Meet the Speakers

To view the speakers biographies and abstracts please visit our conference proceedings available here.

Prof. René van Weeren

University of Utrecht

Introduction from Chair: International Perspective

Roly Owers

CEO World Horse Welfare

Opening Address: Vision for the Future

Richard Davison

Four-time Olympian and European Medallist


Session 1: Applying the Science

Keynote Speaker

Hilary Clayton

Professor and McPhail Dressage Chair Emerita, Michigan State University.

How the rider affects welfare and performance of the ridden horse

Heikki Handroos

Professor, Head of Laboratory of Intelligent Machines, Chairman of Collegiate Body, LUT University

Using robotics engineering to develop a next generation horseback riding simulator with multiple equestrian industry applications

Session 2: Through the Lens

Keynote Speaker

Fillipe Serra Bragança

Researcher & Clinician, Utrecht University

Modern gait analysis and its applications in the quantification of welfare and performance

Russell MacKechnie-Guire

Director, Centaur Biomechanics

Saddle fitting: is an objective approach useful of misleading?

Marie Dittmann

Senior Scientist, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland

Prevalence of saddle fit issues in Swiss riding horses

Session 3: The Horse as a Stakeholder 

Keynote Speaker

Sue Dyson

Independent consultant

Application of the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram to improve equine welfare and performance

What can we learn from the observation of horses’ behaviours during tacking-up and mounting?

Rachel Murray

Associate, Veterinary Specialist, Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons

The importance of bridle fit for optimal equine welfare and performance

Session 4: Hot Topics

Dee Pollard

Research Analyst, The British Horse Society

Vehicles have got faster but the horse has stayed the same speed: equestrian road safety in current times

Céleste Wilkins

Lecturer in Research, Hartpury University

Dynamic technique analysis of dressage riders

Sofia Forino

HE Equine Lecturer, University Centre Sparsholt

Self-perception of body image in female riders

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