Who is Professor Timothy Parkin?

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Timothy Parkin is a member of the Endurance Temporary Committee and the FEI Veterinary Committee. A professor and associate at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, Parkin heads the scientific research for the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS).

Tim Parkin is an expert who tracks the Equine Injury Database and explains how better information on non-fatal injuries ultimately could reduce the number of equine fatalities. The EID tracks equine fatalities that occur during racing, recording any injury that results in a fatality within 72 hours of a race.

Tim Parkin is Head of the Division of Equine Clinical Sciences, Clinical Director of the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow. He is also the School of Veterinary Medicine Research Convenor.

Photo bloodhorse.com

He qualified from the University of Bristol with degrees in Zoology (1992) and Veterinary Science (1998). He immediately took up a position at the University of Liverpool and went on to complete his PhD on the epidemiology of fractures in racehorses in 2002. Since then he has worked on numerous projects with several different racing jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, South America and the USA. He gained his Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Public Health in 2006 and has worked at the University of Glasgow since February 2007.

He has twice been an epidemiological consultant for Racing Victoria Jumps Race Review Committees (2005 and 2008) and is a member of the Equine Injury Database Scientific Advisory Committee in the USA.

Parkin currently serves on: the Veterinary Advisory Committee of World Horse Welfare; the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Petplan Charitable Trust; the Editorial Consultant Board of the Equine Veterinary Journal. He is an Assistant Editor for the Veterinary Record and was until 2015 the Honorary Secretary of the Executive Council of the European College of Veterinary Public Health. He was President of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine from 2012 to 2013.

Photo National Equine Forum

“My major area of work is equine epidemiology. I am particularly interested in identifying methods to prevent musculoskeletal injury and fatality in the Thoroughbred racehorse. This work has included the identification of risk factors for distal limb fracture in the UK, fatality in Australia and tendon injury in Hong Kong. My current focus is working with the US Jockey Club, South American racing jurisdictions and the FEI to identify the ‘at risk’ horse such that interventions or more appropriate evidence-based decisions can be made about participation in particular events or races. I am also leading a Knowledge Exchange project for the racing industry that will convert all academic consensus and contradiction into easily accessible information for the racing stakeholder (trainer, vet and owner)”.

Photo FEI

The latest findings in the Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS) were presented to the Endurance Temporary Committee. Professor Parkin and his team at the University of Glasgow have used the huge range of data collected to show that previous and recent Failed To Qualify (FTQ) classifications and low previous completion rates increased the risk of an FTQ at following rides.

Data shows that the risk of failure to qualify (FTQ) can be reduced by a number of factors: increased number of rides as a combination, longer out of competition periods, fewer rides in the previous 120 days, and more loops of similar length in a ride. Professor Parkin also advised that a lower heart rate on first presentation decreases the risk of FTQ at the next loop. Statistics show that a heart rate of greater than 64bpm at first presentation, especially during the second half of the ride, increased the risk of FTQ.

Photo FEI

Professor Timothy Parkin provided the scientific basis for the rules’ changes proposed by the Endurance Temporary Committee.

Let’s remember the phrase: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Can the statistics become the fundamental basis for a radical change in the Endurance rules without any practice?

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