Collaboration between higher education and vocational education brings innovation to the equine industry
New forms of competition and a sustainable business fair are the pillars of Nextquestrian, the equestrian event taking place on 13 January at Manege De Hooge Weg in Raalte. Equine, Sports and Business students from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences are collaborating with researchers from Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and students from Landstede MBO to combine knowledge and skills at a ‘next generation’ equine event focusing on equine welfare and harmony between horse and rider. The organising team is also focusing attention on sustainability in the horse industry by organising a sustainable business fair and a fair for second-hand horse gear.
The collaboration between higher education and vocational education resulted in an innovative dressage competition. Third-year student Lara Heric is enthusiastic: “Thanks to our collaboration with the research team at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, we are able to use state-of-the-art sensor technology to measure equine movement and horse-rider interaction. Furthermore, we are working with an eye tracker to investigate what judges focus on when assessing a horse-rider combination.” The other competition during Nextquestrian is the in-hand competition. Lara Heric: “This form focuses on harmonious communication between horse and handler from the ground.”
Dr. Inga Wolframm, professor of Sustainable Equestrianism at Van Hall Larenstein: “Sustainability has become the cornerstone of responsible entrepreneurship, and equestrianism should be no different. Our common goal within the sector should be to enjoy our passion while promoting and protecting equine welfare and our natural environment. Our third year students have done a fantastic job putting together an event that promotes welfare, sustainability and enjoyment.”
Nextquestrian is supported by Utrecht University, Landstede MBO and the KNHS.