The Welfare department at Horse Racing Ireland invite you to their Equine Welfare Symposium "Changing Stride, The Way Ahead for Horseracing Safety and Care" at The Keadeen Hotel and The Curragh Racecourse on Friday 24th May 2024. Speakers on the day include Dr. Orla Doherty, Dr. Graham Adams, Dr. Rachel Annan and Dr. Tamzin Furtado.

Dr. Orla Doherty

Dr. Orla Doherty qualified as a veterinary surgeon in UCD in 1992, and completed a Masters degree at Edinburgh University in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare in 1993. Since 1994 Orla has been specializing in the areas of behaviour and welfare, addressing problem behaviours, lecturing in the UCD Veterinary faculty and University of Limerick, delivering behaviour and welfare workshops and training to equine professionals, conducting research and working as an expert witness in legal cases concerning animal behaviour.

Orla completed a Diploma in Equitation Science in 2016 and finished her PhD regarding equine training methods, tack use and horse welfare through the University of Limerick, in 2017. Orla served as Hon President of the International Society for Equitation Science from 2019-2021.

Dr. Graham Adams

After graduating from Sydney University with first class honours in 2004 Graham accepted an internship with Randwick Equine Centre and on completion of the internship was employed in an ambulatory role servicing the greater Sydney district. In 2008 Graham started as a private Veterinary Surgeon for Godolphin racing team based in Sydney, while also servicing Godolphin horses at Cootamundra and the Hunter Valley.

A decision relating to family meant moving to Ireland and starting work for Troytown Greyabbey Equine Hospital in Co. Kildare as a senior ambulatory vet servicing all aspects of stud farms, racehorse trainers, sports horses and leisure ponies.

In December of 2022 Graham accepted the new role of Deputy Head of Veterinary Operations for the IHRB. The role incorporates operational responsibilities such as Raceday Veterinary Officer and Authorised Officer, with leadership and strategy activities together with the other members of the IHRB veterinary team. 

Dr. Rachel Annan

Dr. Rachel Annan has over 20 year’s experience in the international horseracing industry having ridden in point to points while at college and employed as a work rider in racing yards in Ireland, Newmarket, Dubai and New Zealand. 

Rachel completed her PhD in 2023 at University of Bristol School of Veterinary Medicine, while working on a racehorse welfare project and developed a welfare assessment protocol for measuring racehorse welfare. This welfare assessment has been trialled by industry assessors to gather population level racehorse welfare data. The welfare assessment has also been used to monitor the welfare of Military Working horses from the Household Cavalry and racehorses in Hong Kong. 

Rachel is currently an Equine Technologist at CAFRE and a postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin (UCD).

Dr. Tamzin Furtado

Tamzin is a social scientist with a background in global health, and has a specific interest in the interconnections between human and animal health and wellbeing. She completed a PhD at the University of Liverpool studying how we can improve the management of obesity in horses, particularly focusing on horse-human relationships and human behaviour change. She now works on projects covering a wide range of aspects of understanding human behaviour in order to improve companion animal welfare, and in using social sciences to find out more about how we can help people to change.

This event is now sold out. 

Please be aware that this is a ticket-only event.

6 CVE Credits approved by Veterinary Council Ireland

Schedule for the Equine Welfare Symposium

SESSION 1: Chaired by John Osborne

8.30-9.00 a.m.

Registration, Tea & Coffee


9:00-9:10 a.m.

Introduction & welcome

Suzanne Eade, HRI CEO

9.10-9.40 a.m.

The Human Factor - Human Behaviour Change and Equine Welfare

Dr. Tamzin Furtado

9.40-10.10 a.m.

Giving Horses the Best Start in Life

Dr. Orla Doherty

10.10-10.20 a.m.


Dr. Tamzin Furtado & Dr. Orla Doherty

10.20-10.40 a.m.

Poster presentations & coffee break



SESSION 2: Chaired by Dr Vivienne Duggan

10.40-11.10 a.m.

A Day in the Life of a Racehorse

Dr. Rachel Annan    

11:10-11.40 a.m.

Pre-Race Inspections - What We Do, What Can We Do Better?

Dr. Graham Adams

11.40-11.50 a.m.

Questions & Answer opportunity

Dr. Rachel Annan & Dr. Graham Adams


SESSION 3: Chaired by John Osborne

11.50-1.15 p.m.

What’s the Story? Potential solutions from industry

Presentations From: Race IQ, Sleip, Equine MediRecord, Equitrace, & Equimetrics


1.15-2.00pm- Lunch and trade stands


SESSION 4 chaired by Michael Sheahan


The Tack Room: Interactive panel discussion

Mark MacRedmond (ALEH)  

Dr. Tamzin Furtado

Dr. Graham Adams (IHRB)



John Osborne

4.00pm - Interactive/behind the scenes session at The Curragh Racecourse, followed by racing.

In order to best facilitate conversation and address queries, attendees can submit questions to [email protected] in advance of the symposium.