French Equestrian Federation Hires Equine Welfare Manager

Deborah Bardo, MSc, has been charged with overseeing horse welfare within the French Equestrian Federation.
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French Equestrian Federation Hires Equine Welfare Manager
Deborah Bardo, MSc, has been charged with overseeing horse welfare within the French Equestrian Federation. | Photo: Courtesy Fédération Française d’Equitation
A leading host nation for international equestrian events has taken a step forward in safeguarding equine welfare by appointing a dedicated welfare manager.

The Fédération Française d’Equitation (French Equestrian Federation, FFE) has selected a scientist specialized in animal behavior to fill its newly created role in charge of overseeing horse welfare within the federation. That includes FFE member guidance, counseling, and participation in the development of new rules and guidelines, leadership in welfare-related decision-making, and FFE representation at national and international welfare science conferences.

“Growing societal concerns for animal welfare and the particular situation of equitation—the only Olympic sport that includes an animal as part of the athletic team—are two major arguments that favored the creation of this position,” said Déborah Bardou, MSc, FFE Welfare Manager.

“France is the leading host country for international events, and as such it has a responsibility as a leader in equitation,” she said. “By creating this new position, the FFE is sending a strong message to other federations, which could be inspired to follow this same path

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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