Horse Welfare

In the Sport of Eventing


Nowhere else is the partnership between horse and human as complete as when these two athletes compete as one. Sport horses have been bred for thousands of years to excel in the challenges of training and competition.

The welfare of horses at the Badminton Horse Trials (and throughout the sport of Eventing) is governed by the FEI Welfare Code of Conduct, which was drafted with independent charity World Horse Welfare, whom the FEI recognise as the world’s leading independent horse welfare organisation. The Code requires that the welfare of the horse take precedence over all other considerations, commercial or competitive.

When horses are used in sport, a heavy burden of responsibility for their welfare rests on the shoulders of those who own, train, ride and care for them. Sport horses are generally exceptionally well cared for, thanks to the significant investment that flows into the industry and the vigilance of regulators.

There are still horse welfare challenges in sport and the FEI works with its federations and World Horse Welfare to address some of these challenges. For instance, World Horse Welfare helped the FEI set limits on practices such as Rolkur (‘hyperflexion’) and advocates the importance of a sport free from doping.

Eventing’s commitment to horses has helped to ensure that the horses competing at Badminton are among the best cared for in the world. Eventing has also led the way in developing a number of safety features in the design of Cross Country Fences to help protect horses and riders.


About World Horse Welfare

World Horse Welfare (Registered charity no: 206658 and SC038384), is an international charity whose values are grounded in pragmatism and compassion that strives to support and improve the horse-human partnership in all of its guises.

Since it was founded in 1927, World Horse Welfare’s approach has been practical, based on scientific evidence and its extensive experience, and focused on delivering lasting change across the full spectrum of the horse world.

World Horse Welfare supports the responsible use of horses in sport, and has been an independent welfare advisor to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) for more than 30 years, helping to draft its Welfare Code of Conduct. It is also a welfare advisor to the British Horseracing Authority.

For more information see