The background of the present situation of Equidae production lies on a strong and well documented scientific activity that started in the years ’70 in Europe and US with fundamental research on nutrition and genetic. In horse populations there has been a great concern both pedigree and digestion physiology and feeding evaluation systems. These studies implemented considerably and were shared by all the research institutes of the world, generating a perfect globalization concept. In this context, consultation and discussion with representatives of European horse breeding industry and scientists have been carried out to state experts in Equine science: key challenges, knowledge gaps and the opportunities to meet the needs of the horse breeding in Europe. As a consequence, the role of sponsor became more and more relevant and was linked to a progressive limitation of funds destined to research and a strong demand coming from the “Equine industry”. Horses became more popular in the growing industry of sports, leisure, and hobby farming. The booming development of leisure riding and the diversification of usage of horses, and the increasing role of horses in the use of territories became of high concern for European and local socio-economy. Special attention was given to: breeding performance horses for race and sport using most of the modern tools to maximise the efficiency of breeding and husbandry systems and to prevent the risk of health disorders; breeding leisure horses, ponies and donkeys for riding education, hobby, tourism and therapy implementing relevant management systems to reduce the cost of breeding and to fit the social need of the end-users; preservation of endangered breeds to maintain biodiversity using new modern tools in the scope of strategic selection plan; breeding horses for alternative animal products. Based on this evolution, the paper aims to point out strengths and weaknesses of the Equidae production and the privileged points of development in the next future.
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