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Speaker Biographies

Dean Bland   Well Equine

Dean Bland - BA Hons, Dip WCF Hons, MAFA

Dean Bland is a Farrier with over sixteen years’ experience. His working life reflects his interests, including both practical farriery and educational and welfare consultancy.

As a Farrier, Dean works with horses that have specific needs (competition horses, horses with conformational and lameness issues and horses referred to Dean by other para-professionals), working as part of a holistic approach to equine welfare and equestrian performance. 

As the founder/owner of the consultancy company Well Equine Ltd, Dean helps equine organisations and individuals to support the lives of working equines around the world through training and facilitation, project development and research and welfare provision. Organisations include The British Horse Society, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, Imprint Equine Foot Care and The British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association.

In 2016, Dean joined equestrian athletes from around the world to work as part of the Equestrian Support Team at the Rio Olympics under the Olympic and FEI flag.


Nicky Jarvis Redwings 

Nicky Jarvis - BVetMed, Cert AVP (Equine Medicine), Cert AVP (Equine Surgery Soft Tissue), MRCVS

Nicky Jarvis is the Head of Veterinary & Care at Redwings, the largest horse sanctuary in the UK. She qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990, and after working in mixed practice in Norfolk, she became Rossdales’ first ever intern in 1993. Nicky then joined Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 1996 as a locum and loved it so much she never left! 

Redwings currently cares for over 1500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules at 10 sites around the UK. Nicky is responsible for overseeing the team of dedicated vets, equine veterinary nurses and equine care staff who look after their health and wellbeing. 

Nicky is a member of BEVA Council and holds advanced veterinary practice certificates in Equine Medicine (Internal) and Equine Surgery (Soft Tissue). She regularly lectures around the world on a wide variety of subjects including nutrition and the care of the veteran horse.


Lisa Ashton  ESI

Equicoach EquiSci


Lisa Ashton - MBA, PGCE, BA (Hons), ESI Dip, BHSII

Lisa Ashton is the leading authority in the UK on the application of Equitation Science. With over a decade of experience, she consults on evidence based knowledge for equestrian federations, leading equine charities, colleges, studs, veterinarians, professional riders and owners.

Lisa is the author of the chapter ‘Behaviour & Handling of the Horse’ in Aspinall’s Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, former International Society for Equitation Science Education Officer, Expert Witness to high profile equitation cases, equine masters and degree External Examiner, Equitation Science masters dissertation supervisor at Edinburgh University, Eco-Coach trained and the UK home of Equitation Science International. 

Dedicated to helping more horses by helping owners understand how, what and why horses learn, Lisa translates the latest in the emerging field of Equitation Science, practically. In 2011, Lisa founded EquiSci to help more horses via clinics, workshops and lectures throughout the UK and Italy. Passionate about training people to train horses, Lisa uses simple explanations, demonstrations, feedback and the practice of an Equitation Science ‘toolkit’ to provide safe, effective and ethical horse training. 

Lisa is a BHSII Accredited Professional Coach, holds the Pony Club A’ Test, evented to BE Novice and is a British Dressage Trainer and competitor.

Further details are available at EquiCoach and ESI Science International.


David Kempsell 

David KempsellDavid Kempsell is MD of First Thought Equine, set up in 1996 to design and manufacture innovative products to increase the horse’s comfort and performance. Formerly a telecommunications design engineer, he has turned his logical design techniques and passion for riding to problems of saddlery. The best known of these products is the modular WOW saddle, which incorporates many of his innovations, patented worldwide.  

Whilst keeping one foot in the traditional camp WOW has revolutionised the way saddles are constructed, manufactured and fitted. He is a firm believer in using technology to improve equestrian equipment, and passionate about educating saddle fitters, trainers and riders to see and address equine welfare and performance issues.

First Thought Equine is a member of The Society of Master Saddlers and David is an SMS qualified saddle fitter.

David is in demand as a speaker; his many symposia and conference sessions include the European VET Professional Development, “Horses Inside Out” and Equitana (Essen, Germany). 



Chris Pearce

Chris Pearce - Cert EM (Int. Med), Cert ES (Soft Tissue), BAEDT, MRCVS

Chris has experience at all levels of equine dentistry. Chris was the first veterinary surgeon to pass the BEVA/BVDA equine dental technicians exam in 2001. Chris also has RCVS certificates in equine internal medicine and soft tissue surgery, and in October 2014 passed the first full examination for the new veterinary Diploma of Equine Dentistry, making him a European Veterinary Specialist in equine dentistry.

Chris lectures, teaches and examines regularly for BEVA and at courses and conferences around the world. In 2012, Chris opened the Equine Dental Clinic Ltd, the UK's first 100% equine dental specialist referral practice, providing visiting and clinic based referral services throughout the UK and increasingly in Europe. Chris has a particular interest and wide experience in novel minimally invasive, restorative and endodontic therapies.

Chris served on BEVA Council for seven years, has been chair of the BEVA/BVDA dental examination committee twice, is the current external examiner, past chair of the BEVA Dental Working Party and current member of the credentialing committee for the European Veterinary Dental College Diploma in Equine Dentistry.


Dr Wendy Talbot

Dr Wendy Talbot - BVSC Cert EM (Int Med) DECEIM MRCVS

Dr Wendy Talbot graduated from Bristol University in 1999, followed by two years of working in a mixed practice. Wendy completed a residency in Equine Internal Medicine at The University of Liverpool and then worked in equine practice for nine years.  

Wendy joined Zoetis UK in the summer 2012, as the National Equine Veterinary Manager. Wendy holds the Royal College Certificate and European Diploma in Equine Internal Medicine, and is a RCVS and European specialist in Equine Internal Medicine. 


Professor Jacqui Matthews

Professor Jacqui Matthews - BVMS PhD MRCVS

Professor Jacqui Matthews, a qualified veterinarian, has focussed on livestock and equine helminth research and teaching throughout her career. Her group works on roundworms (known as nematodes) and their research spans sub-unit vaccine development, anthelmintic resistance and the epidemiology of worm infections.

She has published over 125 peer reviewed research papers and numerous lay articles, as well as given many presentations to industry, stakeholder and scientific audiences. Thus far, her research has attracted over £13 million in external funding, with highlight outputs including discovery of an effective sub-unit vaccine for control of brown stomach worm in sheep and development of a diagnostic test for larval cyathostominosis in horses.

She has taught or examined at most of the UK's veterinary schools and holds a ministerial appointment as Parasitology Expert on the UK Veterinary Products Committee. She is currently based at Moredun, Edinburgh, and is Honorary Professor at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh.


David Sheerin BHSI (Chairman)    

David has been a member of the BHS for nearly 20 years, having moved down from the north of Scotland with little experience to train for his exams within the system. He has since worked hands-on in many different areas, from dressage, racing, riding school to eventing yards.

He credits the BHS with having sculpted his career path and is currently the Head Coach at Wellington Riding, where he trains students, riding club, pony club and weekly non-horse owners. David enjoys working in this environment with grassroots riders from all backgrounds, within which the Society plays a vital role. 

David also remains passionate about his own riding, producing young event horses and bringing them up the grades, which presents exciting challenges and shows a passion for good training and welfare of horses. He feels that this experience is relevant and current in a modern and fast changing equestrian world, which he would like to see more integrated across the disciplines.

Described by those who know him as 'enthusiastic', David feels passionate about the BHS and driven to put something back into a system that has greatly benefited him. He would like, as a trustee, to see the BHS remain at the heart of discussion and decision making in the fast-evolving equestrian community.



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