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Sarah Hallsworth and Piggy March

Sarah Hallsworth and Piggy March

Leading Equestrian Piggy March Lends Support With ‘how To…’ Video Launched Today

3 months ago

14th April, 2022 15h31


A video is being launched today to take owners through how to take their horse’s temperature for the first time, ahead of this year’s Strangles Awareness Week (SAW)

British eventer Piggy March walks through the process with Redwings’ Equine Behaviour Manager Sarah Hallsworth in the video, filmed at Piggy’s yard in Northamptonshire and featuring Cooley Lancer aka Swiss Roll.

The key aspect of this year’s week (2nd – 8th May) – organised by equine welfare charities, vets, researchers and higher education institutions from around the world* - is the ‘Temperature Check Challenge’ where owners are being asked to take their horse’s temperature each day and input it into a free online checker. The aim is to help them become familiar with temperature fluctuation and calculate an average so they know what is ‘normal’ for their horse and, crucially, is not.

Piggy said: “It does take a bit of pre-planning the first time you take your horse’s temperature and owners might be nervous, but it is such an easy, and effective, way to monitor your horse’s health once you’ve done it a few times with attention to making it a positive experience for the horse.

“A lot of horse owners only take their horse’s temperature when their horse is unwell but it’s such an important indicator as to your horse’s health and, whilst fever can indicate ill health for a range of reasons, it is an early warning sign that a horse has a contagious disease like strangles.

“Strangles can be very serious for a horse, and an outbreak can be debilitating for whole yards, so it’s essential that we take every opportunity to limit its transmission and allow activities to continue while responding promptly and responsibly to ill horses.

“That’s why I wanted to lend my support. I have some great people who usually do this for me in my yard, so it was the first time I’d taken one of my horse’s temperatures myself for a long time and never with Swiss Roll! I hope it gives others confidence to do the same and use the temp check challenge to hone a new habit.”

SAW is equipping vets with additional tools to help them to support their clients’ needs and maximise their influence to prompt more conversations about strangles. Veterinary practices are being encouraged to support the week, and can apply for free resources, including a ‘Talk to me about strangles’ badge and an editable presentation to assist with hosting client evenings, either online or in-person.

Sarah said: “As a trusted source of advice and information for horse owners, it’s so important for vets and other equine professionals to be leading the way on this.

“Research shows that horse owners are eight times more likely to turn to their vet for advice about strangles than they are their friends** yet these conversations tend to happen at the worst possible time - on discovery of a case.

“We’re really happy with the way SAW has been embraced by the community so far but, with a couple of weeks to go, there is still chance to get involved.”

If you’re a veterinary or equine professional and would like to join a list of ambassadors to help promote SAW through social media, please sign uphere or email:

To find out more about Strangles Awareness Week, the Temperature Check Challenge and other ways to get involved, simply follow the SAW Facebook page or go to

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