Keynote Speakers

William Micklem

Wednesday 27th June 
Talk title: Going over the EDGE. An empowering approach to coaching

William’s educational presentations and articles are wide ranging, covering all equestrian disciplines and coaching education for all sports. In particular his innovative structures for improving performance, The GO! Rules and The Winning EDGE, have received wide praise. His book, The Complete Horse Riding Manual (Dorling Kindersley – 11 languages) is the bestselling riding manual in the world, and his more humane Micklem bridle is the bestselling bridle in the world. He is a Fellow of the British Horse Society and the breeder of two Olympic horses, Mandiba and High Kingdom, and also bred their full brother, the stallion Jackaroo.

Patricia Pendry

Wednesday 27th June
Talk title: Research on Equine Assisted Activities: Causal findings, implications for practice, and future directions

Patricia’s research takes a bio-behavioural approach towards the study of human animal interaction and human development by examining the effects of animal assisted programs in reducing the physiological ramifications of social and academic stress, with an emphasis on strengthening adaptive functioning of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) activity in children, adolescents and college students. While my research is broadly situated within a prevention science perspective, it is also informed by the interdisciplinary fields of human development and learning science through its emphasis on the social-psychological foundations of human development and learning, as well as on the design and evaluation of programs that enhance learning environments. My work includes basic and applied approaches and draws from literatures of child and adolescent development, animal assisted intervention and therapy, developmental psych neuroendocrinology as well as program design, implementation and evaluation.

Martine Hausberger

Thursday 28th June
Talk title: Equines and Equine Assisted Activities – Maintaining Their Welfare and Well-being – the Challenges and the Solutions

Martine is a Research scientist at CNRS since 1986 at the University of Rennes, Head of the Ethology department from 1999 to 2014, Head of the French national network of ethologists since 2008 and President of the International Ethological Conference in Rennes in 2009. Since 1986, Martine has been Director of Research in the University of Rennes, France, and has published over 156 publications.
Martine holds a PhD and Doctorate of Science and has carried out extensive research on the relationship between horses and humans and horse welfare. Her research has also focused on the impact of early experiences and in particular social experiences on social and cognitive development in horses. In addition, Martine has presented at numerous international conferences on the horse human relationship.
Martine currently supervises a team of 6 staff scientists working on the human-horse relationship and welfare issues in horses.

Ed Bracher

Friday 29th June
Talk title: Meeting the Challenges of Supporting Riders with Support Needs in a Modern and Efficient Manner

Ed Bracher has worked in the voluntary sector since 1991 when he went to China as a volunteer with VSO. On returning to the UK, he ran the World Public Speaking Championships and the World Debating Championships and he was Operations Director of GAP Activity Projects from 1997 – 2004, with responsibility for ensuring the welfare of around 2,000 young volunteers working in 60 countries.
Since 2004 Ed has been the Chief Executive of Riding for the Disabled Association – the UK’s biggest voluntary organisation dedicated to giving people with disabilities the chance to get meaningful therapy or opportunities to achieve amazing goals, through the provision of riding and/or carriage driving. During that time the organisation has turned a declining membership into a growing one, launched a major volunteering support system and developed successful education projects and research. Today RDA works with 28,000 people with disabilities and 19,000 volunteers.
Rugby is Ed’s primary passion, no longer as a player, but as an avid and opinionated armchair enthusiast and coach! Ed lives in Warwickshire with his wife, Sarah and two daughters, Milly and Rosie.