March 19, 2014

Industry comes together at Athletic Horse – Inside Out

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Hugh Suffern discussing the Equine lower leg.

Over 100 leading industry professionals attended the Athletic Horse – Inside out event, hosted by CAFRE  at Greenmount Campus Antrim. A wide range of aspects of the equine industry, north and south were represented including jockeys, racehorse trainers, vets, coaches, breeders and professional and leisure riders. Participants had the opportunity to listen to world class speakers and examine various equine body parts including the lower limb, the hoof, heart, trachea, stomach and also to discuss the importance of stable hygiene in relation to microbiology.

Participants enjoyed a reception and networking opportunity and were divided up into 5 groups with each group rotated around each of the five speakers. This allowed everyone to get up close and inspect the various pieces of anatomy that the speakers were discussing.

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Packed lecture theatre at The Athletic Horse Event at CAFRE

Geoff Lane, one of Europe’s leading veterinarians on upper respiratory tract problems having carried out several hundred procedures each year as a private referral consultant, discussed how wind problems affect the athletic horse and which procedures work best for various conditions. Geoff assisted participants to examine an equine trachea and participants were able to see and feel where problems can take place.

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Martin Payne examining the hoof with Ian Ferguson, Jason McKeown, Shane Donohoe, Brian Hamilton, Brendan Peoples, Nina Carrberry and Amy Weaver

Martin Payne who has been a farrier for over 24 years discussed various remedial shoeing and trimming practices for performance and soundness in the athletic horse. Martin had a large range of shoes and hooves for participants to study and also discussed navicular disease and the developing hoof in foals.

William Sharp from Lisadell Equine Hospital along with Chris Miller from Gain Horse Feeds explained Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome describing how quickly gastric ulcers can develop and ways to prevent ulcers. Delegates were able to inspect an equine stomach and see exactly where ulcers can be located.

The lower leg was described by Hugh Suffern from Tullyraine Equine Clinic using a number of equine legs. Hugh assisted participants to identify various bones, tendons and ligaments in the lower leg as well as discussing common ailments which affect performance horses such as splints, strained tendons and fractures.

Environmental scientist Alan Creighton represented The Irish Equine Centre and illustrated the importance of good stable and yard hygiene and environmental pathogens and immunity in the horse. Alan also described the Irish Equine Centre’s role in investigating yards whose horses have been performing poorly for unexplained reasons and how mycotoxins, Aspergillus and other pathogens are commonly found to be the cause.

Those attending were hugely enthusiastic about the amount and depth of new information they had discovered and there were constant questions and lively debate throughout the day among the speakers and participants. CAFRE are now looking forward to the next Athletic Horse – Inside Out, event in the future.

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Speakers Alan Creighton, Hugh Suffern, Liam Sharp, Geoff Lane, Martin Payne, Chris Miller with CAFRE staff Stef Wood, Rachel McGuigan and Tommy Peoples

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