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Focus on Footing

Over 30 equine, veterinary, and footing specialists from three continents gathered at a special two-day equine surfaces forum held at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July. Experts from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and the US discussed standards for arena surfaces in jumping and its effects on the orthopaedic health of sport horses. Six years of FEI-funded research was presented at the forum, which concluded that the next stage towards the provision of consistently good surfaces at major events is the creation of a surfaces standard for the industry. This will be “a major step forward,” said Dr Lars Roepstorff, co-author of the Equine Surfaces White Paper, which was published by the FEI in 2014 and is the result of a four-year collaboration between eight equine experts from six universities, three equine and racing-specific research centres, and two horse charities. A consensus emerged at the…

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