HORSE welfare is always going to be an issue, though it doesn’t always have to be a problem. It is an area that has been a concern for generations, and in some parts of the world they are dealing with issues now which the western world faced a century ago. There will always be work needed somewhere.
Next week I will be reporting on a conference I attended in London this week, hosted by World Horse Welfare. The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne, is president of this organisation and she was present throughout, listening to the speakers with great interest, while also meeting a number of the attendees and getting feedback on the many and varied aspects of their involvement in the world of equines and equestrianism.
Having had the great honour to be selected to meet her, The Princess Royal was quick to recall her visit to the Dublin Horse Show, her enjoyment at being there and her hope that another such visit will be possible. Her keen interest, deep knowledge and her own world-class sporting achievements make her a most authoritative voice for all pursuits involving the horse.
The need for every sector to get together at events such as this was brought home to me as I met representatives from the most diverse group of bodies you could imagine. What they all have in common is the horse, a love of the animal and a wish to see them well treated. Racing was well represented on the day, and a clear message that came through was the need for more and more collaboration.
As always, celebrating the best flat racehorses is a joy, and there is simply no award quite like a Cartier. This year was the 31st year of the awards, and they are as keenly sought after as ever. Within hours, advertisers were splashing the words ‘Cartier champion’ across their work, and rightly so.
The fact that Cartier has remained a staunch supporter of these awards is to be applauded, and something to be very grateful for. Another constant throughout the entire lifespan of the Cartier Awards has been the involvement of Harry Herbert, their racing consultant. His knowledge and enthusiasm, together with impeccable presentation skills, has been immense.
His shock announcement that he will be passing the baton on did leave many feeling quite empty. For Harry, it is time and I wish him well. He has always been courteous, friendly, and the perfect host. He will, quite literally, be big shoes to fill.