Live-streamed conference asks ‘who is responsible for equine welfare?”


Leading figures in the equestrian world will consider who has responsibility for equine welfare at this year’s annual World Horse Welfare Conference in London.

Starting on Wednesday, November 13 at 9.45am (GMT), the conference will be live-streamed on the charity’s YouTube channel.

‘Who is responsible?’ is the theme for this year’s conference at the Royal Geographic Society London.

Speakers representing many aspects of the horse world will discuss what shared responsibility for equine welfare actually means, for all of us. Questions of responsibility in racing, for tack fit, for animal hoarding and for equine crime will be explored and a Q&A session will enable the audience to join the debate.

A discussion panel featuring well-known names in sports news, showjumping, and the equine veterinary sector together with a New Forest commoner will debate that no matter how one is involved with horses, whether hands-on or as a voice of equestrian sport, a responsible approach is a duty.

”At a time in society when accountability all too often seems to slip through our fingers, it is vital that the horse sector actively recognise, understand and meet our responsibilities to address the many persistent welfare challenges we see and bring about genuine change,” said World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers.

“We are proud to welcome such a respected panel of speakers from such diverse areas of the equine sector for what is sure to be a thought-provoking conference.”

Full programme:

9.00am Registration and refreshments

9.45am Welcome George Freeman

9.50am Opening Michael Baines

10.00am Who is responsible? Roly Owers

10.10am Taking responsibility in racing: our horses, our future Annamarie Phelps, Chair, British Horseracing Authority

10.25am Don’t forget about the bridle! The importance of correct bridle fit Rachel Murray, Animal Health Trust and Rossdales

10.40am Animal hoarding: why telling doesn’t work Bronwen Williams, independent trainer and educator

10.55am Q&A

11.10am Morning break

11.50am Responsibility: a personal perspective This Esme, YouTube star

11.55am National equine crime – where does responsibility lie? Inspector Dave Smith, Kent Police

12.05pm Q&A

12.10pm A responsible approach

Discussion panel with Mike Cattermole, Joe Stockdale, Madeleine Campbell, Joe Wilson, Lyndsey Stride & Julie Ross will consider the questions:

  • What role do elite riders have in promoting appropriate training methods to the wider equestrian world?
  • Given our understanding of the environmental benefits of equines grazing on open grasslands such as the New Forest, what lessons can other owners learn in how they keep their horses?
  • With reputedly only around 30% of British horses vaccinated against equine influenza, what role do equine veterinarians have in increasing this?  Would reducing the cost of vaccinations help?
  • In an increasingly polarised world, does the media tend towards highlighting the extreme views on equine welfare issues rather than the mainstream view?

1.10pm Closing address HRH The Princess Royal

1.15pm Summing up Roly Owers

1.20pm Lunch

1.55pm Charity in action

UK: the many layers of responsibility
Campaigns: improving UK horse health through human behaviour change
International: how can behavioural science improve horse-human partnerships?

3.00pm Afternoon refreshments

4.00pm Conference close


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