Optimising performance in a challenging climate

        Cool down at the Australian International 3DE


Australian riders and event organising committees are well acquainted with managing the health and well being of horses in hot and sometimes humid conditions. Many Australian events, such as the Australian International 3 Day Event, can take place during times of high temperatures but procedures are now well acknowledged and implemented to manage this facet of the competition

However, with the coming World Equestrian Games in North Carolina in September, athletes and horses from various countries may be subject to climatic conditions which they are not familiar with. In view of this, a session during the recent FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne was dedicated to the topic of the health and performance of both human and equine athletes in challenging climatic conditions

John McEwen (GBR), Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee, opened the session on optimising performance in a challenging climate, outlining best practice and management of horses and humans in hot weather.

Dr David Marlin (GBR), a scientist with more than 25 years of experience in physiology and biochemistry, and equine veterinarian Dr Martha Misheff (USA) presented ways to prepare and manage horses competing in challenging climatic conditions.

Dr Peter Whitehead (GBR), Chair of the FEI Medical Committee, talked about ways to protect athletes in these conditions so that they – and their horse – can perform optimally.

The panellists also flagged up the advisory documents (Optimising Performance in a Challenging Climate and an executive summary) that have been circulated to National Federations which contain best practice and advice for athletes, NFs and Organising Committees.

These documents are available here

Read our article on Cooling Your Horse by Christopher Elliott BVSc (Hons) MRCVS and our Tips for Hot Weather Riding