Monday, April 29, 2019

New Equine Soundness Professionals Organization Adds Key British and Australian Biomechanics and Veterinary Advisors, Plans Membership Programs

In its first 100 days, the new Equine Soundness Professionals vet-farrier group has built a solid base for future growth and membership benefits. Founder and farrier David Gilliam of Texas reports interest from around the world in the new organization, and enthusiasm from farriers and veterinarians who plan to participate in both the proposed testing program and the in-depth seminars planned for members and colleagues.

New advisors are being added, as well.

Beginning this spring, Professor Emeritus Chris Pollitt, BVSc, PhD of Australia will be consulting with Gilliam as a professional qualification evaluation advisor. Pollitt, who is a retired Professor Emeritus at the University of Queensland and founder of the Australian Equine Laminitis Research Unit, is the author of two of the leading reference books on the equine foot, The Color Atlas of the Horse’s Foot (1995) and The Illustrated Horse’s Foot (2015), both published by Elsevier.

In addition to his veterinary-related degrees, Professor Pollitt, right, is an Honorary Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, London. His honor was presented by Princess Anne, left, a former Master of the famed livery company. (Hoof Blog file photo)

Professor Pollitt will be advising on the content of qualifying examinations for veterinarians and farriers seeking endorsement by ESP. He is currently reviewing test questions in Australia.

From the other side of the world, the Royal Veterinary College (London) Structure and Motion Laboratory Senior Lecturer in Bio-Engineering, Dr-Ing Thilo Pfau, PhD, FHEA has been named to the ESP’s Advisory Board.

Dr. Pfau frequently lectures in the United States as a leader of the RVC’s Graduate Research Diploma in Equine Locomotion course residencies held at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. His research covers many facets of equine biomechanics, particularly related to the hoof’s interface with the ground and the use of inertial measurement units (IMUs) to discern asymmetry of movement in the horse.

In March, ESP hosted its first seminar for veterinarians and farriers; it was held during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. In the future, ESP hopes to host two or three subject-specific in-depth seminars per year in the United States for farriers and veterinarians to attend together.

Dr. Thilo Pfau applying an inertial measurement unit ("IMU") to a horse for gait analysis during an RVC Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotion Research residential weekend for US students at Penn Vet New Bolton Center. ESP founder David Gilliam is a student in the program.

ESP is now juggling logistics for a conference with Professor Pollitt tentatively planned for the fall in the eastern United States. An announcement will be made soon.

“It’s been more than five years since he has lectured in North America,” Gilliam said. “We’d like to bring him back to update his many longtime followers in America, and introduce him to a new generation of veterinarians and farriers.

“Both Professor Pollitt and Dr Pfau will be great additions to our current outstanding pool of advisors, and give us international reach and resources,” Gilliam concluded.

Full paid ESP membership opens in the second quarter of 2019. Veterinarians and farriers will be able to apply to join ESP and will have the option of starting to take ESP examinations. Members will also enjoy benefits such as conference registration and software discounts and subscriptions.

Gilliam stressed that ESP exists for the mutual benefit of both veterinarians and farriers, and to provide an open platform for both professions. “ESP is not about numbers or profit,” he said. “We are about education, improving the industry,and coordination/collaboration between vets and farriers. ESP has been about the common ground between vets and farriers from the start.”

Specific questions about the credentialing process are addressed at this link:

Further information on membership and events are available on the Equine Soundness Professionals website:

For general inquiries, please email

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