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Champion of Welfare

Ireland’s leading Dressage lady Heike Holstein joins IHWT
Heike Holstein has joined the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) team in Woodenbridge, Co. Wicklow, as the official ambassador for Welfare. Heike Holstein is Ireland’s leading international dressage rider. She was involved in the recent IHWT’s Welfare Aware campaign and she features on the campaign’s promotional video.

Sharon Newsome, co-founder of the IHWT, says “I am delighted that Heike has chosen to be an official member of the IHWT team, we are all thrilled that she will help us promote the very important work the charity is doing, rescuing and re-training horses.”

Working in the industry, welfare is something Holstein feels strongly about and wanted to help promote Ireland as a country forging ahead with Welfare as its priority. She has also highlighted the need for comprehensive Equine Identification System being implemented in Ireland as a matter of urgency to create a system whereby owners who consistently abuse or neglect their horses are held accountable.

“When I got involved with the Irish Horse Welfare Trust it opened my eyes to the real problems happening on the ground and how lapse the legislation and enforcement is in Ireland with regard to equine cruelty and neglect,” she says.

Having rescued Salt and Pepper, two miniatures that are now stabled amongst some of the finest horses in the country, she wanted to get more involved and try to ‘Make a difference’.

“It is so important that those of us who work and make a living in the industry no longer sit back and let this continue and each play our part for giving Ireland’s horses a more secure and better future.”

Holstein competes at Grand Prix level in Dressage and has represented her country at the Olympic Games no less than three times, as well as being Irish National Champion 11 times. In between what is a very busy life of training the Irish Eventing team, teaching and schooling daily, she is determined to work as ambassador for the IHWT to help the charity in its work and champion its cause for Ireland forgotten horses.

“I hope that by highlighting the current systems flaws with regard to Equine identification and campaign for the introduction of a system of National Equine Identification, all parties and industry bodies working together will make Welfare cases history,” she adds.

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