Horse sport is important in terms of spectator enjoyment, benefits to human mental and physical health, and economic impact (1). However, sport exposes horses to the risk of physical and psychological harms. Whilst the use of horses in sport continues to be accepted by the majority of the public, that social license is increasingly questioned (2,3). Furthermore, concern about the ethical dimension of veterinary sports medicine is increasing amongst veterinarians (4). The need for the development of an ethic (i.e. a set of moral principles relating to conduct) for the use of horses in sport is recognised. However, attempts by regulators and stakeholders to address ethical issues in equine sport have been discipline-specific and ad-hoc. No coherent interdisciplinary examination has been undertaken to provide an overarching ethical framework which could be applied across sports to assess and, where required, improve current practice. The aim of this project is therefore to develop a coherent ethical framework for the use of horses in competitive sport which can be applied across disciplines for the benefit of equine welfare. This MRes project will build on theoretical work to elucidate an ethical framework for the use of horses in competitive sport previously undertaken by Dr Madeleine Campbell. The student will use Delphi methodology involving international stakeholder representatives to test the applicability of the framework across disciplines. They will then update and refine the framework to develop, present and publish a practical tool for stakeholder use.
For more information on the application process and English Language requirements see How to Apply.