“Social license” and the future of horse sport under discussion

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"Will we be riding in 20 years time?" will look at positive actions that can be taken with regard to social opinion on horse riding.
Photo by carterse

The importance of the social license to operate has arguably placed equestrianism at a crossroads with regard to its future.

Dr Jane Nixon

Leading veterinarian Dr Jane Nixon MRCVS, who is also chair of Britain’s Showing Council and a director of the British Equestrian Federation, will tackle the issue in an upcoming webinar looking at the public perception of horses and showing.

The discussion will look at positive actions that can be taken with regard to social opinion on horse riding. The presentation “Will we be riding in 20 years time?” is open to all and will conclude with a question and answer session.

The social license to operate refers to the ongoing level of acceptance of standards and norms within an industry or company by both stakeholders and the general public.

“This topic is of the utmost importance for equestrianism. We cannot continue with the stream of negative images, outdated, privileged attitudes and welfare concerns,” said Nixon, who has more than 40 years of veterinary experience. “We need to address the situation and look at ways we can collectively improve realities and perceptions both within the industry and to the public at large.”

Nixon said there has been significant interest in the webinar, with senior figures from the British Equestrian Federation, British Eventing, British Dressage, British Showjumping, the British Horse Society and the Pony Club already signed up.

'I Can’t Watch Anymore': The case for dropping equestrian from the Olympic Games
Suggested reading before the webinar: ‘I Can’t Watch Anymore’: The case for dropping equestrian from the Olympic Games, by Julie Taylor.

The webinar is being sponsored by SEIB Insurance Brokers. SEIB Marketing Manager Nicolina MacKenzie said the webinar was about the future of the equine industry. It is so important we discuss these issues and highlight the problems with the social license so something can be done before it really is too late.”

» Register for “Will we be riding in 20 years time?“, on March 17, at 7pm (GMT)

• Suggested reading on the subject, ‘I Can’t Watch Anymore’: The case for dropping equestrian from the Olympic Games, by Julie Taylor.

Jane Nixon MA VET MB BSC MRCVS has had a lifelong interest in equine development and horse welfare, particularly young sports horse development and performance. She has held chairmanships of numerous equestrian bodies including 16 years as the BEF’s Director of Young Horse Evaluations and Futurity Programme. She was an Official VS to Equine DEFRA and Treating Veterinarian for the FEI, Council Member of BEVA, and has held many more official roles in various equestrian bodies. Today, Jane is Veterinary Adviser to British Breeding, Consultant Vet to the Society of Master Saddlers, and Trustee and Chair of the British Horse Foundation, and in 2021 was appointed Chair of the Showing Council.

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