Interview: Are you a JUMP’ Éthique rider? We are!

Interview: Are you a JUMP’ Éthique rider? We are!

CWD is a partner of the JUMP éthique ORGANIZATION and supports the initiative backed by Sophie Dubourg committed to responsible riding.

Sophie Dubourg

JUMP Éthique is a nonprofit that was founded in February 2021. Its aim is to ensure that good treatment is an ethical requirement for sports riders. The idea is to promote good practices, encourage and raise awareness on the basis of the latest knowledge in scientific ethology and the major principles of animal welfare that are now known and recognized.

The recent changes in the legal status of animals in France, now defined by the French Civil Code as a “sentient living being”, illustrate a concern that is also reflected in European and international standards. On a daily basis, this long-term change can be seen in new legal obligations and economic imperatives. Horses are affected by these changes in society. Their well-being is seen differently by the public and by the professionals who live and work with these animals.

New European standards are regularly adopted concerning animal welfare. This profusion of standards is not always very visible to the general public, who lack the necessary guidance.

Given this changing context, Sophie Dubourg, a riding instructor and the manager of the pony club in Nouvelle Aquitaine, decided to take things one step further, by following a course offered by the University of Paris Descartes and the Haras de la Cense. When she graduated with her university diploma in “Ethics, well-being and equine law”, she created the JUMP Éthique organization.

Emilie Jeanjean (E.J.): Sophie, can you tell us about the JUMP Éthique organization?

Sophie Dubourg (S.D.): Of course, Emilie! JUMP Éthique is an organization that aims to raise awareness of, promote and communicate issues around horse well-being and ethics in equestrian sports.

The project allows us to meet our responsibilities as riders by really taking into account the ever-increasing requirements around equine ethology. In addition to increasing social pressure, we all know that we have a long way to go, that we can do better, and that we can change things and be more respectful.

E.J.: What can be done to raise awareness among riders?
S.D. We can positively reinforce ethical commitments through the media coverage of competitions. In collaboration with riding centers, each rider can become a JUMP Éthique rider if they meet certain ethical requirements.

E.J.: What ethical requirements does the organization recommend?

S.D. We base our requirements on the French Equestrian Federation’s Equine Well-Being Charter and its Good Practice Guide. The issues that we feel are important emerge naturally from the four major principles of animal well-being, with a particular desire to gradually influence living conditions and nutrition.

We call for a personal ethical commitment based on the following points:

1/ Living conditions: free access to fields/paddocks daily, prioritizing social contact.

2/ Nutrition: Unrestricted access to forage (straw/hay)

3/ Health and behavior: Of course, we call for carefully considered and respectful riding. Riders agree to respect the points in the JUMP Éthique charter. We also ask them not to compete with their horse in too many classes during the year, and not to compete in extreme heat.

E.J.: How can we support your work?

S.D. Any rider anywhere in France can join the movement individually and become a JUMP Éthique rider. A symbolic annual fee (from €10) gives access to the JUMP Éthique community, with JUMP Éthique shows as well as Welcome Packs (saddle pad, horse bonnet, gift vouchers, etc.) for the first eight riders in these specific classes. In a single season, we are proud that more than a hundred riders have already joined up! What if you were the next JUMP Éthique rider?