The Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Hertfordshire, in collaboration with the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme this week played host to around 25 guests from across the Equestrian World Class Programme for a behind the scenes insight into the research and methods used to support performance horses.
The day included fascinating demonstrations into some of the current research projects taking place within the Structure and Motion Laboratory at the RVC and how this investigation can contribute towards helping to maintain soundness and performance in performance horses.
Professor Renate Weller, Professor in Comparative Imaging and Biomechanics at the RVC, spoke about her clinical work in large animals, alongside Senior Lecturer in Bio-Engineering, Dr. -Ing.Thilo Pfau, who is currently focusing on the use of inertial sensor based technology to detect and quantify movement anomalies in animals.
Renate Weller commented on the day; “I really enjoyed this afternoon. The interaction for us researchers with the team surrounding the equine athlete is vital to our work. It is a two-way street - the people ‘on the ground floor’ help us to focus on relevant research and in turn we try our best to help optimise performance potential and minimise risk of injury on a scientific basis.”
World Class Podium Potential Lead, Caroline Griffith; “The Structure and Motion Team had put an incredible amount of effort into this collaboration for which we are extremely grateful. We were offered not only information on the research projects but also a unique insight into the unseen structures of limbs and their functionality within performance. Everyone came away really enthusiastic and it was exactly what we aimed the day to be about. The information we were shown was very comprehensive in a short space of time and we were genuinely amazed by the facilities.
“We were shown six stations, hosted by RVC vets, farriers and students; each station had a different research project but all were working towards the improvement of performance in horses. It was a really valuable day for everyone - the vets, riders, grooms and farriers attending from World Class all gained a critical understanding of the research, both current and ongoing, that is available and it has enabled a greater understanding of how we can work together going forwards to support the performance horse.”
For more information on The Royal Veterinary College, including current research projects visit their website at http://www.rvc.ac.uk/.