By Anne Couroucé-Malblanc, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECEIM, WEVA Secretary

Dr. Tim Greet

Introductory address by Professor Tim Greet, president of WEVA at the opening ceremony of the 12th WEVA conference as part of the celebration of "World Veterinary Year."

The World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) is dedicated to providing veterinary education to the far reaches of the world. As a result WEVA has facilitated continuing education opportunities in many disciplines and has allowed improved dialog between equine veterinarians from many countries.

One of this association's fundamental objectives is to improve the welfare of the horse, which was one of the themes of the 12th Congress, held Nov. 2-5, 2011, in Hyderabad, India. This is particularly appropriate this year, as 2011 is World Veterinary Year.

Registration for the conference included a special rate for local veterinarians, allowing them to attend and access information delivered by a number of highly renowned international speakers. More than 500 delegates from all corners of the globe attended the congress at the Hyderabad Convention Centre, providing educational lectures and sharing the latest horse health advancements.

From a British to an Indian President ...

The Hyderabad congress occasioned the passing of the WEVA presidential baton from Tim Greet, BVMS, FRCVS, MVM, Cert EO, DESTS, Dipl. ECVS (senior surgeon at Rossdales' Equine Hospital in Newmarket, England, and former president of the British Equine Veterinary Association and the British Veterinary Association), to Ravi Reddy, BVSc, MRCVS (head veterinarian and president of Nanoli Stud, Pune, India), who takes the reins of the association for the next two years.

Highlights of the Opening Ceremony

Princess Haya

. HRH Princess Haya on Hyderabad racetrack during the awards ceremony of the WEVA cup.

The congress was opened this year by HRH Princess Haya, president of the Fédération Equestrian International (FEI), who emphasized the importance of equine welfare from her unique perspective as an Olympic competitor, horse owner, and FEI president.

"As the next generation faces the reality of climate change and dwindling resources, there is very much to be learnt from the harmony with nature that the horse constantly teaches us," she said.

She also presented an award to the owner of Pedalo, the winner of the WEVA Cup held at the Hyderabad Race Club.


One of the highlights of the opening ceremony was the presentation of the WEVA/Merck Animal Health Welfare Award to Derek Knottenbelt, OBE, BVMS, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS. Knottenbelt boasts a long and distinguished career working with charities such as SPANA (a U.K.-based animal welfare charity) and contributing to equine welfare worldwide.

The Merial Applied Equine Research Award, which recognizes a veterinarian who has made substantial contributions to equine research over the previous five years, was awarded to Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, a professor from North Carolina State University, for his work on pain management in horses.

Finally, the WEVA Life Time Achievement Award was made in absentia to Michelle LeBlanc, DVM, Dipl. ACT, a reproduction specialist at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky, for her contributions to equine theriogenology over nearly three decades.


Horses racing to the finish of the WEVA cup at Hyderabad Race Club.

The Themes of the Congress ...

During the three days of the conference a cadre of international speakers addressed topics including reproduction, locomotor pathology, neurology, ophthalmology, cardiology, respiratory, and muscle diseases. Key addresses were provided by Knottenbelt and Ed Robinson, BVetMed, MRCVS, PhD, to name just a few.

Finally, internationally recognized authority Jean-Marie Denoix, DVM, PhD, gave a well-received demonstration of advanced ultrasound techniques for the musculoskeletal system. Using a locally-owned horse, Denoix demonstrated his techniques in a packed grand auditorium in the conference centre.

The next WEVA Congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary, in October 2013.

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