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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Announcement: Second International Saddle Research Trust Conference to Examine Impact of Horse, Saddle and Rider on Each Other

WHAT: Saddle Research Trust Second International Conference: 
Horses, Saddles and Riders: Applying the Science
WHEN: Saturday, November 29, 2014
WHERE: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England

The world’s top scientists will come together to share their knowledge at the Saddle Research Trust (SRT) Second International Conference, to be held at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England on November 29, 2014.

This prestigious event, which is supported by World Horse Welfare, will examine the latest scientific research to promote equine welfare and performance and hear how new results affect horses and riders. It’s a unique opportunity for vets, therapists, trainers, riders and horse owners to gain collective access to the knowledge and opinions of internationally renowned experts and to participate in panel debate.

The morning program, chaired by Dr Charlotte Nevison, Director of Research Students, Faculty of Science and Technology, Anglia Ruskin University, will explore the impact that horse, saddle and rider have on each other.

Presentations will be given by Anne Bondi, Director of the SRT and Professor Hilary Clayton, McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The pivotal sessions will be from Dr Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust and Line Greve, AHT PhD student, who will also present the results of a new lameness and saddle slip study, building on research conducted last year.

The study confirms that hind limb lameness is the most important cause of saddle slip and reveals a startling frequency of lameness in the general sports horse population.

The afternoon session will be chaired by John McEwen, British Equestrian Federation Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine.

Afternoon sessions will examine
  • the kinematics of the equine back and neck (Professor Christian Peham, Leader of the Movement Science Group, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna); 
  • the effects of saddle design and function (Dr Michael Weishaupt, Head of Equine Sports Medicine, University of Zurich); 
  • influence of the rider (Professor Lars Roepstorff, Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); and 
  • practical application of science (Professor René van Weeren, Head of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht). 

Richard Davison, Olympic dressage rider and former BEF World Class Performance Manager will give his personal view of research before the full panel makes itself available for questions and discussion from the floor.

World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive Tony Tyler says: “World Horse Welfare is a practical and forward-thinking charity that believes in using scientific evidence to help guide its work. We are very pleased to support this prestigious conference that aims to apply the latest scientific research to the issues that surround saddles and their effects on both horse and rider. We frequently see welfare problems caused by a lack of understanding of saddlery and hope that this conference will improve the knowledge of all that participate.”

Advance tickets are £100, £75 for SRT members and students or £125 on the door. A15% discount is offered to those who reserve by June 1, 2014. Email or telephone (UK) 07775 912202 to reserve your place.

To find out more and to download a copy of the full program, visit

About the Trust: The Saddle Research Trust was founded in 2009 to promote the welfare of the ridden horse and to raise awareness of the widely underestimated issues surrounding saddles, equine backs and performance. 

Trust Director Anne Bondi is currently undertaking a doctoral research program at the University of Sunderland, where she is studying the interaction of horses, saddles and riders. The SRT facilitates collaborations between its research associates and promotes objective scientific research in order to further its aims.

Click here to read a recent article on the work of the Saddle Research Trust.

Information for this article was provided by the Saddle Research Trust.

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