CSU students aim for improved equine welfare


Friday 12 Oct 2018

* Four CSU equine science students attended ISES Conference in Rome

* Conference explored how training, nutrition, horse husbandry and horse care can be used to improved equine welfare

Charles Sturt University (CSU) students recently attended the 14th International Society of Equitation Science conference to advance their understanding of how to improve the welfare of horses.

The four students in the CSU School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in Wagga Wagga attended the 14th International Society of Equitation Science (ISES) conference in Italy.

The conference was this year held at Lanceri di Montebello, the historic military riding school in Rome, from Friday 21 to Monday 24 September.

CSU Bachelor of Science (Honours) student Ms Claudia Macleay (pictured second from right) said, “The conference theme was ‘La Dolce Vita’ which translates to ‘the good life’, and the conference explored how training, nutrition, horse husbandry and horse care can be used to improved equine welfare.

“The mission of ISES is to promote and encourage the application of objective research and advanced practice which will ultimately improve the welfare of horses in their associations with humans.

“The conference staged more than 140 plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations, workshops and practical demonstrations exploring the most critical areas impacting equine welfare combined with the current research on equine science.

“Even though the conference brings together the most current research from international equine scientists, there is a strong focus on ensuring the information is easy to understand so that all horse owners and riders can stay up-to-date on the latest scientific research.

“The conference proceedings are freely available to read and download from the website, making it easily accessible for all horse owners, riders, students and researchers to stay up-to-date with research.”

Ms Macleay said the conference was a great way to catch up on new research in equine science.

“As I have spent the past year completing my honours in equine nutrition, I haven’t kept up-to-date with the latest research in other areas such as equine training, behaviour and management, so conferences like these are a great way to learn what is happening,” Ms Macleay said.

“I have definitely come away from the trip with new perspectives, especially in regard to the changing scientific attitudes around equine behaviour, cognition and intelligence, which reminds us not to anthropomorphise horses by giving horses human traits, but rather understand that horses are just being horses.”

Ms Macleay emphasised that the conference has inspired her to continue in research and academia.

“When you meet those researchers and professors at the top of their field you always feel inspired by the dedication and passion that these people have towards their area of research whether it was equine nutrition, behaviour or exercise physiology,” she said.

“Many academics at the conference chatted about their recent work in other countries, highlighting how international the field of equine science is now. In fact, one of the organizers of the conference Dr Barbara Padalino, lectured at Charles Sturt University in equine science last year and is now taking up a position academic position in Hong Kong.”

The four CSU students who attended the conference were:

* Ms Ella Bradshaw, equine science graduate, now completing her Bachelor of Science (Honours) who was awarded the ISES student travel grant and was sponsored by Terry Snow from Willinga Park to attend the conference;

* Ms Claudia Macleay, equine science graduate, awaiting marking on her Bachelor of Science (Honours), who won last year’s ISES best student poster presentation which included free registration for the 2018 conference;

* Ms Karly Liffen, equine science graduate, now completing her PhD on ‘The behaviour and welfare of horses working in Australian cattle feedlots’; and

* Ms Kate Fenner, equine science graduate, now completing her PhD on ‘The development and validation of the equine behaviour assessment and research questionnaire’.


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Media contact: Bruce Andrews, 0437 411 136

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Ms Claudia Macleay who is based at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Photo (left to right): Ms Karly Liffen, Ms Ella Bradshaw, Ms Claudia Macleay, Ms Kate Fenner