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Dr. Heather Cameron-Whytock

Dr Heather Cameron-Whytock is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire. Heather spent many of her early years competing and producing young horses for affiliated eventing competition, whilst working for international eventing riders. These experiences shaped Heather’s passion for equestrian sport and fed into the research that she now conducts.

Heather completed her BSc (Hons) in Equine Science (Physiology) in 2013, including a study on horse falls in eventing for her undergraduate dissertation which led to international presentations at conferences in Denmark and Ireland.

Heather’s PhD research focused on eventing sport, investigating ways to make eventing safer for both horses and riders. In addition to performing data analysis to identify risk factors for horse falls, Heather investigated optimal cardiac monitoring techniques for horses and went on to record both horse and rider heart rate and heart rate variability during eventing competition. She also carried out psychological profiling of riders during competition to identify their emotional state and link this to performance and stress.

Heather’s 2023 study on horse falls in British Eventing competition was the largest scientific study ever published on the subject, it was featured in several equestrian media outlets and attracted global attention as such.

Heather and the team have completed safety-focused projects for the FEI, British Eventing and Equestrian Australia. In addition to her work in eventing sport, Heather is also involved in more general research projects in the field of equine physiology, cognition and rider biomechanics.

Heather has written for The Conversation as an expert academic and is a member of the Animal Welfare Research Network and the International Society for Applied Ethology. She is also an expert reviewer for The Veterinary Record and the Equine Veterinary Journal for research in the field of equine sports medicine.

Articles by Dr. Heather Cameron-Whytock