Barry A. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Barry A. Ball Chair, International Equine Reproduction Symposium Committee, Cambridge, UK Chair International Equine Reproduction Symposium Committee Cambridge UK “Back to where it all began,” the motto adopted by the Local Organizing Committee for the Twelfth International Symposium on Equine Reproduction, conveys a great deal about this meeting held again in Cambridge, 44 years after the first symposium. The organizers of the original symposium, some of whom will be in attendance at this symposium, might not have envisioned the growth and continued success of this meeting held originally in Kings College at the University of Cambridge in 1974. Nor would they have easily recognized the influence that these 12 symposia have had on the discipline of equine reproduction, encouraging numerous young people to pursue careers and endeavors related to the practice and science of equine reproduction. The first symposium included nearly 200 participants from 22 countries, and the proceedings of ISER I (and later symposia) remain oft-cited references that contain an important and growing body of information. Planning for ISER XII included an unanticipated change of venue at the midway point between the 11th and 12th symposia. Meetings such as this one require a great deal of long-range planning and development efforts. Not surprisingly, this change created more than a bit of panic on the part of the International committee overseeing this symposium. For this reason, we are extremely grateful to Mr. David Dugdale and the Local Organizing Committee for stepping up and agreeing to organize and host ISER XII on short notice. Even more so, since this change in venue returned the meeting to the site of the first symposium in Cambridge in 1974. Sponsorship is critical to the success of ISER, and commercial sponsors are recognized separately in the front matter of these proceedings. Several continuing education courses were conducted to generate support for ISER XII. The West Coast Equine Reproduction Symposium, the fifth in this series, was organized by Jan Roser, Stuart Meyers, Pat McCue, Barry Ball, Dickson Varner, and Mark Rick. Support from Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center and Doug Herthel for this symposium are graciously acknowledged. Likewise, sponsorship by the Bluegrass Equine Symposium and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute continues to be important in support of ISER. A new course, the European Practitioner's Symposium on Equine Reproduction organized by Peter Daels, joined as a sponsor for ISER XII this year and will hopefully become a recurring effort to generate support for ISER. Thanks also to the many veterinarians and scientists who have given freely of their time and expertise in offering these courses in support of ISER. Beginning with the second ISER in 1978, an honorary chair has been named to recognize an individual with outstanding contributions to the discipline of equine reproduction and to the symposium. A tribute to the honorary chair for ISER XII, Jan Roser, is contained elsewhere in these proceedings. Beginning with ISER XII, a new award will be presented. The Lifetime Achievement Award in Equine Reproduction was established in 2017 to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the discipline of Equine Reproduction, either through research or clinical practice. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership, or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the discipline of equine reproduction, and candidates must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress in the discipline. We are pleased to recognize five individuals for these inaugural awards: Twink Allen, Doug Antczak, Jim Raeside, Ed Squires, and Walter Zent. Their biographies are located within the front matter of the proceedings. We are also pleased to continue the Michelle LeBlanc Prize for young investigators to recognize outstanding presentations at ISER XII. Travel awards for trainees funded by the International Equine Reproduction Trust continue to be important to encourage young investigators to attend and participate in the symposium. These awards, combined with the diligent efforts of the Local Organizing Committee to keep registration costs for the symposium at a minimum, hopefully make attending the symposium possible for a large number of individuals. Similarly, the generous contribution of the late Lavonne Hughes to fund the John P. Hughes Memorial Lecture provides the only invited lecture given at ISER. For ISER XII, we are pleased to welcome Professor Graham Burton of the University of Cambridge to give the Hughes Lecture. The call for abstracts for ISER XII resulted in a record number of abstract submissions. To accommodate this increased number of abstracts, the International Committee increased the number of abstracts presented as posters by 60% and created a second poster session for presentation of this increased number of abstracts. It is encouraging to see this continued growth in submission rate, and future meetings will likely need to grow more to accommodate this interest. Submissions for this symposium were managed through a new online website ( Ex Ordo ), which has greatly facilitated the process of review, revision, and publication of the proceedings for this meeting. As chair, I greatly appreciate the efforts of the senior conveners and coconveners for each of the sessions in reviewing abstracts submitted to ISER XII. This process had tight deadlines, and reviewers did an excellent job in providing a fair and critical review of abstracts submitted. Professor Ed Squires has now served as the editor for the proceedings of ISER XI and ISER XII. He, along with the editorial staff at Elsevier, has produced a first-rate proceeding in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science for these symposia. Thanks go to the members of the International Equine Reproduction Symposium Committee, listed elsewhere, for their many efforts related to scientific review of abstracts, development, program structure, and awards among other activities related to this symposium. Particular thanks go to Louise Holder, for her hard work, diligence, and expertise in conducting much of the day-to-day activities of the Local Organizing Committee, the International Equine Reproduction Symposium Committee, and the International Equine Reproduction Trust. Without Louise's tireless efforts across all three of these groups, ISER XII would not have been possible. Our community owes her a considerable debt of gratitude for this undertaking. Finally, we need to remember the words of the Honorable JJ Astor (President, The Thoroughbred Breeders Association) in the preface to proceedings of the first symposium, which remain true today as then: “It is the responsibility of the biologist and the veterinarian to investigate the mechanisms and problems of reproduction in the laboratory and stables, and to ensure that the results of their findings are made readily available for the benefit of others. It is equally important that breeders and breed societies use any new information wisely to increase the breeding efficiency of horses and the quality of their offspring.”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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