FEI, World Horse Welfare Formalize Long-Term Collaboration

FEI, World Horse Welfare Formalize Long-Term Collaboration

Roly Owers (left), Ingmar De Vos (center), and John McEwen (right) at the World Horse Welfare/FEI memorandum of understanding signing.

Photo: Craig Payne/FEI

World Horse Welfare has become the fourth former Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) associate member to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FEI.

The FEI has collaborated with World Horse Welfare, an international horse welfare charity, for over 30 years, developing the FEI Equine Welfare Code of Conduct; funding sport horse development projects through its FEI Solidarity initiative; and working together on animal health projects including reducing journey times to competitions, cooling techniques at events, and studies into training and competition surfaces.

World Horse Welfare, founded in 1927, focuses on improving the lives of horses around the world through education, campaigning, and hands-on care. HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, has been president of World Horse Welfare since 1994. British Eventing Olympian Pippa Funnell is a trustee of the charity, and China’s first Olympic Eventing athlete, Alex Hua Tian, is also now a World Horse Welfare ambassador as part of the charity’s recently launched patron scheme to harness the growing support of recognized figures in and out of the equestrian world, and to help create a wider awareness of the charity’s far-reaching work and its impact.

The MOU was signed by FEI First Vice President and chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee, John McEwen, and World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers at last week’s 22nd National Equine Forum in London, England, which brought together a panel of prestigious speakers from government, welfare, veterinary science, and equestrian sport.

“The FEI has been collaborating with World Horse Welfare for over 30 years and in that time we have reached numerous milestones together,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos. “World Horse Welfare is a charity that believes in taking practical approaches to finding solutions and working constructively to create change, and for these very reasons the FEI is looking forward to many more years of close collaboration as our sport grows around the world.”

Owers added, "We are pleased to agree this MOU with the FEI. Our charity has worked constructively with the FEI for more than 30 years to support the responsible use of horses in sport, thus helping regulators to meet their responsibilities to their horses. This is most aptly reflected in the joint production of the FEI Code of Conduct that underpins the welfare of horses in FEI competition.”

The International Equestrian Organizers Alliance was the first former associate member to sign a memorandum of understanding in August 2013. The International Show Jumping Officials Club and the International Eventing Officials Club followed suit in January and February, respectively.

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