Research Laboratory on Locomotion of the Equine Athlete – CWD-VetLab
The CWD-VetLab aims at merging the common aspirations of an academic research unit (Unité 957 Biomécanique et Pathologie Locomotrice du Cheval: BPLC-CIRALE) and a firm specialized in horse and rider equipment (LIM France). The goal is to create new knowledge and use it to innovate in the field of performance and equine health.
The LabCom project between these two entities aims at making concrete and official a partnership which has already been going on for several years around common axes to improve the welfare and performance of the horse.
The horse industry is of major economic importance (180 000 jobs and a 14 billion financial flow in France). Locomotion pathology is the first cause of financial loss for the equine industry, both for livestock and for the exploitation of sport horses.
In this context, gaining knowledge of the musculoskeletal system operation and the circumstances in which lesions are likely to appear is a major challenge to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. These pathologies depend on the sporting discipline and training methods of the horses whose physical preparation is similar in all respects to that of human athletes.
Also, the challenge is to constantly seek to improve performance while accounting for the physical integrity of the horse, by adding tools to objectively quantify the effects of extrinsic factors in order to rationalize the training techniques and to improve equipment (with special regards to saddlery and harness).
The LabCom CWD-VetLab involves three types of skills revolving around researchers in biomechanics, clinical veterinarians specialized on locomotor pathologies and product designers. Thus, they are able to turn knowledge into new innovative products abiding by the principle shared by all the members of this LabCom: combining performance and the welfare of the horse.
The partnership of both entities BPLC-CIRALE and LIM France in this LabCom relies on this founding principle. The development and growth strategy of the CWD-VetLab is based on the unifying project of “Connected Riding”. It means designing new measurement tools aiming at:
- developing new saddlery and harnessing products, more adapted and with a drastic technological gap with the traditional products currently on the market;
- using these new products, integrating innovative and connected measurement tools in order to help the rider (and their veterinarian) improve the management training of their horse and to increase scientific knowledge thanks to a wide, unprecedented data collection.
In all cases, the common goal is to improve:
- prevention and diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders;
- treatment (especially in the kinesio-therapeutic angle);
- performance and welfare for a better management of the athlete horse and rider’s assistance, a major concern of the various actors in the horse industry.
This LabCom project, labeled by the “Pôle de Compétitivité de la filière équine Hippolia” perfectly fits in the development axes of “Nouvelle France industrielle” proposed by the Ministry of Economy (Smart Objects, Data economy). One of the axes of this LabCom is supported by the program “Investissement d’Avenir”.
Monsieur Henry Chateau (USC 957 Biomécanique et Pathologie Locomotrice du Cheval)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
USC 957 BPLC USC 957 Biomécanique et Pathologie Locomotrice du Cheval
Help of the ANR 300,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2017 - 36 Months