World Horse Welfare’s Global Conference Reveals Equestrian Strategies

World Horse Welfare's Global Summit Reveals Equestrian Strategies
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World Horse Welfare Conference Draws Global Sports Leaders to Explore Strategies for Building Public Trust in Equestrianism

In a virtual conference held on January 24, World Horse Welfare brought together over 150 global leaders from the horse racing and equestrian sports industries to delve into the strategies employed by other sectors in addressing public concerns.

The invitation-only event, titled “Maintaining Public Acceptance of Equestrianism: What Can We Learn from Other Industries?” featured prominent speakers from various fields who shared insights on building public trust and sustainability.

The conference emphasized the central role of public trust in ensuring the ongoing sustainability of any industry, highlighting the need to earn and continually negotiate trust with the public. Strategies such as proactively engaging with critics, employing “radical transparency” to demonstrate openness and honesty, and aligning with public values emerged as key elements in building and maintaining trust.

Presenters included Ingmar de Vos, President of the FEI; Dr. Chris Riggs, Director of Hong Kong Jockey Club Equine Welfare Research Foundation; Bob Langert, Sustainability Consultant and former Vice President at McDonald’s Corporation; Charlie Arnot, Founder and President of Look East and Chief Executive of the Center for Food Integrity; Dr. Kieren Moffat, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Voconiq; and Toby Park, Head of Energy and Sustainability at The Behavioural Insights Team.

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The conference addressed the crucial importance of public trust, emphasizing its role in the long-term viability of the horse racing and equestrian sports industries. Strategies such as collaborating with critics, working with independent scientists and NGOs, and aligning with public values were highlighted as successful approaches. A survey conducted by YouGov for World Horse Welfare in May 2023 underscored the need for improved public trust in horse sport regulators.

The event concluded with a dynamic panel discussion, emphasizing the internal acceptance of the need for change, the integration of sustainability and trust into organizational strategies, and the use of human behaviour change principles in developing solutions.

Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, expressed hope that the insights gained from the conference would inspire attendees to challenge the status quo in their respective communities. World Horse Welfare pledged to continue supporting sport regulators on their journey to build public trust and measure public acceptance and trust in horse sport.

A replay of the presentations is available here. The conference marks a significant step toward fostering transparency, collaboration, and public trust in the horse racing and equestrian sports industries.

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email: contact@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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