Keynote speakers:

Dr. David LambertDavid Lambert (USA)
Dr Lambert graduated from Liverpool University with Honours in Veterinary Science in 1972. He subsequently received a research scholarship to attended Cornell University and then established an equine veterinary practice in the USA. His strong interest in equine exercise led him to develop scientifically based protocols for training and performance evaluation in horses. David worked for 15 years with the Sangster/Coolmore organization, selecting yearlings, first in England and then in Lexington, Kentucky, where he still resides. David and his group have developed a combination of tests to optimize the selection, breeding and training of Thoroughbred horses. These have been used to predict the actual running speed of the horse, the Natural Predicted Speed (NPS). The tests have been grouped into a variety of recommended protocols to improve decision-making at every stage of Thoroughbred management. Racing colts can be assessed as stallions; appropriate mares can be scientifically selected for those stallions; foals and yearlings can be screened for potential racing ability; the optimum pace, distance and surface can be determined for a racehorse and finally sale horses can be tested to determine suitability for purchase. David's practice continues to provide these testing and consultancy services worldwide, and has helped clients win numerous breeders and racing awards, including most recently the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic winner and predicted American Horse of the Year, 'Gun Runner'.


Dr. Shawn ArentShawn Arent (USA)
Shawn Arent PhD, CSCS*D, FISSN, FACSM is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health at Rutgers University. He is also the Director of the Rutgers Center for Health & Human Performance and Director of the Graduate Program in Kinesiology & Applied Physiology. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with Distinction with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as well as the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). His research focuses on the relationship between physical activity and stress and the implications for health, performance, and recovery. Dr. Arent also provides performance enhancement advice for youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes in a number of sports, including soccer, hockey, football, wrestling, baseball, softball, gymnastics, rowing, and cycling. He is currently the Sport Science Coordinator for the Texas Rangers (MLB), is on the national staff for the US Soccer Federation, and works closely with a number of teams at Rutgers University. Dr. Arent is currently the President of ISSN and is the recipient of the NSCA's 2017 William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist of the Year Award.


Dr. Emmanuelle van ErckEmmanuelle van Erck (Belgium)
Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck graduated in 1996 in France. She worked as a clinician in sports medicine and obtained her PhD on respiratory function testing at the University of Liège. She contributed to developing the sports medicine unit in the CIRALE (France) where she consulted as senior clinician. In 2010, she set up the Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP), a private ambulatory referral practice based in Belgium. Emmanuelle specializes in the investigation of performance and poor performance in equine athletes of all disciplines. She has been appointed team veterinarian by the Royal Belgian Federation for Equestrian Sports and follows horses competing at international level. Emmanuelle is a diplomate of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) and an expert with the FEI. She is author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and regularly lectures at international conferences.


Dr. Anna JanssonAnna Jansson MSc, PhD, Docent (Sweden)
Anna graduated from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in 1994 and completed her PhD on sodium and potassium regulation in athletic horses at the same university in 1999. Since then, her research has been focused on training, nutrition, management and health of sport horses. According to Scopus (2016) she is among the top five most publishing authors on the combined subjects of exercise and nutrition in horses. In 2012, Anna was recruited as Professor in Equine Science at Hólar University College on Iceland and promoted to Professor in Equine Nutrition and Management at SLU. In 2015, she was appointed as Professor in Domestic Animal Physiology at SLU. Her main research focus during the past 10 years has been on feeding of forage-only diets to horses in heavy training.


Dr. Marcus PandyMarcus Pandy (Australia)
Marcus Pandy is appointed as Chair of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus, and was formerly appointed as a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. A focus of Professor Pandy's research career has been the development, validation and implementation of experimental and computational tools for non-invasive assessment of muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint function. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Engineers Australia.


Dr. Andre la GercheAndre la Gerche (Australia)
Assoc Prof André La Gerche MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FCSANZ, FESC is the head of sports cardiology and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and a cardiologist at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. André completed a PhD at St Vincent's / University of Melbourne and 4 years of post-doctoral research at the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium. His research and clinical work focuses on the effect of exercise on the human heart. He studies the range of health from severe heart and lung disease to elite athletes.

An Early Career Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Future Leader Fellow National Heart Foundation, André leads a young team of researchers in the Sports Cardiology lab, which focuses on defining the physiological limits of cardiac function in health and disease. He has pioneered novel imaging techniques including exercise cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and contrast echocardiography. He has more than 130 peer-review publications and textbook chapters and is regularly invited to present at all major international cardiology conferences.


Dr. Chris WhittonChris Whitton (Australia)
Chris leads the Equine Limb Injury Prevention Program at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre as well as investigating and treating lame horses in his role as a specialist equine surgeon within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital where he has worked since November 2004. Chris trained as a specialist at the University of Sydney, Australia where he also completed a PhD before moving to work at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England as Senior Scientist and Orthopaedic Surgeon in 1996. From 1999 he ran his own referral practice and scintigraphy unit at the Newcastle Equine Centre in Australia. He has published 42 peer reviewed papers during his career. His current research interests are in biomechanics, subchondral bone and the epidemiology of equine limb injuries.


Dr. Natasha HamiltonNatasha Hamilton (Australia)
Dr Natasha Hamilton has recently been appointed by Racing Australia as the Director of the newly formed Equine Genetics Research Laboratory in Scone, NSW. This follows 10 years of teaching neurophysiology and equine science at the University of Sydney. Her research interests reflect the topic of her PhD in equine genetics, and attrition in racehorses. Her current projects include investigating the genetics of soundness in racehorses with particular focus on the relationship between bone genetics and catastrophic fracture; identification of selective sweeps in Australian Thoroughbreds; investigation of factors contributing to bleeding; and developing a world first equine Gene Doping Detection test. She is also contributing member of the IFHA Gene Doping Control Subcommittee, International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop and the International Society of Animal Genetics.


Dr. Lesley GoffLesley Goff (Australia)
Dr. Lesley Goff is one of the world's leading Animal Physiotherapists. Before becoming an Animal Physiotherapist, Lesley gained her experience in private physiotherapy practice, and as part of a medical team, providing physiotherapy for elite national and international track and field athletes – she has transferred this special knowledge to animals. Following her initial physiotherapy degree, she has completed master's level degrees in Manipulative Physiotherapy, Exercise and Sports Science and Animal Physiotherapy. More recently Lesley completed her doctorate at the University of Queensland, paving the way for further research into the equine sacroiliac joint. Lesley is co-editor and author of Animal Physiotherapy: Assessment Treatment and Rehabilitation of Animals (2016) (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing). She has also written a chapter in Equine Sport Medicine and Surgery (Eds: Hinchcliff, Kaneps & Geor), and has had her research published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, and has contributed a chapter on Physiotherapy Assessment for the Equine Athlete in Rehabilitation of the Equine Athlete, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice (2016).


Dr. Grace ForbesGrace Forbes (Australia)
Grace graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2004. She completed an internship and residency in equine internal medicine at the University of Melbourne. Grace is currently undertaking a PhD in equine endotoxaemia at University of Melbourne. Grace has worked in private equine and racetrack practice in Melbourne. Grace joined Racing Victoria 2012 and currently the Veterinary Services Manager. Her current research interests are in the epidemiology of equine limb injuries, poor performance in equine athletes, and racehorse welfare.