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The University of Guelph's Equine Industry Symposium
16 November 2020, 23h30 EST (UTC-5)

My Opening Remarks for the 2020 EIS
Click image to see the video

Bello and I were delighted to open the 2020 Equine Industry Symposium.

Each year since 2016, the students and faculty members at the University of Guelph have held an annual symposium, which calls together horsepeople from every part of our sector and every corner of our country, to build common cause, to advance our common interests as a community.

It has been my honour to be part of every symposium since the beginning, in my capacities as a former member of the Canadian Equestrian Team and a former head of the national governing body for equestrianism.

This year, physical distancing meant that the symposium had to be held through a series of live, interactive webinars. It also meant that our focus could only be on how our community can make it through the pandemic, and what kind of world we should try to rebuild on the other side.

This video is of the opening address, by my horse Bello and me. I spoke more than Bello, but then again, he gnawed on my shoulder much more than I gnawed on his.

Over the centuries, the horse community has literally seen off wars, famine, and pestilence. We will see off coronavirus as well, because through our relationship with our horses, we understand the imperatives of partnership: to work together; to learn from one another; to extend compassion to each other; to protect both our individual and shared dignity; to draw strength from adversity; to struggle forward in a world that does not always understand us; and to occasionally succeed despite ourselves.

The full proceedings of the symposium are available at the University of Guelph’s Horse Portal.


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