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The horse at the core of an innovative partnership between the FEI and France’s University of Caen

The FEI and the Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaine MRSH, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique MRSH CNRS (Human Sciences Research Centre, National Centre for Scientific Research) of the University of Caen in France have entered a partnership regarding an exciting new project. La Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval (World Horse Library) is an innovative digital library combining the resources of public and private libraries around the world on the subject of the horse.

The Library currently has an inventory of over 15,000 books with over a quarter that have been digitalised and is constantly being enriched by the addition of new works. It is a highly collaborative initiative open to all existing public and private libraries, who retain their copyright while becoming a part of the Library’s corpus. The books are not only being digitalised but are also cross-referenced and annotated by experts in various fields, which takes the project to a higher scientific and methodological level.

Located in Normandy, the region in the northwest of France, where the highly successful FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 were held, the University of Caen is a national centre of digital publishing and carries the prestigious Biblissima label of excellence.

La Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval benefits from exceptionally advanced interdisciplinary research on digital documents and is being supported by the French authorities and especially the Normandy Region.

“The FEI is thrilled to become a partner of La Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval, an innovative project dedicated to promoting and encouraging knowledge transfer”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “It is the first time that such massive digital resources in the academic world are being dedicated to the subject of the horse and we are very excited to be involved.”

In the framework of the partnership between the FEI and La Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval, a conference "Sports Équestres, Jeux et Enjeux” (Equestrian Sports, Games and Stakes) will be organised on 1 August 2024 during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the auditorium of the Chateau de Versailles.

Various speakers, historians, researchers and academics will gather at the Château de Versailles, the iconic venue of the Olympic equestrian competitions.

“We look forward to gathering at Versailles during the world’s greatest sporting event, the Olympic Games,” Xavier Libbrecht (FRA), Project Leader for La Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval, said.

“Asking questions about the future of equestrianism, a unique sport in a changing world, through the prism of the values implicit in humankind’s relationship with the horse was a rare opportunity, which we could not pass up. Doing it in the historical setting of Versailles, which has been the centre of what became known as "court equitation" or "academic equitation" since the time on French King Louis XIII in the first part of the 17th century, makes it truly exceptional.

“This partnership with the FEI is very much based on cooperation and collaboration and we look forward to working together to centralise the resources and information around equestrian sports and their development over time.”

Article courtesy of the FEI

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