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8th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology, Stellenbosch, November 2010

The science of exercise physiology began in the late 19th century, with a range of investigations in humans and animals to study what factors influence the capacity for exercise. Because of its prominence, a number of studies were also carried out on the working horse. The first horse treadmill, built in Sweden in the 1960s, stimulated an upsurge of research activity, with laboratories around the world studying the influence of training, nutrition, drugs and problems of the various body systems (e.g. heart, lung, muscle) on capacity for exercise. Against this background, the First International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology was held in Oxford, England, in 1982. Meetings have been held every 4 years since then.

The 8th ICEEP, the first in Africa, was hosted with great success by the South African Equine Veterinary Association (a group of the SAVA) at Spier Resort near Stellenbosch.

The driving forces making the conference possible were Terry Casey, previous chairman of the SAEVA, and Madaleen Schult-heiss, the owner of Vetlink Conference Services. The conference lasted for 5 days, with 4 full scientific days and one day of social activities in the middle of the conference. A wonderful and stimulating plenary presentation, "The role of the brain in determining the pacing strategy in human athletes. How does the horse know how far it is going to race?", was given by Prof Tim Noakes, University of Cape Town. The conference was attended by delegates from 20 countries, including Russia, Brazil and Japan. The scientific programme covered the traditional areas of muscle, respiratory and cardiovascular physiology, applied exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and locomotion and biochemistry, haematology, endocrinology and thermoregulation in exercise. For the first time, however, this meeting also included sessions on physiotherapy and rehabilitation and genetics, reflecting growing interest and research in these areas. There were a total of 123 oral and poster presentations. The social programme, organised by Vetlink and Ethne Cameron, was outstanding and it is hard to single out particular aspects as it was all excellent, starting with the cocktail reception. For almost everyone I think the highlight was champagne and canapés in a private area on top of Table Mountain watching an incredible sunset whilst being serenaded by a string quartet. It doesn’t get much better than that! But then it did. The gala dinner was held at Blaauklippen winery, in an exceptional setting with excellent food, wine and entertainment. The location of the next meeting in 2014, which will be Chester in the UK and the new chairman is Prof Ken Hinchcliff from the University of Melbourne. There are so many people and organisations to thank without whom this conference would not have been possible, including the sponsors, local, national and international committees.

International Committee

Eric Barrey (Evry, France), Warwick Bayly (Pullman, USA), Birgitta Essen-Gustavsson (Uppsala, Sweden), Ken Hinchcliff (Melbourne, Australia), Atsushi Hiraga (Utsunomiya, Japan), Joe Pagan (Lexington, USA), David Marlin (Newmarket, UK; Chair), Cathy McGowan (Liverpool, UK)

National and Local Committee

Terry Casey (Veterinarian, Johannesburg) Chair, Alan Guthrie (Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria), Dave Mullins (Veterinarian, KwaZulu-Natal), Roy Gottschalk (Private Practitioner, Johannesburg), Bennie van der Merwe (Private Practitioner, Cape Town), Martin Schulman (Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria), Mike Ross (Veterinarian, Fourways) David Marlin (Newmarket, UK), Madaleen Schultheiss (Vetlink, Pretoria; Conference Secretariat), Deon van Tonder (Veterinarian, Cape Town) (Local Committee) Henk Basson (Veterinarian, Free State), (Local Committee)

Major Sponsors

Purina Mills Horse Business Group, Kentucky Equine Research Inc, Flair Equine Nasal Strips

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Japan Racing Association (Equine Department), WALTHAM, Science Supplements Ltd, 5th European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Japan Racing Association, Polar Electro Europe, Equistat, Purina Feed Mills, Pfizer Animal Health, Boehringer IngelheimIDEXX, European Equine Health and Nutrition Congress, Kentucky Equine Research, Electro Medical Systems South Africa, ECM

Dr David Marlin (International Committee Chair, ICEEP)
Dr Bennie van der Merwe (President: South African Equine Veterinary Association) (a group of the SAVA)

To order a CD of the 2010 ICEEP Proceedings contact (£25 each plus P&P)

For enquiries please email Cathy McGowan at

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