Welfare and Performance Awards

The results of the Saddle Research Trust 2018
Welfare and Performance Awards are as follows:

Saddlery Equipment

Welfare and Performance Person
sponsored by Ridercise

Hayley Moore
ITV racing presenter demonstrated prioritizing welfare first in her broadcasting performance,  when she expertly caught the panicked loose horse, “Give Em a Clump”, at Chepstow. You can watch her wowing social media audiences all over the world here:

Mary Wanless
Internationally renowned coach and author of the Ride With Your Mind books which have been translated into many languages. Mary coaches riders at all levels, from relative novices to two of the top twelve US dressage riders, and some of the Canadian eventing squad.
She clarifies the ‘how’ of riding, making biomechanics explicit and learnable whilst avoiding the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ that stifle learning.

John McEwan FEI
British Equestrian Federation Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine.
He was the Team Vet to the British Showjumping team for 21 years from 1978, and to the British Dressage Team since 1983; London 2012 was his 8th Olympic Games.
John is currently Chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee and Vice President and Executive Board Member of the FEI. He is a past Chairman of the International Treating Veterinarians Association and was Information Officer and Treasurer of the British Equine Veterinary Association.. Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine for the Lottery-funded Equestrian World Class programme, John was awarded an MBE in 2013 for his services to equestrian Sport.


Welfare and Performance Horse
sponsored by EQ Saddles

World HorseWelfare ROO (RIO) – a friend for life
Originally a rehomed as a project pony probably best suited to driving, due to her conformation. Liz Benwell, Rio’s new owner had a cleverly designed saddle made to fit both Rio and her rider, taking into account  Rio’s less than ideal conformation.
The saddle is checked by a qualified fitter every six months. Riding in North Wales is quite testing and the saddle needs to perform well when owner Liz and Rio go on adventures.
Liz says ”I now have a comfortable, happy pony that I take on long rides (long distance is my ‘thing’), and have lessons for flatwork and pole work.
Rio is a lovely bold, sound pony who has proved to be everything World Horse Welfare said she was – and much more. I hope she will be a friend for life”.

Teddy the Shetland
Possibly the most successful PR equine ever, Teddy supports Shooting Star Chase Children’s hospice, Quest RDA and Hannah’s Wilberry Wonder Pony as a therapy pony. Social media influencer with 115k followers and bred at the Pinglewood stud in 2015, Teddy had a spell in intensive care earlier this year and his fans all breathed a sigh of relief when he recovered. 

Born in 2002, Valegro set new world records in all 3 types of Grand Prix. He retired from competition after retaining individual Olympic Gold at the Rio 2016  Games. At Olympia in 2014, he beat his own world record to achieve the highest-ever recorded Grand Prix Freestyle dressage score of 93.4%. As a top horse in the dressage world, his daily care reflects the need for horses to be horses and he enjoys regular turnout and hacking out daily. Despite being asked to name their price following the 2012 Olympics, his owners decided they wanted to secure his future and he will remain at Carl Hester’s yard for the rest of his days.


Welfare and Performance App
sponsored by 21stcenturyrider

The organizer app for horse owners to help streamline every aspect of their busy lives and make multitasking easier and less stressful. Equibuddy brings everything together in one place.

Equla Vert
Being overbent or behind the bit could become a thing of the past. Vert is a multi-purpose sensor and display that attaches to the headpiece of the bridle at the poll and helps the rider to be consistent and precise, every day.
As the horse flexes at the poll or rounds his neck, a precise digital sensor detects the angle of the head. Vert emits a light that changes colour according to the head angle. The rider can track their pace without looking down and get a continuous indication of their speed.

HorseMonkey is the time-saving App for riders and Organisers to manage single, multiple, affiliated or unaffiliated entries in one transaction.
Users can easily publish and promote events online, manage times and results and share to social media.


Welfare and performance Practitioner

sponsored by Harper Adams University,
The Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences Department

Sue Dyson
Sue is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Orthopaedics and a European Specialist in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Although Sue has a full-time clinical post, she is passionate about improving the understanding and management of lameness and poor performance and is actively involved in clinically related research, with the aim of improving equine welfare. She has published more than 270 papers in peer-reviewed journals concerning lameness and diagnostic imaging and has lectured worldwide. Her recent studies on Pain recognition and Rider Weight are expected to have a major impact on horse welfare and performance.

Thilo Pfau
In 2008 Thilo became a Lecturer in Bio-Engineering in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer. He is now focusing on applied locomotor biomechanics with an emphasis on objective quantification of movement anomalies. Since being appointed Lecturer he has concentrated on pioneering a multi-sensor GPS-enhanced gait analysis system for field and clinical use. Use of this system has resulted in a number of peer-reviewed articles and a growing number of undergraduate student projects that are being brought to publication level
Thilo is currently focusing on the use of inertial sensor-based technology to detect and quantify movement anomalies in animals, with the main emphasis on lameness in horses.

Sonya Nightingale ACPAT
President of the RAMP Council.   RAMP was established in September 2016 aiming to endorse best practice methods in the industry of animal musculoskeletal therapy. This independent voluntary register offers vets, members of the public and other paraprofessionals the reassurance they need to safely refer to, and/or work closely with RAMP practitioners. Sonya is the principal physiotherapist at Highworth Physiotherapy Clinic. Her special interest is the spine and she spends a lot of time treating backs and necks.
Sonya also treats animals and was the chairperson for ACPAT (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy) from 2009-2013. She runs hands-on training days for category “B” ACPAT members and lectures at Hartpury College and Liverpool. In addition, she lectures to vets and physiotherapists at international conferences. Sonya was a veterinary physiotherapist at the London 2012 Olympics, where she helped to treat the horses of some of the equestrian teams from all over the world..


Welfare and Performance Saddlery/Equipment
Sponsored by Novel GMBH

Micklem Bridle

Designed by William Micklem to be comfortable for the horse, whose top jaw is substantially wider than the lower jaw. Recognising that a tight cavesson or flash noseband can squash the delicate tissue inside the mouth, between the edge of their top jaw molar teeth, the bridle is designed to avoid this issue and ensure that  bruising or lacerations inside the mouth do not happen, or that serious damage to the delicate nasal bones does not occur.

The concept of the Equiband is its use in core strengthening in the horse is based on scientifically researched and validated techniques used in human conditioning and rehabilitation, and on results from preliminary published studies of the use of the Equiband system for equine core strengthening. These studies include the use of resistance bands in core muscle activation, along with individually designed exercise programmes by qualified therapists.

Saddle Aid Saddle
The Saddle Aid saddle is designed to safely carry women in labour, sick, injured, or elderly people living in remote areas of the world, where the only ambulance is a mule or donkey. A unique and life-saving slant on our Welfare and Performance remit. 


Welfare and Performance Achievement
sponsored by The Horse Trust

Carl Hester MBE
One of Britain’s most successful dressage riders, Carl Hester MBE is an Olympic gold medallist and multi-medallist at European and world championships. He is also the holder of more than 65 national dressage titles.
A top trainer as well as a competitor, Carl is the mentor of world number one Charlotte Dujardin and part owner of the dressage wonder horse Valegro. Carl has successfully trained numerous horses up to Grand Prix level dressage during his career.

Christopher  Bartle
Christopher teaches and trains riders at the YRC, around the U.K. and across Europe. Christopher is the British Eventing Team’s High-Performance Coach. For 16 years up to 2016, he was National Coach to the German Olympic Three Day Event Team – Winners of Team Silver and Individual Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Team and Individual Gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Locally Christopher trains many British International level riders, notably for many years the British team rider Nicola Wilson from Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Christopher does not exclusively teach higher level competition riders, he is also willing to teach less experienced riders on their own horses.

Claire Lomas MBE
A chiropractor and top-level event rider and now inspirational speaker and fundraiser following a riding accident, Claire’s motto “ Imagine with all your mind, believe with all your heart, Achieve with all your might”  can only be described as “inspirational”. She was the first (and only) paralysed person to walk the London Marathon, which she completed in a pioneering robotic suit and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for spinal research.


Welfare and Performance Organisation
sponsored byHorseGent-Horseback

The Brooke
From humble beginnings as a hospital for ex-warhorses in 1934, Brooke is now an international animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horse, donkeys and mules. Operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, the Brooke reaches over two million working horse, donkeys and mules. Dorothy Brookes, letter, written in 1931, moved the British public to assist their old forgotten warhorses, and The Brooke now has teams of vets, animal welfare experts, and advocacy and development specialists to people and their working animals to have a better quality of life.“
If those who truly love horses – who realise what it can mean to be very old, very hungry and thirsty, and very tired, in a country where hard, ceaseless work has to be done in great heat – will send contributions to help in giving a merciful end to our poor old war

Equitopia, envisions a world where humans live in harmony with horses based on a deep understanding and regard for the horse’s needs in today’s world.
Their mission is to empower the horse industry with reliable resources supported by research and evidence, to guide all in the evolution towards compassionate horsemanship.

The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES)is a not-for-profit organisation that chiefly aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse-rider relationship.
ISES runs international conferences that serve as platforms where the latest research findings and their application in practice can be communicated and discussed. ISES also provides a pool of expertise for international bodies and academic institutions that approach ISES with questions related to horse behaviour, training and welfare.