As the overarching representative body for the world of sport horse breeding, our collaboration with relevant stakeholders is essential to create a thriving global community.
Founded in 1921, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) is the world governing body for the three Olympic disciplines jumping, dressage and para dressage, and eventing, as well as for the disciplines of driving and para driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. The FEI’s mission is to drive and develop equestrian sport globally in a modern, sustainable and structured manner with guaranteed integrity, athlete welfare, equal opportunity and a fair and ethical partnership with the horse. It establishes the regulations and approves equestrian schedules for championships, continental and regional Games as well as the Olympic & Paralympic Games.
As the leading organisations of sport horse breeding and equestrian sport, the WBFSH and FEI have always been in close contact. Together they have organised the World Breeding Championships since their inception in 1992. In June 2015, the FEI and the WBFSH formalised their collaboration and entered a Memorandum of Understanding. The FEI-WBFSH Council was established to enhance collaboration between the two organisations as part of the new agreement.
The WBFSH rankings are based on validated FEI results, and data exchange is an important element.
The FEI Headquarters are based in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is also home to the International Olympic Committee, as well as dozens of other International Federations. The staff at the FEI Headquarters are led by FEI President Ingmar De Vos and FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibanez.
In response to the need to improve the quality of communication between the European National Federations (NFs), a number of national federations proposed the foundation of a European organisation to consider and debate issues of common concern, to find agreeable solutions and to introduce them professionally and sensitively into the decision-making processes of the relevant bodies. This resulted in the foundation of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) in 2009.
A permanent EEF EU Working Group was established in response to the considerable impact of the European Union’s legislation on sport and the safe use of horses for sport, breeding and recreation in Europe. A long-term and positive relationship with the European Union, both at Commission level and with the European Parliament, is a priority for the EEF.
The EEF has its offices in Zaventem Belgium, adjacent to the Belgian Confederation of the Horse. Since November 2019 Theo Ploegmakers (NED) is the President of the EEF.
The European Horse Network (EHN) is a non-profit network of stakeholders acting at a World, European, National or Regional level within the European equine and welfare sector. Amongst other things, the purpose of the EHN is to:
Act as a platform for the horse, pony and donkey industry to communicate common issues with European institutions and media at the European level.
To help members coordinate their activities in order to increase the visibility and impact of the equine sport, tourism and recreation sectors.
Discuss, define and lobby on areas of common interests on the European political agenda.
Exchange views on political developments affecting the horse sector in Europe.
The EHN was formed on a Swedish initiative at the European conference EU Equus 2009 with 11 members. The WBFSH and FEI have been members of the EHN since its inception. It currently consists of 29 members. The EHN has its offices in Zaventem Belgium, adjacent to the Belgian Confederation of the Horse and the EEF. Mark Wentein (BEL) has been the EHN Chairman since 2015. WBFSH general manager Nadine Brandtner represents the WBFSH on the EHN board.
EU Legislation has a far-reaching impact on the equine sector. This affects the WBFSH members based in the EU directly. But also non-EU WBFSH members are affected by these regulations, since the movement and trade of horses and genetic material is international. Both directly, as well as through WHIRDEC and the EHN, the WBFSH maintains contact with the EU Commission and Parliament.
World Horse Welfare was founded in 1927 by Ada Cole, who was spurred into action after witnessing a procession of British work horses being unloaded and whipped for four miles to slaughter. From the beginning, she defined the organisation’s approach as “combining practicality with passion”. The mission of WHW is to work with horses, horse owners, communities, organisations and governments to improve welfare standards and stamp out suffering in the UK and worldwide.
From front-line care, to research, education, advocacy and campaigns, World Horse Welfare works across the full spectrum of the horse world to improve the horse-human partnership. Today WHW works in sixteen countries across (including China, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Nepal to mention a few) on four continents to positively impact the welfare of working equids.
The relevance and responsibility of horse welfare extends to the entire equine community, including tourism, leisure, sport and breeding.
The WHW is one of the members of the EHN. Collaboration between the WBFSH and WHW is essential in the breeding industry’s responsibility to the horse.
Below, you can find further links to external organisations and projects with whom we are in regular contact. You will also find useful links in the relevant sections of our website, such as on our project pages.
The WBFSH Secretariat, Vilhelmsborg Allé 1, DK-8320, MAARSLET
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