Breeding sports horses is bad for the climate

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Hey there, partner. This is The Oxer by Pegasus. The newsletter that takes you out of your tack room and into the global equestrian industry.

🐴 Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • Our horse habits are bad for the environment: But it’s more nuanced than you think and there are solutions for it.

  • Horse Sports Ireland is taking climate change seriously: Some of the 28 recommendations they made in their report, analyzed below.

  • Can equestrian become even BIGGER than CrossFit?: Pegasus cofounders Sam Baynes and Jen Tankel and Pegasus CMO Noah Levy sat down to discuss what equestrians can learn from CrossFit and how to build an organic creator industry as they did. Listen to it on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to shows.

  • Did you also listen to our episode with The Cowboy Office?: Brian Dygert and Jodie Brained have almost a century’s worth of combined experience in Western horse sports, so you don’t want to miss this one. On Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

  • Final Foals: Check them out after the second story of this edition.

Before we get into it, have you signed up to try out Pegasus’s beta?

If not, head to Pegasus, click “get early access,” and sign up today!

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Get ready for some great stories this week 👇


What happened?

  • A study by researchers at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina found that sport horse production can have a significant environmental impact.

  • The study looked at 26 sport horse production farms in the province of Buenos Aires and found that only two of the farms had a low environmental impact, while 18 had a medium impact and five had a high impact.

Our jump on the subject

The researchers found that the main environmental impacts of sport horse production are water use, feed, excretion management, and location.

Water use and feed production require land, water (OFC), and energy.

Excretion management is another important issue, as horse manure can pollute waterways and contribute to the spread of bacteria.

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Source

Finally, the location of sport horse production farms can also be a factor, as farms located near water bodies are more likely to have negative environmental impacts.

The study team recommended that each sport horse production farm implement an operational plan that includes comprehensive waste management, best practices for feed optimization and water use, and the use of veterinary professionals to help develop and implement these plans.

They also suggested that there are some strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of horse excretions, such as using them as crop fertilizers or for the generation of renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.

 

What happened?

  • Horse Sport Ireland recently came out with a report on how the local equestrian industry could become a leader in sustainability.

  • We outline their industry recommendations and findings below.

Our jump on the subject

The report identifies the main areas of impact on the environment from the equestrian sector, including water use, feed, excretion management, and location. Very similar to what we wrote above with the study from Buenos Aires.

It also finds that there is a financial, legal, operational, and commercial imperative for the industry to become more sustainable.

The project involved six months of research, with the consultants interviewing a wide range of contributors from the worlds of breeding, competing, livery yards, event venues, suppliers, and riding centres.

HorseTalkNZ

 

The report makes a series of recommendations for the Irish equestrian sector, including:

  • Supporting organizations within the sector to gain a better understanding of environmental sustainability.

  • Creating established standards and practices for equestrians to follow.

  • Devise a strategy to minimize HSI’s own environmental impacts.

  • Host an annual event dedicated to sustainability.

  • Seek ways to support funding for sustainable measures or incentives for those who make changes

  • Engage all riders on environmental sustainability.

  • Support research into equine-specific topics.

  • Ensure environmental sustainability and the associated risks and requirements are on the agenda at Government level for equestrianism.

The report also includes examples of current best practice within the Irish equestrian sector, such as the Bray-based charity Festina Lente and Coolmore Stud in Tipperary.

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Source

Here are some additional points we found from the report:

  • The Irish equestrian sector is worth more than €400 million to the economy.

  • The sector has a deep-rooted history in Irish culture.

  • More than two thirds of those surveyed for the report said environmental sustainability was “very important” to them.

  • Almost three-quarters of respondents believe that removing single-use plastics will be a very important step to take.


🐴  This Week’s Final Foals

🍟 We went viral on Insta again: “When you conserve your energy for riding to the snack shop”

📉 “The truth is that the average person in the equestrian industry earns $72k a year – a small amount considering the cost of participating in an industry with such high expenses.

🗞️ “Most equine business are small and they are priced out of the market because the only media distribution channels are dated magazine models that cost $10k per ad.” 


Take your time to digest these stories and let us know what you think by replying.

Keep your shoulders back,

The Oxer by Pegasus

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