Important memo from the FEI Veterinary Department – Optimising performance in a challenging climate
In view of the high temperatures that are currently impacting many countries in Europe and the upcoming test event in Tokyo (12-14 August), the FEI would like to remind all our stakeholders to take the right measures to protect horses and humans from the risk of heat stress.
Our top five tips for staying cool in a challenging climate are:
1, Learn and practice cooling techniques – Large volumes of cold water applied all over the horse’s body will cool it down. There is no need to use a scraper to remove the water.
2, Water – Never restrict water. Allow your horse to drink at will during breaks, after exercise etc. Humans should also ensure they keep themselves hydrated with cold drinks. Both human and equine athletes will benefit from air conditioning, shade and cold air or misting fans.
3, Monitor – Excessive sweating, high temperature, hot skin, deep and laboured breathing are signs of overheating in horses
4, Call your vet immediately if your horse shows signs of poor recovery.
5, Acclimatise where possible – Horses and humans can train to better cope with heat and humidity
To further assist you in making the right decisions on prevention and treatment of heat stress, we are also providing you with links to five key documents, which contain extensive information and advice. These include presentations made at the 2018 FEI Sports Forum by the leading experts: Professor David Marlin, Dr Martha Mischeff and Dr Peter Whitehead.
This information is also highly relevant for all stakeholders that will participate in or visit the test event for Tokyo 2020:
Optimising performance in a challenging climate – Full version: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/Session_6_Optimising_performance_in_a_challenging_climate_SUPPORTING_DOC.pdf
Optimising performance in a challenging climate – Executive summary / short version: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/Session_6_Optimising_performance_in_a_challenging_climate_Exec_Summary_SUPPORTING_DOC.pdf
Professor David Marlin – management of the equine athlete: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEISF2018_Session_6_The%20Equine%20Athlete%20Background%2C%20Risk%2C%20Prevention%20and%20Management_DMarlin.pdf
Dr Martha Mischeff – veterinary management of heat-related illness: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEISF2018_Session_6_Veterinary%20Management%20of%20Heat%20Related%20Illness_MMischeff.pdf
Dr Peter Whitehead – humans in hot climates: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEISF2018_Session_6_Humans-in-Hot-Climates_PWhitehead.pdf