This annual conference is aimed at higher education students, providing an opportunity to experience writing and submitting an abstract, going through the review and revisions process, through to delivering a theatre presentation to a full conference audience or producing a scientific poster to present.
Around 115 delegates attended, representing more than eleven colleges and universities from the UK, with 14 theatre presentations and over 25 poster presentations on offer covering a vast range of topics.
The morning session, chaired by Professor Renate Weller from the Royal Veterinary College, was opened with an informative presentation by Dr Lisa Boden from the University of Glasgow on ‘Making an Impact on Policy: Perspectives from a Scottish Government Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks’.
This was followed by presentations from students from University Centre Hartpury, University Centre Sparsholt, Bishop Burton College and Hadlow College discussing topics including, ‘The Equine Welfare Crisis in the UK: Ignorance or Intent?’ and ‘The Effect of Restrictive Noseband Design on Stress Responses in Ridden Horses’.
Dr Lisa Boden then chaired the afternoon session which was opened with an inspiring and entertaining talk by Professor Renate Weller entitled, ‘Why Don’t I Win?: How to Diagnose Causes of Poor Performance in Equestrian Sport?’.
Student presentations filled the remainder of the afternoon session with contributions from University Centre Hartpury, McTimoney College of Chiropractic, Bishop Burton College and Myerscough College discussing topics including, ‘The Effect of Bodyweight on Thermoregulation in the Horse’, ‘Why Obesity is a Welfare Issue’ and ‘Rider Personality: Mare versus Gelding’.
The standard of presentations from the students was extremely high and they were rewarded with engaging discussions from both the student delegates and the keynote speakers with whom they were able to network over coffee breaks and poster sessions.
Posters on topics, such as ‘Whether Riders would Accept Pre-Competition Weight Assessments in UK Competitions’, ‘Comparison of the Energy Intake and the Energy Requirements of a Variety of Horses’ and ‘The Effect of Common Equine Vocalisations on the Behaviour of Leisure Horses’ were displayed throughout the day.
Prizes for the best student theatre and poster presentations were awarded at the close of the conference by the conference organiser Kirsty Lesniak and Dr Helen Warren from Alltech, from conference sponsor, Alltech.
The prize for the best theatre presentation went to Rebecca Fitzsimmons from Myerscough College, for her talk on ‘Attitudes towards Horsemeat Consumption in the UK.’
First prize for the top poster was awarded to Hartpury College student, Sara de Jong, for her study entitled ‘A Case Study Looking at the Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Self-Confidence in Participants from the Facilitator’s Point of View’.
Both Alltech and University Centre Hartpury would like to offer their sincere thanks to all involved, especially the expert keynote speakers and the review team for their efforts in making this, once again, a very successful event.
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