Badminton chooses equine welfare for 2016 charity

British rider Nicola Wilson and Beltane Queen at the 2015 Badminton Horse Trials.
British rider Nicola Wilson and Beltane Queen at the 2015 Badminton Horse Trials.

International equine charity World Horse Welfare is the 2016 Charity of the Year for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. 

The announcement was made at the charity’s annual conference in London on Tuesday by World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers, who said the charity was honoured and grateful for the accolade. He noted that the event was widely known as the world’s premier three-day event, attracting competitors and spectators from around the world.

“Not only does this provide a fantastic platform to showcase the breadth of our work to a huge audience, it also gives further scope to engage with supporters and offers a valuable fundraising opportunity. As independent welfare advisers to the FEI, we support the responsible use of horses in sport and there is nowhere better than Badminton if you want to see horses and riders at the very top of their game,” Owers said.

“The horses competing at events of this calibre are well and truly in the spotlight and receive the best care available but as part of our partnership with the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2016 we want to highlight the millions of horses and ponies across the world who are not so fortunate and who will often go unnoticed but are never more in need of our help.”

Badminton director Hugh Thomas said the event was happy to welcome World Horse Welfare again as its designated charity in 2016. It also held the prestigious role in 2010.

“They do fantastic work for equines in both the UK and developing countries, but also take a very positive view of responsible equestrian sport.”

The World Horse Welfare’s Annual Conference at the Royal Geographical Society, London, is titled ‘Challenging the Status Quo’. World Horse Welfare President HRH The Princess Royal is in attendance, with delegates hearing a range of presentations and a debate around whether traditional attitudes and practices need to be challenge in the interest of welfare.

The Badminton Horse Trials take place from May 4 to 8, 2016.

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