Meet The Team

Chair, Carolyn Madgwick

Director of Legislation and Enforcement, The Horse Trust
Tel: 01494 488464 

Carolyn joined The Horse Trust in 2016 having spent 27 years as a Senior Trading Standards Officer leading a team of officers specialising in the enforcement of animal health and welfare legislation. Responsible for carrying out investigations into complaints regarding animal and equine welfare and identification, she is confident in producing prosecution reports from first intervention to presentation in a Court of Law. Carolyn was the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel Lead Officer for Equines and Regulatory Lead on the Equine Sector Council (now British Horse Council). 

At The Horse Trust, Carolyn maintains her expertise in legislation, develops training materials and provides training and advice on legislation for many audiences including the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, Vets and other equine charities. She is the British Horse Council representative on the RCVS Riding Establishments Sub-Committee and represents both NEWC and The Horse Trust on many other committees and meetings with Government Officials. 

Carolyn strongly believes that equine welfare can be improved through collaboration, practical, enforceable legislation and education. Carolyn took on the role of NEWC Chair in April 2022 and is committed to promoting the voice of our members and increasing our reach to secure the sustainability of NEWC for the future.
Vice-Chair, Ruth Court

Horse Welfare Manager, Blue Cross 
Tel: 07768 390016

Ruth is the Horse Welfare manager at Blue Cross and her experience within the Equine Industry is in Education, Management and Welfare. She has a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Management and holds the BHS Intermediate Instructors Certificate. 

Ruth’s main role with Blue Cross is managing the team responsible for supporting the horses the charity has out on loan. Due to the increased number of welfare needy and abandoned horses that the charity takes in, Ruth and her team constantly look for innovative and cost-effective ways of working to ensure the charity remains able to continue to help those horses that most need it; while maintaining healthy horses in happy homes. 

Prior to joining Blue Cross Ruth lectured in Equine studies at De Montfort University Lincoln and latterly at Moulton College Northampton; She has also managed the College’s Equestrian Centre, worked as a freelance Instructor and rider and has managed a variety of yards. 

Ruth wholeheartedly supports the National Equine Welfare Council and is highly motivated to use her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to play a part in the Council's work. Ruth is enthusiastic about the value of working in partnership with other charities; using resources, knowledge and experience to improve equine welfare with a united voice; She is passionate about improving equine welfare and believes in the need to change and adapt to current trends to meet the needs of all equines.
Dr Carol Hall

Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Nottingham Trent University

Carol is a Visiting Academic at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, where she worked for many years as an Associate Professor specialising in equine behaviour and welfare. In her current role, she is involved in supervising postgraduate student research and continues to promote links between NEWC and the education sector. Carol is an active researcher, focusing on improving the management and training of horses, with findings being published in both the scientific and lay press.

Carol is also a Reader in Equitation Science and one of the original members of the International Society for Equitation Science. In addition to her academic role, Carol is a BHS-qualified Intermediate Instructor (BHSII).

In her role within NEWC, Carol is keen to extend the remit of NEWC to the consideration of the welfare of ridden horses and to promote evidence-based horse-friendly management and training practices. She believes that NEWC has a vital role to play in uniting the equine sector to work towards a better life for all equines.

Claire Gordon 

Chief Field Officer, World Horse Welfare
Tel: 01953 498682

Claire graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Glasgow University and then completed a postgraduate study in Human Resource Management. She has worked as an international event groom both here in the UK and in Australia before returning to Scotland to work as an Equine Nurse at The Royal (Dick) School Of Veterinary Studies. 

Claire has worked in welfare since 2007 when she joined the RSPCA as an Inspector before moving on to work for World Horse Welfare in 2010 where she is their Chief Field Officer. Claire brings knowledge and experience in the practical application of welfare legislation and has a proactive, problem-solving approach to Equine Welfare. 

Claire has an interest in human behaviour change science and how it can help to improve equine welfare by supporting owners to make lasting change.
Kirsty Withnall

RSPCA inspector, Special Operation Unit
Tel: 0300 1234 999

Kirsty graduated from Northampton University with a BSc (Hons) in Equine and Estate Studies. She worked in the equine industry for several years before joining the RSPCA. She has been an RSPCA Inspector since 2001, working in Sussex, then Buckinghamshire, and this included being an Equine Officer. Since 2015 she has worked within the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) as a case officer. 

She provides an overt uniformed response on behalf of SOU and conducts specialist criminal investigations into serious, organised or commercial animal cruelty. This includes dog fighting, badger and wildlife persecution, importation, commercial movement and high-value trade of dogs and complex multi-animal cases, including equines. 

Kirsty has been the lead officer in a number of very large, complex, high-profile equine and multi-animal welfare cases. She continues to strive to reduce neglect on its largest scale. 

Kirsty is passionate about NEWC and what it stands for. She believes that by working together, the equine charities are definitely stronger and wants to see a reduction in the horrific cases of neglect we are sadly seeing. 
Nicolas De Brauwere MRCVS 

Head of Welfare, Rehabilitation and Education, Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Tel: 01508 481 006

Nicolas graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 1991 from Onderstepoort in South Africa and began working at Redwings Horse Sanctuary later the same year, providing clinical services and helping to develop preventative horse health programmes. Nic was also asked to support investigations into allegations of cruelty and neglect, involving close partnership-working with other organisations. 

A particular interest in feral horses and horse behaviour arose from Redwings’ work to help address a range of welfare problems affecting feral ponies on commons in South Wales and Bodmin Moor. Through these experiences, Nic developed a broader interest in horse behaviour and equitation science. 

Over time, partnership working on rescues and educational projects has become the norm and the benefit of NEWC as a unifying voice for horse welfare is more apparent. 

Since joining the NEWC management board in 2004/05 and becoming Chair in 2009, Nic has helped the Council develop its role in leading and coordinating communication and collaboration in the welfare sector and the wider equine world.
Hannah Bryer

Head of Welfare, The Donkey Sanctuary
Tel: 01395 578222

Hannah graduated from Bristol UWE (Hartpury College) in 2004 with a BSc(Hons) in Equine Science. 

Hannah joined The Donkey Sanctuary in 2015 as Senior Donkey Welfare Adviser for Great Britain and is now Head of Welfare. Hannah leads and supports a busy department which includes a dedicated team of Donkey Welfare Advisers who work across England, Scotland and Wales to improve the welfare of donkeys and mules living within our communities. 

Prior to joining The Donkey Sanctuary, Hannah worked for the RSPCA. Her first-hand experience of equine welfare issues is of particular benefit when working to resolve situations where the welfare of donkeys and mules is compromised. Hannah was keen to join the NEWC’s board of Directors and represent donkeys and mules, whose welfare needs differ from that of horses. 

Hannah is passionate about the role NEWC plays in encouraging equine charities to work together; providing platforms for experiences to be shared freely and supporting collaboration to make the best use of our combined knowledge and expertise.  
Dr Mark Kennedy

Senior Scientific Manager for Equines- RSPCA 
Tel: 0300 123 0656

Mark graduated from the University of Glasgow with his Honours degree in Zoology in 1992, proceeding to gain his Ph.D. in animal welfare from the University of Cambridge (St Catharine’s College) in 1999.

Interested in horses and their behaviour and passionate about equine welfare from an early age, he spent 17 years in higher education lecturing on animal and equine behaviour and welfare, for the last 8 years of this period as Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare at Anglia Ruskin University. During this time he performed research and consultancy work on equine welfare and behaviour, and decided to focus his efforts on greater involvement in equine welfare intervention within the animal welfare charity sector.

Mark left Anglia Ruskin University in 2012 to take up the post of Head of Science at the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Following this, he established his own animal welfare consultancy in 2015 and took up the post of Senior Scientific Manager for Equines at RSPCA in 2018.

Resident in the Companion Animals Department, Mark is responsible for scientific, technical and policy input to equine work across the Society, including public affairs, media and publications, campaigns, education and provision of advice for the general public. He works very closely with the equine operations team.

President, Dr David Marlin

David Marlin studied physiology and computing at Stirling University in Scotland (UK) from 1978 to 1981.

David then trained with dressage rider and coach Judy Harvey (Fellow of the British Horse Society (FBHS) and Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) International dressage judge; Judy Harvey is a successful rider and a well‐respected trainer hosting clinics all over the world.

He obtained his PhD from Loughborough University (the leading sports University in the UK) in 1989 after 4 years studying the responses of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training at the world-famous Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, UK. During this time he made some of the first studies in the world on horses running on high-speed treadmills.

He then worked for 3 years in Newmarket as an equine exercise physiologist for racehorse trainer Luca Cumani where Jockey Frankie Dettori had just joined the yard as an apprentice. In the second year that David worked with Luca Cumani, he had his first English Derby winner with Khayasi, who broke the track record at Epsom. In 1991 he returned to work at the Animal Health Trust and undertook a programme of study into the effects of road and air transport on horses.

From 1993–1996 he undertook studies on thermoregulation and transport of horses in the build-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in conjunction with the FEI. He was also involved in advising The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), the Hong Kong Jockey Club, International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the FEI on air-conditioning and cooling for horses at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

From 1990 until 2005 David held the position of Senior Scientist and Head of Physiology at the Animal Health Trust.

His main areas of professional interest are exercise physiology, nutrition, fitness, training, performance, thermoregulation, competition strategy, transport and respiratory disease.

He has worked as a consultant to the British Equestrian Teams since 1994 and was a member of the World Class Performance Scientific Advisory Group chaired by John McEwen when it was created in 2006. He was also trainer for the British Endurance Team when they won the Silver Medal at the Endurance World Championships in Compiegne (France) in 2000 and has consulted for many endurance teams and stables in the Middle East. He has recently been appointed Performance Advisor to the British Endurance Team.

David’s recent projects have included a review of the effects of temperature on horses during transport for the British Government, an investigation of welfare in Endurance racing for the FEI, development of testing methods for equine protective leg boots, scientific study of the training methods of Monty Roberts and investigations into factors associated with elite equine performance. He is currently working on projects related to welfare in endurance, headshaking, nutrition and personality types in equestrian sports.

He held the academic position of Professor in Physiology at Oklahoma State University (2008-2018). He is the author of over 200 scientific papers and book chapters. David’s other affiliations and positions include past Chair of the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP) and editor of Comparative Exercise Physiology. He is also the author of Equine Exercise Physiology (Blackwell) and author of All Systems Go (a book about getting horses fit).

David is the founder of Science Supplements which was established in 2003. The company has developed a unique range of highly efficacious products and sources ingredients from all over the world for their manufacturing operation in the UK. Science Supplements currently export to the USA, Europe and the Middle East and also have a manufacturing base in South Africa.

Vice President, Lesley Barwise-Munro BVM&S BSc CertEP MRCVS

Lesley Barwise-Munro graduated from The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RDSVS) in 1986. Since then Lesley has worked as an equine practitioner with the Aln Veterinary Group, now part of the Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group. Lesley is Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Newcastle Racecourse and also carries out local point to point duties. Her main areas of clinical expertise are lameness, respiratory disease, dentistry and how they influence performance. As time allows, Lesley enjoys hunting and has two daughters.

In 1992 Lesley completed her RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice and in 1998 joined BEVA Council and was elected as President in 2005. During her time on Council she worked with the Government and the major animal welfare organisations developing the recent Animal Welfare Act 2006. This work was recognised with the presentation of The Blue Cross Equine Welfare Award by HRH the Princess Royal at BEVA Congress in 2006.

Lesley has driven forward the development of the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain as well as playing a key role in developing the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium, and is currently driving forward the changes to the law on the licensing of livery yards.

In September 2011 Lesley opened a major new clinic in Northumberland, the Alnorthumbria group’s clinic which offers full hospitalisation and surgical facilities on site for all sectors of the equine industry across the North East.

Vice-President, Mary King

Mary King is a British Olympic equestrian sportswoman who has represented Great Britain at six Olympics from 1992 to 2012, winning two silver and one bronze medal in the team eventing. She has won two gold and one silver medal in the World Equestrian Games team eventing and four team gold medals at the European Eventing Championships along with one bronze and one silver medal in the individual event. Nationally, she was the British Open Champion in 1990, 1991 & 1996 and won the CCI four star Badminton Horse Trials in 1992 & 2000, and the CCI four star Burghley Horse Trials in 1996.

Mary went to her first Badminton in 1985, finishing in seventh place, and finally won the event in 1992 with her horse, King William. She later won the event again in 2000 with Star Appeal.

Mary has won six team gold medals at World Equestrian Games and European Championships. She has been British Champion four times, more than anyone to date. King has also represented Britain in six Olympic Games: 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. She won bronze with the 2008 Olympic team with Call Again Cavalier and silver with the 2012 Olympic eventing team with Imperial Cavalier.

Executive Secretary, Dr Rachel Kay 

Rachel graduated with a first-class BSc (Hons) Equine Science degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2006 and then went on to complete her PhD in Equine Physiology and Behaviour. 

Prior to joining NEWC in 2019, Rachel worked as an equine lecturer at Nottingham Trent University - leading their behaviour and welfare, assessment of behaviour, and learning and cognition undergraduate modules as well as supervising student research projects. She has co-authored several research papers focusing on equine welfare, training and transport along with NEWC Director, Dr Carol Hall, which have been published in the scientific press.
Rachel is a former horse owner and has a long-standing interest in the application of evidence-based management procedures and training practices that promote positive equine welfare. Rachel strongly believes in the work of NEWC and its unique role in the equine welfare sector. She enjoys the challenge of looking after the NEWC membership organisations, the business and its directors.
Copyright © 2023 National Equine Welfare Council. All Rights Reserved.
Designed and Managed by Le Grand Solutions
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram