On Sunday morning at 7am I’ll be heading down to Heathrow to hopefully catch a flight over to Stockholm and then a short train journey North to Uppsala to attend the 11th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP). This conference has run every four years since 1982 when the first one was held in Oxford. I was still an undergraduate at University then but I did attend the 2nd conference in San Diego in 1986 and have made it to all others with the exception of Australia in 1994 (when I was in Atlanta with horses doing research for the 1996 Olympics) and the last conference in 2018 (again in Australia) due to work commitments. I was also chair of ICEEP from 2006-2010 and organiser of the 2010 meeting in Cape Town.
The conference will take place at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the faculty of Veterinary medicine and animal sciences. The faculty is the only one in Sweden with the competence to carry out advanced, large-scale research with livestock and horses as well as clinical research. SLU is considered one of the most prominent in the world regarding research within animal science and veterinary medicine. SLU is ranked top ten among the world’s small universities (THE), number seven in plant and animal science (NTU) and top three in agriculture and forestry (QS).
The scientific programme is already published https://www.iceep.org/pdf/UppsalaProgram.pdf and consists of 120 presentations over 4 days (we get a day off on Weds for social activities 😊 ), with 110 of these being original research not previously presented anywhere else.
I will be presenting work on back motion and shape change in horses walking, trotting, cantering and galloping on a treadmill and also part of the research project conducted with Dr Russell Mackechnie-Guire and Mark and Di Fisher where we measured stirrup and reinforces in advanced dressage riders on the straight and when circling. My collaborators Dr Jane Williams and Dr Gillian Tabor from Hartpury University will be presenting on fault analysis patterns in international showjumping and the use of 3D scanning to assess back muscle symmetry, respectively.
There are also a number of commercial exhibitors I will be catching up with and also a meeting of most of the founders of the Sporthorse Welfare Foundation, not to mention some workshops.
It will also be a great opportunity to catch up with people who I haven’t seen in person for a few years due to all the conference cancellations due to COVID, and especially my PhD external examiner and mentor for many years, Prof Birgitta Essén-Gustavsson who will be giving the opening keynote presentation on “Muscle metabolic responses to exercise – 40 years of research”.
So an intense week ahead but I will be providing news and updates from the conference, so watch this space!