Our Conference

Find out more about our Virtual Conference 2020, including how to register your interest.

Find out more about our Virtual Conference 2020, including how to register your interest.

Conference 2020 – ‘The horse-human partnership – what’s in it for the horses?’

Kindly sponsored by The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust

Register your interest in attending this virtual event here.

This year’s conference will take place online on Thursday 12th November, starting at 9:45am, with speakers covering a wide range of topics around the horse-human partnership.

We believe that our relationship with horses is based on a partnership with huge benefits to humankind – but if this is a true partnership how much do our horses really benefit from it? 

More importantly, how do we ensure they receive the benefits they deserve?  We might provide food, protection from harm and disease, veterinary treatment and perhaps even a job or degree of companionship, but is this all a horse needs for a good life?  When we say we ‘put the horse first,’ what does this really mean?  

More evidence comes to light almost daily about the evolutionary path of horses, sentience, cognition and behaviour, but how does this stack up against our traditional practices?  And what should be expected from us and society if the partnership goes wrong? 

Despite our virtual setting this should hopefully engage a fascinating discussion.

George Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk, will chair the Conference, and presenters will include:

  • Madeleine Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Interactions & Ethics at the Royal Veterinary College on the ethics of involving horses in sport and leisure
  • Peter Thornber, Immediate Past President and Executive Member of the Commonwealth Veterinary Association, on how policy can deliver more for working equids
  • Meta Osborne, breeder and influential vet within Irish racing, on the balance of the horse-human partnership in sport

Other presenters will include:

  • Debbie Matthews, founder of Go Racing Green, on the unique mutual benefits of the relationship between horse and human
  • Charlie Bain, COO at Digitalis, on the other epidemic: fake news

The discussion panel will be chaired by Mike Cattermole and include representatives from the media, academia, politics, government and equestrian sport who will further explore what horses get out of our partnership.

The formal programme will finish around 1:30pm.  After a short break a series of three 10-minute ‘Charity in Action’ presentations by World Horse Welfare staff and experts will focus on how the charity is striving to ensure horses get more from our partnership – with our work in the UK, internationally and through policy.   This will then be followed by a 30-minute informal ‘Charity in Action’ Q&A to conclude the day’s proceedings.

Register your interest in attending this virtual event here.

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