title = "Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes",
abstract = "Background: Obesity has become one of the main welfare considerations within the equine industry, with obese horses being more likely to develop numerous health conditions. Within the UK, there is anecdotal evidence that obese horses are preferred by showing judges, resulting in the term “showing condition” and owners considering it appropriate for showing horses and ponies to carry more weight1 . Native breeds in particular have been reported to be susceptible to developing obesity. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the body condition score and cresty neck score of native showing ponies and the subsequent impact on placing. Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that ponies with a higher body condition score (BCS) will achieve a higher placing compared to ponies with a lower BCS. Methods: Eighty-eight native ponies were randomly selected from the Mountain and Moorland classes at nine affiliated shows in the UK. The BCS and cresty neck score (CNS) was determined for each pony using a 0 – 5 scale 2,3 by one of two observers. Inter and intra-observer reliability was determined via a pilot study with observers showing strong agreements (r = 0.926, P<0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6{\%} of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2{\%} of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS ><0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6{\%} of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2{\%} of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS> 4.0). There was no significant different (P = 0.05) between the BCS of placed ponies (median BCS = 3.6) and non-placed ponies (median BCS = 3.8). However, CNS was significantly (P=0.001) higher in non-placed ponies (median CNS = 4.0) than in placed ponies (median CNS = 3.0). Within the group of placed ponies, significant negative correlations were found between placing (1st – 6 th) and BCS (r = -0.313, P<0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P><0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. ><0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P<0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. 1 Morrison et al. (2015). Acta Vet Scand 57: O6 2 Carroll and Huntington (1988). Equin Vet J 20: 41-45 3 Carter et al. (2009). Vet J 179: 204-210  ",
author = "Hieke Brown and Williams, {J. S.} and C. O'Conner and H. Abrahall",
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language = "English",
note = "European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress ; Conference date: 23-03-2017 Through 24-03-2017",

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Brown, H, Williams, JS, O'Conner, C & Abrahall, H 2017, 'Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes' European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Antwerp, Belgium, 23/3/17 - 24/3/17, .

Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes. / Brown, Hieke; Williams, J. S.; O'Conner, C.; Abrahall, H.

2017. Poster session presented at European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Antwerp, Belgium.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

TY - CONF

T1 - Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes

AU - Brown, Hieke

AU - Williams, J. S.

AU - O'Conner, C.

AU - Abrahall, H.

PY - 2017/3

Y1 - 2017/3

N2 - Background: Obesity has become one of the main welfare considerations within the equine industry, with obese horses being more likely to develop numerous health conditions. Within the UK, there is anecdotal evidence that obese horses are preferred by showing judges, resulting in the term “showing condition” and owners considering it appropriate for showing horses and ponies to carry more weight1 . Native breeds in particular have been reported to be susceptible to developing obesity. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the body condition score and cresty neck score of native showing ponies and the subsequent impact on placing. Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that ponies with a higher body condition score (BCS) will achieve a higher placing compared to ponies with a lower BCS. Methods: Eighty-eight native ponies were randomly selected from the Mountain and Moorland classes at nine affiliated shows in the UK. The BCS and cresty neck score (CNS) was determined for each pony using a 0 – 5 scale 2,3 by one of two observers. Inter and intra-observer reliability was determined via a pilot study with observers showing strong agreements (r = 0.926, P<0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS ><0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS> 4.0). There was no significant different (P = 0.05) between the BCS of placed ponies (median BCS = 3.6) and non-placed ponies (median BCS = 3.8). However, CNS was significantly (P=0.001) higher in non-placed ponies (median CNS = 4.0) than in placed ponies (median CNS = 3.0). Within the group of placed ponies, significant negative correlations were found between placing (1st – 6 th) and BCS (r = -0.313, P<0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P><0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. ><0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P<0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. 1 Morrison et al. (2015). Acta Vet Scand 57: O6 2 Carroll and Huntington (1988). Equin Vet J 20: 41-45 3 Carter et al. (2009). Vet J 179: 204-210  

AB - Background: Obesity has become one of the main welfare considerations within the equine industry, with obese horses being more likely to develop numerous health conditions. Within the UK, there is anecdotal evidence that obese horses are preferred by showing judges, resulting in the term “showing condition” and owners considering it appropriate for showing horses and ponies to carry more weight1 . Native breeds in particular have been reported to be susceptible to developing obesity. The aim of this study was therefore to identify the body condition score and cresty neck score of native showing ponies and the subsequent impact on placing. Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that ponies with a higher body condition score (BCS) will achieve a higher placing compared to ponies with a lower BCS. Methods: Eighty-eight native ponies were randomly selected from the Mountain and Moorland classes at nine affiliated shows in the UK. The BCS and cresty neck score (CNS) was determined for each pony using a 0 – 5 scale 2,3 by one of two observers. Inter and intra-observer reliability was determined via a pilot study with observers showing strong agreements (r = 0.926, P<0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS ><0.001) in BC scoring. The placing of each pony at the attended show was recorded by the observers. Horses were classified as placed (1st – 6 th) or not placed (0). Results: The ponies had a median BCS of 3.6 (range: 2.8 – 5) and a median CNS of 3 (range: 1.5 – 5). Based on their BCS, 80.6% of ponies (n = 71) were considered overweight (BCS range = 3.1 – 4.0) and 10.2% of ponies (n = 9) were considered obese (BCS> 4.0). There was no significant different (P = 0.05) between the BCS of placed ponies (median BCS = 3.6) and non-placed ponies (median BCS = 3.8). However, CNS was significantly (P=0.001) higher in non-placed ponies (median CNS = 4.0) than in placed ponies (median CNS = 3.0). Within the group of placed ponies, significant negative correlations were found between placing (1st – 6 th) and BCS (r = -0.313, P<0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P><0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. ><0.01) and placing and CNS (r = -0.230, P<0.05). Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight ponies in this study supports the anecdotal evidence that owners consider a high BCS appropriate for showing. However, there was a tendency for ponies with a grossly enlarged neck to not be placed. Further research would be required to investigate the judges’ perceptions of BCS and CNS and to determine whether these factors influence the placings. 1 Morrison et al. (2015). Acta Vet Scand 57: O6 2 Carroll and Huntington (1988). Equin Vet J 20: 41-45 3 Carter et al. (2009). Vet J 179: 204-210  

M3 - Poster

ER -

Brown H, Williams JS, O'Conner C, Abrahall H. Prevalence of obesity in UK Mountain and Moorland Showing Classes. 2017. Poster session presented at European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Antwerp, Belgium.