Three-day symposium looks at inclusivity, social license in the horse world

Topics covered at Guelph's three-day Equine Industry Symposium include public trust and social license to operate, inclusivity in the equine community, and career opportunities.
Topics covered at Guelph’s three-day Equine Industry Symposium include public trust and social license to operate, inclusivity in the equine community, and career opportunities.

The 6th annual Equine Industry Symposium to be run over three evenings and hosted by Canada’s University of Guelph is open for registrations.

Virtual attendance of the symposium, which starts on November 22, and runs from 7pm to 8.30pm (EST), is free. Its overarching topic is “Opportunities in the Equine Industry”.

Guest speakers on the opening night on the theme of public trust and social license to operate include Julie Fiedler, a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Australia, studying social license in the equine industry, Sabrina Breifer from the Swiss National Stud discussing equine husbandry practices in Switzerland, and Jody Hartstone, a dressage rider from New Zealand, looking at social license from the lens of international competition. From Alberta, Jackie Wepruk will be highlighting comparisons between the social license to operate for equestrians and those involved in dog sledding. Jessica Buckley, Director of Racing of Woodbine Racetrack, will be discussing social license in horse racing.

The second night will revolve around inclusivity in the equine community and is being moderated by Akaash Maharaj, introducing the demographics of Canada and the equine industry. Maharaj is a triple gold medalist at the International Championship of Equestrian Skill-at-Arms, and current Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption. Lorna Cameron and Linda Greening, Senior Lecturers at Hartpury University in the UK, will deliberate about Hartpury’s outreach program focusing on the inclusivity of underrepresented student groups in Equine Higher Education. Simone Williams, an award-winning trainer, rider, and past assistant coach of Canada’s Paralympic Dressage team, will be discussing inclusivity for para riders. The opportunity for breakout room discussions will focus on barriers and potential solutions to increasing accessibility to horses and equestrian pursuits.

The final day, on Wednesday, November 24, delves into the topic of career opportunities, moderated by Christine Ruepke, current director of Equestrian Breed and Sport at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Natalie Keller Reinert will speak about her experiences as an equestrian fiction author. Kathryn Lefrancois, a University of Guelph Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management graduate, will talk about her career in sports therapy at Vétérinaire Ambulatoire EquiVet Inc. Nina Ekholm Fry will discuss careers in Equine Assisted Services and being an educator for EAS professionals, and from Equestrian Canada and Ontario Equestrian, Lindsay Nakonechny and Brandon Hall will discuss wide career opportunities.

This symposium is organized and hosted by the students in the Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management, Equine Management degree program at the University of Guelph. Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite charities with the top choices receiving a donation from the Equine Industry Symposium on behalf of the presenters.

» Register for the symposium


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