Sport horse medicine, orthopaedics & rehabilitation - a custom course for NZ equine practitioners


Please note: if you are wanting to register for the VetPD lectures and workshop only please choose one day NZVA registration and the workshop.

Equine practitioners working with sports horses are under considerable pressure to keep the horses under their care competing at the highest level at all times. Furthermore, evaluating poorly performing competition horses can be a daunting task because the clinical signs caused by different conditions may be very similar.

The lectures will provide an overview on the most important topics in sports horse internal and orthopaedic medicine and introduce sport horse rehabilitation foundations. Practical tips and tricks will be shared with attendees in an intimate and interactive setting. Topics include:

  • A novel perspective on overground/dynamic endoscopy
  • New ways of using haematology and biochemistry in sports horses
  • Applications for objective lameness evaluation analysis in sports horses
  • Lameness examination – when things get complicated (reliability/repeatability of blocks, multi-site/limb lameness)
  • Latest developments in orthopaedic therapies (polyacrylamide, resveratrol, pro-stride, IRAP, allogeneic stem cell therapy, PrP etc.)
  • Practical equine rehabilitation – a review of available modalities
  • Rehabilitation programmes for recovery to performance level after soft tissue limb Injuries
  • Which heart murmurs are relevant in sports horses
  • Exercise testing – identifying subclinical problems in sports horses
  • Contentious issues in sports horse pre-purchase examination
  • Feeding the competitive athlete

The workshop will provide 6-7 hours of practical sessions allowing participants to further their practical skills on live horses in small groups. The groups will rotate through the practical sessions supervised by specialists. Topics include:

  • Use of physiotherapy and massage in sport horse rehabilitation
  • Distal limb ultrasound
  • Static upper respiratory endoscopy (special reference BAL) and overground case discussions
  • Exercise testing incl. case discussions
  • Use of strengthening exercises in sport horse rehab programmes
  • Palpation and ultrasound of the back and sacroiliac


Conference speakers

Emmanuelle van Erck DVM PhD DipECEIM European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine (Belgium)

Emmanuelle graduated in 1996 from the French Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort. She trained in sports medicine at the University of Liège (Belgium) where she obtained her PhD on respiratory function testing in horses. She developped the equine sports medicine unit and consulted as senior clinician in the CIRALE in Normandy (France). In January 2010, she started her own ambulatory referral practice, the ‘Equine Sports Medicine Practice’, based in Belgium. Her practice offers specialized service in equine internal and sports medicine throughout Europe, following national teams and international riders. Emmanuelle authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and regularly lectures at international conferences. She is a member of the FEI expert committee on prohibited substances and doping.

Kylie Huxford BVSc MANZCVSc DipACVSMR Registered Specialist Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

After graduating from Massey University in 2008, Kylie completed a 12-month internship at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic in Sydney, followed by 4 years as a stud vet in the Hunter Valley, working at Scone Equine Hospital. During this time, she passed her examinations for Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (in Equine Medicine). Kylie then moved to the University of Sydney where she completed a three-year residency in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and more recently also passed her American Board Exams. Kylie joined Cambridge Equine Hospital in 2019, where she has enjoyed sharing her broad experience.

Alec Jorgensen BVSc CertEp DiplABVP(Eq)

With a background of residency training in equine sports medicine and lameness in the USA, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Equine Specialty; Alec joined Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre (A division of Hamilton Veterinary Services) in 2005. Since then he has had principle responsibility for Sales horses within the practice. With an emphasis on quality, consistency and integrity; few veterinarians in Australasia would annually take, review and report on, as many weanling and yearling radiographs as Alec.

Workshop tutors

Kylie Huxford BVSc MANZCVSc DipACVSMR Registered Specialist Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Alec Jorgensen BVSc CertEp DiplABVP(Eq)

Kirsten Gollan MSc MNZSP (Veterinary Physiotherapist) 

AnimalFisio is owned and operated by Kirsten Gollan. Kirsten grew up in Guernsey in the UK. A keen interest in animals and sports led her to complete a degree Veterinary Physiotherapy. Kirsten gained a degree in Physiotherapy before going on to specialise in Animal Physiotherapy. She completed a Masters degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy at the Royal Veterinary College, London. Since that time, she has been working as an animal physiotherapist in the UK and New Zealand.

Gareth Fitch BVetMed MS DACVS (American) Specialist in Equine Surgery

Gareth graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in 1995, worked for a short while in mixed practice before beginning an internship at Glasgow University Veterinary School. In 1997 he started a residency in Equine Surgery at the University of California Davis VTH, and passed the equine surgery board examination with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2001. He then headed to Canada and worked in an equine referral clinic in Alberta for 7 years. Returning to Europe Gareth worked as an equine surgeon in the University in Madrid, Spain for 5 years. During this time, he also worked as team vet to the Spanish 3-day event team. After a two-year stint in Germany he moved to New Zealand and began working at Massey University as a senior lecturer in equine surgery. Here he carried out research on the development of the upper airway in Standardbred racehorses, lectured on equine surgery and worked as a surgeon in the referral clinic until he decided to return to private practice. Gareth is interested in all areas of surgery and lameness/performance problems. He is a part owner of a thoroughbred racehorse and has a yearling filly which will hopefully win several group 1 races.

Date and venues

Lectures: 8am - 5.30pm, Friday 25 June, Air Force Museum, Wigram, Christchurch

Workshop: 8am - 5.30pm, Saturday 26 June, Canterbury Equine Clinic, 499 Springs Road, Prebbleton, Christchurch

  NZVA member Non-member
Earlybird (closes 16 May) $1599 $1775
Regular (from 17 May) $1775 $1975
Prices are in NZD and include 15% GST.

If you have been offered a discount through a partner clinic or workshop sponsor, please contact VetPD ( with details before completing your registration, so the discount can be applied.