Workshop & Speaker information

Before the start of the EEHNC congress an applied workshop programme and business meetings was organized. The workshop content and business meetings may be adapted for a specific target group. All workshops had an “applied” character. The workshops were given by experienced professionals or clinicians and have a multidisciplinary approach regarding equine nutrition, exercise and health. The workshops provided the participant with practical skills and give the opportunity to discuss the presented topics in more detail with other equine professionals present.

Workshop information

Workshop A:
Equine Nutrition Industry Meeting: Legislation & Claims & Joined Industry Cooperation.
Diederik Standaert (Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, BE) and Marc Wentein
(President European Horse Network) and others. Meeting Coordinator: Eng. Peter Bollen, President EEHNA

Click here for a full description of workshop A.

Workshop B:
Nutrition & Veterinary Specialists business Meeting: How to test if your (joint) supplement is effective? In vivo & ex-vivo models for the evaluation of efficacy of joint supplements.
Frederik Pille & Eline van de Water & Maarten Oosterlinck (UGENT), Nicoline Korthagen (UU) & Wayne McIlwraith (Colorado State University) and others.

Click here for a full description of workshop B.

Workshop C:
Nutritional Care for the Healthy & Diseased Donkey.
Emanuela Valle (Torino University) & Faith Burden (The Donkey Sanctuary) Workshop Coordinator: Ellen Roelfsema (UU)

Click here for a full description of workshop C.

Workshop D:
How to feed a thin and starved horse?
Caroline Argo (University of Surrey) & Nicola Jarvis (Redwings Horse Sanctuary) & Pat Harris (Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the Wolds)

Click here for a full description of workshop D.

Confirmed speakers in the Workshop and Congress programme

Raymond Geor
Professor Raymond Geor is an internationally recognised veterinary science specialist with clinical and research interests in equine medicine, nutrition and exercise science. In April 2015, Professor Geor became the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Sciences at Massey University leading the College activity across agriculture and environment, veterinary and biomedical sciences, natural and fundamental sciences, and engineering. Previously, Professor Geor had spent the past 30 years in North America in various academic roles, most recently as the Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, Michigan and . In recent years, his research and publications have been related to the understanding of obesity and Equine Metabolic Syndrome in horses, and how it may relate to laminitis, as well as more than 180 other research papers in equine nutrition and physiology. Professor Geor graduated from Massey University with Bachelor Veterinary Sciences in 1983 and went on to complete a large animal internship at Murdoch University Veterinary School in Perth Australia before heading to North America to take up a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine, followed by a Masters in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in Physiology from The Ohio State University. He also has advanced training and board certification in three disciplines administered by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (large animal internal medicine; nutrition; equine sports medicine and rehabilitation).

Wayne McIlwraith
Prof. McIlwraith has been a faculty member at Colorado State University since 1979. Currently he is a University Distinguished Professor, holds the Barbara Cox Anthony University Endowed Chair in Orthopaedics and is Director of the Orthopaedic Research Center. He also directs the Musculoskeletal Research Program which is a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence. He obtained his veterinary degree from Massey University, New Zealand, did an internship at the University of Guelph, Canada, a surgical residency at Purdue University and has MS and PhD degrees from Purdue University. In addition to leading the Orthopaedic Research Center and Musculoskeletal Research Program at CSU, Wayne has a referral equine orthopaedic practice in Southern California and is a consultant and surgeon for clients internationally. The Orthopaedic Research Center has focuses of articular cartilage repair, early diagnosis of traumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis in equine athletes using novel imaging and fluid biomarker techniques, studies of the pathogenesis of intraarticular fracture and osteoarthritis, development of novel biological therapies for joint trauma and osteoarthritis and, more recently, rehabilitation therapies. He has authored six textbooks, 450 scientific publications and textbook chapters and given over 650 scientific presentations, seminars and workshops.
For a full version of Dr. McIlwraith's short biography please click here.

Renger Witkamp
Renger Witkamp (1959) is professor of Pharmacology and Nutrition at Wageningen University. He studied biology and pharmacy at the University of Utrecht. After obtaining his PhD (veterinary pharmacology) at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht in 1992 he continued as assistant professor and later associate professor of veterinary pharmacology. In 1996 he moved to TNO, the Netherlands’ Organization for Applied Scientific Research, where he held several scientific and managerial positions in the field of nutrition, bio-analysis and pharmacology. In 2006 he became the first professor of Nutrition and Pharmacology at Wageningen University. His current research focusses on bio-active lipids and their role in inflammation and metabolism, and he also has an interest in drug-food interactions. Other activities include the scientific directorship of the Wageningen Graduate School VLAG (Food technology, Agro-biotechnology, Nutrition and Health), chair of the advisory board of the “Voeding Leeft” foundation, board member of the European Nutrition Leadership Platform (ENLP) and the Nutrition Alliance between Wageningen University and the Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede.

     Ingrid Vervuert
Dr. Vervuert is a faculty member at the University of Leipzig, Germany. She received her veterinary degree from the Free University of Berlin. Then, went on to complete her doctoral thesis in equine energy metabolism in exercising horses from the University of Hannover and postdoctoral program in starch digestion in horses at the University of Leipzig. She is a German diplomate in Animal Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Vervuert’s current research covers equine gastric ulcers, obesity management in horses and ponies, selenium metabolism and impact of different feedstuffs on equine teeth abrasion. Dr. Vervuert has 48 publications in peer-reviewed journals, of which 41 she is the lead or senior author; she has authored/co-authored 27 review articles and 29 book chapters; and she has spoken at numerous conferences on equine nutrition. Dr. Vervuert is a member of the scientific board of the European workshop on Equine nutrition, a leading conference for equine nutrition in Europe. Dr. Vervuert has greatly contributed to our knowledge of equine nutrition today.

Andrea Ellis
Dr Andrea Ellis is a renowned equine scientist, whose early research focused on food intake behaviour and nutrient digestion in horses and sheep, and set her on a path of becoming a specialist in equine nutrition and behaviour. After working as a Scientific Researcher at the Research Institute for Applied Husbandry, Wageningen University Research, The Netherlands, for four years, she joined Nottingham Trent University as Senior Lecturer, where she led the design of the MSc in Equine Health and Welfare, and was Programme Leader of this course.
Andrea now runs her own company UNEQUI Science and Creativity. She is passionate about animal nutrition and welfare, good science and biology education and works/worked as external examiner, course validator, supervisor and guest lecturer for a wide range of institutions (ANIVADO, University of Edinburgh, Royal Agricultural University, Anglia Ruskin University, Northampton University, BPP University, Portsmouth University and others) as well as doing her consultancy work and collaborative research projects. Andrea is also a member of the Royal Society of Biology and an Assessor for their Advanced Degree Accreditation Scheme. UNEQUI's creativity arm encompasses art, poster design, scientific illustrations and even event photography (e.g. Equine Health and Nutrition Congress 2015).

Gunther van Loon
Gunther van Loon graduated from Ghent University, Belgium, in 1992 and has worked at Ghent University, Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, ever since. In 2001 he finished his PhD on “Atrial pacing and experimental atrial fibrillation in equines”. In 2004 he became ECEIM Diplomate and in 2011 Associate Member of ECVDI. In 2015 he received the ‘WEVA Research Award’ for outstanding research regarding ‘Advances in Equine Cardiology’. He is now Professor in Large Animal Internal Medicine at Ghent University and his major interests are Equine Internal Medicine, cardiology (arrhythmias, electrophysiology, cardiac pacing, echocardiography, TDI, 2D ST, biomarkers), and thoracic and abdominal ultrasound.

Myriam Hesta
In 1996, Myriam Hesta graduated at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. In 1997, she started working at the Animal Nutrition Laboratory at the same faculty. Shortly after, she started the nutrition consultation service at the small animal clinic at the faculty. In December 2011, she also started an equine nutrition consultation service for horse owners and veterinarians. In 2001 she successfully passed her ECVCN (European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition) diplomate exam. Her main research topic was prebiotic supplementation in dogs and cats and in 2003 this resulted in a PhD degree.
She is also very active as an executive board member of the European college (ECVCN) and currently is the president. At this moment she is lecturer in companion animal nutrition at the Ghent University. Her current topics of interest are obesity, gastrointestinal health and nutritional effects on immunity in dogs, cats and horses. She is the main supervisor of 2 ECVCN residents and is promoter of several PhD students at this moment.
Myriam Hesta is internationally recognised for her expertise in companion animal nutrition.

  Ellen Roelfsema

Ellen de Graaf-Roelfsema, DVM, PHD, DIP ECEIM, graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University in 1999 where she then went on to complete a residency in Equine Internal Medicine and a PhD in Equine Exercise Physiology. In 2006 she was registered as specialist in Equine Internal Medicine by the KNMvD (Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association, RNVA) and in 2012 she became specialist of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM). In 2007 she successfully completed her PhD entitled: “ Endocrinological and behavioral adaptations to experimentally induced physical stress in horses”. Currently, Dr. de Graaf-Roelfsema is assistant professor at the Department of Equine Internal Medicine, Utrecht University where she works as a specialist in the University Clinic for Horses and has teaching as well as research responsibilities. Her clinical interest is on equine internal medicine, donkey medicine, metabolic and endocrinological diseases and poor performance. Her research focuses on endocrinological and metabolic disorders (EMS, PPID), laminitis and equine exercise physiology and performance.

     Emanuela Valle
Dr. Emanuela Valle graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Torino University in 2003. After some years working in the practice, she started to join the Department of Animal Production, where she obtained research grants for working with equine. She spent a six months period as a visiting researcher at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Virginia Tech). In the 2013 she completed the residency and became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Clinical and Comparative Nutrition (subspecialties equine). Currently she has a permanent position as assistant professor at the Department of Veterinary Science of Torino. She is in charge of Clinical nutrition counselling service at the teaching veterinary hospital, with particular reference to the nutrition of equine patients. Her teaching activities are related to animal management and equine welfare courses and equine clinical nutrition for vet students. In 2014 she obtained a grant from the University of Torino to evaluate the management and the nutritional status of dairy donkeys in the Piedmont region. She is author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, conference papers, abstracts and lectures. She is currently involved in different projects to improve the management and nutrition of dairy donkeys with dr. Cavallarin and dr. McLean.

       Caroline Argo
Caroline graduated from the University of Aberdeen (1981) with Honours in Zoology and received the Kilgour Scholarship to fund PhD (1985) studies at the Rowett Research Institute. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and a Temporary Lectureship at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool and the Zoological Society of London followed. During this time, studies incorporated work in deer, sheep and horses. Caroline returned to Liverpool, first as a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University before gaining her Veterinary degree from the University of Liverpool (2003). Caroline is a European Specialist in Animal Reproduction (subfield, Equine Reproduction, 2005). She joined the University of Liverpool Veterinary School as a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer (2004), before taking up a post at the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey as Professor in Veterinary Reproduction in 2014.

Nicola Jarvis
I qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1990 and initially joined a mainly small animal practice in the Midlands. Shortly afterwards I saw the error of my ways and joined a mixed practice in Norfolk where my equine focus began! I undertook a two year internship with Rossdale and Partners, a large equine referral hospital in Newmarket, before taking on locum work at various equine practices. It was during this time that I visited Redwings Horse Sanctuary and after several weeks of locum work I joined the sanctuary on a permanent basis in 1996. Redwings is responsible for over 2,000 horses, donkeys and mules, re-homes throughout the UK and is entirely funded by public donations. The sanctuary has a large team of veterinary surgeons, nurses and a fully equipped equine hospital as well as behaviour and training specialists, dedicated welfare vets and rescue teams. Redwings sees many malnourished welfare cases of all ages and for the more senior horse, that cannot be re-homed, we offer permanent residence. This environment drove my passion for equine nutrition particularly in the case of the emaciated or geriatric horse and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lecture and write in these areas. I became a British Equine Veterinary Association council member in 2015 and am thoroughly enjoying working with both the Welfare and Education Committees. Outside of work I enjoy long walks with my overly fit lurcher, formula one, running and I regularly make special occasion and wedding cakes.

      Faith Burden
Faith graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc and PhD in infectious diseases and developed a particular interest in zoonotic diseases during her studies. After a short time working in industry Faith began working with The Donkey Sanctuary, a UK based charity working in over 40 countries globally to improve the welfare of donkeys and mules. Faith oversees their successful research and pathology teams and manages relationships and collaborative projects with over 25 institutions carrying out donkey related research that is funded or supported by The Donkey Sanctuary. Faith is currently facilitating basic and applied research in to equine sarcoids, equine gut microbiota, ectoparasite control, human-animal relationships and the social and economic facets of working donkey ownership. Faith’s personal research interests include the nutritional management of healthy and diseased donkeys and mules and the translation of research in to real life situations. Faith oversees the nutritional management of The Donkey Sanctuary’s 5000 resident donkeys and mules and has worked with industry partners to develop donkey specific feed products, educational materials and awareness of the unique requirements of donkeys.

      Pat Harris
Pat is responsible for the research carried out at the Equine Studies group at WALTHAM® providing the Science behind WINERGY and SPILLERS, the Director of Equine Science at Mars Horsecare, and an Adjunct Professor of Equine Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Before moving to Waltham, Pat was the Head of the Clinical Chemistry and Haematology Laboratories as well as her own Metabolic Lameness Research group at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket. She served as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association in 1999 and as executive board director of the Equine Veterinary Journal from 1999–2006. In 2002, she was awarded Diplomate status of the European College of Veterinary Clinical and Comparative Nutrition. Dr. Harris lectures worldwide on nutrition as it affects the health, welfare, behaviour, and performance of the horse. She is the author or co-author of numerous lay publications, scientific papers, abstracts, and book chapters. She was a reviewer of the NRC’ s 2007 publication, Nutrient Requirements of Horses. Harris received an M.A., a VetMB/MRCVS, and a Ph.D., all from Cambridge University.

   Geert Janssens
Prof. Geert Janssens is head of the laboratory of Animal Nutrition at Ghent University, and is teaching animal nutrition to the veterinary students.
Research focuses most on the role of intestinal events on metabolic traits, nutritional modulation of energy homeostasis, and micromineral-related physiology. He appreciates the added value of comparative nutrition, involving species from throughout the animal kingdom within both wild and domesticated animals.
He is president of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition until September 2016.

  René van Weeren
Paul René van Weeren (1957) graduated in 1983 from the Utrecht University Veterinary Faculty (The Netherlands). He became a staff member of the Department of General and Large Animal Surgery in that year and obtained his PhD degree in 1989. From 1991-1993 he worked as a visiting professor at the Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria of the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica. He became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994. He was appointed as full professor to the Chair of Equine Musculoskeletal Biology in 2007 and is now mainly involved in research with focus areas articular cartilage, tendons and biomechanics. He became Head of the Department of Equine Sciences of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University in 2012.
René van Weeren has been a supervisor of 27 PhD students, who have obtained their degree in the past years and currently supervises 10 PhD students, who will be graduating within the next few years. He is an associate editor of Equine Veterinary Journal, member of the editorial board of The Veterinary Journal, and member of the scientific board of several others. He has been, or is, guest editor of various Special Issues or Supplements of a variety of scientific journals. He has been external examiner for PhD students abroad at various occasions in Belgium, the UK, France, Austria, Sweden, Norway and Finland. He is author or co-author of more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has contributed various chapters to a variety of text books.

Nicoline Korthagen
After obtaining a MSc in biology from Utrecht University Nicoline completed a PhD on the inflammatory component of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a devastating progressive lung disease. For this work, she received the young investigator award from the Netherlands Respiratory Society in 2010. Being intrigued by the inflammatory processes that occur in local tissues she went on to join the Immunology department at the ErasmusMC, as a post-doc in the group of Prof. van Hagen. There, she investigated the relationship between inflammation and fibrosis in retinal diseases.
Since 2014, Nicoline has been a post-doc in the group of René van Weeren at the Equine Sciences department of the Veterinary Faculty in Utrecht. Her main focus areas are biomarkers and inflammation. She is appointed on a grant by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation to study cartilage repair with the aim and to improve treatment options for patients with osteoarthritis. For this, she collaborates with the Orthopaedics department at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU).

     Mark Wentein
After economic studies, Mark Wentein specialised quick in the equestrian world and started in 1986 HIPPO Revue:, Belgians leading equestrian publication. At that time he invested also in the horse-drawn carriages for tourists in the historical UNESCO heritage centre of Bruges (BEL).
His family business now has 27 horses, 6 full time & 10 part-time carriage drivers and is market leader in the sector with more than 30 % of the carriage licences in town.
- Since 2002 President of the Vlaamse Liga Paardensport, the Flemish equestrian Federation; VLP is the biggest recognised equestrian federation in Flanders/Brussel with more than 38.000 active members in more than 600 affiliated riding schools, clubs, maneges and organisers in 9 recognised FEI equestrian disciplines. VLP forms for 50 % the Belgian National Equestrian Federation (BEL NF) affiliated to the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) in Lausanne (SUI). He is treasurer of the BEL NF.
- Since 2010 President of the Belgian Horse Confederation This Confederation has the licence of the Belgian Federal Government to administrate and monitor the central databank and to register all equidae in Belgium. More than 300.000 species are clearly identified with a microchip, an EU accepted passport, and with a legal registration of the “holder” of the horse (= person responsible) where the horse is stabled.
For a full version of Mr. Wentein's short biography please click here.

Diederik Standaert

Diederik Standaert works since 1999 as feed expert for the Belgian authorities within the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment – General Direction Animals, Plants and Food – Service Food, Feed and other Consumer Goods. Currently he is also in charge of the coordination of the policy of the Belgian federal authorities concerning animal feedingstuffs, animal by-products, GMO’s and tobacco/alcohol. As feed experts, he is the representative of the Belgian delegation at the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed – Section “Animal Nutrition” (European Commission) and its working groups. He is also involved in Working Groups at the EU Council that discusses new proposals concerning feed legislation.
At Belgian level, he is responsible for the correct implementation and interpretation of the EU legislation concerning animal feedingstuffs. In addition to this, he has also been involved in the EU training program “Better Training for Safer Feed” in which he acts as tutor in the “Feed Law” courses since 2009. 

Documents :

Description workshop C
Description workshop D
Short Bio Mark Wentein
Description workshop B
Description workshop A
Short Bio Prof. Wayne McIlwraith