With the new launch of Equine Soundness Professionals (ESP) comes its first educational and professional development seminar geared toward farriers and veterinarians. The one-day informational event will take place Saturday, March 16, 2019, at the Wanderers Country Club in Wellington, Fla. A small trade fair area will be included as well.

Speakers include veterinarian Raul Bras of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; farrier Pat Reilly of Penn Vet New Bolton Center and farrier Shane Westman of the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. ESP founder and professional farrier Dave Gilliam of Flower Mound, Texas, will also be presenting.

Each speaker will be covering different topics. Bras will be presenting on navicular syndrome and the deep digital flexor tenotomy. Reilly will cover mechanical considerations for the laminitic foot and surgeries of the distal phalanx. Westman will present on white line disease and the use of advanced imaging for lameness care. Gilliam will be providing an update on ESP as well as the need for scientific-based research.

Everyone is welcome to attend, members and non-members. Pre-registration is required and costs $150. Breakfast and lunch are included. To register, please contact Gilliam at (214) 907-3380 or at info@equinesoundnessprofessionals.com.

The mission statement of ESP is “to facilitate and encourage collaboration between the two professions to better prevent and treat lameness by 1) sharing knowledge, research and experience; 2) providing a forum to discuss lameness cases; and 3) promoting evidence-based practices.”

ESP is a nonprofit organization based in Texas. More than 187 qualified members have been welcomed aboard. Many more have applied. As part of membership, farriers and veterinarians can enroll in an optional 2-part testing procedure given by ESP to measure their knowledge of anatomy, imaging and biomechanical aspects of rehabilitating a horse’s hoof. As of March 1, 18 members have begun the testing protocol with 14 more requests received.

The second level of the test is more in-depth and will be case-based assessment with actual examination, workup and treatment of a horse in a clinic setting. In the future, there will be exams based on individual areas of expertise as well. The same test is administered to farriers and veterinarians. The test can be taken online or on paper in a three-ring binder. 

Those wishing to become a charter member may apply here. A membership screening will be conducted; however, no dues will be charged for 2019. Farriers and veterinarians who perform, research or investigate equine podiatry services are invited to apply. 

The ESP advisory panel consists of Gilliam and five advisors: presenters Westman and Reilly; veterinarians Courtney Lewis of Circle Oak Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in California; Melissa Mitchell of Equicare Veterinary Service in Texas; and Sammy Pittman of Innovative Equine Podiatry in Texas.

In collaboration with the advisory board, Gilliam aims to concentrate on four key areas in 2019, including the accreditation of veterinarians and farriers who successfully pass the testing procedure; further supporting and hosting of educational events in the care of healthy hooves; developing an ESP member case report database for documentation of successful treatment rehabilitation; and working to keep open communication between members.

Sponsors include OsphosPalm Beach Farrier SupplyPolyflex HorseshoesSteriHoofWell ShodFarrier Product DistributionEquicastHoofjackEquisport Farrier SupplyCastle PlasticsHoofSearchPlatinum Performance, and RevitaVet.

There will be another ESP educational event in May in California.