Home In the latest issue CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle to monitor well-being of horses

CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle to monitor well-being of horses

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By Jean Llewellyn / press release

A chance encounter between Birgit Rosenberg, member of the managing board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein (ALRV) and Professor Dirk Winter raised the issue of the scientific examination of animal welfare – leading to the birth of a significant project.

The CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle is an alliance comprising eight volunteer scientists and horse experts from Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland and occupies itself with the well-being of sport horses. The question posed during CHIO Aachen 2023, is: How do the show horses feel during their stay at the CHIO Aachen compared to in their stables at home? The aim of the survey was to collect well-founded data on the status quo and find ways of making the horses’ stay more pleasant in future, so that they are offered the best possible conditions. On board last year: Four international show horses, which were monitored round-the-clock using AI-supported camera technology and whose stress levels were determined among others by measuring the faecal cortisol level.
The initial evaluations leave the scientists optimistic. “The observation has led to the positive conclusion that although the horses spend more time in the stable during the show in Aachen compared to when at home, they were kept occupied and exercised a lot,” explained Prof. Winter, Academic Dean Equine Management at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science.
Since the scientists of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle feel that the topic is very important and the examinations are to be further expanded at the coming shows, they are being assisted meanwhile by the PhD student, Leonie Krüger. Among others, in the course of her doctorate she will be responsible for evaluating the data collected so far. The cortisol samples taken during the show in 2023 comprised of samples from four days at the home yard, during the transportation to Aachen, while training and competing on-site, during the return transport and the following three days at home... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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