HWB announces new team to lead equine welfare overhaul  

UK racing’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB) has announced the appointment of three new executives to lead the implementation of its new ‘A Life Well Lived’ horse welfare strategy. 

The HWB has welcomed Mike Etherington-Smith, designer of multiple Olympic Eventing courses, who will serve as Equine Safety Advisor of the new five-year project funded by the Racing Foundation.

The project’s media relations will be led by Helena Flynn, the former global PR lead for British Airways and Jaguar Land Rover, who will take on the role of HWB’s new programme director.

As part of its new strategy, the HWB plans to overhaul its equine safety reporting between racing stakeholders, with the directive led by financial media veteran and former Reuters international executive Stephen Wensley as the new Welfare Data Projects Lead.

The programme team will be accountable to Barry Johnson, the HWB’s independent chair, and will work closely with the other members of the HWB and Racing Foundation.

HWB underlined its new members’ lived experience in equine health and protection, noting Etherington-Smith’s work on Olympic equine events, Flynn’s family background breeding horses for British Police forces, and Wensley’s experience as a volunteer with the Devon & Cornwall Point-to-Point meets.

The new team will aim to establish the Racing Foundations ‘life well-lived strategy’, for which it has identified 26 projects to ensure that the UK becomes the global leader in equine welfare, treatment and rehabilitation.   

“We are enormously excited and encouraged by the formation of this impressive team,” Johnson commented. “Not only are their skills and experience truly world-class, they have also demonstrated a strong ability to work collaboratively. This was essential, as we wanted a team who would support racing and its people to fulfil our collective ambitions in relation to horse welfare.

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