Our completed academic year has been one of the most successful for equestrian research at University Centre Sparsholt (UCS).In May 2018, seven of our Equine undergraduates presented their research projects at the Alltech Hartpury Equine Science Conference, a bumper crop. Subjects ranged from our coveted Dodson & Horrell research bursary students presenting their findings on chewing biomechanics in novel feedstuffs to a validation trial of a new equine activity sensor.

One of our presenters, Victoria Sly, presented her research investigating anxiety levels in collegiate riders, this presentation winning two of the three available prizes, one for the best oral presentation and the other for the most innovative project idea. Victoria was thrilled to win these prizes, sponsored by Alltech, recognising the high quality of her research and acknowledging all the hard work she had completed over the duration of her studies at UCS.

Later on in the summer, BSc (Hons) Equine Science graduate Ella Bartlett, presented her research on thermoregulation in stabled horses at the inaugural Equine Performance Conference at Bishop Burton College alongside a range of top equine scientists. Ella was thrilled to also win the prize for best student presentation which was a free ticket to EPC in 2019, and since she is now completing an MSc in Equine Behaviour Performance & Training at UCS, she is hoping to also present her postgraduate research in the upcoming year.

Following on from this success, and not to be daunted by an international trip, five UCS abstracts were accepted to the 14th International Society of Equitation Science Conference in Rome, 2018. These were a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate research projects and facilitated an amazing trip to Rome at the start of this academic year. Several of these projects are now being written up by the students for publication in a range of peer reviewed journals meaning that our graduates and postgraduates are entering the equestrian industry with not only their academic qualification, but also a peer reviewed publication.

This all bodes well for the upcoming academic year, especially with the opening of our Rider Performance Studio representing a significant investment in equine research at UCS.

If you would like more information, follow Equine Lecturer Lorna Cameron at @ljcequine or #ucsequine on Twitter.