Our Conference

Find out more about our 2021 Conference and register your interest in attending virtually.

Find out more about our 2021 Conference and register your interest in attending virtually.

World Horse Welfare Annual Conference 2021 – ‘Whose opinion matters?’

Thursday 11th November 9:45-14:45 GMT

Royal Geographical Society London and online

Kindly sponsored by The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust

This year’s Conference is being planned as a hybrid in-person and virtual event in London (government guidance depending). Invitations will be issued in September.

“The sheer volume of opinion out there can be both overwhelming and deafening.  In horse sport, welfare has again sparked fierce debate in the media: from that photo of Gordon Elliot to revelations in Panorama to treatment of horses in Modern Pentathlon at the Olympics, but strong views can be found wherever horses come into contact with people. But whom should we listen to?

“The challenge for all of us is to distinguish the signal from the noise, and apply rigour to our own thinking to ensure we heed only the opinions that deserve to influence us.  This can be a challenge both mentally and emotionally as all around us conflate fact and opinion and even the meaning of truth is up for debate. What is the role of objective evidence in our decision making?  Do the loudest or oldest opinions drown out the most informed?  How open are we to views that challenge our own way of seeing?  And when – if ever – should opinion overrule fact?  I hope you agree that this is a very pertinent debate that should engage a lively discussion.”

Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive


You can view the full agenda for the day and find out more about our speakers here.


  • Welcome from Conference Chair, Mike Cattermole
  • Address by Nigel Payne, Trustee of The Sir Peter Sullevan Charitable Trust
  • Opening remarks from Michael Baines, World Horse Welfare Chairman
  • Whose opinion matters? Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive

Keynote presentations

  • Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE (Virtual)  – The importance of evidence in animal health and welfare
  • Pammy Hutton, Dressage Rider & Trainer – The powerful role of opinion in equestrianism
  • Ed Chamberlin, ITV Racing Lead Presenter – The media and opinion

Short presentations

  • Jordan Headspeath, former Groom at World Horse Welfare Belwade Farm – When opinion runs riot
  • Charlie Unwin, sports psychologist – Knowing your own mind

Discussion Panel

The discussion panel will consider three questions and take questions from the audience.

  • Sara Cox, DJ, presenter and horse owner
  • Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border
  • Camie Heleski, Equine Lecturer at University of Kentucky
  • Mariano Hernandez Gil, Jefe del Departamento de Medicina, Cirugía y Zootecnia para Équidos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Chris Tufnell, Vet and World Horse Welfare Trustee

Charity in Action

Three short presentations will be available during the morning break covering how the charity considers ‘whose opinion matters’ in its work.

  1. Why a ‘whole horse’ approach is best – incorporating the opinions of the vet, farrier, physio, groom and dentist in devising the care plan for a horse at our centres is so vital 
  2. Vital voices: Women and their working animals in Colombia will explore the important role of working horses, donkeys and mules in women’s lives in the country
  3. How can you make your opinion heard? will feature an MP speaking about how members of the public can best influence their government to improve animal welfare

Interested in attending our 2021 conference virtually?

If you’re interested in attending our 2021 conference virtually, you can register your interest here.

Sponsors and supporters

We would like to thank our headline sponsor, The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, and our supporters, the Horseracing Betting Levy Board and MSD Animal Health.

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