Sustainability in the discussions at the Portuguese Horse Economic Forum

23. May 2023 / Category: News

This weekend the Horse Economic Forum took place in Portugal. The event is organised by the Alter do Chão council, in partnership with the Portuguese Tourism Board and the Portuguese National Equestrian Federation.

The program covers a range of social and economic issues that may affect the future development of equestrian sport and businesses in Portugal. EEF President Theo Ploegmakers attended the event to give a session on the sustainability of equestrian sport.

Theo commented “It was a brilliant event, that really showed the importance of equestrianism in Portugal and the range of the topics that feed into the industry. Sustainability lies at the heart of all these topics, and ensuring we are mindful and proactive in this area will safeguard the future growth of the sport.”

Alongside sustainability, the event looked at the industry business model, digitisation, investor opportunities and research into the industry's impact. The second day focused more specifically on matters of horse welfare and social licence. Key stakeholders joined a panel discussion on health and wellness in high-performance settings while leading horsemanship expert Tristian Tucker gave insight into horse and rider relationships.

Portuguese National Federation President Bruno Rente said “It was an extraordinary experience and was extremely important for us to have Theo sharing his knowledge, not only to keep us awake to the reality, but also because it is the approach we should all have and what shows what we have to gain with a better strategy.

Bruno added, “Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and it is often defined as the balance between economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity.

And as we said we all must take our responsibility and act now, not tomorrow.”

For more information on the Horse Economic Forum please see their website here.