The National Equine Forum (NEF) – an annual meeting of equine vets, health professionals, charities and associations for discussion and debate – has changed its format for next year, say organisers.

Andrew Waller receives 2014’s Sir Colin Spedding Award on behalf of the infectious disease group at the Animal Health Trust

The 23rd NEF, to be held on March 5 at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, is to take the form of three central themes in an attempt to “enable even more debate and discussion with panels of speakers and delegates”, according to the organising committee, made up of various sectors of the equestrian industry, with the Princess Royal at the helm as president.

These themes are:

  • reflections and projections
  • the horse industry and the Government
  • further education training opportunities in the UK

Reflections and projections
, said the committee, will explore the results of the latest national equestrian survey, assess the economic impact of racing on the industry during 2013 and discuss how participation in equestrianism can be increased.

The horse industry and the Government
, meanwhile, will commence with discussion on the equine sector 2015 general election manifesto for the horse, lead by Jeanette Allen, chair of the Equine Sector Council Steering Group and Louise Kemble, chair of the British Horse Industry Confederation.

Following this, an on the ground view of the implementation and enforcement of equine legislation will be given by Steven Gale, animal health and welfare officer for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. Panel discussion will then take place between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and chief veterinary officers for Northern Ireland and Scotland (Wales to be confirmed), along with a representative from the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.

The final session will examine some of the further education training opportunities in equestrianism in the UK and debate whether the mix is right.

In addition to the three themed sessions, there will be five-minute topical slots throughout the day and the winner of the Sir Colin Spedding Award will be announced.

NEF is sponsored by a number of organisations including the British Equine Veterinary Association, Blue Cross, British Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian Trade Association, British Horse Society and the British Horseracing Authority.

Tickets are available to equestrian trade delegates and equestrian professionals for £100 per person, and includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. To apply, contact Tracy Allen at Warwickshire College.

Alternatively, for more information, visit the NEF website.

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