Presenter Biographies

Anne Bondi BHSI


A successful rider and trainer who has competed at advanced level both in Eventing and Dressage, Anne has also been placed in international three-day events including Windsor, Blair and Blenheim. As a trainer, she has prepared pupils for both competition careers and professional exams and was a Senior Examiner of the British Horse Society. Specialising both in the production of young competition horses and in the education of problem horses, she also produced a dynasty of homebred horses.


Over the years, the management of the horses became more natural – competing from the field, the horses were happier and stayed sounder. But one problem remained – saddles. Anne believes that the natural progression in 1999 to the treeless concept has been the biggest step forward in horse welfare in her lifetime.


In 2006, Anne founded Solution Saddles in order to research and develop a saddle design that would really make a difference to performance.


In 2009, the Saddle Research Trust was born through discussions with other like-minded people who strive to promote the welfare of the horse and to raise awareness of the widely underestimated issues surrounding saddles, equine backs and performance. Anne is currently the SRT Director.


Anne is currently studying towards a PhD specialising in the scientific assessment of the interaction between horse, saddle and rider.


Professor Hilary Clayton BVMS, PhD, MRCVS


Professor Clayton was appointed as the first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in July, 1997. A native of England, Dr. Clayton received her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow in 1973. She spent the next two years as an associate in a mixed veterinary practice in Kilmarnock, Scotland before returning to the University of Glasgow where she earned a PhD in 1978. From 1979 through 1980, she was a visiting assistant professor in Michigan State University's Department of Anatomy. She then returned to Glasgow for two additional years. In 1982 she accepted a position with the University of Saskatchewan in Canada where she spent 15 years as a professor of veterinary anatomy before returning to MSU to fill the McPhail Chair.

As a veterinarian and researcher, Dr. Clayton's studies on the biomechanics of equine gait have focused on sport horses, including dressage and jumping horses. Some recent work has included videographic studies of Olympic dressage and jumping events and kinematic and kinetic research with some of the world's top dressage riders and horses in the Netherlands. A lifelong rider, Dr. Clayton began her equestrian career as a Pony Club member in England. She later competed extensively in eventing, show jumping and dressage. Active in the sport of dressage, Dr. Clayton is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist, and is a certified equestrian coach in the UK and Canada. She has been a member of the Canadian National Coaching Committees for the sports of dressage, jumping and eventing, and is currently a member of the USDF Planning Committee.Hilary was the first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University. Her research directed towards understanding the mechanics of equine Performance and lameness. She is the author of several books including The Dynamic Horse, Conditioning Sport Horses, Colour Atlas of Large Animal Clinical Anatomy, and Equine Locomotion.


Professor Clayton will be presenting an overview of current research at the conference







Dr Sue Dyson, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS


Dr Sue Dyson, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, will be discussing what causes saddle slip and the implications of saddle fit, as well as the changing back shape and saddle management.

Sue is a world-renowned expert in equine orthopaedics, with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses. Having trained horses and competed at Advanced level eventing and Grade A showjumping, and a passionate interest in sports horses, Sue has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of performance problems in horses from all disciplines. She is highly skilled in the diagnosis of both subtle and complex lameness cases. She is also an expert in diagnostic imaging, including radiography, ultrasonography, scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging.

Sue has lectured internationally and published more than 200 refereed papers in scientific journals, relating to lameness and diagnostic imaging in the horse. Sue is co-Editor and major author of ‘Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse’, ‘Equine Scintigraphy’ and ‘Clinical Radiology of the Horse’ . In 2000 Sue was awarded the British Equine Veterinary Association John Hickman Orthopaedic Award for outstanding contributions to equine orthopaedics. In 2005 Sue was made an Honorary Member of the British Equine Veterinary Association. In 2007 Sue was awarded the Tierklinik Hochmoor award for outstanding, innovative and lasting contributions to equine veterinary medicine world-wide.

Sue works extensively correlating the results of clinical investigation and diagnostic imaging, and responses to treatment providing evidence- based results. This meticulous approach to diagnosis also results in the recognition of new clinical conditions. Correlation of diagnostic imaging findings with detailed post mortem examinations helps to advance knowledge about image interpretation and to understand better how some lameness conditions develop, and thus how they may be prevented.

Sue has recently been investigating the relationship between saddle slip and hind limb lameness, which will be the focus of her presentation at the conference. Initial findings are available to read here:


Maria Terese Engell (co-presenting with Professor Lars Roepstorff)


Maria Terese is rom Norway. She gained a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Budapest in 2008. She is currently working at the Norwegian Veterinary University, focusing on lameness examinations. Maria Terese started a PhD in 2012, focusing on postural control in riders and their effect on the horse locomotion system.


Maria lives on a "horse-farm", with 19 horses and with a private equine clinic. She has a special interest in dressage and has two dressage horses of her own.



After qualifying from Cambridge Veterinary School in 1983 and working there as a House Physician, Pat completed her PhD at the AHT, Newmarket into ‘Some aspects of the Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome’.


She joined the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition in 1995 and is responsible for the research carried out by the Equine Studies group, which provides the science behind the SPILLERS®, BUCKEYE® and WINERGY® brands.


Pat is currently Director of Science at MARS HorseCare, as well as Adjunct Professor of Equine Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool, an Honorary Professor in Equine Nutrition, University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, an Adjunct Professor at University of Queensland Australia, and an European Specialist in Veterinary Clinical and Comparative Nutrition.


She is a Past President of the British Equine Veterinary Association, has been on the editorial board of several journals, was a reviewer for the NRC Nutrient requirements of Horses (2007) and recently was a NRC committee member on the Safety of dietary supplements for horses, dogs and cats (2009).


Pat lectures all over the world on nutrition as it affects the health, welfare, behaviour and performance of the horse. She is the author or co-author of numerous lay as well as over 350 scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters and  most recently the co-editor of,  and multiple author in, a new text book on Equine Clinical and Applied Nutrition (2013) .

Professor Christian Peham


Professor Christian Peham, leader of the Movement Science Group, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, will be focusing on the movement of the horse's back.

Professor Peham’s primary goal is the integration of motion analysis into the clinical routine.
His research interests include equine biomechanics, sports biomechanics, rider-horse interaction and modelling of the equine spine.

He reviews in several scientific journals, such as Applied Animal Behaviour Science ,The ScientificWorld Journal,
Journal of the Royal Society Interface, PLoS ONE, Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift,
Biomedical Engineering, Equine Veterinary Journal, Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology,
Human Movement Science, Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Biomechanics.

Further to this, Professor Peham has several research projects:
Standardized motion analysis using a treadmill 1991 (P6904 - Austrian Science Fund)
Causality related lameness documentation (P9877-MED - Austrian Science Fund)
A biomechanical anatomy based model of the equine back (P13915-MED-Austrian Science Fund)
A biomechanical realistic model of the equine back (P19506-N14 -Austrian Science Fund)
The influence of the pressure distribution under the saddle (Austrian Industrial Research Promotion Fund (FFF), Niedersüß Saddlery)
Influence of the Harness of Guiding Dogs (WWTF-Science Fund of Vienna)
The jump shot – A biomechanical analysis (Sparkling Science, Federal Ministry of Science and Research, Motion Analysis Cooperation)

Professor Renee van Weeren


Professor Renee van Weeren, Head of the Department of Equine Sciences of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University since 2012, will be discussing how we can apply science to the equine industry.

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, among which the recent editions of Equine Locomotion (Eds: Back and Clayton), Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery (Eds: Hinchcliff, Kaneps and Geor) and The Athletic Horse (Eds: Hodgson, McGowan and McKeever).






Dr. Katja von Peinen


Dr. Katja von Peinen, Senior Clinician at the Equine department of the section of Sports Medicine at the University of Utrecht, will be presenting on the effects of saddle design and function.

As part of her responsibilities at the University of Utrecht, Katja lectures in the Influence of saddle/saddle fit on the health of the equine athlete and the Lameness examination in the horse.

Katja has been a FEI vet for the discipline of Eventing since 2009 as well as a reviewer for both The Equine Veterinary Journal and The Veterinary Journal.

Katja’s main fields of interest are: Sports medicine, saddles and saddle fit, exercise physiology and rehabilitation of the horse.



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