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Fell pony photo wins competition
Greenholme Grey Bobby II starred in the winning photo.
NEF announces winning image featuring “spectacular sunset”.

The National Equine Forum (NEF) has revealed the winner of its second annual photography competition.

Lorna Elliot’s photo of her pony standing in front of dramatic orange clouds at sunset has been chosen as the winner.

It stars Greenholme Grey Bobby II, an 11-year-old fell pony, and was taken on the spur of the moment.

Ms Elliot, who lives in the Scottish Borders, explained: “I was finishing up at work as the sun was setting and I thought the colour of the sky was just amazing, so I went home via my pony’s field to see if I could get some nice pictures.”

She said that for the photo, the pony “was very cooperative, which is unusual as he can be a bit of an antisocial character at times!”

The winning photograph was chosen from 34 submissions, which included entries from as far afield as Bulgaria and the USA.

Ms Elliot will receive a food hamper and her picture will feature on the cover of the 32nd National Equine Forum programme. The forum takes place next year, on Thursday, 7 March.

NEF convener Georgina Crossman said: “This is the second year we have run the photography competition and once again we received some beautiful and creative entries.

“It’s never easy to produce a shortlist, let alone pick a winner but on this occasion the committee was unanimous. We especially liked Lorna’s use of the spectacular sunset to highlight the windswept, natural look of one of the UK’s iconic native pony breeds.”

Image © Lorna Elliot

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."