A compelling and highly topical programme has been confirmed for the 29th National Equine Forum (NEF), to be held virtually on Thursday 4 March 2021. Presentations will include the impact of Brexit on the equestrian industry and engaging with more diverse communities within equestrianism.
Restrictions posed by the global pandemic, inspired the NEF committee to deliver a series of events, rather than just one this year. Two special interest webinars were held in January: Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds and The Great Weight Debate (Equine) proved to be popular and generated strong debate. Updates and outcomes on both sessions will be covered at the NEF.
Tim Brigstocke, Chairman of the NEF said: “While times continue to be challenging, presenting events in a virtual capacity can make them more accessible to many. In this way we hope NEF will engage and inspire even more participation, helping to disseminate the latest knowledge and news within the equestrian sector, presenting the opportunity for questions and debate from all interested parties.”
The Equine Industry in a Changing World will be the theme for the first session with contributions from Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defra and Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union.
Adding Value Through Data will see Simon Hall, Managing Director of Livestock Information Ltd explaining the advances made by integrating the data contained in many animal species databases as well as medicine and movements data in the Livestock Information Service. Simon will be followed by Stewart Everett, Chief Executive of the Equine Register, outlining the work underway to ensure that the Digital Stable supports upcoming priorities and likely regulatory changes.
The Impact of Brexit on Our Industry will provide a practical insight into key areas affecting equestrianism: Claire Williams, Executive Director and Secretary of British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) will discuss business and retail trade. Henry Bullen and Fiona McCormack, Directors of Peden Bloodstock will speak from the haulier perspective and Simon Brooks-Ward, Chairman and Chief Executive of HPower Group will cover the effects of the changes on the equestrian event.
Engaging with More Diverse Communities Within Equestrianism will take a detailed look at this important topic. Jess Cook, Council Elected Director and Equality Engagement Group (EEG) Chair at British Equestrian (BEF) will discuss the role of the BEF’s Equine Engagement Group. Sandra Murphy, Chairperson of BAME Equine and Rural Activities Focus Group (BERF) together with BERF committee member Navaratnam Partheeban will speak about the objectives and responsibilities of their organisation. Rose Grissell, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the British Horseracing Association (BHA) will outline the steps the racing industry is taking in this area. Imran Atcha, Coordinator at St James City Farm Riding School in Gloucester will conclude the session by presenting a case study.
The Use of Technology to Support Equestrianism will be explored by Dr Russell MacKenchie-Guire, Director of Centaur Biomechanics.
Highway Code and Accidents will discuss the highway code review, with Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS explaining why it is a milestone in the safety of horses on the roads. Gaynor, Amy and Rambo McKinnon, together with Sadie Jeater will give a personal account of a road incident suffered while riding.
British Horse Council Chair David Mountford will provide a short update on the role and work of this influential body.
Updates on the two special interest webinars held in January will be presented by Professor Tim Morris, Professor Pat Harris and Dr Tamzin Furtado on Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds and The Great Weight Debate (Equine).
Q&A opportunities have been built in at the end of all the main sessions to give the audience a chance to engage with the discussions.
Questions can be submitted quickly and easily via Slido from Monday 1 March. Information on how to submit your question can be found on the National Equine Forum website.
The day will close with the announcement of the Special Covid-19 Sir Colin Spedding Award winner.
Tickets for the NEF are priced at £10 per person and there is no booking fee. Bookings can be made via the NEF website https://www.nationalequineforum.com/
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