THE National Equine Forum’s (NEF) first special interest webinar ‘Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds’, held recently, captured the attention of more than 160 delegates from around the world, and generated some fascinating questions for the panel of internationally renowned speakers.
A summary of the webinar will be given at #NEF21.
Chaired by Professor Tim Morris, the webinar was delivered by industry leaders and highlighted the challenges our equine breeds face, and how, through science there is hope for the future.
Tullis Matson, Founder and Managing Director of Stallion AI Services, opened the session with a fascinating look at how the extinction vortex has impacted the natural world and its application to equine breeds. Simon Cooper, Director, The General Studbook, Weatherbys, continued with a close look at the challenging situation of inbreeding in Thoroughbreds.
Paul Flynn, Head of Research and Development, Weatherbys Scientific, went on to explain the role of DNA analysis in providing breed societies and breeders with keystone support to guide decisions to increase effective populations. Dr Andy Dell, Trustee and Member of the Breed Committee, Cleveland Bay Horse Society, concluded the presentations with a case study giving proof of the concept that breeds in decline have a chance to be saved when genomics and kinship analysis are utilised.
Bonus content from the ‘Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds’ webinar, in the form of answers from the panellists to additional questions asked during the session, will be available in the next couple of weeks. Check out NEF’s social media channels to find out when it will be available or sign up to their mailing list at www.nationalequineforum.com.
The second NEF special interest webinar, entitled ‘The Great Weight Debate’ (equine) has since been held on Wednesday, January 27. Chaired by Professor Pat Harris, it took a practical look at different perspectives on equine weight management, from across the equestrian sector, including the views of a horse owner, livery yard owner and coach, an equine welfare officer, an equine vet, a nutritionist and a competition judge.
The panel of speakers aimed to identify what is preventing owners/ carers from managing horse, pony and donkey weight effectively, despite many previous and ongoing attempts from industry to effect change. They will also explore how any obstacles may be overcome and the discussions will be supported by a human behaviour change researcher. Conclusions and possible pathways for change will be presented at #NEF21. Information is available on the website at www.nationalequineforum.com, and tickets are available from Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk.
The 29th National Equine Forum will be held virtually on Thursday, March 4. Tickets will be available in February. If you would like to receive notification of their availability, please subscribe to the mailing list at www.nationalequineforum.com.
Thanks are extended to those supporting ‘Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds’:
– SPONSORS: The British Horse Society; The Horse Trust;
– CORPORATE FRIENDS: Weatherbys Scientific; World Horse Welfare;
– FRIENDS: The 826 Studbooks Association; Central Prefix Register; Cob Care; Exmoor Pony Society; Neue Schule; James Rayner; Traditional Gypsy Cob Association.
Thanks are extended to those supporting The Great Weight Debate (Equine):
– SPONSORS: The British Horse Society; Redwings Horse Sanctuary; SPILLERS™; Talk Equine; World Horse Welfare;
– CORPORATE FRIENDS: Jeffress Scholarship Trust;
– FRIENDS: Central Prefix Register; Sue Dyson; Neue Schule; James Rayner.
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