The Love of the Horse Inspires Passionate Discussion at Asia Horse Week
Asia Horse Week 2019 launched this morning with a powerful central theme – the love of the horse.
In his opening address, Raphael Le Masne De Chermont, the Chairman of Asia Horse Week said: “From young pony club riders, breeders in horse racing and riders competing at five star level, we all share the same love for and passion and respect for horses. And, this passion is usually shared and is passed on through the generations.”
The founder of Asia Horse Week and the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, EEM World CEO Christophe Ameeuw, added: “When we love horses we love everything about the sport.”
One of the keynote speakers of day 1 of Asia Horse Week, Sabrina Ibanez, the Secretary General of the FEI, was equally as passionate.
She opened the two-day talk fest on all things Equestrian by emphasising where the current major focus of her organisation lies.
The welfare of the horse is clearly at the core of the FEI’s strategy and they are mindful of the impact welfare has on the public perception of the sport that is growing at a rapid rate, particularly in Asia.
There are now 4,428 international FEI Equestrian events staged throughout the world each year which is a 114% increase since 2007. Currently there are 42,780 registered athletes, an increase of 58 % since 2009 and more than 82,000 FEI registered horses.
And in Asia, Equestrianism is booming. 17 major events are now staged each year throughout the region and in Hong Kong alone there has been a 134 % increase in the number of FEI registered horses.
“There’s clearly a buzz here in Asia and we are here to ensure it is well managed and enhanced,” said Ibanez.
As this huge growth continues in Asia, Roly Owers, the CEO of World Horse Welfare, stated in his address today that there is no greater responsibility than ever that horses are looked after to the “best of our abilities”.
World Horse Welfare is a highly respected campaign organisation for proper equine use that has been operating for more than 90 years.
“The biggest reason for abuse and negligence is ignorance. In developing nations such as Asia, it is so important that education is at the heart of that”, said Owers.
“More and more new people are coming to the sport and it’s important to put education at the heart. The key issues for agitating change are to make sure the rules are updated and properly endorsed and that there are sanctions for abuse of equine welfare.”
The HKJC Head of Equestrian Affairs, Amanda Bond, continued the strong horse welfare theme.
She explained the important role that the HKJC plays in successfully rehoming hundreds of ex-racehorses each year into Equestrian pursuits.
Many retired HKJC racehorses have continued on successful journeys and lived happy healthy lives away from the racetrack.
“Welfare is a vital component of keeping Equestrian sport and racing successful. We cannot ignore it and we cannot get it wrong,” said Bond.
Replay all the sessions on EEM.tv