The University of Guelph
On Saturday 19 November 2016, the University of Guelph will host its inaugural Symposium on Canada's national equine industry sector. I am honoured that the university has asked me to moderate the discussions.
The Canadian horse sector encompasses a remarkable breadth of people and professions: breeders; coaches; drivers; equipment makers; farriers; feedstock producers; grooms; loriners; owners; retailers; riders; saddlers; scientists; tanners; trainers; vaulters; veterinarians; amongst others. This diversity is at once the sector’s greatest strength, and its greatest challenge.
While we are all united by our passion for the horse, it can be fiendishly difficult for equestrians to recognise our common interests, and a trial by ordeal for us to marshal ourselves in common directions. Yet, in an urbanised society and globalised world, we will succeed as individuals only if we succeed as a community.
The Symposium will call together representatives from across our sector, in an effort to identify what measures we need to take together, and how we can join hands to do so. In particular, we will ask how equine education, training, and research must evolve, so that equestrianism has a sustainable future, and not just a storied past.
The University of Guelph is one of the world’s most highly-regarded institutions for Veterinary Science, and one of the few institutions in Canada with the standing to attempt this exercise. The Symposium itself is a creation of the Bio-resource Management and Equine Management programmes, led by Professor Katrina Merkies.
I will be tweeting observations and photographs throughout the event, and occasionally broadcasting Periscope clips of discussions and conversations with participants.
The university will publish a summary of the proceedings and decisions flowing from the Symposium in the following weeks.