Australian Performance Laboratory Moves

The University of Sydney's Equine Performance Laboratory has been relocated and upgraded to a new facility at the Rural Veterinary Centre in Camden, New South Wales. The new laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to allow exhaustive analysis of the efficiency of a horse's cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic functions during maximal exercise on a high-speed treadmill. Endoscopic examination also is available for horses during high speed exercise.

The laboratory opened originally in 1991 and has become established as one of the world's leading places for research related to exercise, training, and fitness in performance horses. The laboratory is home to basic and applied research projects, and is the only place in Australia where horses with performance problems can be assessed by sophisticated exercise examinations. A wide range of measurements of lung, heart, muscle, and blood function can be undertaken in the horse, and samples can be collected and measurements made at maximum exercise intensities.

More than 500 horses have been assessed in this way, including Thoroughbred racehorses, Standardbred trotters and pacers, endurance horses, and eventing horses. The laboratory also was the producer of the internationally acclaimed book The Athletic Horse: The Principles and Practice of Equine Sports Medicine, edited by veterinarians David Hodgson, Superintendent of the Rural Veterinary Centre, and Reuben Rose, Director of the Equine Performance Laboratory.

One of the keys to success at the laboratory is the commitment and enthusiasm of postgraduate students involved in a wide range of research projects relating to exercise physiology and biochemistry.

“We look forward to an exciting future and having the opportunity to further the welfare of the performance horse,” said Rose.

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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