Best Practice in Horse Industry Conference, Warsaw 2012

The essence of horse industry and best practices related to its development were discussed on 19-20 January 2012 at an international forum during the conference organised by Polish Equestrian Federation (PEF) and European Equestrian Federation (EEF) within the framework of the project: “Human Resources for Horse Industry in Mazovia Region”, co-financed by the European Social Fund. 113 participants from 22 countries – mostly all over Europe – from Portugal and Great Britain to Russia, Turkey and Armenia came to Warsaw to attend the conference. Four subjects were presented: “Development of Equestrian Sports”, “Education in Horse Industry”, “Horse Breeding for Equestrian Sports” and “Financing and Cooperation”.

PEF and EEF are convinced that due to its wide range of activities horse industry naturally brings people together. An underlying assumption is that a close cooperation of not only equestrian federations but also horse breeders organisations is bound to be successful. Consequently, by cooperation and experience-exchange during the Conference, its organizers want to share ideas and to provide solutions to problems that equestrian and breeding federations have to face.

On Friday all attendees split into four groups taking part in separate panels. The breeding panel was moderated by Ulrich Hahne who had given an interesting lecture a day before. In his lecture he concentrated on Horse Breeding for Equestrian Sport, giving an interesting example of the Hanoverian Breeding Program.  He highlighted the fact that 80% of Hanoverian breeders own one or two mares, while only 6% own more than four.

Breeding panel included four presentations: “French Cooperation Between Breeding Associations and Equestrian Federation” by Emmanuelle Morvillers from Societe Hippique Francaise, “Holsteiner Society and the Breeding Goal of this Organisation” by dr Stefanie Bergmann from Holsteiner Verband, “Equine Science in Sport Horse Breeding” by dr Dorota Lewczuk from Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, “Zangershide – innovation – New Technologies and Ideas in the Horse Sport” by Tom Lemmens from Zangershide. When presentations had been over, a lively discussion aroused among the participants. Two hottest topics were related to the issue of implementing obligatory osteochondrosis test as a part of selection and the other whether or not to approve equine clones and their progeny. More peaceful discussion went on selling young horses for sport training and how breeding associations should help their members in such proceedings.

To sum up,  it seems that the Conference was a great success and that most of the participants were pleased to attend a meeting which was not a political one like a general assembly but aimed to help in knowledge transfer and in experience-exchange between different nations and different organizations, as the saying goes: “Two heads are better than one”. All conclusions and presentations of the Conference will be available soon at the official website of the Conference

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