By Emily Goddard

Roly Owers, Ingmar De Vos and John McEwen at the signing of the MoU between the FEI and World Horse Welfare ©FEIMarch 10 - The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with World Horse Welfare to formalise the relationship between the two organisations that dates back more than 30 years.

Equestrian sport's world governing body and the international horse charity have worked together on a number of projects over the years, including the development of the FEI Equine Welfare Code of Conduct, funding of sport horse development initiatives through FEI Solidarity and the introduction of animal health techniques, such as reduced journey times to competitions, cooling techniques and studies into training and competition surfaces.

The MoU was signed by FEI first vice-president and veterinary committee chairman John McEwen and World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers at the National Equine Forum in London, where FEI secretary general Ingmar De Vos addressed delegates on the global growth of equestrian sport.

"The FEI has been collaborating with World Horse Welfare for over 30 years and in that time we have reached numerous milestones together," De Vos said.

"World Horse Welfare is a charity that believes in taking practical approaches to finding solutions and working constructively to create change, and for these very reasons the FEI is looking forward to many more years of close collaboration as our sport grows around the world."

 Princess Anne, pictured here with former IOC President Jacques Rogge, is President of World Horse Welfare ©AFP/Getty Images Princess Anne, pictured here with former IOC President Jacques Rogge, is President of World Horse Welfare ©AFP/Getty Images

World Horse Welfare was founded in 1927 and its current President is Princess Anne, who is also President of the British Olympic Association (BOA) and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.

Briton Pippa Funnell, an eventing Olympic and world medallist, and Alex Hua Tian, China's first Olympic eventing athlete, also work with the charity as trustee and ambassador respectively.

Owers welcomed the signing of the MoU and said: "We are pleased to agree this MoU with the FEI, which recognises World Horse Welfare as the leading international independent welfare organisation, and supports our mission to work with horse owners, communities, organisations and Governments to help improve horse welfare standards and stamp out suffering worldwide.

"Our charity has worked constructively with the FEI for more than 30 years to support the responsible use of horses in sport, thus helping regulators to meet their responsibilities to their horses.

"This is most aptly reflected in the joint production of the FEI Code of Conduct that underpins the welfare of horses in FEI competition."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
July 2013: Commemorative sculpture unveiled to celebrate International Equestrian solidarity programme