Interspecies sport in a single-species context: Equestrian sport and the challenges of remaining in the Olympic Games

Date / Time: 4 May 2017

Dr Kate Dashper, Leeds Beckett University, UK will present on her preliminary findings from an ongoing study into the role of international events in the development of equestrian sport. Drawing on interviews with governing bodies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Kate will consider official responses to these changes and the challenges they pose within three key equestrian nations.

  • Date: Thursday 4 May 2017
  • Time: 3.00 - 4.00pm
  • Venue: TT1.05, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, Gate 4, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton

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Presentation flyer


Equestrian sport is the only Olympic sport which involves two species. Although the Olympic disciplines of dressage, show jumping and eventing have featured on the Olympic programme for over a century, their current status is vulnerable in the context of a mega-sport event that concentrates on the extremes of human physical achievement. In response to the IOC’s Agenda 2020, the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) has recently voted in substantial changes to the format of equestrian Olympic competition, in an effort to increase universality and accessibility, while keeping costs manageable. These changes are controversial within the equestrian world, with key stakeholders such as riders and horse owners questioning the measures on grounds of horse welfare and standard of competition.