Sporthorse Welfare Foundation
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Supporting sport horse health and welfare through innovative research and education
The Sporthorse Welfare Foundation (SWF) is a not-for-profit member organisation that supports the use of horses for sport and leisure activities; we are a non-political organisation of equestrian researcher and practitioners. We aim to undertake studies that generate data that can support evidence-informed approaches to sport horse management and training, which can help inform practice and improve sport horse health, performance and welfare. We commit to share this information freely across all levels of the equestrian industry from horse owners and keepers, to riders and coaches, to veterinary and supporting paraprofessionals, and including equestrian federations and regulatory bodies, for the benefit of the horse.
We operate within a culture of trust and transparency that showcases ethical and inclusive research, and adheres to a rigorous data policy. We only accept support for our work from ethical sources and partners who share our values.
The founding members of the SWF are: Dr Jane Williams, Dr Carolien Munsters, Dr David Marlin, Dr Hayley Randle, Dr Michael Weishaupt, Dr Lars Roepstorff, Dr Hilary Clayton, Dr Lise Berg, Dr Katharina Kirsch and Dr Marianne Sloet.
We are a unique collaboration of international researchers, practitioners and organisations (more information about our members, click here). We work within the philosophy that this research foundation should be a positive influencer that challenges existing equestrian practice, where deemed necessary, through a contemporary scientific approach, to drive forward change via education, outreach and policy, with the aim to make significant and real differences to the welfare and success of equine athletes, and within horse-rider interactions.
The mission of the SWF is to accelerate the application of objective, reliable and valid data to advance the knowledge and understanding of training and management of the equine athlete. We will achieve this through bold innovations in scientific research, education, outreach and policy to ultimately improve the welfare of horses by the collection of metadata for large groups of sport horses and we will, based on scientific analysis, develop recommendations which will be made available for riders, trainers, general public and federations.
As a group we recognise and endorse the use of horses for recreational and sporting activities. We are a data-centric organisation, who promote the use of evidence-informed approaches within the management, training and competitive riding of the equine athlete, to optimise career longevity, fitness and health to support competitive success and to ensure welfare is always prioritised in horse-human interactions.