The horses of Filipe Bragança


Filipe Bragança is a PhD student at the Faculty of Veterinary Science who researches the motion, or lack thereof, in horses. 

Filipe Bragança is a PhD student at the Faculty of Veterinary Science who researches the motion, or lack thereof, in horses. 

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Filipe Bragança and I am a PhD student originating from Portugal working on the gait (motion, walk, stride; red.) analysis of horses at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. I am working on the further development of motion analysis techniques based on inertia motion sensors (IMU) and motion capture cameras for the diagnosis of lameness (limping due to pain) in horses. We are interested in the clinical application of gait analysis for objective evaluation of lameness in horses, since until today this is mainly based on subjective visual scoring. This project also involves 3 other university or private practice centres for gait analysis in horses based in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland which gives me the opportunity to meet very interesting people and discuss new ideas on a daily basis.  

Where is this workplace?
I work at the Equine Hospital of Utrecht University, located at De Uithof.

What is special about this workplace or about your research?
I believe I am lucky enough to work in one of the biggest Equine Hospitals in the word. And if some people think size does not mater, I have to say it does matter! We have now the conditions at the Utrecht Equine hospital to have a large motion capture volume for gait analysis. This is due to the architecture of our building which gives us the opportunity to perform research in unique conditions and to become pioneers in the daily clinical application of motion capture in horses for the diagnosis of lameness. There is a long standing history of gait analysis research performed here at the Equine Hospital and it is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to follow on those footsteps and to work with some of the best researchers in this field. There is also a very interesting and international team of veterinarians and researchers working at the Equine Hospital and although I come from another country they always make me feel like home.

The picture is from one of our experiments. We try to validate our new IMU sensors that can be used in horses and/or other species in the future. These sensors will become the future of portable gait analysis and will allow veterinarians, horse trainers and horse owners to objectively evaluate their horse’s gait. Technology and automation are becoming mainstream in many fields of research and we must go along with these technological advances. I am very enthusiastic about my current work and I believe there is a bright exciting future in this field of research.  

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