Horses are individual, each having differential characteristics such as height, colour, breeding, conformation, and temperament. These bio-characteristics often influence potential purchasers when buying horses. This study sought to investigate if producers and potential purchasers placed similar emphasis on equine bio-characteristics. Sport-horse stakeholders - n=1377 (792 producers and 585 potential purchasers) - rated various equine bio-characteristics on a Likert psychometric response scale during a questionnaire-based survey. The study analysed responses, using the Wilcoxan test for statistical significance. The findings indicated consensus between producers and potential purchasers for equine soundness, conformation, and movement. Producers attached significantly greater importance to gender, colour, pedigree details, and performance records of the horse and the horse's siblings. In contrast, potential purchasers rated equine temperament and presence (aesthetic appeal) as significantly more important attributes. Shortcomings in suitability for purpose of the horse (such as temperament) could lead to unnecessary wastage and welfare concerns. Producers need to understand consumer expectations/demands to maximize profitability and to avoid wastage and the production of unsuitable horses.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Centre for Sports Studies, University College Dublin, Belfield Dublin 4, Irish Republic.Jack.Murphy@ucd.ie|
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