The FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage finals this weekend will also play host to the first equine and human comparative sports medicine symposium.
The symposium is being held at the Lyon‐Eurexpo, venue for the finals, on April 18 and 19. Organisers took the opportunity to coincide the seminar with the international event, with more than 100 veterinarians, doctors and human and animal health professionals expected to attend.
Over the two days delegates will discuss the links that can be established between the two disciplines.
The seminar has been organised in association with animal health company Merial and the Equine Health Centre of Excellence of the VetAgro Sup Veterinary Campus in Lyon.
Professionals from both equine and human sports medicine fields will compare their experiences and exchange views with the objective of enhancing their knowledge in this area.
Claude Bourgelat, the founder of the world’s first veterinary school in Lyon in 1761, already highlighted the close links between human and animal medicine in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the veterinarian Auguste Chauveau (1827‐1917), the surgeon Claude Bernard (1813‐1878) and the physiologist Étienne‐Jules Marey (1830‐1904), continued this collaboration between human and veterinary medicine in Lyon and throughout France, by
working together, in particular on areas linked to physiology and infectious illnesses. These great figures all contributed to making Lyon a leading centre for both human and veterinary medical research in Europe.
Thus, the first European equine and human comparative sports medicine symposium will be in line with the progress already made by these pioneers in previous centuries.
The first session, on Friday, April 18, from 2pm to 6pm, will look at the role of medical imaging in screening to prevent injuries involving high‐level competitors. An objective of this session will be to reflect on the limits of using these diagnostic elements.
The second session, on Saturday, April 19 from 8.30am to 12.30pm, focuses on the use of regenerative medicine. The use of stem cells is widespread in both human and equine sports medicine. In the past, specialists resorted to this practice sometimes without knowing the real benefits for the competitor and without any real scientific certitude. Now, researchers are starting to obtain objective data in certain areas. The level of current knowledge will be at the heart of the debate during this second session.
In the third session, on Saturday from 1.30pm to 3pm, the contribution of sports medicine for human high‐level athletes will be explored. This will allow equine health professionals to benefit from the experience of their human sports medicine counterparts in order to gain a better understanding of medical preparation strategies for athletes. While human sports doctors establish their strategies on a long term basis, sometimes over 4 years when preparing for a world and/or Olympic competition, equine sports doctors tend to advance on an ad hoc basis. Preparing a competitor, whether a human or a horse, demands perfect coordination between international and national organisations, the medical staff and the competitor.
At the final session, on Saturday afternoon from 3.30pm to 6pm, the topic of doping and unauthorised substances will be under discussion.