Use Not Abuse – Book Review – Christopher Hall

Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse – Christopher HallHorse Welfare

This is a book dedicated to the protection of horses, ponies and donkeys throughout the world. From The Pony Club to the highest levels of performance, from working equines in the poorest of countries to neglected and suffering horses right here in the UK , World Horse Welfare is there for them all and this book written by a former WHW Chairman and Steward of the Jockey Club, Christopher Hall OBE,

gives us an insight into welfare issues not only of yesteryear but of right now, today and throughout the world.

HRH The Princess Royal writes in the foreword ‘The sadness is that a book like HORSE WELFARE, USE NOT ABUSE should still need to be written after so many years of campaigning by charities such as World Horse Welfare’ and whilst this comment is true this book is a masterpiece of knowledge and insight by the author into the welfare issues that affect the equine world as a whole.

From his position in The Jockey Club and a lifetimes involvement in racing Christopher Hall gives us a frank and informative picture of the issues and considerations which affect the industry and the horses from the very top to the very bottom, the amateur steward who gives his time and expertise voluntarily to some of the richest Thoroughbred owners in the world; each has a role to play in the welfare of the horse and the author illustrates this beautifully through his presentation of facts, cases and personal experiences.

The Professional circuit is discussed at length and changes over the years in attitudes and practices is presented for the reader. Doping scandals and training methods are often at the top of equestrian news articles and the question always stands, What can be done to stop it? This is no simple subject and there is no single definitive answer however the author gives the reader plenty to think about and consider and shows us how we all have a role to play in safeguarding the horses in our care, no matter what level we may be involved.

But this book doesn’t just discuss welfare issues at the top levels. It gives a real snapshot of life and issues relating to all equines, in all situations, all over the world. In 2005 Christopher Hall became involved in what was then the ILPH, later to be renamed as World Horse Welfare, a charity which was set up in 1927 by Ada Cole after witnessing exhausted horses on Antwerp docks waiting to be sent for slaughter. On becoming Chairman in 2006 the author entered another world and witnessed the plight of horses here in the UK and across Europe, Africa and Latin America. Across the world suffering is often a result of poverty and ignorance and the author portrays beautifully the reality and sheer scale of the problems facing equines. Whether it be the horse meat trade in Europe, working horses in Africa or over breeding right here in the UK this book really does cover it all in a very real, factual and in some parts personal way.

It is indeed sad that a book of this nature still needs to be written today but it is also a relief that since Ada Cole started in 1927 the hard work is still being done, the plight of horses across the world and their welfare whether, it be at the top of the horse racing world and in the the spotlight or behind closed doors and abroad there is something being done. Christopher Hall’s book, which is written with extensive experience, knowledge and insight, challenges the reader to face the reality and refuse to accept abuse of any kind and at any level. This really is a book that should be read by anyone involved with horses at any level, knowledge is key to eliminating welfare issues and through this book Christopher Hall gives us that knowledge. The book is hard to read at times through the tears but at the same time it gives a real sense of joy to know that charities such as World Horse Welfare and people such as Christopher Hall are there, defending those without a voice, our equine friends, and ensuring that voice is heard and abuse at any level will never be tolerated.

Horse Welfare, Use Not Abuse can be ordered via or by phone 01593731333

World Horse Welfare will benefit from the sale of every copy

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