MEP Horse Group welcomed the President of the European Commission on 8 June 2023 in the European Parliament in Brussels:
The meeting dealt with the conditions of detention of equidae, in the context of a review of EU animal welfare legislation. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, was able to hear the concerns and expectations of the industry. She took advantage of this meeting to reaffirm her support for the professionals of this industry. Their needs will be taken into account in the legislative proposal to be published in the autumn.
- Professor Kathalijine Visser-Riesdtra from the University of Dronten in the Netherlands stressed the importance of taking scientific data into account in future regulations in order to improve the living conditions of horses in Europe. The sector wanted to show its investment on the topic.
- Ingmar De Vos explained the rules for protecting horses during international competition.
- The Belgian rider, François Marthy Jr, was also present on behalf of the International Show Jumping Riders Club (IJRC). He was able to explain how well-being is taken into account in the accommodation and day-to-day management of high-level horses.
- Alexia Bret-Morel, ethologist at the French Equestrian Federation, presented the model of certification of French equestrian centres that allows to support professionals engaged in a voluntary approach.
- Lumi Drozzin from MTK and Minna Peltonen from the Equestrian Federation in Finland presented the recent impact study of the equine industry and its many benefits, reducing the risks of exclusion, supporting well-being and promoting carbon sequestration.
- To conclude, Mark Wentein, President of the EHN, stressed the importance for the industry to display a common position. Thus, the EHN has drafted a position paper on horse holding for European decision-makers in order to present the specificities of the sector that must be taken into account.
EHN organised a conference of presidents of the members' structures on 8th July 2023 in Brussels
More than twenty-two EHN member structures, represented by their Director and President discussed strategic issues. A
workshop was first proposed as part of the European prospective study: The equine industry in 2040. This study should make it possible to develop scenarios and an action plan for the members of
the European Horse Network. The presidents and directors identified trends that could impact equine activities. The outcome will be shared later when the work has progressed, probably in November
2023. The study is led by the Federation of Equestrian Centres in the Netherlands (FNRS) and is supported by IFCE (French Equine Institute).
The second major topic was the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The holding of this sporting event on European soil is indeed important for the equine industry. IFCE, the coordinator of the event in France, proposed that EHN members could co-organise an International conference to be held in April 2024. It could address key strategic and shared issues such as sustainable development and welfare. Ingmar De Vos, president of the International Equestrian Federation and IOC member, presented to the audience the main issues and difficulties that exist at each edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to maintain equine disciplines.
Equine Conference of the EU French Presidency: The Horse, an asset for the post-crisis world in France and in Europe
On the 1st of April 2022 the European Horse Network participated in the Equine Conference of the EU French Presidency: The Horse, an asset for the post-crisis world in France and in Europe.
120 participants from France and Europe attended the Conference in Saumur. Panellists from equestrian sport, horseracing, horse welfare and politicians agreed to say that the Covid crisis has pushed people back to nature and it is an opportunity for the equine world. Equines are still in need of recognition as the animal is not a pet but stands in between agriculture and sport. There is a need to improve the knowledge, the research and to invest in education and training for the equine to gain the place in society it deserves.
Listen to the presentations and discussion in English here.