International equine charity World Horse Welfare has become an associate member of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), the national governing body for horse sports in the UK.
It is intended that the new partnership will strengthen the relationships between the BEF, World Horse Welfare and the existing member organisations of the federation. As a member body World Horse Welfare, which carries significant responsibilities for welfare, will further enhance the importance of horse welfare in equestrian sport as the charity brings its valuable expertise to a wide range of issues.
“It is important that we provide an environment that allows our member bodies to work together on all issues surrounding the horse,” said BEF Chief Executive Andrew Finding.
“Equestrian welfare is particularly critical to all we do and therefore World Horse Welfare’s role is vital to our industry. We have been highly impressed by the leadership and quality of the work of the organisation and are delighted to welcome them on board as part of our operation.
“Their coming into the Federation draws together the work we do both nationally and internationally in conjunction with the FEI. This is a particularly important time in review of the considerable number of horses requiring care and attention. There is also a potential synergy for us in partnership with World Horse Welfare in finding homes for horses after rehabilitation – that will not only improve welfare but may also contribute to increasing participation.”
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said membership of the BEF made good sense “given our long-term support for the responsible use of horses in sport and our role as welfare advisors to the international federation (FEI) for the past three decades. Of course we already liaise closely with the BEF, such as through the Equine Sector Council, but this development can only help further strengthen our relationship. We fully support the BEF’s strategy, most especially the emphasis on ‘better horses’, as equine welfare is so important in all aspects of equine sport.”
The BEF is an umbrella organisation representing the interests of 4.2 million riders, vaulters and carriage drivers in Great Britain in partnership with its 19 independent member bodies (15 full and four associate). It exists to provide leadership, vision and purpose in steering the direction of equestrianism. Established in 1972 it is the largest representative body within the equestrian industry and together with the British Horse Racing Board and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association forms the British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC).