Why the long face? Experiences and observations of bullying behaviour at equestrian centres in Great Britain

Naomi Watson, Neill Thompson, Julius Jooste*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


This study explored the experiences and observations of equestrians and industry professionals (N = 11) to verify the nature and extent of mistreatment and harassment at equine centres in Great Britain. Guided by conceptions from the social ecological model, thematic analysis of the data from semi-structured interviews was conducted, which confirmed the omnipresence of bullying by underscoring themes that represent personal factors of those involved such as different acts of negativity and autocratic tendencies of influential figures. Themes denoting social-environmental factors comprised the involved parties’ background characteristics, specific locations of occurrences, and subsequent responses in victims that confirm a discontinuation of involvement. Through the adoption of a macroscopic understanding, equestrian associations are encouraged to revise the implementation and regulation of policies that would prevent mistreatment and abuse to foster a safe and inclusive environment. Future research into separate member bodies within the association, gender differences, and barriers in the implementation of strategies could deepen understanding and inform equestrian associations’ efforts to implement positive change where needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal for Sport and Society
Early online date2 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024

Cite this