Dutch Open Eventing

Taking eventing to the highest level

Horse Welfare

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 Dutch Open Eventing (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 takes 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 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.