Horse welfare in sport

When horses are used in sport responsibility for their welfare rests on the shoulders of those who own, train, ride and care for them.

When horses are used in sport responsibility for their welfare rests on the shoulders of those who own, train, ride and care for them.

Horse sport increasingly needs a ‘social license’ to operate, meaning it must behave ethically and responsibly if it is to continue to maintain public support.   

Sport horses are generally exceptionally well cared for, thanks to the significant investment that flows into the industry and the vigilance of regulators. Standards of welfare in horse sport can be the highest in the world, and we believe our work with sports regulators over the years has helped. But there is much more to do.  

There are still too many horse welfare challenges in sport. Overbreeding, questionable training methods, use of inappropriate tack, poor course design, limited access to grazing, excessive or unnecessary whip use, pre- and post-race care and retirement are all hot areas of debate within the horse community. These are issues we strive to address practically and responsibly using a collaborative approach.   

Read a transcript of Roly Owers’ speech to the World Horse Welfare Conference on the importance of welfare in horse sport

Read a transcript of Roly Owers’ presentation to the FEI General Assembly 2014 about how horse sport needs to challenge the status quo on horse welfare.

If you have any comments regarding our views on horses in sport, we would like to hear from you. Please email us at info@worldhorsewelfare.org

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