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Göransdotter, Elin, 2011. Etik och moral inom ridsporten : med fokus på fälttävlan. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Eventing is often called as the formula 1 in equestrian sports and comprises three disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross-country. The sport provides excitement, challenge and joy and is the ultimate sport for intelligent riders and horses. Many are fascinated by the challenges the sport offers while other consider it foolhardy to ride a cross-country. Eventing is not a risk-free sport and has even been given the label of being one of the world´s most dangerous sports. What do those risks mean to the horse? And particularly, is it associated with good animal ethics to use the horse for eventing? Finding answers to these questions is not easy as it probably is not a clear and simple answer. The purpose of this work is then to highlight the ethical issues of eventing and highlight the ethical arguments for and against the use of horses for eventing.

In order to bring sustainable ethical reasoning surrounding this requires knowledge of the horse and its welfare. There are many factors that affect this. How well the environment is adapted to the horses needs, both at home and during competition, and whether the horse is given the opportunity to perform its natural behavior is of great importance. How well the relationship between the horse and rider works, the rider’s experience and skill, which learning and training methods that is used and how well prepared the horse are before the competition, both physically and mentally is also crucial to the welfare of the horse and its performance.

Eventing creates unique challenges for the welfare of the horse; thought horses that compete in this sport must have a good athletic ability and be in sufficiently good shape to cope with a prolonged period of intensive activity. In relation to risk of injury to the horse in the cross-country are abrasions and lacerations to the stifle and carpus and tendon injury the most common. Some of these injuries could be prevented by securing the surface in the approach and landing, modifications in course and fence design, more skilled riders and better trained horses. In the cross-country there is also a risk of a horse-and-rider partnership falling in connection with fences and certain types of fences are more represented. To continuously work towards improving the security of the courses is important. But the responsibility for security does not only lie on the course designers, several studies show that some riders are at greater risk of falls than others depending on their attitude and experience.

Animal ethics is a philosophical reflection of human relationship to animals. This work examines three normative ethical theories; utilitarianism, the animal rights view and virtue ethics. Common to them is that they all want the animal´s best but what that means is not the same for the different theories. The Swedish Equestrian Federation has during the past year developed ethical guiding principles. These can be summarized that our obligations to the horse is to always put its welfare in first place, show respect to the horse and take responsibility for our actions. We can do this by seeking knowledge and applying equitation science and research of security around eventing and so on and by reflecting on ethical considerations of where the limit goes for when the use of horses for eventing cannot be morally acceptable.

Main title:Etik och moral inom ridsporten
Subtitle:med fokus på fälttävlan
Authors:Göransdotter, Elin
Supervisor:Röcklinsberg, Helena and Blockhuis, Harry
Examiner:Yngvesson, Jenny
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:379
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:häst, etik, ridsport, fälttävlan, välfärd
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:12 Jul 2011 11:33
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:21

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