Equine Welfare & Integrity Officer
“Try to get as much ‘hands on’ horse handling experience as you can, as this will help you a lot in this role”
Jeremy Willis – EWIO (Equine Welfare & Integrity Officer)
The role of an Equine Welfare Integrity Officer (EWIO) is to ensure the required standards of equine welfare and integrity are maintained both in and around the stable yard. The EWIO Team at each race meeting consists of a minimum of 3 people and they are responsible for checking and recording the accreditation of all those entering the stables.
They’re also responsible for identifying all of the horses when they arrive by scanning the horse’s individual microchip number and reconciling it against the list of the day’s runners. At this point, a visual check is also made of each horse, relating to any possible welfare or bio security issues.
Shortly before the first race, one of the EWIO Team will go to the Sample Unit to assume the role of “Sampling EWIO”. They are then predominantly based in the Sampling Unit during racing where they take post-race samples before packing and processing them to strict standard operating procedures, which requires meticulous attention to detail.
Before I was an EWIO I had ambitions of becoming a jockey, having ridden ponies, hunters and Point-to-Pointers when I was younger. However, when it was apparent that I wasn’t going to make the grade, I started working as a Travelling Head Groom for a few years before becoming a Veterinary Technician for The Jockey Club – now the BHA – who I have worked for ever since.
If I had to give any advice on the role I would say be prepared to work within a team, as well as being confident to take on responsibility on your own. Also, try to get as much “hands on” horse handling experience as you can, as this will help you a lot.