Canterbury Industry Forum - Tuesday 13th October 2015
September 28, 2015
Prodigal Seelster CSBA Summer of Speed Series
December 5, 2014
2015 NZSBA Cup Eve Function
November 25, 2015
2015 World Trotting Conference - equine welfare
March 6, 2015
The final day of the 2015 World Trotting Conference focused on Equine Welfare Issues.
Firstly, the focus of Animal Welfare and the theme championed by Heather Neil (RSPCA, Australia) is one that we cannot fallout or be out of step with community expectations. In Australia, horseracing is deemed of mid-level concern by the community, with this concern skewed more toward women.
The two questions to be asked are
- Is it ethically acceptable?
- What’s in it for the horse?
For the RSPCA they have a working relationship with HRA to address issues relating to the sport and notably those relating to whip usage and collaboratively have implemented changes.
The industry must question if it tackling whether horses have longer careers or is it pushing young horses too early for the sake of prize-money.
So when something goes wrong – ‘How Prepared Can You Be for Crisis Management? was the theme for our next speaker Glenda Hughes, Independent Chair, NZ Racing Board. The first statement and getting it right when a situation arises is critical because with the internet and social media and once it is out there it cannot be retrieved. Be prepared to expose the issues factually and honestly so you can manage how to respond to the situation.
Ashy Tetrick from the USA and wife of World Driving Championship driver Tim spoke passionately about the success of the New Vocations programme, a not-for-profit organisation for the rehousing of horses once their racing careers have concluded. An impressive 5500 horses have been rehoused since 1992, an average of 450 per year.
Goran Akerstrom from Sweden provided an insight into an important Issue currently facing European countries as to whether or not a horse should race bare-foot and do horses need shoes? Very recent problems have occurred in Sweden during this current winter period where tests and studies have been conducted taking in many factors that may contribute to the problem with recommendations to follow. [It was noted toward the end of last year France has introduced that all 2&3 year olds must wear shoes.]
Our final presentation from Andrew Kelly showcased an Injury & Incident Database developed by Harness Racing Australia and operationally nationally since 2011. Starting with a Veterinary Incident & Injury Report form there are now over one million horse statistics entered. With multiple data fields included key trends can be identified but noted this has been developed internally and may need to be observed also by external organisations.
“…constantly reassess everything you do and how it impacts the horse…”
Heather Neil, RSPCA [Australia]
“Expose or hide issues? Today it is impossible to hide anything…”