an initiative for the well-being of sport horses

The well-being of sport horses is at the heart of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle initiative. The project brings together equine experts and leading scientists from Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

They travel the world and inspire all year round with their outstanding performances: Horses in international competitions are true top athletes. “We all love equestrian sport,” says CHIO Aachen Sports Director Birgit Rosenberg.


“However, this passion comes with a great responsibility to prioritise the welfare of the horses at all times.” This is the focus of the project. Primarily, it aims to protect the horses, but it also seeks to enhance the transparency and acceptance of equestrian sport in society.


“It requires a long-term commitment from everyone who wants equestrian sport to have a positive future,” says Birgit Rosenberg, who is supported by a team of eminent scientists as part of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle, including Prof. Dr Dirk Winter from Nürtingen University of Applied Sciences for Business and Environment. “Together, we want to investigate how sport horses fare at competition events and what exactly they need to ensure their well-being in the long term,” explains Prof. Dr Winter.


This involves addressing questions such as: What are their needs? How can they travel comfortably? What kind of accommodation do they find comfortable? When and in which situations do they experience stress? Since horses cannot verbally communicate their feelings, high-ranking experts with innovative measurement methods are employed to achieve scientifically sound results, ensuring the long-term well-being of horses as sporting partners. These experts include:





  • Dr. rer. nat. Arne-Rasmus Dräger, expert in artificial intelligence and developer of AI-based camera systems for monitoring the health of horses


  • Prof. Dr. Guy Chéron, Professor of Neurophysiology and Movement Biomechanics, University of Brussels, expert in recording brain waves in horses



  • Dr. med. vet. Monica Venner, Pferdeklinik Destedt GmbH, private lecturer at TiHo Hannover, PhD, equine veterinarian, Dipl. ECEIM, FEI Permitted Treating Veterinarian


  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Galuske, Lab – Biology – TU Darmstadt, specialising in Systems Neurophysiology, Systems Neuroscience, interaction between brain areas, structure and function in the mammalian brain and especially in the horse brain, system neurophysiological investigations in the behavioral context


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