Research Associates

Research Associate Programme


In order to further its charitable aims, the trust actively seeks to develop a network of Research Associations with interested parties who wish to further the aims and objectives of the trust and participate in research studies and projects. A voluntary position with no attached commitments, a Research Associate may be any person, business or institution that applies to and is accepted by the Trust to collaborate in research studies and projects. The SRT will play a vital role in the co-ordination of projects undertaken by its Research Associates, and enable collaborations with other recognised SRT Research Associates through its administrative channels.


The broad ranging and complex nature of the SRT’s work requires many Research Associates from veterinary institutes, universities and industry who are able to collaborate in investigating a wide range of performance indicators.


SRT Associations will bring positive benefits to commercial enterprises that provide related services and products by promoting objectivity, scientific validity and the future possibility of endorsements for products or services that have been robustly tested and validated in the field.


The Research Associate programme will promote the trust and its work, assisting in raising its profile and public awareness worldwide.


The trust’s work may be:

  • offered for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals
  • utilised by SRT Associates in further research, development and design projects
  • published as educational articles to inform equine industry professionals and the horse owning public
  • made available as a resource on the Trust’s website

The Research Associate programme is currently closed to new applications but you can join the SRT mailing list to be kept informed of developments and opportunities to get involved as participants in future research. To join our free mailing list click here.

Biosense Medical Ltd

Director of Biomechanics, Colin Burgess


Biosense Medical is a distributor of medical equipment and supplies in the United Kingdom and supplies specialist equipment for use in biomechanics. They supply the Tekscan Equine Conformat pressure mapping system that is used and endorsed by the SRT. The system has been robustly tested for equine use by the trust.








Animal Health Trust

The Centre for Equine Studies (CES) of the Animal Health Trust (AHT)


The CES provides a state of the art comprehensive referral service for the investigation of all types of lameness and poor performance in competition and pleasure riding horses. Our clinicians are world-renowned experts who are also riders and therefore in an excellent position to understand performance problems. We also offer a range of other clinical services, including ophthalmology (eye problems), oncology (cancer problems) and dermatology (skin problems). The AHT is also a leader in infectious disease surveillance.


The CES is internationally recognized for its expertise in orthopedics, particularly in assessing the causes of subtle, undiagnosed lameness and poor performance. Our research work is driven by the clinical cases and the questions that arise from their investigation, as we strive to understand better the causes of various clinical problems and to improve treatment.


To read more about the collaboration between the CES and the SRT, click here

University of Sunderland


The main research currently being undertaken with the University of Sunderland is a 3 year Doctoral Research Programme which is being run in conjunction with the Sports Science and Health faculties. A research group has been formed within the university involving several collaborative projects, all of which will produce their own results and papers.

Debbie Symes BSc (Hons)

Sport Science with Human Biology


Currently a PhD student at the University of Lincoln researching rider kinematics – particularly asymmetry in movement of the rider and the interaction with the horse.


Competed advanced level dressage and currently trains with Dutch team rider Karen Nijvelt with occasional help from Conrad Schumacher. Originally involved in dressage coaching (UKCC level II) and returned to university to acquire sport science knowledge to compliment coaching but the academic bug took over!


Symes, D. and Ellis, R. (2009) A preliminary study into rider asymmetry within equitation. The Veterinary Journal, 181(1), pp. 34-37.





debbie symes


Amanda Sutton MCSP ACPAT Cat. A

Equine Physiotherapist

Suttons Animal Physiotherapy Practice, Hampshire


Amanda has been treating animals since 1988, is an international lecturer on the subject of veterinary physiotherapy, British Equestrian Team therapist and author.


An expert in treating muscular-skeletal conditions, she uses a combination of soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilization techniques.

amanda sutton



Central Scanning


Central Scanning was established in 2006 by Nick Godfrey to offer a digitising and reverse engineering service.


The 3D hand held white light scanning system is very fast, digitising at a rate of up to 15 images per second. It does not need target markers or reference systems to position the scans, making scanning simple.


The scans are automatically aligned using clever software algorithms. Data processing is very intuitive using 3 steps to generate the required file formats.

The system is utilised within aerospace, medical, rapid prototyping and the film industries.


Typical applications also include archaeology, architecture, arts, heritage and motor sport.


3d scanning

Pegasus ETB


Dr. Diana Hodgins MBE, Dsc Honorary (left) is the Managing Director of ETB, who have developed the Pegasus system. 


Jo Green (middle) is an amateur dressage rider competing at local level on her mare. Jo has developed her business skills working for a global blue chip company and is now enthusiastically using her experience to promote Pegasus, particularly for Dressage riders like herself.


Jessica Dilliott (right) is the Equine Sales Manager for Pegasus and has graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a Bsc (Hons) Equine Sport Science. Jessica is particularly interested in horse and rider biomechanics, and quantitative assessment of gait. She has recently completed a preliminary investigation into objective versus subjective assessment of dressage movements and hopes to continue her research in this area.


Emma Halliday

MRes student at the University of Plymouth


Having completed an FdSc Equine Sports Performance and Coaching, Emma then went on to the BSc (Hons) Equitation top up course at Duchy College. Emma is particularly interested in rider performance and has  recently presented a study into the 'Physiological Measures of Fitness of riding and non riding athletes' at the International Society of Equitation Science conference in Sweden. In the future Emma would like to expand upon this research and hopes to help riders improve their performance.


Academia aside Emma is passionate about the breeding and production of sport horse and ponies and enjoys producing her homebreds from foals to competition.


Tim Pigott BSc (Hons) MSc MCSP MACPSM

Sports Physiotherapist


Tim is a physiotherapist in the North of England. Qualifying from Northumbria University in 2003, he has gone on to gain post-graduate qualifications in Orthopaedic Medicine, Acupuncture and Manipulative Therapies. In 2012, he obtained an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (Manipulative Therapy).


With a special interest in sports physiotherapy, Tim has worked with athletes, both able-bodied and disabled, across a broad range of sports, including equestrian, rugby, triathlon, netball, athletics, martial arts and rowing. He has a particular interest in injury prevention, working closely with massage therapists and strength and conditioning coaches in order to keep his clients performing at the highest level. He is collaborating on research projects, using motion-capture analysis, in the assessment of rider/horse asymmetry and its links with rider injury and back pain.


Tim’s own sport is predominantly triathlon, where he competes in mostly long distance races. He is also a Level 2 British Triathlon Coach and a contributor to TriathlonPlus magazine.

Tim Pigott


Jane Cherry BHS II RDA I

Washington Riding Centre


My passion is 'the horse' and if I can train people to have a greater understanding when riding and handling then this is all to the good.


After achieving my BHS AI I got a job at Washington Riding Centre as an instructor/trainer. Basically the day to day running of the yard and overseeing the health and well being of the 30 horses at the Centre.


I also have a great interest in the RDA and sat the RDA Instructors exam in 2004. This means I can instruct at any RDA centre in the UK.


Hayley Edwards

MRes student at University of Plymouth


Hayley has just completed a Foundation Degree in Equine Sports Performance and Coaching and a BSc (Hons) Equitation Science (Top-up) at Duchy College.


Over the past two years Hayley has presented work at the International Society of Equitation Science (Sydney- The effect of rider position on the horses stride length at canter; Sweden- Perceived rider rein contact and the effect of the horses stride and step length at walk and trot).


Hayley is hoping to pursue a career that involves research as she feels it is important to educate horse owners on how their actions are affecting horses, using quantifiable data, to improve the welfare of the horse.

hayley edwards

Grace Maxwell MSc Equine Science, Masters McTimoney Animal Manipulation

Maxwell Equine Therapy


Grace completed an honours degree in Equine Science from the University of Limerick, Ireland, graduating at the top of her class and winning the Ford Prize for excellence. She proceeded to complete a Master of Science degree by research based on equine Virology at the Irish Equine Centre, Kildare. Her thesis; Real-time RT-PCR for the Detection and Quantitative Analysis of Equine Rhinitis Viruses resulted in publication of a paper of the same title in the Equine Veterinary Journal.


After spending time working in various yards in Ireland, England and America, and running a successful breaking and pretraining business, Grace obtained a Masters Degree in McTimoney Animal Manipulation. Her thesis, A comparison of the Forces Acting on the Horse’s Back under a Half-Tree and Full-Tree Race Exercise Saddle at Walk and Trot, very kindly facilitated by the SRT and Tekscan, obtained a distinction and won the Dorothy Waring Prize.


As Maxwell Equine Therapy Grace provides McTimoney treatment and massage for horses and dogs in Wiltshire and surrounding counties, and all over Ireland.

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