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Because of Horses

Oct 5, 2018

Elise’s guest today is Dr. Roly Owers, CEO of World Horse Welfare, based in the United Kingdom, but engaged worldwide to improve horses’ well-being. Roly is a veterinary surgeon and was a member of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, which included a posting overseeing the care of Queen Elizabeth’s Horse Guards as the Veterinary Officer at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London.


World Horse Welfare was founded in 1927 as a campaigning organization to prevent the export of live British horses for slaughter. In the decades since, WHW’s work has been crucial in improving the lives of horses around the globe through education, lobbying for legal reform and protection, research, investigations, and re-homing. Issues the WHW tackles include responsible use of horses in sport, improvement of working horses’ living conditions, sustainable animal husbandry practices, and public awareness and advocacy.


In today’s episode, Dr. Roly Owers takes us through the organization’s origins and how it has evolved, his previous duties as a Veterinary Officer for Queen Elizabeth’s horses, the core principles of WHC and how they continue to impact the organization’s endeavors, WHC’s efforts in both third-world and first-world countries, and of course, all the amazing things WHC has accomplished for equines around the world.


Topics of Discussion:

[:48] All about Elise’s guest, Dr. Roly Owers.

[1:32] Roly shares the organization’s origins and how it has evolved through the years.

[3:07] Roly speaks about his previous duties as a Veterinary Officer at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

[4:59] The four core principles the World Horse Welfare program was founded upon and how they continue to guide the organization’s endeavors.

[7:11] About the WHW’s stance on encouraging horse lovers to make a virtue of the many wonderful things people do for — and on behalf of — horses each and every day.

[9:45] Rory explains the distinction between utilizing horses rather than “using” them.

[14:15] How WHC finds the balance in educating those who depend on horses for their income (in developing countries), and the needs and well-being of the horses.

[20:57] Rory paints a picture of some of the issues for horses and horse owners that are unique to developing countries.

[24:31] Equine issues that are specific to first-world countries.

[28:29] The challenge of using the internet to seek welfare advice on horses.

[32:13] Wonderful happy-ending stories from WHC’s efforts and the work they do.

[35:57] What it means to Rory and the WHC to have such an admired equestrian as HRH Princess Anne as their President.

[38:36] How WHC’s partnerships with legendary equestrians around the world help engage other equestrians to understand their efforts and activities.

[41:10] How the WHC addresses such a broad scope of equine issues (from their well-being to the integrity of equine-based sports).

[43:30] About Elise’s guests on next week’s Because of Horses!

[44:34] How WHC and Rory find the balance from a communications/social media perspective between public outrage and deep caring, while also maintaining a positive perspective and elevating that as well.

[50:46] What Rory would like listeners to know about horse welfare in general and WHC.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

World Horse Welfare

Because of Horses Facebook Page

Horse & Hound

Ian Stark

Zara Tindall

Next week on Because of Horses

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal

Queen Elizabeth

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Trusted Guardians of the Monarch

Horse Guards


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