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Birch E.,Hartpury College | Lesniak K.,Center for Performance in Equestrian Sports
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2013

The Kennel Club (KC) and United Kingdom Agility (UKA) govern major dog agility competitions in the UK. Dogs are categorised into different jump heights depending on their height at the withers, with fence heights ranging from 300 to 650. mm for both organisations. Dogs fall into one of three height categories when competing under KC rules and one of four height categories under UKA rules. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of an additional height category for agility dogs measuring over 430. mm at the withers. Jump heights were selected that related to the percentage of body height that dogs of 430. mm (7% lower) and 431. mm (51% higher) height at the withers would be encouraged to jump under UKA regulations without the addition of their fourth ('standard height') category. Joint angles were determined from anatomical markers placed on the forelimb and hind limb joints, and at six points along the vertebral column. As fence height increased, flexion of the scapulohumeral joint increased significantly for both the take-off and bascule (arc) phases of the jump. The increase in flexion as a consequence of the increase in fence height is likely to result in intensified stretching of the biceps brachii and supraspinatus muscles. In addition, increasing fence high resulted in an increase in the sacroiliac joint angle during take-off. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Hothersall B.,University of Bristol | Harris P.,Center for Pet Nutrition | Sortoft L.,Hartpury College | Nicol C.J.,University of Bristol
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2010

Behavioural observations suggest that smell is important in social discriminations between horses but balanced studies of this capacity are lacking. We used a habituation-discrimination procedure to investigate the ability of horses to distinguish between pairs of odour samples from different individuals. In Study 1, separate tests were conducted for urine, faeces or fleece fabric previously rubbed on the coat (to pick up body odour samples (BOS)) and donor pairs differed in sex, and age. 10 pregnant mares each underwent three tests, one per sample type. A test consisted of three successive 2-min presentations of a sample from Individual A with a simultaneous presentation of a sample from Individual B during the final presentation. Doubly repeated measures ANOVA indicated a main effect of sample type on investigative response (df. =2, f=7.98, P=0.004): durations were longer for BOS than for urine or faeces but habituation across trials was most consistent for urine. In the final presentation, mares demonstrated discrimination by investigating the novel urine sample (B) more than the repeated sample (novel: median 8.0. s, IQR. =10; repeated: median 2.5. s, IQR. =6; z=-2.558, P=0.008). In Study 2, urine samples from castrated male donors were used and neither mares nor their 4-month-old foals discriminated between samples from different individuals in the final presentation. The findings suggest that urine odour may contain some information that horses can use to discriminate between conspecifics. This may be limited to the level of broad categories such as sex or reproductive status; further investigation is needed to reveal what functional information can be transmitted and what compounds are involved. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Grant R.A.,Hartpury College | Grant R.A.,Anglia Ruskin University | Conlan H.,Anglia Ruskin University
Animals | Year: 2015

Unusual behavior before earthquakes has been reported for millennia but no plausible mechanism has been identified. One possible way in which animals could be affected by pre-earthquake processes is via stress activated positive holes leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide at the rock water interface. Aquatic and fossorial animals could be irritated by H2O2 and move down the concentration gradient. Here, we carry out avoidance tests with hydrogen peroxide in two model organisms; Daphnia pulex and earthworms. Daphnia were found to move away from increasing concentrations of H2O2 but earthworms appeared unaffected. It is possible that earthworm swarming behavior, reported frequently before earthquakes, is caused by electric field shifts or another unknown mechanism, whereas zooplankton may be affected by increasing levels of H2O2. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Chesterfield G.,Hartpury College | Potrac P.,University of Hull | Jones R.,University of Wales | Jones R.,Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
Sport, Education and Society | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study was to investigate how coaches perceived and responded to the content knowledge and assessment processes that they were exposed to during an advanced level soccer coaching award programme. In-depth interviews were conducted with six coaches who had successfully completed the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) 'A' Licence in the UK. Using the concepts of the 'dialectic of socialisation', 'studentship' and Goffman's (1959) work on 'the presentation of the self' as analytical pegs, the discussion highlights how the coaches were far from 'empty vessels' waiting to be filled. Rather, the findings reveal the active role that the respondent coaches played in terms of accepting, rejecting and resisting the knowledge, beliefs and methods espoused by the coach educators. Finally, perceiving of coach learning as a negotiated and contested activity is discussed in terms of its implications for existing and future coach education provision. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Sinclair J.,University of Central Lancashire | Hobbs S.J.,University of Central Lancashire | Protheroe L.,University of Central Lancashire | Protheroe L.,Hartpury College | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Biomechanics | Year: 2013

Biomechanical analysis requires the determination of specific foot contact events. This is typically achieved using force platform information; however, when force platforms are unavailable, alternative methods are necessary. A method was developed for the determination of gait events using an accelerometer mounted to the distal tibia, measuring axial accelerations. The aim of the investigation was to determine the efficacy of this method. Sixteen participants ran at 4.0 m/s ±5%. Synchronized tibial accelerations and vertical ground reaction forces were sampled at 1000 Hz as participants struck a force platform with their dominant foot. Events determined using the accelerometer, were compared with the corresponding events determined using the force platform. Mean errors of 1.68 and 5.46 ms for average and absolute errors were observed for heel strike and of -3.59 and 5.00 ms for toe-off. Mean and absolute errors of 5.18 and 11.47 ms were also found for the duration of the stance phase. Strong correlations (r = .96) were also observed between duration of stance obtained using the two different methods. The error values compare favorably to other alternative methods of predicting gait events. This suggests that shank-mounted accelerometers can be used to accurately and reliably detect gait events. © 2013 Human Kinetics, Inc.

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