Just because the first thoroughbred foals are here, the woodpecker is banging his beak, and the song birds are rehearsing their morning chorus, doesn’t mean it’s spring yet Helen!
This was my internal dialogue before the desk work began. There is a lot to be said for these rather still days that coincide with the catkins budding and the daffodil tips stretching upwards. Spring may not be here quite yet, but the feeling that it is on the way is enough to lighten one’s heart.
Events to look forward to also helps increase the feeling of light at the end of the muck heap, and as a former equine therapist, nothing gets me revved up like a good horse health and welfare debate. Cue the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) Equine Welfare Symposium scheduled for 22 February in the Dunadry Hotel, Co Antrim.
Vet gatherings like these are not usually open to the public, and it’s rare we get to hear such a wealth of specialists, so for anyone with as keen an interest as mine in horse health, this is a not-to-be-missed event.
According to NIVA, the purpose of the event is to raise welfare awareness across the equine sector in Northern Ireland. It also highlights the fact that Northern Ireland suffers with a lack of focus on the equine industry because of a lack of government policy, legislation or strategy. The hope is that the workshop will help fill that gap by bringing together key stakeholders to focus on the changing landscape that is equine welfare, for all sports and breeds.
Events to look forward to also helps increase the feeling of light at the end of the muck heap, and as a former equine therapist, nothing gets me revved up like a good horse health and welfare debate. Cue the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) Equine Welfare Symposium scheduled for 22 February in the Dunadry Hotel, Co Antrim
The keynote speakers include: Dr Meta Osborne, equine vet and lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at UCD. Meta is also a breeder, and is the first female in Irish racing history to become Senior Steward of the Turf Club.
Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare will also travel over. Roly is a veterinary surgeon with previous roles in the Blue Cross and Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
Dr David Marlin is one of the equine world’s leading scientists and is the president of the UK National Equine Welfare Council and president of the internationally established Sport Horse Welfare Foundation. Dr Jane Williams, associate professor and head of research at Hartpury University will also present.
Tickets can be purchased for £45 (€52)from the NIVA website with an additional optional welfare panel discussion ‘Animals in sport: what are the responsibilities of vets?’ that costs £10 (€11). I look forward to seeing some readers there.