UK Online Equine Student Conference an Outright Success

UK Online Equine Student Conference

UK Online Equine Student Conference an Outright Success

The new one-day Online Equine Student Conference UK took place this week. The event, which showcased the research findings of equine science students, has since been heralded an outright success. A total of 57 students from 18 centres of excellence for equine learning took to the online stage, including three from as far afield as Australia – while the event was also live-streamed to reach the wider equine audience.

Following the cancellation of numerous equine conferences, the initiative provided a much-needed lifeline for the equine student community, offering an opportunity for individuals to capitalise on the advances in video conferencing software to share research undertaken as part of their equine studies via an online forum.

This pioneering take on the traditional end of year event was the brainchild of Dr David Marlin, along with his colleagues, Dr Jane Williams from Hartpury University, Dr Roberta Ferro De Godoy, from Writtle University College and Lorna Cameron from University Centre Sparsholt. The participating cohort of 57 students delivered both oral and poster* presentations in undergraduate and postgraduate categories. Judging was undertaken by Prof Pat Harris (WALTHAM Equine Studies Group), Dr Helen Warren (Alltech) and Dr David Marlin, two prizes were awarded in each category** as follows:

Undergraduate Poster 1st: Kirsty Stratfull, University of Nottingham ‘Prevalence of ulcerative keratitis’


Highly commended: Nina Robinson, University Centre Bishop Burton ‘A Preliminary Report on the Pressure Present Beneath Bitless and Bitted Bridles, and the Effect on Equine Locomotion’

Undergraduate Oral 1st: Rachel Smith, University Centre Sparsholt ‘Effect of breast support on 3D relative displacement and upper-body muscle activity in female horse riders on an equine simulator’

Highly commended: Lilly Harris, Reaseheath College ‘Coach and Rider Perceptions of Autonomy Supportive Coaching Behaviours’

Post-graduate Poster 1st: Freya Rooke, University of Nottingham ‘The perceptions of quality veterinary care by different professional roles within a referral equine hospital’

Highly commended: Sue Nixon, University Centre Myerscough ‘The sleep patterns of stabled horses and the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors’

Post-graduate Oral 1st: Celeste Wilkins, Hartpury University ‘Competition level does not influence intersegmental coordination between the rider and a riding simulator in sitting trot”

Highly commended: Isabeau Deckers, Hartpury University ‘The kinematic effects of a postural adjusting taping method in racehorses’

Undergraduate and Post-graduate Oral prize winners received £200 and Highly Commended £100.

Undergraduate and Post-graduate Poster prize winners were awarded £75 and Highly Commended

Commenting on the event, Dr David Marlin said, “We are absolutely delighted with the response to the online conference. The high standard of research presented is indicative not only of the excellent work that is being conducted in our top equine learning centres, but also demonstrates the commitment and determination of the next generation of equine health professionals. It was extremely rewarding to see so many students enjoy their moment of fame, as they took to the stage to present their research, which I’m sure will represent an important milestone in their future careers.”

Dr Jane Williams from Hartpury University added, “The event exceeded expectations with fantastic engagement from students and a wider equestrian audience. The students were amazing and it was great to see them take advantage of the opportunity to present their work and showcase the breadth and quality of applied research which is being undertaken to benefit equine health and welfare, as well as horse and rider performance, across Higher Education institutions.”

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