Saddle Research Trust conference set for November

A new dimension in synthetic saddles is on the horizon.The Saddle Research Trust’s second international conference will be held in Cambridge, England, in late November.

Scientists will be coming together to share their knowledge on November 29 at Anglia Ruskin University.

The conference, 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.

The trust says it is 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 programme, chaired by Dr Charlotte Nevison, director of Research Students, Faculty of Science and Technology at Anglia Ruskin University, will explore the impact that horse, saddle and rider have on each other.

Presentations will be given by trust director Anne Bondi and Professor Hilary Clayton, chair of 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 doctoral student Line Greve, who will present the results of a new lameness and saddle slip study, building on research conducted last year.

It confirms that hindlimb 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, chaired by John McEwen, the British Equestrian Federation’s director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine, will examine the kinematics of the equine back and neck (by Professor Christian Peham, leader of the Movement Science Group, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna), the effects of saddle design and function (by Dr Michael Weishaupt, head of Equine Sports Medicine, University of Zurich) and influence of the rider (by Professor Lars Roepstorff, from the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and practical application of science (by Professor René van Weeren, head of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht).

Richard Davison, Olympic dressage rider and former British Equestrian Federation 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’s deputy chief executive, Tony Tyler, said the charity was forward-thinking and believed 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 trust members and students or £125 on the door. People can take advantage of a 15 percent discount if booked by June 1. Email or telephone 07775 912202 to reserve a place. To find out more visit


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