Success for inaugural NEF webinar

The National Equine Forum’s first special interest webinar Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds, held last week, captured the attention of more than 160 delegates from around the world, and generated some fascinating questions for the panel of internationally renowned speakers.

If you missed it, don’t panic as you can purchase tickets for the replay here (those who registered for the live event will have received an email with the link to the replay). The replay will be live until 23:59 on Monday 1st February.  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 our mailing list here.

The second NEF special interest webinar entitled The Great Weight Debate (Equine) will be held on Wednesday 27th January at 7pm. Chaired by Professor Pat Harris, it will take 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 will aim 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 our website here, and tickets are available from Eventbrite here.

The 29th National Equine Forum will be held virtually on Thursday 4th March 2021. Tickets will be available in February 2021. If you would like to receive notification of their availability, please subscribe to our mailing list here.

Picture courtesy of Horsepower Creative – The first rare breed foal born from sexed semen, in 2020 (Suffolk Punch).