EEF launches at-home horse welfare survey

Horse welfare has always been the key priority for the EEF, and in the last months, several examples of poor horse welfare in a training environment have been exposed. The EEF has observed with dismay and has made it our highest priority to support our member organisations to take swift action and re-focus on the kind of behaviours we all expect of equestrianism in Europe.

To properly counter these issues going forward, it is important we first assess the current landscape, the attitudes and opinions within the industry and understand whether these issues are widespread. With this information, we can then support our National Federations to create practical initiatives to counter these unacceptable behaviours.

For this purpose, we have designed a survey with the support of World Horse Welfare, for completion by the wider equine industry. All answers are anonymous and will be used to better inform us of the current situation.

The answers will be analysed and carried forward to a panel discussion in cooperation with World Horse Welfare, the International Grooms Association, our member National Federations and international rider club stakeholders to properly discuss and consider how we as Europe’s equestrian community can stamp out abusive training practices and any notion that they can be acceptable in today’s sport. This is vital to strengthen trust with those both inside and outside our sport.

EEF President Theo Ploegmakers said “This is a vitally important issue. The horse lies at the centre of everything we do, and their care should be the utmost priority for everyone in our industry. The recent cases in which behaviours at home have been uncovered are incredibly worrying for our sport and exceptionally damaging to the trust we have been building with the wider public. It is of the highest importance that we now understand the depth of this issue and support our National Federations to action against it.”

Further details on the webinar panel will be shared shortly. The survey is now open and will be available for completion until April 5th 2024. Survey link: