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There are many footcare subjects covered at the International Hoof-Care Summit. You may have a straightforward lecture on a particular shoe application. Or you may find a presenter reviewing a case study that involved a devastating foot injury.

There is one particular type of lecture that is, in my mind, a tough challenge for the speaker: delivering research findings. A speaker who is delivering a talk on research needs to boil down the data to how this information is transferable to an everyday footcare practice. That is no easy feat. Keep it strictly data, and you've lost your audience. Those speakers who possess this skill are worth the price of admission.

All of the speakers we have this year at the Summit are skilled in their ability to make that connection. Among these, I'm especially looking forward to Dr. Renate Weller. A Ph.D. and veterinarian from the Royal Veterinary College in England, Dr. Weller has two presentations this year.

One lecture, "This Leg Is Off Center, But Does It Matter?," takes a look at the relationship between conformation, injuries and performance through clinical studies. Her other IHCS lecture is an interactive session on research that will include discussion of what the farrier contributes as an individual.

Dr. Weller has a keen ability to hold an audience's attention and make the subject pertinent to the farrier. Take her stance on research. For her, research isn't simply something relegated to academia and reserved for the privileged few. Instead, a quality farrier practices research on a daily basis by analyzing what each horse does and comparing it to the animal's overall history. This research may not appear in an academic journal, but is critical for keeping horse performing at their best.

In November, I had the chance to sit with Dr. Weller and talk about a variety of topics, including research. As you'll see in this video, you'll see that Dr. Weller is a straight-shooter and a can't miss lecturer at the Summit in January 2014.


— Jeremy McGovern,
Executive Editor