Programme & Workshops


Below you will find the workshop programme. The Lung and Liver workshops are given at two different moments (same session). It is possible to attend multiple workshops - make sure they aren't given at the same time!
Coffee & Tea will be served, but due to the individual programmes, the organisation will not be serving lunch. We will however inform participating delegates beforehand of lunch possibilities at the Utrecht University campus nearby.

09:50 - 12:00

Tour of the Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Filipe Serra Braganca, Lieuwke Kranenburg & Mathijs Theelen

Full description

The tour starts at 9.50am - make sure to be at the registration desk by 9.30am at the very latest to be on time!!


The faculty tour includes the Study Collection Area of the Veterinary Faculty. Delegates will visit the Equine Clinic where they will get a demonstration of the objective gait analysis technique used by the clinic and its possibilities for research (by Filipe Serra Braganca).  Lieuwke Kranenburg, from the equine internal medicine department will address “Irritable bowel Syndrome”.   Mathijs Theelen will show the “Haptic Horse” and share his experiences with this simulator.  The “Haptic Horse” allows students to practice conducting rectal exams in a safe environment before they move on to real horses. The tour is especially organized for delegates from feed companies and foreign delegates who like to have an impression of the Veterinary Faculty and its education & research facilities.

13:00 - 14:45

Congress warm up: Small Things, The Big Picture
Claudia Wolschrijn, Geert Janssens & Alex Thiemann

Full description

This mini-symposium provides EEHNC delegates with a warm up before the start of the EEHNC congress programme with a bigger picture of the “small things” to be discussed during the EEHNC on Saturday.

The mini-symposium aims to provide a comparative view of equine digestive physiology from a multidisciplinary perspective. What anatomical and digestive physiology aspects are unique for horses compared for other species?
Dr. Claudia Wolschrijn will provide an introduction and highlight the unique anatomical features of the  gastro intestinal tract from a comparative anatomy point of view  (20 minutes). Claudia is an associate professor from the Anatomy and Physiology division and project leader for the refurbishment of the Study Collection area of the Veterinary Faculty (UU).
Subsequently, Science4animals research associate Prof. Geert Janssens (UGENT) will provide a comparative perspective on equine nutritional physiology (±35 minutes).
Faith Burden, Director of Research and Operational Support, of the Donkey Sanctuary who was scheduled to speak will unfortunately not be able to attend due to personal reasons. She will however be replaced by Alex Thiemann of the Donkey Sanctuary, who will provide insight in the differences between donkeys and horses with a special focus on their digestive physiology and related veterinary aspects (±25 minutes).

13:00 - 14:45

How to refine and standardize/harmonize protocols for digestibility trials in order to get accurate digestibility values of feedstuffs for horses?
Femke Schaafstra, Thomas Schonewille & Wilbert Pellikaan

Full description


The energetic value of feeds is closely related to their organic matter digestibility (OMD) and this assumption is the underlying basis of most feed evaluation systems. The gold standard for the determination of OMD of feedstuffs is the total collection of faeces (TFC), which is time consuming, laborious, requires quantitative separation of urine and faeces and cannot be used with grazing or working horses. Moreover, animals are hindered to express their species-specific behavior due to the collection procedure. Ideally,  the length, methods and procedures for executing digestibility experiments are further refined to obtain equine-specific OMD values. The use of digestibility markers (marker or indicator method) is an alternative method to determine nutrient digestibility. This method eliminates quantitative collection of the faeces and would enable periodic collection of a representative sample of faeces or even allow grab sampling. Thus, compared with the total faeces collection method, the use of  markers would minimize interference with animal behavior patterns and might be a potential strategy in order to estimate faecal excretion or nutrient digestibility. In addition, procedures  for obtaining fecal equine digestibility trials have not yet been standardized. Ideally, a (international) protocol that provides directions for determining accurate equine digestibility coefficients should be developed to harmonize collection procedures and facilitate the future exchange of digestibility coefficients of feedstuffs between countries and/ or feed evaluation systems. Irrespective of the energy system being based on DE, ME or NE,  such protocol or harmonization of procedures will be useful.


Workshop / Expert meeting set-up

This workshop is  a follow up of a discussion held during the workshop initiated by the ESS (2015). The workshop will provide an overview of studies that have been executed within the Center for Animal Nutrition (CAN) regarding total fecal collection and the use of titanium oxide as a digestibility marker (PhD thesis, Femke Schaafstra, UU). Dr. Wilbert Pellikaan will also provide a brief introduction regarding the use of alkanes as digestibility markers.  After the introduction, participants will be asked to help define criteria or suggestions for the refinement of equine digestibility trials facilitating the long term process of harmonizing of feed evaluation systems. There will also be possibilities to discuss questions of participants. This workshop will be of interest for equine nutrition researchers, nutritionists and PhD students.  This workshop / expert meeting will be prepared by dr. Femke Schaafstra (UU, HAS University of Applied Sciences), dr. Thomas Schonewille (UU) and dr. Wilbert Pellikaan (WUR).






14:00 until 15:45 - 16:00 until 17:45

Liver diagnostics
Bruce McGorum

Full description

The workshop “Liver diagnostics” is part of the alternating EEHNC workshop programme for veterinarians (up to a maximum of 15 delegates per workshop round).
The same workshop will be given at two different moments to allow for more participants yet in smaller groups (don't register for both.)

This workshop will be presented by Prof Bruce McGorum, Professor of Equine Internal Medicine (University of Edinburgh).

The workshop will involve:

a.            Case based discussion of diagnostic techniques used to investigate equine liver disease, including biochemical evaluation of liver disease and interpretation of liver biopsies and hepatic ultrasonography.

b.            The delegates will practise hepatic ultrasonography on live horses within the Equine Clinic. Delegates may bring their own ultrasound machines to allow comparison with the machines used in the clinic.

c.            The organization is exploring the possibilities to offer delegates to practice with liver biopsy using post mortem liver specimen.

The workshop duration will be about 1.5 hours without a break.

14:00 until 15:45 - 16:00 until 17:45

Lung diagnostics
Cornélie Westermann

Full description

This workshop is part of the alternating EEHNC workshop programme and is intended for veterinarians only. There is limited space for up to a maximum of 15 delegates per workshop round.
The same workshop will be given at two different moments to allow for more participants yet in smaller groups (don't register for both.)

The workshop lung diagnostics will be presented by Dr. Cornélie Westermann. She is a veterinarian and is Dutch and European Specialist/ Diplomate on Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM). The workshop lung diagnostics will address topics like endoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and intrathoracic pressure during rest and exercise. Practical skills as well as interpretation will be covered. As the workshop will take place within the infrastructure of the Equine Clinic, the workshop leader will make use of the facilities and include the diagnostic techniques and managing infrastructure of the equine clinic to provide an interactive workshop. The workshop will end with a “respiratory tour” showing a nebulizing box and the used methods to reduce dust in stables and feed.

More detailed information regarding this workshop may become available during time. The workshop duration will be about 1.5 hours without a break. 

15:30 - 17:30

Mini-symposium Nutrition & Doping: “Nutritional causes of positive doping testing”
Ludovic Bailly-Chouriberry, Anneleen DeCloedt

Full description

The Federation Equestre International has initiated the "Clean Sport initiative". This initiative aims to produce a detailed approach to clean sport as well as incorporating World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) principles. The use of substances with the potential to affect equine performance, health or welfare and/or with a high potential for misuse are contrary to the integrity of equestrian sport and the welfare of horses.  In relation to this, the increasing use and availability of nutritional supplements may put the horse at risk for ingesting ingredients that could result in a positive doping test. The first part of this mini-symposium will address a selection of nutritional causes that may result in positive doping testing. Dr. Ludovic Bailly-Chouriberry (Director LCH, France) will introduce the LCH laboratory and provide a general introduction of its activities. He will address some recent work on Cobalt, Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances (NOPS) and the risk to buy horse feed supplements from internet in his presentation (about 30 minutes). This will be followed by a review of Anneleen DeCloedt (UGENT) that will highlight the results of some selected recent scientific papers that address the relation between nutrition and doping. Anneleen will also briefly address her work related to the possible association of mouldy feed and the excretion of anabolic androgenic steroids in horses. She will then put the results of this study into perspective and inform the audience if there any updates regarding this topic.  The session will end with a question round and some discussion about the different actors that play a role in the discussions around feeding and doping.  Eng. Peter Bollen (President EEHNC) will also join the discussion as he can provide insights from the perspectives of feed companies, riders and from a sport organization perspective due to his various roles in the equine nutrition and FEI sport community.

This mini-symposium will be held in the Lecture Hall of the Equine Science Department of Utrecht University.