Story: Jillian Dasti, University of Guelph OAC Alumni
On March 3, 2016, the University of Guelph's Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management (BBRM), Equine Major students, in partnership with Equine Guelph, hosted the first annual Equine Research Night.
This inaugural event featured presentations about some of the equine industry’s hot topics to a sold out lecture hall at the University of Guelph. Dr. Jeff Thomason discussed footing and its effect on how horses move as well as how footing can impact the type of injuries horses develop. Dr. Katrina Merkies presented her research on whip use in Quarter Horse racing, highlighting strong evidence of the success of whip-free racing in other countries and her own research’s evidence against the effectiveness of whip use. Dr. Wendy Pearson spoke about equine nutrition.
Equine Guelph’s director, Gayle Ecker, made a special presentation on barn fire safety, promoting awareness and arming attendees with practical tools to help prevent fires at their facilities. A video of this presentation is archived on the new Fire Prevention and Safety web page.
Among the sponsors for this inaugural event were Greenhawk, Willow Equestrian, EquiSmart, Omega Alpha Equine and The Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare.
This year’s Equine Research Night demonstrated the need for more opportunities to share results from the horse industry’s top researchers, with donations playing a key role in allowing Equine Guelph to put on events such as this. As shown through the number of attendees both in-person and through the online broadcast, members of the equine industry are interested in equine research being done, and understand how this information can help them be more productive, safe and ethical when working with horses.
The BBRM students and Equine Guelph thank the Equine Research Night presenters, sponsors and all those who attended the event both in-person and online.