Paul René van Weeren (1957) graduated in 1983 from the Utrecht University Veterinary Faculty (The Netherlands). He became a staff member of the Department of General and Large Animal Surgery in that year and obtained his PhD degree in 1989. From 1991-1993 he worked as a visiting professor at the Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria of the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica. He became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994.
Lars 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 has worked closely to equestrian sports with assignment as a national team vet and as a lecturer in continuing education of professional trainers. He has headed the department of Equine Studies at SLU.
In 2011 he became Professor in Equine Functional anatomy and currently he works with applied biomechanics in three different areas; development of tools for objective equine lameness diagnostics, horse-rider interaction and equine footings.
His scientific work has focused on biomechanical studies of equine locomotion with the overall aim to improve equine health and soundness.
F.M. (Filipe) Serra Bragança
Dr. Filipe Manuel Serra Bragança was born in 1988 in Portugal. He graduated in 2013, from the Veterinary University of Lisbon. After graduation, he performed his internship at an equine practice in the UK.
In 2014 he started his PhD at Utrecht University (the Netherlands) performing research in biomechanics and equine locomotion, focusing on objective gait analysis. The main goal of his PhD was the further development and clinical implementation of techniques of objective gait analysis and lameness assessment in the horse based on motion-capture and IMU-sensor technology.
Currently he is leading the locomotion reseach team at Utrecht University together with René van Weeren. Current projects: further development of a sensor-based system for gait and performance analysis ‘EquiMoves’, objective assessment of horses with back pain, genetics of gait, development of gait analysis modalities for different gaits (inclining the gaits of the Icelandic horse), integration and standardization of surface EMG in horses and usage of machine learning techniques to study locomotion.
A.M. (Aagje) Hardeman
DVM, PhD, IVCA-cert. chiropractor
Dr. Aagje Hardeman (1986) graduated from Utrecht University in 2012, as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Afterwards, she did the BackBone Academy in Germany, to become a certified equine chiropractor, as well as additional courses for Dry Needling and Kinesiotaping.
In 2014, she moved to Germany to work at Tierklinik Lüsche, one of the biggest referral clinics in Europe, where she has been part of the orthopaedic and rehabilitation team. Simultaneously, she started her PhD, supervised by Prof. Dr. Rene van Weeren (Utrecht) and Prof. Dr. Lars Roepstorff (Uppsala).
Her entire PhD was focussed on the clinical application of quantitative gait analysis in horses. She defended her dissertation in 2021 at Utrecht University.
After moving back to the Netherlands, she started her own business DataHorse, which focusses on the clinical implication of quantitative gait analysis in several clinics and practices, as well as for individual patients.
Grown up between horses and being a dressage rider (PSG level), instructor and judge herself, she is well-motivated to share her knowledge about locomotion and performance in horses.
R (Russell) MacKechnie-Guire
PhD, BHSI, BSc (Hons)
Russell MacKechnie-Guire holds a PhD in Equine Biomechanics, graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 2019. Russell’s thesis was titled ‘The Relationship between Saddle and Rider Kinematics, Equine Locomotion, and Thoracolumbar Pressures in Sports Horses’. Russell is based at Centaur Biomechanics, a company which he founded in 2006. He has extensively researched the effect that tack (saddle, bridle and girth) and the rider has on equine health and performance. Russell holds a post at Hartpury University as a Reader in Equine Biomechanics.
Russell’s current area of research is horse-saddle-rider interaction, spinal kinematics in horses when ridden over ground, the effect that rider asymmetry has on equine back movement, and from a rehabilitation perspective, the effect that training aids and pole work exercise has on back movement. In addition, Russell collaborates with researchers on various research projects associated with equine health, rehabilitation and performance. Russell is a consultant for the British Equestrian Federations World Class, Team GBR programme and is a member of Team GBR’s Scientific Advisory Group. Russell also sits on the Society of Master Saddlers Scientific Advisory Group, and is part of the executive committee for the International Task force on Laterality in Sports Horses.
Russell is also a Pilates instructor, Intrinsic (Human) Biomechanics Trainer, a BHSI equestrian coach, and a keen competitor in dressage and show jumping.
M.A. (Michael) Weishaupt
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 (e-hoof.com).
Dr. Weishaupt is an accredited racetrack veterinarian, member of the veterinary advisory board of the Swiss Horseracing Federation, member of the accreditation board of the European Federation of Farriers Associations (EFFA) and founding member of the Sporthorse Welfare Foundation (SWF).