Dr Jane Williams (2)

Dr Jane Williams appointed to international equine welfare committee

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Equine Welfare Research Foundation has appointed Hartpury University’s Head of Research to its Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC). 

Dr Jane Williams will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the committee, notably thanks to her extensive research activities into the scientific evaluation of equestrian performance in relation to horse welfare.

The panel now comprises eight distinguished scientists and industry experts, all of whom have well-established backgrounds and international recognition in their respective fields.

Having been appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, the members will advise the Board on scientific and clinical matters relating to veterinary science and research. They’ll also oversee a process of peer review of valid applications for Foundation funding.

Reacting to her appointment, Jane said: “I’m honoured and excited to join this committee. I look forward to contributing to the critical peer review process for equine welfare research funding applications, and to furthering our mission of advancing the wellbeing of horses through scientific research and advocacy.”

In addition to her role as Head of Research, Jane is an Associate Professor in the Equine Department. She has taught within higher education (HE) across animal, equine and veterinary subjects and is a qualified veterinary nurse. Her main areas of professional interest include:

  1. Scientific evaluation of equestrian management, performance, and training, and how these link to equine wellbeing.
  2. Rider impacts on equitation: rider personality and decision-making, and its influence on horse-human relationship.
  3. Reliability assessment: applying statistical techniques to test the reliability and validity of industry practices to promote evidence informed practice.

Jane is the co-editor and author of Training for Equestrian Performance and The Complete Textbook of Animal Health and Welfare, is a former Honorary President of the International Society of Equitation Science, and a founding member of the Sport Horse Welfare Foundation. Jane is keen that research should not just be for academics and works regularly with students as well as riders and trainers across showjumping, eventing and racing to help them improve their horses’ success and quality of life.

Research at Hartpury University

Students studying an equine diploma, undergraduate or postgraduate degree are actively encouraged to take advantage of Hartpury’s extensive industry links and research activities. Working alongside equine scientists, trainers, entrepreneurs and other professionals, students develop their expertise in line with industry best practice, and contribute to research that advances welfare standards, as well as performance for the horse and rider.

Hartpury University’s research outputs continue to grow each year and research submitted as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 process was recognised as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’. Teaching at Hartpury University was also rated triple Gold in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023.