This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FEBRUARY 2012 THE RIDER /43 The White Horses of Camargue Gallop Into Toronto

Written by Glenda Fordham Professional photographic artist MANUELA STEFAN brings her photographic essay of equine power and grace to the Art Square Gallery located at

334 Dundas Street West in Toronto (across from the Art Gallery of Ontario) February 14th through 27th. “WHITE - Power and Grace” features stun- ning portraits of the mystical white horses of the Camargue region of southern France, pho- tographed during her recent visit to the Rhone river delta which is home to these exquisite beasts. “I had been searching for the famous white horses, asking local villagers where and when I could find them; a local photog- rapher directed me to the marsh- lands and told me when they would be exercised,” explains Manuela. “I was standing in the dunes, blinking into the sunlight and all of a sudden I saw the outline of horses galloping through the tall grasses and reeds. Within seconds I was sur- rounded by flying manes and stomping hooves.”

As she explains, Manuela was overcome by a sense of rev- erence and awe as she was encircled by the excited horses. The herdsmen were laughing and joking but reassured her that she would be safe. “They said the horses were quite people- friendly” she continues, “and as I was talking with one young man, I felt a hot horsey breath on the back of my neck - a beautiful snow white stallion was nibbling my hair as a snack. He was so gentle, though, that I was able to turn around and snap a close-up of his face. He is now the poster boy for my exhibition!”

The Toronto-based Roma- nian-Canadian artist began her professional photographic career in 2005 after leaving the confines of the corporate world. Since then, Manuela has cap- tured humans in some of the most picturesque locations

across Canada and the rest of the world, and while looking for new avenues of creative expres- sion, she recently discovered the beauty of horses. This current exhibition features a selection of black and white fine art prints on canvas which are the founda- tion of the WHITE - Power and Grace series. The images range in size from 20” x 22” to 34” x 60” and prices range from $500 to $1,500 (unframed)

Embracing the inspiration of Camargue, Manuela is plan- ning a 4-day western horse trek in Montana this coming May and you can bet she’ll have her camera close at hand to capture images of the wild mustangs. Manuela Stefan accepts horse/owner portrait commis-

Equine Guelph Launches Video Series Reporting on Research

By Jackie Bellam

Thanks to a grant from the Knowledge Translation and Transfer program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Equine Guelph will be launching a video series entitled:

• Report on Research • Help for Horse Owners

Please enjoy this month’s premier release showcasing Dr. Physick-Sheard’s research into heart disturbances.

The Beat Goes On- Report on Research Studying Heart Disturbances in Horses

Normal heart rhythm and sounds in a horse are difficult to define because of the fascinating array of strange sounds and rhythms which can be found in apparently healthy animals and which change with exercise. Also, even when sounds or rhythms do reflect heart problems, most horse owners will not notice signs, until there is an inability to perform work at a level previously achieved successfully, when the horse shows an unusual tendency to tire.

ical examination. Future use would also be dis- cussed before deciding on diagnostics. An Elec- trocardiogram may be the next step to determine the heart’s rhythm and possibly an ultrasound to look at how efficiently the muscle and valves work. They look for enlargement or abnormal structure in the heart and check for normal blood flow around the valves.

Dr. Physick-Sheard describes two types of rhythm disturbance that can be found: 1. Benign variations on normal (mostly involving the top part of the heart).

2. Ventricular rhythm disturbances, which can be serious and even life threatening.

When found, they look first for problems outside the heart, disturbances in homoeostasis, which involves keeping the environment around cells constant: dehydration, electrolyte and acid base imbalance. Under these circumstances secondary arrhythmias are often detected. Situations where the cardiac problem is primary are rare but some- times serious.

Owners of performance horses understand the economic impact of a horse that can no longer work, or in the worst-case scenario, where sudden loss becomes a serious issue. University of Guelph researcher Dr Physick-Sheard states, “After safety issues and welfare issues are dis- cussed there is still a need to put an economic value on the horse, which is decided by the client”. One aspect of research Dr. Physick- Sheard and Dr. Kim McGurrin look at is atrial fibrillation, the most common clinically signifi- cant rhythm disturbance horses can have. An arrhythmia is technically defined as an abnormal heart rhythm, however, irregular heart rhythm is commonplace in horses and the endeavor to define normal, continues to be a complex and fas- cinating journey. A completely steady rhythm can be considered abnormal.

Before a diagnosis of heart problems can be made, Dr. Physick-Sheard explains, a logical pro- cess where the client is asked the history of the horse (breed, use, how long it has been in train- ing) is followed before conducting a general phys-

sions, using her unique approach to tell compelling pho- tographic stories.

Her website www.grace- carries the evoca- tive Camargue images as well as charming portraits of from Ari- zona stables.

McGurrin and Physick-Sheard have had enormous success treating arrhythmia with transvenous electrical cardioversion. The response rate has been 100%! Electrodes are placed into the heart to deliver an electric shock, while the horse is under anesthesia, to convert the rhythm to normal.

Dr. McGurrin and Dr. Physick-Sheard devel- oped this technique before their first Standardbred track study, where they collected heart rhythm data during racing using an electrocardiogram. Dr. Physick-Sheard explains how the technology works, “The heart is a bag of muscle, a slave pump which does what the system tells it, con- tracting at a rate that reflects the body’s needs. The heart gives off an electrical signal when it contracts which reaches the skin and can be detected by the electrocardiogram (ECG). This is then used to monitor heart rhythm.”

Dr. Physick-Sheard has developed special- ized equipment and software for the current inten- sive Thoroughbred study, which he is hoping will give more insights into causes of sudden death. Research funding has been provided by Equine Guelph, Grayson Jockey Club Foundation and OMAFRA.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56