The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) welcomed over forty-five veterinary delegates to a two-day FEI Veterinary course last weekend (12-13 March 2016) at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. There was strong representation at the course, with veterinarians from eight different countries, including Great Britain attending, as key discussions around veterinary practice, welfare and the future shape of the sport were highlighted.
Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine for the World Class Programme and Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee John McEwen commented on the significance of the event; “This course was hugely important for the FEI and from my point of view this was one of the best meetings that I have been to.”
McEwen, who also presented over the two days on ethics and welfare, as well as providing an update on the international movement and transportation of horses and FEI Prohibited Substances added; “There were a lot of extremely experienced vets present at Hartpury and so we were able to hold more in depth discussions and move from the basic matters to the future of the sport.
“I was very impressed by the support and the organisation shown by the BEF as they helped the event run smoothly. For the FEI this was a very important meeting and we have come away from this with a long list of things that we can do thanks to the input of our experienced delegates.”
The FEI Veterinary Director, Dr Göran Akerstrom opened proceedings on Saturday by explaining the structure and governance of the Veterinary Department and the Veterinary Committee. Dr Akerstrom also talked about the types of veterinarians and their roles, education and the FEI Database.
The pair were also joined by four guest speakers; Tim Randle, Colin Roberts, Rachel Murray and Sarah Coombs, who lead insightful discussions around the risk factors for injury in the sport horse, fluid therapy in FEI events and testing procedures.
The next FEI Veterinarian course will take place in Santiago, Chile on the 31 March 2016 and will be open to all National Federations.