British National Equine Forum to Feature Health Talks

The 21st British National Equine Forum, to be held March 5, 2013, will bring together a panel of prestigious speakers, covering a vibrant range of equestrian topics. The program will include The Right Honorable Owen Paterson, the British secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs who is an experienced horseman, as well as experts from the United States and Ireland. Following the success of last year's new venue the forum will again be held in the amphitheatre style lecture room at Institution of Mechanical Engineers, just off Parliament Square in London, England.

The National Equine Forum is a non-partisan event and the only one of its kind to be held in the U.K. Each year it brings together all sectors of the U.K.'s equestrian industry to listen to and debate the latest equestrian news, views, and research, and then mingle and network with the movers and shakers of the industry over lunch. The diverse 2013 program should provide topics of interest to every element of the equestrian sector.

Ed Bracher, chief executive of Riding for the Disabled, will open the proceedings with a look at the benefits, as well as the trials and tribulations, involved with encouraging volunteers. In the morning's two veterinary sessions Malcolm Morley BVSc, MRCVS, and chair of the equine prepurchase examination committee, will discuss what the recent prepurchase examination changes mean for the horse owner. Mark Hillyer, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ECVS, ECEIM, MRCVS, of Newmarket Equine Hospital will then share his extensive knowledge on current colic treatments and success rates.

Three presentations on riding as a form of therapy will commence with international guest speaker Patricia Pendry, PhD, professor of human development at Washington State University, in Pullman, Wash., examining the scientific evidence underpinning the therapeutic advantages of riding. Jennifer Dixon-Clegg, director of the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy will explore riding therapy in practice. Sarah Rainford, the BHS sponsored Eqvalan thesis winner, will close the session with a comprehensive talk about the effects of hippotherapy on disabled children's joints.

The Rt Hon Paterson, MP, will provide the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affair's current view of the equestrian industry. Following this, Richard Lancaster, chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and Richard Newton, BVSc, MSc, PhD, FRCVS, DLSHTM, Dipl. ECVPH, head of epidemiology and disease surveillance at the U.K.'s Animal Health Trust, will talk about the industry and government working together on the control of equine infectious diseases.

After lunch the program will turn to the recent Olympics and Paralympics. Hugh Robertson, MP, the minister for sport, will give a general overview of London 2012. This will be followed by an Olympic horse breeder/owner and a competitor talking about the thrills of the show jumping competition and an Olympic and a Paralympic dressage competitor discussing their outstanding experiences at the games.

In the closing sessions of the afternoon Pat Harris, MA, VetMB, PhD, Dipl. ECVCN, MRCVS, who heads the England-based WALTHAM Equine Studies group, will look at "Grass--the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," and Hugh Thomas, director of England's Badminton Horse Trials, will discuss the implications of cancelling a major event. In the final presentation of the day Pieter Brama, DVM, PhD, Dipl. RNVA, Dipl. ECVS, professor of veterinary surgery at the University College Dublin, will discuss whether horses are ready to race as two-year-olds.

The National Equine Forum is organized by a committee of individuals reflecting various sectors of the equestrian industry, and HRH The Princess Royal serves as its president.

It is sponsored by the Association of British Riding Schools, Bedmax, BEVA Trust, The Blue Cross, British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, British Horse Society, British Horseracing Authority, Bulley Davey, Darbys Solicitors, Dodson and Horrell, Donkey Sanctuary, Equine Products UK, Horse Trust, Jeffress Scholarship Trust, NFU Mutual Insurance, South Essex Insurance Brokers, Weatherbys Group, and World Horse Welfare.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals at a cost of £100 per person, which includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. To apply please contact the Hon Secretary, Mrs Tracy Allen, at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, Warwick, CV35 9BL, or email her at For further information visit the organization's website.

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