online webinar series conditioning rounds

Conditioning Days 2023-01

Round 1- Conditioning Horses for Health
Online Live Event - recorded October 24th, 2023 ( 3h 31min )

1.) Conditioning horses to develop and maintain healthy bones.
Lecture by Brian Nielsen

2.) Effects of conditioning on counteracting obesity and insulin resistance.
Lecture by Shannon Pratt Phillips

3.) The application of treadmill and water treadmill exercise for rehabilitation of horses.
Lecture by Rachel Murray and Kathrin Nankervis

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Conditioning Days 2023-02

Round 2- Conditioning Horses for Health
Online Live Event - recorded November 15th, 2023 (3h 32min )

1.) Conditoning horses in hypoxie conditions
Lecture by Allan Davie

2.) Using swimming exercises when conditioning horses
Lecture by Cate Steel

3.) Treadmill and water treadmill exercises for conditioning horses
Lecture by Kathryn Nankervis

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Conditioning Days 2023-03

Round 3- Conditioning Horses for Health
Online Live Event - recorded November 16th, 2023 ( 2h 32min )

1.) Conditioning muscle mitochondria for competitive performance and health
Lecture by Dominique Votion

2.) Metabolomic response of equne skeltal muscle to training
Lecture by Kenneth McKeever

3.) Response of the gut-microbiota of horses to conditioning
Lecture by Kenneth McKeever

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Conditioning Days 2023-04

Round 4- Conditioning Horses for Health
Online Live Event - recorded November 20th, 2023 ( 3h 43min )

1.) The simplyfication and oversimplyfikation of exercise metabolism -
- the pros and cons of derived variables PART 1
Lecture by Warwick Bayly and Michael Davis

2.) The simplyfication and oversimplyfikation of exercise metabolism -
- the pros and cons of derived variables PART 2
Lecture by Warwick Bayly and Michael Davis

3.) Conditioning and monitoring fitness in eventing horses
Lecture by Carolien Munsters

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Conditioning Days 2023-05

Round 5- Conditioning Horses for Health
Online Live Event - recorded November 21th, 2023 ( 2h 59min )

1.) Conditioning and monitoring progress in dressage and show jumping horses
Lecture by Carolien Munsters

2.) Understanding injury development and suboptimal performance
risks in dressage and show jumpers
Lecture by Rachel Murray

3.) Application of strength and stability conditioning to
maintzain dressage and show jumpers fit for competition
Lecture by Rachel Murray

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Conditioning days 2023 - the speakers

Warwick Bayly
is Professor for Equine Medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, USA. He is a veterinary graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia, with an MS from The Ohio State University, USA, and a PhD from the University of Liege, Belgium, and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). He served as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, USA, 2000 – 2008, after which he was appointed as the Chief Academic Officer (Provost and Executive Vice-President) of that institution from 2008-2013. He is a past-president of the World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) and a director of the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology. Coeditor/author of Equine Internal Medicine which is now in its 5th edition. Warwick is an equine veterinary clinician and university academic with a strong background in equine exercise and performance science, and the diagnosis, management and prevention of equine diseases. He has authored about 200 scientific papers and text-book chapters related to equine veterinary science. He has had international experience as a consultant and/or speaker in more than 30 countries.

Allan Davie
completed his undergraduate studies in Science, Physiology and Exercise Physiology and postgraduate studies in Anatomy, Sports Medicine and PhD in Veterinary Science. He has spent over 28 years lecturing and researching within the University system and as part of this has been involved with both Olympic athletes and equine performance testing and researching. Allan’s research interest includes Physiological Adaptations and Genetic responses to training, Mitochondrial genetics (Performance and Breeding) and Hypoxic Training (Physiological and Genetic responses). His research has centred around the area of equine exercise physiology and training with particular regard to the maximization of performance. In addition to his theoretical work, Allan has also spent many years working with trainers of Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses to provide useable and manageable practical applications of his research. He is currently engaged in the design, implementation and assessment of individual racehorse training programs for trainers all over the world, including Japan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UK, Singapore and Australia.

Michael Davis
grew up outside of Houston, TX, USA, and from an early age has had an interest in exercise physiology, particularly in animals. He earned his veterinary degree in 1988 from Texas A&M University, and practiced in various areas throughout Texas for 4 years before moving to the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Virginia to become board certified in veterinary internal medicine. He earned a PhD in physiology from Johns Hopkins University in 1999, and has been employed as a research physiologist and clinical expert in exercise physiology at Oklahoma State University since 1998, where he was named to the John Oxley Endowed Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. He is a member of the inaugural class of board-certified specialists in the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2012 and recently completed a term as vice-president/president-elect/president/past-president of that organization.

Mike´s work includes the first studies to prospectively prove that exercise while breathing subfreezing air can produce inflammatory airway disease in horses. These studies have helped explain the higher prevalence of airway disease in horses competing during winter months, and may also help explain the tendency for respiratory viral diseases to occur during colder weather. He has also led the investigative team that identified a practical and effective strategy for preventing exercise-induced gastric ulcers in exercising dogs – a body of work that eliminated the most common cause of death in racing Alaskan sled dogs. His current work centers on exercise metabolism, with a focus on mitochondrial function in the face of high temperatures and low pH. Mike has been recognized as the Sigma Xi Young Investigator at OSU in 2004 and the Oscar Schalm Endowed Lecturer at the University of California-Davis in 2005, and twice has been awarded the Pfizer/Zoetis Award for Research Excellence in 2005 and 2016, and the Regents Distinguished Research Award from Oklahoma State University in 2008. He received the first ACVIM Hero in Medicine award in 2009 for his work benefiting animal athletes.

Kenneth McKeever
received his B.S. degree and M.S. degrees in Animal Science from Cal Poly Pomona and Fresno State University. Following completion of his Master’s he worked as the Assistant Manager of Post-Time Thoroughbred Ranch in Tulare, California. He earned his Ph.D. in Animal Physiology at the University of Arizona where he also managed the University Horse Center and Quarter Horse breeding program. Upon completing his Ph.D. Ken served for two years as a National Academies of Sciences-National Research Council Resident Research Associate at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. From 1987-1994 he developed and coordinated research at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Ohio State University. In 1995 he joined the Faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University and proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the USA. Ken earned the rank of Full Professor in 2009 and currently serves as Associate Director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center. He is a past President of the Equine Science Society as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Comparative Exercise Physiology. On a basic level his research has focused on comparative exercise and cardiovascular physiology with a particular interest in the effects of aging on the integration of the cardiovascular, renal, and endocrine systems in the control of blood pressure, blood volume and fluid and electrolyte balance. On an applied level, his research has focused on the effects of performance enhancing practices on the physiological responses of the equine athlete. These studies are just part of the more than 220 book chapters, journal articles and proceedings papers, and more than 70 abstracts that have advanced our understanding of the athletic horse. Ken is the first scientist to be named a Fellow of the American College Sports Medicine for work with horses and he is the first and only Equine Physiologist named a Fellow by the American Physiological Society. He is also a Fellow of the Equine Science Society as well as recipient of that society’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. In his spare time, McKeever plays masters water polo goalie at the local, national, and international level. He is also an amateur genealogist and historian and is a member of the Descendants of the Founders of New Jersey, the Sons of the American Revolution, Society of the War of 1812, Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, Society of Mayflower Descendants, Sons of the Revolution, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Society of Colonial, the Order of Founders and Patriots, and the Jamestowne Society.

Carolien Munsters
is a specialist in applied sports physiology of the horse and received her PhD in this field in 2013 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Netherlands. In 2010 she founded her company, Moxie Sport. In 2021, Moxie Sport fused into Equine Integration. Equine Integration’s mission is to promote equestrian sports and the welfare of horses. This by translating scientific knowledge and measurements into practice in order to support riders, trainers and coaches to improve the performance and welfare of their horses. Since many years Carolien supports and advises various (inter)national equestrian athletes, Olympic teams, passionate amateurs, coaches and trainers in the field of exercise physiology of horses. She has contributed to team guidance of the Olympic Games in London, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and is now in the preparation towards Paris. She also coaches international sport horse-rider combinations in various disciplines to European and World championships. In addition to the coaching of (elite) sport horses, she is active as a researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and author of several peer-reviewed scientific articles with focus on welfare, load and load capacity, performance and injuries in sport horses. Furthermore, she lectures at (inter)national scientific conferences and is active as project coordinator of the Sport Horse Welfare Foundation and as embedded scientist in equestrian sports for the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC* NSF).

Rachel Murray
is a highly experienced Sport Horse Clinician, who is based at Rossdales Diagnostic Centre. She joined our team in October 2019, having spent more than 20 years at the Animal Health Trust where she was responsible for the Equine MRI diagnostic service, ran the orthopedic research group and provided a clinical service focused on imaging, poor performance and rehabilitation in sport horses.

Rachel graduated from University of Cambridge before specializing in equine surgery, undertaking an internship and surgical residency in the USA, becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. After 5 years in the USA, she returned to England as an equine surgeon at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School. She subsequently completed a PhD, investigating exercise-associated joint adaptation and injury in horses.

She has led many studies investigating sport horse training, injury and performance, including for British Dressage, British Eventing, British Equestrian Federation and the FEI. She has also published numerous articles on orthopedic problems and advanced imaging in horses, contributed to a number of books and edited the standard text on Equine MRI.

Rachel also works for the British Equestrian Federation in various roles, from scientific advice to practical veterinary assessments with various GB squads. Rachel has been providing advice for the BEF World Class Program since 2009 and has been integrally involved in the maintenance and preparation of numerous team horses for Championships and Olympic Games. She is an FEI treating veterinarian, has worked as a veterinary surgeon with the GB Dressage and Show jumping teams, including as a team vet, and was an official treating veterinarian at the 2012 Olympics.
Rachel has experience training and competing horses to Grand Prix and international level dressage, has competed in a variety of equestrian sports, and is a BHS accredited professional coach.

Kathrin Nankervis
set up the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury University, United Kingdom (UK), in 1999 and oversees the commercial and research activity within the Equine Therapy Centre. The Therapy Centre offers rehabilitation for horses recovering from limb lameness and/or back pain, with cases referred from equine practices within the South West region and beyond. The Centre also provides water treadmill exercise as part of the training programs of dressage and event horses, which has included the London and Rio Olympic Gold medalist, Valegro.

She co-authored ‘Equine Exercise Physiology’ with David Marlin and has a DrPhil on the subject of ‘Physiology and Biomechanics relating to Equine Physical Therapy’. She lectures on equine therapy and exercise physiology at Post Graduate level, and has contributed to M.Sc. Veterinary Physiotherapy programs at the Royal Veterinary College, Liverpool University and Hartpury University, UK. Her most recent research work focusses on the application of water treadmill exercise in horses, particularly the effects on limb and back movement and she co-authored ‚Guidelines for Water Treadmill Use‘ as part of an Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group.

Brian Nielsen
completed his undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, all USA. He currently is a professor of Equine Exercise Physiology in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University where he has a teaching and research appointment. Nielsen has authored 87 peer-reviewed papers and 250 book chapters, conference papers, and abstracts, as well as 67 popular press articles. He has given 65 invited international talks in countries such as Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates and has given 147 invited talks at national meetings and within the state of Michigan. He has secured $3 million in research funding. He has served as the President of the Equine Science Society – an organization that presented him with the “American Feed Industry Association Award in Equine Nutrition Research” in 2017 and the “Outstanding Young Equine Professional Award” in 2001. Additionally, he was awarded the “Outstanding Teacher Award” at the Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Dairy Science Association in 2005 and the “Equine Science Award” by the American Society of Animal Science and Equine Science Society in 2010. Besides having served on the editorial board for the Journal of Animal Science, the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, The Professional Animal Scientist, and the international journals Comparative Exercise Physiology and the Journal of Istanbul Veterinary Sciences, he is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Nutritionists and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Horses. Throughout his academic career, he has maintained involvement in the industry by breaking and galloping racing Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds for nearly 35 years and became a licensed racehorse trainer in 1997.

Shannon Philipps
is a Professor in the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University, USA. director for the Distance Education Animal Science Programs, including the Master of Animal Science program of the North Carolina University. She teaches equine science, exercise physiology, and equine nutrition and her field of research focuses on glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, obesity, laminitis prevention and management in horses, and nutrient requirements of both equine and canine athletes. She is a North Carolina State University Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and won the Equine Science Society Outstanding Educator Award, the NCSU Outstanding Teacher Award, the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology, and is a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow. She is a member of the Equine Science Society, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, American Society of Animal Science, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. She is currently the president on the board of directors for the Equine Science Society.

Cate Steel
(nee. Colbourne) graduated with a BVSc in 1987 from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a clinician in equine private practice for several years before completing her Residency Program at Murdoch University and Michigan State University, becoming a Fellow of the ANZCVSc in Equine Surgery in 1997. She has worked as an Equine Surgeon at several university teaching hospitals in Australia and the USA, including 2006-2020 at the University of Melbourne (Associate Professor in Equine Surgery, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation) where she is currently an Honorary Principal Fellow. As a locum Equine Surgeon she has worked in Australia and the Middle East, and as a contractor she worked for many years at Thoroughbred and Harness Racing meetings in Australia. Cate has worked for several large Thoroughbred racing clubs including Singapore Turf Club (2002-2005) and Hong Kong Jockey Club (2020-current) where she is employed as a Principal Veterinarian. She has numerous publications relating to her research interests in the health and performance of equine athletes, with a particular interest in musculoskeletal disorders. In 2016 she became a Diplomate of the ACVSMR and maintains a keen interest in the prevention and management of disease and injuries in Thoroughbred Racehorses.

Dominique-M Votion

is a senior researcher at the ‘Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals & Health’ (FARAH) research unit from the University of Liège (Belgium). She is currently in charge of research programs related to muscle disorders and sport medicine and supervises 5 PhD students and 2 post-docs. This research aims at developing new diagnostic tools for muscle disorders in sport horses and at preventing injury. In addition, her research group works on preventative and therapeutic measures for atypical myopathy. For more than 20 years, Dominique animates the “Atypical Myopathy Alert Group” (AMAG), an informal European epidemio-surveillance network that sends alerts regarding atypical myopathy (learn more at

Throughout her career, Dominique has gained expertise in sports medicine through her role as an assistant at the Physiology Department and her involvement in various sports medicine research projects. Her research work has always been clinically-based looking for new tools aiming at evaluating fitness but also at improving our knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms inducing poor performance. She is recognized as a reference laboratory for the study of muscle mitochondrial function using high-resolution respirometry. This advanced technology measures a muscle cell’s energy production capacity in the presence of oxygen (OXPHOS capacities). These capacities are closely linked to fitness levels and racing performance. They also serve as indicators of the risk of exercise-induced myopathy, allowing for tailored training and management strategies. She was recently granted recognition as a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, further attesting to her involvement in the field.

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