Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: CPCS (Research Programme)

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Kristien is Professor of Veterinary Clinical Epidemiology at the RVC. Her research interests focus on the epidemiology of common clinical diorders in the  UK horse population, and injury epidemiology in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Kristien graduated as a vet from the University of Ghent, Belgium, in 1995. After spells in mixed practice and the pharmaceutical industry, she joined the Epidemiology Unit at Animal Health Trust (AHT) near Newmarket, working on equine infectious diseases and being responsible for the veterinary care of the AHT's pony herd.

In 1998, still at the AHT, she started working full-time on a Horserace Betting Levy Board-funded research project studying the epidemiology of fractures in racehorses in training. Whilst working on this project, Kristien also studied for an MSc degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which she obtained in 2002.

In 2001, she took up a Residency in Equine Epidemiology funded by the Horse Trust that allowed her to complete a PhD in racehorse injury epidemiology, which she obtained in 2005. Kristien joined the Royal Veterinary College in January 2005 as a Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiology and has since continued and expanded her research into the epidemiology of equine diseases and racehorse injuries. In addtition, she was Head of the Graduate School at the RVC from April 2016 until May 2023. 

Veterinary clinical epidemiology, primarily equine

Mouncey R, Arango-Sabogal JC, de Mestre AM, Verheyen KL (2023) Incidence of disease, injury and mortality in Thoroughbred foals and yearlings on stud farms in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Vet Rec, 2023 May 14;e2994. doi: 10.1002/vetr.2994. Online ahead of print.

Allen SE, Parker CD, Verheyen KLP, Nicol CJ, Chang YM (2023). Effects of external ambient temperature at loading, journey duration and flock characteristics on the dead-on-arrival rate in broiler chickens transported to slaughter in Great Britain. Poult Sci 102(6):102634. doi: 10.1016/j.psj.2023.102634. Online ahead of print.

Roach JM, Arango-Sabogal JC, Smith KC, Foote AK, Verheyen KL, de Mestre AM (2022) Multivariable analysis to determine risk factors associated with abortion in Thoroughbred mares. Reprod Fertil 3(4); 301-12.

Scott CJ, de Mestre AM, Verheyen KL, Arango-Sabogal JC (2022) Bayesian accuracy estimates and fit for purpose thresholds of cytology and culture of endometrial swab samples for detecting endometritis in mares. Prev Vet Med 209:105783 (doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2022.105783. Epub 2022 Oct 20).  

Allen SE, Verheyen KLP, O’Neill DG, Brodbelt DC (2022) Use of antimicrobials licensed for systemic administration in UK equine practice. Equine Vet J. doi: 10.1111/evj.13878. Online ahead of print.

Mouncey R, Arango-Sabogal JC, de Mestre AM, Verheyen KL (2022) Descriptive study of medication usage and occurrence of disease and injury during gestation in Thoroughbred broodmares. J Equine Vet Sci 118:104104 (doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2022.104104. Epub 2022 Aug 11).

Arango-Sabogal JC, Mouncey R, de Mestre AM, Verheyen K (2022) Date of birth and purchase price as foals or yearlings are associated with Thoroughbred race performance in UK/IRE flat racing. Vet Rec Open 9(1):e43. doi: 10.1002/vro2.43.

Salem SE, Sinnott A, Roach JM, Verheyen KLP, de Mestre AM (2022) Mixed-effects modelling of the risk factors associated with multiple pregnancies in Thoroughbred mares. Animals (Basel) 12(14):1841.

Mouncey R, Arango-Sabogal JC, de Mestre AM, Foote AK, Verheyen KL (2022) Retrospective analysis of post-mortem findings in Thoroughbreds aged from birth to 18 month presented to a UK pathology laboratory. Vet J 281: 105813 (doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2022.105813. Epub 2022 Mar 5).

McGlennon A, Waller A, Verheyen K, Slater J, Grewar J, Aanensen D, Newton R (2021) Surveillance of strangles in UK horses between 2015 and 2019 based on laboratory detection of Streptococcus equi. Vet Rec 2021 189(12): e948.

Arango-Sabogal JC, Mouncey R, de Mestre AM, Verheyen K (2021) Retrospective analysis of the population dynamics and racing outcomes of the 2014 and 2015 UK and Ireland Thoroughbred foals crops. Vet Rec 189(5):e298.

Roach JM, Foote AK, Smith KC, Verheyen KL, de Mestre AM (2021) Incidence and causes of pregnancy loss after Day 70 of gestation in Thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J 53(5), 996-1003.

Johnston AS, Sidhu ABS, Riggs CM, Verheyen KLP, Rosanowksi SM (2021) The effect of stress fracture occurring within the first 12 months of training on subsequent race performance in Thoroughbreds in Hong Kong. Equine Vet J 53(3), 460-8. 

Pollard D, Wylie CE, Newton JR, Verheyen KLP (2020) Factors associated with euthanasia in horses and ponies enrolld in a laminitis cohort study in Great Britain. Prev Vet Med 174: 104833.

Rosanowksi S, Verheyen K (2019) Factors associated with rehoming and time until rehoming for horses listed with an equine charity. Vet Rec 185(12), 373.

Pollard D, Wylie CE, Verheyen KLP, Newton JR (2019) Identification of modifiable risk fators associated with owner-reported equine laminitis in Britain using a web-based cohort study approach. BMC Vet Res 15(1):59.

Pollard D, Wylie CE, Newton JR, Verheyen KLP (2019) Incidence and clinical signs of owner-reported equine laminitis in a cohort of hores and ponies in Great Britain. Equine Vet J 51(5), 587-94.

De Mestre AM, Rose BV, Chang YM, Wathes DC, Verheyen KLP (2019) Multivariable analysis to determine factors associated with early pregnancy loss in thoroughbred broodmares. Theriogenology 124, 18-23.

Rosanowski SM, Chang YM, Stirk AJ, Verheyen KLP (2019) Epidemiology of race-day distal limb fracture in flat racing Thorougbreds in Great Britain (2000-2013). Equine Vet J 51(1), 83-9.

Rosanowski SM, Chang YM, Stirk AJ, Verheyen KLP (2018) Risk factors for race-day fatality in flat racing Thouroughbreds n Great Britain (2000 to 2013). PLoS One 13(3): e0194299.

Rose BV, Firth M, Morris B, Roach JM, Wathes DC, Verheyen KLP, de Mestre AM (2018)  Descriptive study of current therapeutic practices, clinical reproductive findings and incidence of pregnancy loss in intensively managed thoroughbred mares. Anim Reprod Sci 188, 74-84.

Rosanowski SM, Chang YM, Stirk AJ, Verheyen KLP (2017) Risk factors for race-day fatality, distal limb fracture and epistaxis in Thoroughbreds racing on all-weather surfaces in Great Britain (2000 to 2013). Prev Vet Med 148, 58-65.

Pollard D, Wylie CE, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2017) Assessment of horse owners’ ability to recognise equine laminitis: a cross-sectional study of 93 veterinary diagnosed cases in Great Britain. Equine Vet J 49(6), 759-66.

Allen SE, Rosanowski SM, Stirk AJ, Verheyen KL (2017) Description of veterinary events and risk factors for fatality in National Hunt flat racing Thoroughbreds in Great Britain (2000 – 2013). Equine Vet J 49(6), 700-5.

Rosanowski SM, Chang YM, Stirk AJ, Verheyen KL (2017) Descriptive epidemiology of veterinary events in flat racing Thoroughbreds in Great Britain (2000 to 2013). Equine Vet J 49(3), 275-81.

Wylie CE, Shaw DJ, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2016) Decision-tree analysis of clinical data to aid diagnostic reasoning for equine laminitis: a cross-sectional study. Vet Rec 178(17), 420.

Rose BV, Cabrera-Sharp V, Firth M, Barrelet F,  Bates S, Cameron, Crabtree J, Crowhurst J,  McGladdery A, Neal H, Pynn J, Pynn O, Smith C, Wise Z, Ghosh S, Raudsepp T, Verheyen KLP, Wathes DC, de Mestre AM (2016) A method to successfully isolate and culture placental cells from failed early equine pregnancies. Placenta 38, 107-11.

Jackson BF, Reed SR, Price JS, Verheyen KLP (2015) Relationship between serum biomarkers of cartilage and bone metabolism and joint injury in young Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Am J Vet Res 76(8), 679-87.

Robin CA, Ireland JL, Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KLP, Newton, JR (2015) Prevalence of and risk factors for equine obesity in Great Britain based on owner-reported body condition scores. Equine Vet J 47(2), 196-201.

Upjohn MM, Pfeiffer DU, Verheyen KLP (2014) Helping working equidae and their owners in developing countries: monitoring and evaluation of evidence-based interventions. Vet J 199(2), 210-6.

Tully LJ, Murphy AM, Smith RK, Hulin-Curtis SL, Verheyen KL, Price JS (2014) Polymorphisms in TNC and COL5A1 genes are associated with risk of superficial digital flexor tendinopathy in National Hunt Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J. 46(3), 289-93.

Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2013) Risk factors for equine laminitis: A case-control study conducted in veterinary-registered horses and ponies in Great Britain between 2009 and 2011. Vet J 198(1), 57-69.

Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2013) A cohort study of equine laminitis in Great Britain 2009-2011: estimation of disease frequency and description of clinical signs in 577 cases. Equine Vet J 45(6), 681-7.

Wylie CE, Ireland JL, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2013) Demographics and management practices of horses and ponies in Great Britain: a cross-sectional study. Res Vet Sci 95(2), 410-7.

Ireland JL, Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2013) Preventive health care and owner-reported disease prevalence of horses and ponies in Great Britain. Res Vet Sci 95(2), 418-24.

Reed, SR, Jackson BF, Wood JLN, Price JS, Verheyen KLP (2013) Exercise affects joint injury risk in young Thoroughbreds in training. Vet J 196(3), 339-44.

Upjohn MM, Attwood GA, Lerotholi T, Pfeiffer DU, Verheyen KLP (2013) Quantitative versus qualitative approaches: a comparison of two research methods applied to identification of key health issues for working horses in Lesotho. Prev Vet Med 108(4), 313-20.

Johns I, Verheyen K, Good L, Rycroft A (2012) Antimicrobial resistance in faecal Escherichia coli isolates from horses treated with antimicrobials: a longitudinal study in hospitalised and non-hospitalised horses. Vet Microbiol 159(3-4), 381-9.

Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2012) Risk factors for equine laminitis: A systematic review with quality appraisal of published evidence. Vet J 193(1), 58-66.

Upjohn MM, Shipton K, Pfeiffer DU, Lerotholi T, Attwood G, Verheyen KL (2012) Cross-sectional survey of owner knowledge and husbandry practices, tack and health issues affecting working horses in Lesotho. Equine Vet J 44(3), 310-8.

Reed SR, Jackson BF, Mc Ilwraith CW, Wright IM, Pilsworth R, Knapp S, Wood JL, Price JS, Verheyen KL (2012) Descriptive epidemiology of joint injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Equine Vet J 44(1), 13-9.

Ling AS, Upjohn MM, Webb K, Waller AS, Verheyen KL (2011) Seroprevalence of Streptococcus equi in working horses in Lesotho. Vet Rec 169(3), 72.

Wylie CE, Collins SN, Verheyen KL, Newton JR (2011) Frequency of equine laminitis: a systematic review with quality appraisal of published evidence. Vet J 189(3), 248-56.

Ely ER, Price JS, Smith RK, Wood JLN, Verheyen KLP (2010) The effect of exercise regimens on racing performance in National Hunt racehorses. Equine Vet J 42 Suppl 38, 642-9.

Smith MRW, Wright IM, Minshall GJ, Dudhia J, Verheyen K, Heinegård D, Smith RKW (2011) Raised Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein (COMP) levels in equine digital flexor tendon sheath synovial fluid predicts intra-thecal tendon damage. Vet Surg 40(1), 54-8.

Morrow LD, Smith KC, Piercy RJ, du Toit N, Burden FA, Olmos G, Gregory NG, Verheyen KL (2011) Retrospective analysis of post-mortem findings in 1,444 aged donkeys. J Comp Pathol 144(2-3), 145-56.

Upjohn MM, Shipton K, Lerotholi T, Attwood G, Verheyen KLP (2010) Coprological prevalence and intensity of helminth infection in working horses in Lesotho. Trop Anim Health Prod 42(8), 1655-61.

Isgren CM, Upjohn MM, Fernandez-Fuente M, Massey C, Pollott G, Verheyen KLP, Piercy RJ (2010) Epidemiology of external rhabdomyolysis susceptibility in standardbred horses reveals associated risk factors and underlying enhanced performance. PLoS ONE 5(7), e11594.

Hesse KL,Verheyen KL (2010) Associations between physiotherapy findings and subsequent diagnosis of pelvic or hindlimb fracture in racing Thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J 42(3), 234-9.

Avella CS, Ely ER, Verheyen KLP, Price JS, Wood JLN, Smith RKW (2009) Ultrasonographic assessment of the superficial digital flexor tendon of National Hunt racehorses in training over two racing seasons. Equine Vet J 41(5), 449-54.

Jackson BF, Dyson PK, Lonnell C, Verheyen KL, Pfeiffer DU, Price JS (2009) Bone biomarkers and risk of fracture in two- and three-year-old thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J 41(4), 410-3.

Ely ER, Avella CS, Price JS, Smith RKW, Wood JLN, Verheyen KLP (2009) Descriptive epidemiology of fracture, tendon and suspensory ligament injuries in National Hunt racehorses in training. Equine Vet J 41(4), 372-8.

Verheyen KL, Price JS, Wood JL (2009) Exercise during training is associated with racing performance in Thoroughbreds. Vet J 181(1), 43-7.

Jackson BF, Dyson PK, Lonnell C, Verheyen KLP, Pfeiffer DU, Price JS (2009) Bone biomarkers and risk of fracture in two- and three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J 41(4), 410-3.

Verheyen KLP, Price JS, Wood JLN (2007) Fracture rate in Thoroughbred racehorses is affected by dam age and parity. Vet J 174(2), 295-301.

Weller R, Pfau T, Verheyen K, May SA, Wilson AM (2006) The effect of conformation on orthopaedic health and performance in a cohort of National Hunt racehorses: preliminary results. Equine Vet J 38(7), 622-7.

Verheyen KLP, Price JS, Lanyon LE, Wood JLN (2006) Exercise distance and speed affect the risk of fracture in racehorses. Bone 39(6), 1322-30.

Verheyen KLP, Newton JR, Price JS, Wood JLN (2006) A case-control study investigating factors associated with pelvic and tibial stress fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Prev Vet Med 74(1), 21-35.

Verheyen KLP, Henley WE, Price JS, Wood JLN (2005) Training-related factors associated with dorsometacarpal disease in young Thoroughbred racehorses in the UK. Equine Vet J 37(5), 442-8.

Jackson BF, Lonnell C, Verheyen KL, Dyson P, Pfeiffer DU, Price JS (2005) Biochemical markers of bone metabolism and risk of dorsal metacarpal disease in 2-year-old Thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J 37(1), 87-91.

Ely ER, Verheyen KL, Wood JL (2004) Fractures and tendon injuries in National Hunt horses in training in the UK: a pilot study. Equine Vet J 36(4), 365-7.

Verheyen KLP, Wood JLN (2004) Descriptive epidemiology of fractures occurring in British Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Equine Vet J 36(2), 167-73.

Kristien teaches epidemiology and biostatistics, primarily at postgraduate level.

  • Early-life determinants of performance and the Economics of Thoroughbred breeding

    The project aims to improve understanding of the impact of Thoroughbreds’ early-life health and management on later-life racing performance and the financial viability of Thoroughbred breeding enterprises.

    Findings from the project will align with key priorities from the Thoroughbred industry’s welfare strategy. Firstly, by increasing transparency around the fate and welfare of Thoroughbreds bred for racing during their early-life stages, and secondly by informing strategies to reduce musculoskeletal disease and injury and improve industry retention and economic viability.

  • Equine Safety and Welfare in British Horseracing

    The racing industry is committed to improving the welfare and safety of racehorses.

    Better understanding of risk factors for injury and fatality can inform evidence-based strategies to reduce their occurrence.

  • Investigation of clinical predictors of equine umbilical cord torsion and abortion

    Researchers at the RVC are leading a collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University, Rossdales Laboratories and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to unravel the reason the umbilical cord twists excessively in mid-pregnancy and new ways to be able to detect the twisting prior to the pregnancy being aborted. Epidemiological modelling is being utilised to carry out evidence-based refinement of the current diagnostic criteria for UCT, allowing for more reliable comparison of distinct populations within the UK and overseas.

  • RCVS VetCompass Equine Pandemic Project (Complete)

    People: Sarah Allen, Dan O'Neill, Jackie Cardwell, Kristien Verheyen, David Brodbelt

    Vet Compass Project Type: Horse

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents a serious challenge for the customer-facing veterinary profession.  To ensure minimal disruption to essential veterinary services, new COVID-mitigated working protocols were quickly implemented, however, little is known about the impact of the pandemic on equine veterinary care in the UK.  The aim of this project was to describe equine veterinary activity before and during the pandemic and explore the contribution of telemedicine to case management. 

  • Retraining and rehoming former UK racehorses

    The racing industry is committed to the health and welfare of all horses bred for racing, throughout their lifetime. However, there is a need to better understand what happens to racehorses when they leave racing or training, and what makes them suitable for a successful career in other equestrian sports disciplines, as leisure horses or companions. The overarching aims of this project are to provide a comprehensive overview of the landscape of former racehorse rehoming and to better understand what factors influence a former racehorse’s suitability for a second career and/or successful rehome.

  • The epidemiology and genetics of congenital musculoskeletal disorders in neonatal Thoroughbreds

    The project aims to investigate the contributions of gestational exposures and genetic variants to the risk of congenital developmental orthopaedic disorders (cDOD) in Thoroughbred foals.

    The project will provide novel insights into the development, incidence and genetic basis of cDOD in Thoroughbred foals. The project outputs will inform evidence-based management modifications for Thoroughbred breeders to reduce the risk of cDOD in foals and improve broodmare fertility and welfare long-term. 

  • Utilising the ‘Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES)’ outputs to better understand the dynamics and control of Streptococcus equi transmission

    This project aims to better understand the dynamics and control of Streptococcus equi transmission and optimise the effectiveness of veterinary advice to, and adoption by, horse owners for preventing and controlling strangles.

    The Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES) network was launched in 2018 to capture and report epidemiological and genomic data relating to laboratory diagnoses of strangles in the United Kingdom. 

  • VetCompass Project

    VetCompass is a welfare-focussed epidemiological research project that shares anonymised clinical data from veterinary practices to investigate the frequency and nature of companion animal health problems.

    Modern veterinary medicine has access to increasingly effective tools for diagnosis and treatment; yet many animals still continue to suffer from disorders that might be reduced or avoided if risks were better understood and measured. 

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