Published: 17 April 2014 at 11:09
Anglia Ruskin expert part of four-year collaboration to produce FEI white paper
The world’s most extensive study into the effect of surfaces on the health of horses has been published by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
The Equine Surfaces white paper is the result of a four-year international collaboration between eight equine experts from six universities, including Anglia Ruskin University, three equine and racing-specific research and testing centres, and two horse charities.
The white paper brings together the latest data and published scientific papers on arena surfaces, and the effects these have on horses in training and in competition.
Key properties of footing, and the effects of footing on horses’ physiological and biomechanical responses, are described in the white paper, as well as the optimal composition, construction and maintenance of arenas for maximising performance of horses while minimising injury risk.
Current methods of measuring the physical properties of surfaces, and the essential surface preparation and maintenance techniques, are also discussed in terms easily understood by riders, trainers, course designers and arena builders, in order to guide future progress in building suitable competition and training surfaces for sport horses.
Alison Northrop, Senior Lecturer in Zoology at Anglia Ruskin University, is one of the co-authors of the white paper. She said:
The highlights of the white paper, which has been funded by the FEI, World Horse Welfare, the Swedish Foundation for Equine Research and the British Equestrian Federation, will be presented on the first day of the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 28 April by Professor Lars Roepstorff of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Professor Roepstorff said:
John McEwen, FEI 1st Vice President and Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee, said: