About

The Team

Sandra starke

Sandra drives the development of this game and has kept the LamenessTrainer running since 2015. She created the animations and did all the clever data things that turned a real horses into a virtual one. Her interest in cognitive psychology led to close alignment of the game with the principles of perceptual learning, and her shared passion for deliberate practice (one of Stephen’s favourite topics) brought you a game that is fast and effective.

Sandra is currently working full time for Aston Business School, developing and delivering an ERDF-funded programme that supports manufacturers with the integration of products and services while studying for an MBA.

Sandra holds a BSc in Biomimetics from the University of Applied Sciences Bremen (Germany), an MSc in Biomechanics from the University of Manchester (UK) and a PhD from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London (UK).

In her PhD, she worked on biomechanics and visual perception of movement in sound and lame horses. The resulted in novel work shared internationally through conferences and journal papers, exploring the impact of lunging on movement asymmetry, simplified modelling of hind limb lameness, the relationship between what we see and measure and insights into visual assessments through eye tracking. After a short-term research assistant position, she commenced her project leader position for the ‘Lameness Trainer’ when the Eranda Foundation kindly funded the endeavour.

Since launching the game, Sandra went on to complete a Research Fellowship at the University of Birmingham from 2014 to 2017, where she worked on visual information sampling in context of human decision making on a EU-funded international project. She then commenced her position as Chief Scientific Officer for a small company involved in developing a wearable Low Vision Aid for people who lost their sight. After successful completion of their InnovateUK project grant, she joined Aston Business School.

Sandra has always been a ‘horsy’ person including training in basic dressage and competing in Mounted Games before converting to Western Riding. After moving to the UK, she is now learning a hybrid riding style, taking classes to improve the effectiveness of her aids and loving hacking. In her spare time, she continues to work on scientific projects in areas spanning horse biomechanics, learning, decision making and sight loss. She is also an experienced photographer with successful exhibition entries as well as a wannabe musician with an arsenal spanning drums, piano, guitar and accordion.

Sandra’s research interests cover decision making under uncertainty, visual perception, biomechanics as well as, alas, material science.

You can contact Sandra directly at SandraDStarke AT gmail.com

Publications related to horses and lameness assessment:

Journal papers:

Starke, S.D. and Oosterlinck, M. (2018): Reliability of equine visual lameness classification as a function of expertise, lameness severity and rater confidence. Veterinary Record 184: 63 (full paper online).

Starke, S.D. and May, S. (2017): Veterinary student competence in equine lameness recognition and assessment: a mixed methods study. Veterinary Record 181: 168 and full-length e-paper.

Starke, S.D. and Clayton, H. (2015): A universal approach to determine footfall timings from kinematics of a single foot marker in hoofed animals. PeerJ 3(5), open access.

Starke, S.D., May, S.A. and Pfau, T. (2015): Understanding hind limb lameness signs in horses using simple rigid body mechanics. Journal of Biomechanics 48, 3323-3331.

Starke, S. D., Raistrick, K. J., May, S. A. and Pfau, T. (2013): The effect of trotting speed on the evaluation of subtle lameness in horses. The Veterinary Journal 197, 245-252.

Starke, S. D., Witte, T. H., May, S. A. and Pfau, T. (2012): Accuracy and precision of hind limb foot contact timings of horses determined using a pelvis-mounted inertial measurement unit. Journal of Biomechanics 45, 1522-1528.

Starke, S. D., Willems, E., Head, M., May, S. A. and Pfau, T. (2012): Proximal hind limb flexion in the horse: effect on movement symmetry and implications for defining soundness. Equine Veterinary Journal 44, 657-663.

Starke, S. D., Willems, E., May, S. A. and Pfau, T. (2012): Vertical head and trunk movement adaptations of sound horses trotting in a circle on a hard surface. The Veterinary Journal 193, 73-80.

Gregory Miles

Gregory has always been a computer wizard and took on this project pro bono in his spare time to apply his skills and contribute to open learning. Gregory wrote the code running the game, developed our database and fixes all the bugs that you report when browsers suddenly change the way they work.

Gregory has been a loyal and much-loved part of the RVC’s IT team for many years (everyone who works there will have had their laptop fixed by him at least once) and recently moved to Systems when looking for a new challenge.

While he has a big fondness for baby horses, his true passion are cats: Gregory can instantaneously spot a cat no matter how cluttered the scene, which is both fascinating and unusual from the perspective of visual search.

Gregory strongly believes in self-directed, technology-supported learning and he is excited to make a positive contribution to open learning with this project. Since the launch of the game, he has commenced a senior role in IT at the Royal Veterinary College, where he continues to support staff and students to exceptional level.

You can contact Greg directly at gmiles AT rvc.ac.uk

Stephen May

Stephen was instrumental in making the LamenessTrainer a reality. He has a long-standing interest in lameness recognition and diagnosis in the horse (Stephen actually co-wrote one of the first quantitative accounts on hind limb lameness adaptation!), including valid and reliable methods, the limits of detection by the human eye, biases that introduce errors, and better ways of teaching students and horse owners to recognise lameness. Stephen’s knowledge in education methods can be described as near-infinite and he is a strong advocate of deliberate practice.

Stephen is Senior Vice Principal and Professor of Education at the Royal Veterinary College.

Stephen is Senior Vice Principal and Professor of Education at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. He was previously Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery.

Stephen is a Cambridge veterinary graduate with specialist training in surgery and diagnostic imaging of the horse and a PhD in the mechanisms that contribute to equine joint disease. In 2003, he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to learning in his specialist fields.

Stephen is interested in teaching and assessment methods for professional learning, and was instrumental in initiating key skills courses for veterinary and biological science students, which include clinical and scientific reasoning, communication skills, and team-working. He has a long-standing interest in lameness recognition and diagnosis in the horse (Stephen actually co-wrote one of the first quantitative accounts on hind limb lameness adaptation!), including valid and reliable methods, the limits of detection by the human eye, biases that introduce errors, and better ways of teaching students and horse owners to recognise lameness.

His successful bid, in 2004, for £4.9 million from HEFCE enabled development of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Lifelong and Independent Veterinary Education (LIVE), the centrepiece of which is a state of the art clinical skills facility, enabling the College to educate outstanding veterinarians and veterinary nurses who are capable and committed independent learners.

You can contact Sandra directly at smay AT rvc.ac.uk

The list below covers Stephen’s publications related to horses.

Lameness

May, S.A. (1986) The treatment of lameness. Equine Veterinary Journal 18, 348-350.

May, S.A. and Wyn-Jones, G. (1987) Identification of hindleg lameness. Equine Veterinary Journal 19, 185-188.

May, S.A. (1992) Contributed pictures and questions on joint diseases/lameness to “Self-Assessment Picture Tests in Veterinary Medicine: Equine Practice”. Edited by S.J. Dyson. Wolfe, London.

Arkell, M., Archer, R.M., Guitian, F.J. and May, S.A. (2006) Evidence of bias affecting the interpretation of the results of local anaesthetic nerve blocks. Veterinary Record 159, 346-349.

Weller, R., Pfau, T., Babbage, D., Brittin, E., May, S,A. and Wilson, A.M. (2006) Reliability of conformational measurements in the horse using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Equine Veterinary Journal 38, 610-615.

Weller, R., Pfau, T., May, S.A. and Wilson, A.M. (2006) Variation in conformation in a cohort of National Hunt racehorses. Equine Veterinary Journal 38, 616-621.

Parkes, R.S., Weller, R., Groth, A.M., May, S. and Pfau, T. (2009) Evidence of the development of ‘domain-restricted’ expertise in the recognition of asymmetric motion characteristics of hindlimb lameness in the horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 41, 112-117.

Starke, S.D., Willems, E., May, S.A. and Pfau, T. (2011) Vertical head and trunk movement adaptations of sound horses trotting in a circle on a hard surface. The Veterinary Journal (published online November 2011)

Starke, S.D., Witte, T.H., May, S.A. and Pfau, T. (2012) Accuracy and precision of hind limb foot contact timings of horses determined using a pelvis-mounted inertial measurement unit. Journal of Biomechanics 45, 1522-1528.

Starke, S.D., Willems, E., May, S.A. and Pfau, T. (2012) Proximal hind limb flexion in the horse: effect on movement symmetry and implications for defining soundness. Equine Veterinary Journal 44, 657-663.

Starke, S.D., Raistrick, K.J., May, S.A. and Pfau, T (2013) The effect of trotting speed on the evaluation of subtle lameness in horses. The Veterinary Journal 197, 245-252.

Starke, S.D., May, S.A. and Pfau, T. (2015) Understanding hind limb lameness signs in horses using simple rigid body mechanics. Journal of Biomechanics 48, 3323-3331.

Starke, S. and May, S.A. (2017) Veterinary student competence in equine lameness recognition and assessment: a mixed methods study. Veterinary Record, 181, 168. http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/vetrec/181/7/168.full.pdf

Imaging

May, S.A., Wyn-Jones, G. and Peremans, K.Y. (1986) The importance of oblique views in radiography of the equine limb. Equine Veterinary Journal 18, 7-13

May, S.A., Wyn-Jones, G., Church, Sally, Brouwer, G.J. and Jones, R.S. (1986) Iopamidol myelography in the horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 18, 199-202.

May, S.A., Patterson, Luise J., Peacock, Philippa J. and Edwards, G.B. (1991) Radiographic technique for the pelvis in the standing horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 23, 312-314

May, S.A. and Harrison, L.J. (1994) Radiography of the hip and pelvis. Equine Veterinary Education 6, 152-158.

May, S.A. (1996) Radiological aspects of degenerative joint disease. Equine Veterinary Education 8, 114-120.

May, S.A. (1998) Standing and conventional pelvic radiography in the horse. In: “Current Techniques in Equine Surgery and Lameness”, 2nd edition. Edited N.A. White and J.N. Moore. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia. Pp. 584-586.

Boswell, J C, Schramme, M C, Wilson, A M and May, S A (1999) Radiological study to evaluate suspected scapulohumeral joint dysplasia in Shetland ponies. Equine Veterinary Journal 31, 510-514.

Groth, A.M., May, S.A., Weaver, M.P. and Weller, R. (2009) Intra- and interobserver agreement in the interpretation of navicular bones on radiographs and computed tomography scans. Equine Veterinary Journal 41, 124-129.

Bone, Joint and Tendon Disease

May, S.A. and Wyn-Jones, G. (1984) Repair of a proximal radius fracture in a horse. Veterinary Record 115, 516-518.

May, S.A., Wyn-Jones, G. and Brouwer, G.J. (1985) Disuse osteopaenia predisposing to a long bone fracture in a horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 17, 329-331.

Wyn-Jones, G., Peremans, K.Y. and May, S.A. (1985) Case of quadrilateral flexural contracture in a 10-year-old pony. Veterinary Record 116, 685-687.

May, S.A. and Baker, J.R. (1985) A giant cell tumour (osteoclastoma) of the tibia in a horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 17, 477-479.

Wyn-Jones, G. and May, S.A. (1986) Surgical arthrodesis for the treatment of osteoarthrosis of the proximal intertarsal, distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints in thirty horses: A comparison of four different techniques. Equine Veterinary Journal 18, 59-64.

Gerring, E.L. and May S.A. (1987) Repair of radius fractures: a measure of progress. Equine Veterinary Journal 19, 89-90.

Alwan, W.H., Carter, S.D., Bennett, D., May, S.A. and Edwards, G.B. (1990) Cartilage breakdown in equine osteoarthritis: Measurement of keratan sulphate by an ELISA system. Research in Veterinary Science 49, 56-60

Alwan, W.H., Carter, S.D., Dixon, J.B., Bennett, D., May, S.A. and Edwards, G.B. (1991) Interleukin l like activity in synovial fluids and sera of horses with arthritis. Research in Veterinary Science 51, 72-77.

Harrison, L.J., May, S.A. and Edwards, G.B. (1991) Surgical treatment of open splint bone fractures in 26 horses.Veterinary Record 128, 606-610.

Harrison, L.J., May, S.A., Richardson, J.D., Mills, G. and Dixon, P. (1991) Conservative treatment of four cases of incomplete long bone fracture of a hindlimb in four horses. Veterinary Record 129, 133-136.

May, S.A. and Knottenbelt, D.C. (1992) Tumour necrosis factor: Physiology and Pathology. Equine Veterinary Education 4, 62-65.

Danton, C.A.S., Peacock, P.J., May, S.A. and Kelly, D.F. (1992) Anaplastic sarcoma in the caudal thigh of a horse. Veterinary Record 131, 188-190.

Harrison, L.J. and May, S.A. (1992) Bilateral subluxation of the pastern joint in the forelimbs of a foal. Veterinary Record 131, 68-70.

Spiers, S., May, S.A., Bennett, D. and Edwards, G.B. (1994) Cellular sources of proteolytic enzymes in equine joints. Equine Veterinary Journal 26, 43-47.

Spiers, S., May, S.A., Harrison, L.J., Bennett, D. and Edwards, G.B. (1994) Proteolytic enzymes in equine joints with infectious arthritis. Equine Veterinary Journal 26, 48-50.

May, S.A. (1995) Infectious agents and joint diseases. British Veterinary Journal 151, 229-231.

May, S.A. (1995) Tumour necrosis factor, equine arthritis and clinical research. Equine Veterinary Journal 27, 160-161.

May, S.A. (1996) Animal models and other experimental systems in the investigation of equine arthritis. Chapter 26 in “Joint Disease in the Horse”, edited C.W. McIlwraith and G.W. Trotter, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia. pp. 421-440.

May, S.A. (1997) Cytokines in the pathogenesis of equine joint disease. In: “Cytokines in Veterinary Medicine”. Edited V.E.C.J. Schijus and M.C. Horzinek. C.A.B. International, Wallingford. pp. 191-199.

Cauvin, E.R.J., Tapprest, J., Munroe, G.A., May, S.A. and Schramme, M.C. (1999) Endoscopic examination of the tarsal sheath of the lateral digital flexor tendon in horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 31, 219-227.

Viitanen, M., Bird, J., Miasi, P., Smith, R., Tulamo, R.M. and May, S.A. (2000) Differences in the concentration of various synovial fluid constituents between the distal interphalangeal joint, the metacarpophalangeal joint and the navicular bursa in normal horses. Research in Veterinary Science 69, 63-67.

Viitanen, M., Bird, J., Schramme, M., Smith, R., Tulamo, R. and May S. (2001) Synovial fluid studies in navicular disease. Research in Veterinary Science. 71, 201-206.

May, S.A. and McIlwraith, C.W. (1998) Equine Orthopaedics and Rheumatology. Manson, London. (2003)

May, S.A. (1999) Orthopaedics and Rheumatology: Past, Present and Future. In: Guardians of the Horse: Past, Present and Future. Romney Publications, Newmarket. Ed.Rossdale, P.D., Greet, T.R.C., Harris, P.A., Green, R.E. and Hall, S. pp. 221-229

Viitanen, M.J., Wilson, A.M., McGuigan, P., Rogers. K.D. and May, S. (2003) The effect of foot balance on the intra-articular pressure in the distal interphalangeal joint in vitro. Equine Veterinary Journal 35, 184-189.

Viitanen, M., Bird, J., Smith, R., Tulamo, R.M. and May, S.A. (2003) Biochemical characterisation of navicular hyaline cartilage, navicular fibrocartilage and the deep digital flexor tendon in horses with navicular disease. Research in Veterinary Science 75, 113-120.

Sprackman, L and Dakin, S G and May, S A and Weller, R (2015) Relationship between the shape of the central and third tarsal bones and the presence of tarsal osteoarthritis. Veterinary Journal, 204 (1), 94-98.

Inflammation and Anti-Inflammatory Therapy

Lees, P., May, S.A., Sedgwick, A.D., Gerring, E.L., Higgins, A.J. and Taylor, J.B.O. (1987) Clinical pharmacology of non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the horse. Journal of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists 14, 56-87.

Lees, P., Higgins, A.J., Sedgwick, A.D. and May, S.A. (1987) Applications of equine models of acute inflammation. Veterinary Record 120, 522-529.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1988) The effect of drugs used in the treatment of osteoarthrosis on stromelysin (proteoglycanase) of equine synovial cell origin. Equine Veterinary Journal Suppl. 6, 28-32.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1988) Bone fragments stimulate equine synovial lining cells to produce the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E2. Equine Veterinary Journal. Suppl. 6, 131-132.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1989) The identity of the E-series prostaglandin produced by equine chondrocytes and synovial cells in response to a variety of stimuli. Research in Veterinary Science 45, 54-57.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1990) The characterisation of equine interleukin-1. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 24, 169-175.

Lees, P., May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Silley, P. (1990) Cephalexin in the Horse: A Preliminary Investigation. Veterinary Record 126, 635-637.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E., and Lees, P. (1991) Late stage mediators of the inflammatory response: Identification of interleukin-1 and a casein-degrading enzyme in equine acute inflammatory exudates. Research in Veterinary Science 50, 14-17.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1991) Adverse conditions in vitro stimulate chondrocytes to produce prostaglandin E2 and stromelysin. Equine Veterinary Journal 23, 380-382.

May, S.A. (1992) Anti-inflammatory Agents. In “Current Therapy in Equine Medicine III”, edited by N.E. Robinson, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1992) Interleukin-1 stimulation of equine articular cells. Research in Veterinary Science 52, 342-348.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1992) Inhibition of interleukin-1 activity by equine synovial fluid. Equine Veterinary Journal 24, 99-102.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1992) Equine chondrocyte activation by a variety of stimuli. British Veterinary Journal 148, 389-397.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E. and Lees, P. (1992) Species restrictions demonstrated by the stimulation of equine cells with recombinant human interleukin-1. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 30, 373-384.

Lees, P., McKellar, Q., May, S.A. and Ludwig, B. (1994) Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of carprofen in the horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 26, 203-208.

May, S.A., Hooke, R.E., Peremans, K.Y., Verschooten, F. and Lees, P. (1994) Prostaglandin E2 in equine joint disease. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 63, 187-191.

Osborne, A.C., Carter, S.D., May, S.A. and Bennett, D. (1995) Anticollagen antibodies and immune complexes in equine joint diseases. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 45, 19-30.

Carter, S.D., Osborne, A.C., May, S.A. and Bennett, D. (1995) Rheumatoid factor, antiheat shock protein (65 KDa) antibodies and anti-nuclear antibodies in equine joint diseases. Equine Veterinary Journal 27 , 288-295.

May, S.A. (1996) The treatment of degenerative joint disease: a role for Adequan? In: “Joint Diseases in the Horse”, edited B. Hertsch. FN-Verlag, Warendorf, and Gesellschaft für Pferdemedizin e.V., Munich. pp. 197-202.

May, S.A. and Lees, P. (1996) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Chapter 13 in “Joint Disease in the Horse”, edited C.W. McIlwraith and G.W. Trotter, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia. pp. 223-237.

Lees, P., May, S.A., Hoeijmakers, M., Coert, A. and Rens, P.V. (1999) A pharmacodynamic and pharmokinetic study with vedaprofen in an equine model of acute nonimmune inflammation. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 22, 96-106.

Bird, J.L.E., May, S.A. and Bayliss, M.T. (2000) Nitric oxide inhibits aggrecan degradation in explant cultures of equine articular cartilage. Equine Veterinary Journal 32, 133-139.

Bird, J.L.E., Platt, D., Wells, T., May, S.A. and Bayliss, M.T. (2000) Exercise-induced changes in proteoglycan metabolism of equine articular cartilage. Equine Veterinary Journal 32, 161-163.

Frean, S.P., Gettinby, G., May, S.A. and Lees, P. (2000) Influence of interleukin-1β and hyaluronan on proteoglycan release from equine navicular hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 23, 67-72.