Sporthorse Welfare Foundation

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Founding members

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jane Williams

Project Coordinator SWF
Associate Professor; Head of Research
Hartpury University, United Kingdom

Jane is an Associate Professor and Head of Research at Hartpury University. She is an experienced researcher, with a passion for enhancing equine performance and wellbeing through industry-informed, real-world research that generates change. Jane qualified as a Veterinary Nurse then gained her Masters in Equine Science before completing her doctorate exploring the application of surface electromyography as a tool to assess muscle adaptation during training in racehorses and sport horses. Her main areas of professional interest include scientific evaluation of equestrian performance, training and wellbeing, rider impacts on equitation, reliability assessment across equestrian science and veterinary physiotherapy, and human-animal interaction. Jane co-edited and authored ‘Training for Equestrian Performance’ with Dr David Evans, to showcase how science and research can be applied practically to improve performance for horses and their riders, and has published over 100 research articles as well as regularly presenting at international equine conferences. She is also Honorary President for the International Society of Equitation Science, which promotes the application of objective research and advanced practice, to improve the welfare of horses in their associations with humans. Jane is also a founding member of the Sporthorse Welfare Foundation.

Dr. Carolien Munsters

Project Coordinator SWF
Equine consultant & Researcher
Equine Integration & Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Carolien is equine consultant and reseacher in applied sports physiology of the horse and received her PhD in this field in 2013 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. In 2010 she founded her company, Moxie Sport. In 2021, Moxie Sport has fused into Equine Integration.  For many years already Carolien supports and advises various (inter)national equestrian athletes, Olympic teams, passionate amateurs, coaches and trainers in the field of exercise physiology of horses. She has contributed to team guidance of the Olympic Games in London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. She also coaches international sport horse-rider combinations in various disciplines to European and World championships. In addition to the coaching of (elite) sport horses, she is active as a researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and author of several peer-reviewed scientific articles with focus on load and load capacity, performance and injuries in sport horses. Furthermore, she lectures at (inter)national scientific conferences and is active as embedded scientist in equestrian sports for the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF). In her spare time she likes to spend time with her horses, partner and three sons.

Dr. David Marlin

Founding Member
Researcher, President of the UK National Equine Welfare Council & FEI Climate Advisor

David Marlin studied at Stirling University from 1978-1981. He then trained with dressage rider and coach Judy Harvey (FBHS and FEI International dressage judge). He obtained his PhD from Loughborough University in 1989 on the response of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training. He worked for 3 years in Newmarket for racehorse trainer Luca Cumani. From 1993–1996 he undertook studies on thermoregulation and transport of horses in the build-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He was also involved in advising on air-conditioning and cooling for horses at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. From 1990-2005 David held the position of Senior Scientist and Head of Physiology at the Animal Health Trust. His main areas of professional interest are exercise physiology, including nutrition, fitness training, thermoregulation, anhidrosis, competition strategy, transport, respiratory disease and EIPH and has published over 200 scientific papers in these areas.

He has worked as a consultant to the British Equestrian Federation since 1994 and is a member of the BEF’s World Class Performance Scientific Advisory Group. Between 1996 and 2000 he was trainer for the British Endurance team when they won a silver medal at the World Championships in Compiegne, France in 2000. David has a strong interest in equine welfare and has been involved in many projects, including working with World Horse Welfare to improve the conditions for horses transported for meat in Europe. He is currently involved in a range of projects including the impact of COVID-19 on horse owners and horse welfare, protective boot testing, the safety of headcollars, performance analysis, saddle tree design, saddle pads, quantification of headshaking and a large number of nutritional projects. David is a past Chair of the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP), editor of Comparative Exercise Physiology, author of Equine Exercise Physiology and President of the UK National Equine Welfare Council. He has also been the FEI’s climate advisor since 1996 and currently runs his own equestrian community under




Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hayley Randle

Founding Member
Assoc. Prof. Equine Science Charles Sturt University

Hayley is Associate Professor of Equine Science at Charles Sturt University, Australia.  Before emigrating to Australia in 2016 she worked at Duchy College and Plymouth University in the UK, as an Academic Lead and Researcher.  She has made significant contributions to the Quality Assurance of degree level courses in the UK through her work as a QAA reviewer for over a decade.  She is passionate about animal welfare and makes national and international contributions.  She has an Australian government appointed Animal Welfare advisory role, is an active member of The National Primary Industries Animal Welfare Research, Development and Extension Strategy (NAWDRES) and two international journal Associate Editor (equine specialism) roles.   She has held all Honorary Council roles of the International Society for Equitation Science and is now an ISES Honorary Fellow and ISES Trustee.  She is actively involved in shaping the ISES strategies including as a Positive Influencer for the next five years.  She has worked tirelessly with a very supportive Equine Science team at Charles Sturt University to produce a contemporary and very popular set of degree courses within the School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences, where she is also an Associate Head of School.  She likes nothing more than seeing her students thrive and is very proud of both her undergraduates contributing to change in the equine industry and post graduate students engaged in cutting edge equitation science research.  She is involved in multiple international equine welfare projects and grasps all opportunities to facilitate change in the equine industry.  She is an active member of national animal welfare councils and University animal ethics committees.   In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two horses and three ponies, two kelpies and border collie, long suffering partner and dirt bike crazy son.

Prof. Dr. Michael Weishaupt

Founding Member
Professor, Head of Equine Sports Medicine Division, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Michael Weishaupt graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 1989 at the University of Berne. Between 1990 and 1993 he worked as an assistant at the Swiss National Stud in Avenches and completed his doctoral thesis on “The relationship among local structural, biochemical and functional variables describing muscle oxidative capacity in horses and steers” at the Department of Large Animal Medicine of the University of Berne. Since fall 1993 he has worked at the Vetsuisse-Faculty of the University of Zurich and is in charge of the Equine Performance Centre, a clinical as well as research division of the Equine Department. His special interests are equine sports medicine and rehabilitation, exercise physiology, diseases of the upper airways, equine orthopaedics, shoeing and biomechanics.

In 2004 he finished his PhD on “The compensatory mechanisms of weight bearing lameness in horses”. In 2010 he received the Venia legendi of the University of Zurich for Equine Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology. Dr.Weishaupt is diplomate of the American College of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and member of the research committee of the International Conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion (ICEL). In addition to a number of research papers in the field of sports medicine and biomechanics, he has published as editor two e-learning tools, one on equine upper airway diseases (Equad) and one on shoeing and diseases of the hoof (

Dr. Weishaupt is an accredited racetrack veterinarian, member of the veterinary advisory board of the Swiss Horseracing Federation and member of the accreditation board of the European Federation of Farriers Associations (EFFA).

Prof. Dr. Lars Roepstroff

Founding Member
Professor, Head of Research Swedish university of agricultural sciences, Uppsala

Roepstorff graduated as a veterinary surgeon 1985. He has practised as an equine clinician both in private practice at different clinics and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). He’s scientific work has been focused on biomechanical studies of equine locomotion with the overall aim to improve performance and soundness and it comprises more than 110 scientific papers. Lars has been or is involved as supervisor in 14 PhD-projects, more than 50 bachelor/master theses within the veterinary, animal husbandry, equine studies and engineering programs and examined an equal number of student thesis. He was chairman of the international committee for ICEL 2012 (International conference on Canine and Equine Locomotion) and have been presenter and invited speaker on numerous scientific as well as sports conferences around the world.

In 2011 he became Professor of Equine Functional anatomy and is today working with applied biomechanics in three different areas, development of tools for objective equine lameness diagnostics and locomotion analysis, horse-rider interaction and equine footings. Especially his scientific work in equine footings has led to applications in Equestrian sports, acting as an official for the International Equestrian  Federation (FEI) at Olympics (London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo) assessing footing quality with methods developed by him and his colleagues.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lise Berg

Founding Member
Associate Professor, Applied clinical Biomedical science, Department of large animal science in section of medicine and surgery. Tåstrup. Denmark


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lise C. Berg graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 2001 from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2008, she completed her PhD on novel markers in cartilage synthesis, followed by a post doctoral fellowship in regenerative medicine. She is currently appointed as tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Copenhagen, and based at the Large Animal University Hospital in Taastrup. Her main areas of research are functional anatomy, orthopedics, and regenerative medicine with a focus on articular cartilage, stem cells, and the muscular system.

Dr. Berg is also certified in veterinary chiropractic from Germany and animal rehabilitation from USA, and she is the owner of a private equine practice working with sport horses at all levels and across multiple disciplines focused on developing well-functioning equine athletes using evidence-based techniques. She is an FEI permitted treating veterinarian and has officiated at a large number of national and international events both as PT-VET, chef d’equipe for Danish vaulting, and championship level FEI judge.

Dr. Katharina Kirsch

Founding Member
Researcher and veterinarian at DOKR (German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports), Warendorf, Germany

Since 2022, she works as a scientist in the HorseWatch project: Influence of breed, age at the beginning of training, housing-system and training conditions on health, behavior and well-being of horses at the Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Potsdam (Germany). From 2013 – 2021 she worked as a Vet/Scientist in the „performance monitoring program” for German national team horses, at the German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports, Warendorf (Germany). From 2014 – 2019 she finalized her PhD „Training and performance monitoring in elite eventing horses”, at the University Liège (Belgium). Before her PhD (from 2007 – 2013) she studied Veterinary Medicine, at the Free University Berlin (Germany).


Prof. Dr. Hilary Clayton

Founding Member
Professor and McPhail Dressage Chair emerita, Michigan State University

For almost 50 years Dr. Hilary M. Clayton has performed innovative research in the areas of equine biomechanics, lameness, rehabilitation, athletic conditioning, and the interaction between rider, tack and horse. She has published 7 books and numerous articles on these topics in scientific journals and equestrian publications. Since retiring from academia in 2014, she has performed collaborative research with colleagues from around the world.

Dr. Clayton is a charter diplomate and past president of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is an Honorary Fellow of the International Society for Equitation Science and has been inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame, the Midwest Dressage Association Hall of Fame and the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame. She is a lifelong rider and has competed in many equestrian sports currently focusing on dressage.




Prof. Dr. Marianne Sloet

Founding Member
Professor of Clinical Equine Internal Medicine at Utrecht University

Marianne M. Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, DVM (1982, cum laude), PhD (1990), Dip. ECEIM (2001, now honorary member) and Dip. ECVSMR (2019) has retired in December 2021 as professor of Clinical Equine Internal Medicine at Utrecht University. However, she continues research with six PhD candidates for another 5 years. Further, she works since December 2021 part-time as a specialist/consultant in Krommerijnstreek Equine Practice (Schalkwijk) and in ‘Eikenlust Equine Consultancy (2009).

Prof. Sloet was the first president of  the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (2002-2008) and past-president of this College (2008-2011). She was member of the Council for Animal Affairs (2010-2018) in the Netherlands. She is president of the Advisory Committee Equine Welfare, member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Equine Emerging diseases and chair of the Animal Disease Group of the Sectorraad Paarden.

Prof. Sloet is veterinary advisor of the Dutch National Equestrian Federation (KNHS), the Dutch Warmblood studbook (KWPN) and the Royal Friesian Studbook (KFPS), and FEI Head Veterinarian for the Netherlands.

Sanne Voets

Press Officer & Para Dressage champion

Sanne graduated with her Masters degree in communication at Utrecht University in 2009. She has worked as editor and equestrian reporter and currently holds her own, small text agency. She writes texts for clients and keeps a blog on equestrian sport, science, welfare and her own experiences as a para dressage rider at world class level.

Sanne is multiple European, World and Paralympic Champion with her horse Demantur RS2 N.O.P.. She is currently working towards the Paris 2024 Games, where she aims to defeat her titles. As an elite athlete in equestrian sports, she is very involved in the issue of welfare of sport horses. Sanne takes that particularly serious and likes to think outside the box. She works together with equine physiologists for a long time already and caused a stir in her professional preparations on the challenging climate at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. “I am committed to be involved in the change in equestrian sports that will lead to better horse welfare and hopefully many more years of horses and riders both happily working together.’ As press officer Sanne’s goal is to help share and spread the scientific knowledge already gained to help horses feel and perform even better in the future.

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