Mont-le-Soie • Goals

Inn & sport

With the support of Wallonia

With the support of Wallonia

The Walloon Region granted the non-profit association "Centre Européen du Cheval de Mont-le-Soie" an annual subsidy in the framework of a global support towards equine breeding.

The Centre is in charge of many missions divided in two main areas : I. Services to the sector and II. Research and Development.

On top of the financial means provided to the Centre as per the framework convention, the Region expects that the Centre finances its other goals- such as sports and tourism activities and supporting companies- through its own resources.

R&D projects are carried out by the Centre's team but also thanks to partnerships with other actors, research teams from Belgian and foreign universities as well as other laboratories selected on the basis of protocols to achieve and their own particularities.

Services to the equestrian sector

The team offers breeders and actors of the Walloon equestrian sector various services and programmes aimed at helping them develop their activities.

On top of the above-mentioned elements, complementary projects, supported by the Walloon Region, are presented in the "Partnerships" section. An example of this is the partnership with the Ardennes Draught Horse Stud Book.

Business intelligence

The equestrian sector is an always developing key area. Its importance is shown in the number of horses, riders, competitions... But also through the financial flows generated by their maintenance and promotion. The Centre periodically updates a study encompassing these various factors.

  • Enquête socio-économique 2017 Download

OCD Screening

In the framework of young horses monitoring, the Centre Européen du Cheval de Mont-le-Soie works in partnership with the Department of Large Animals General Anesthesia and Surgical Pathology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as well as the Oxygen, Research and Development Centre of Liège University. Together, they carry out a research programme on developmental orthopedic pathologies in sports horses. This research mainly focuses on Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) which affects over 30% of young sports horses and can be an obstacle to their sporting career which leads to huge financial losses for breeders. All of the causes leading to this pathology are not yet known and this research programme aims at discovering new elements in order to limit the impact of the disease.

Picture description
Osteochondritis dissecans in the fetlock of a 6 months old foal

In a research perspective, the Centre Européen du Cheval de Mont-le-Soie, on the initiative of the Walloon Region, has been offering for a few years a screening for Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) to Walloon breeders by allowing them to have a radiological monitoring of their foals aged between 6 months and 2 years. The first screening must take place before the age of 10 months. The screenings have to be carried out in agreement with the breeder's attending veterinarian (collaboration form).

  • Accord Vétérinaire OCD Download
  • Folder OCD Download

Partnership with the Ardennes Draught Horse Stud Book

For many years, the Centre has been working with the Stud Book in the expertise of reproducing stallions. Heavy horses breeds are inclined to a disabling skin disease which impacts the well being of these animals : progressive leg lymphedema. This disease has an hereditary component to it. Mont-le-Soie carries out, thanks to the support of the Walloon Region, examinations assessing the grade reached by these horses, which allows breeders to maximise the selection of reproducing individuals and guide crossings in order to progressively improve the situation.

Ardenner stallion
Ardenner Stallion
  • Folder lymphoedème Download

Trainings & Internships

The Centre welcomes throughout the year Belgian and international students for observation, training and thesis-based internships.

Mont-le-Soie works with schools in the equestrian, agronomy, blackmithery, veterinary assistant and of course veterinary fields.

The Centre staff also organises conferences, discovery days and workshops on different topics for the purpose of continuous training.

Ecuries wallonnes (Walloon Stables)

This programme, supported by the Walloon Region, aims at helping Walloon breeders promote their young horses. Many disciplines are involved : eventing - EWalCo, showjumping - EWalJump, dressage - EWalDress, Endurance - EWalRaid and driving - EWAttel. Selections are open to horses and ponies born in Wallonia and registered in a studbook.

The main goal of this programme is to offer a scientific and sporting frame to riders and horses at the beginning of their careers. This timeframe, which corresponds to the end of their growth, is crucial in the implementation of a long-term sporting career. Regular locomotive monitoring, maximisation of stand and shoeing, monitoring of training progress are key factors in the promotion of horses while following their natural rythm and wellbeing.

Selected horses are regularly examined in Mont-le-Soie, take part in sports trainings and compete at regional, national and international level. On top of the monitoring, the rider benefits from an important support when it comes to horse feed, medical fees insurance, registration to competitions...

Feel free to contact us for further information on this programme.

  • Candidature Ecuries wallonnes Download

Selected horses

You will find below horses which are currently in the Ecuries Wallonnes programme. Feel free to contact us or their breeders for further information.

Horse Faziah EWalRaid details

Faziah EWalRaid

Discipline

Endurance

Owner

Hémeline Piront

Studbook

Belgian Arabian Horse Registry

Faziah EWalRaid
Horse Jakartan du Val de Salm EWalJump details

Jakartan du Val de Salm EWalJump

Discipline

Jumping

Owner

Mégane Halbardier

Studbook

SBS

Jakartan du Val de Salm EWalJump
Horse Exki Al Ondrel EWal Raid details

Exki Al Ondrel EWal Raid

Discipline

Endurance

Owner

Christiane Gabriel-Denis

Studbook

French Arabian Horse Registry

Exki Al Ondrel EWal Raid
See the 19 horses

After the EWal programme

Horses carry on with their sports careers long after they leave the Ecuries Wallonnes programme, which proves that the monitoring is successful.

Horse Aboufatmal-Apal details

Aboufatmal-Apal

Discipline

Endurance

Studbook

Belgian Studbook of the Arabian Horse

Aboufatmal-Apal
Horse Farco du Petit Pré EWalCo details

Farco du Petit Pré EWalCo

Discipline

Eventing

Studbook

BWP

Farco du Petit Pré EWalCo
Horse Soline de Lommersweiler details

Soline de Lommersweiler

Discipline

Dressage

Owner

Michel Tecqmenne

Studbook

Rheinland

Soline de Lommersweiler
Horse Fidji des Mélèzes EWalCo details

Fidji des Mélèzes EWalCo

Discipline

Eventing

Owner

Evelina Bertoli

Studbook

SBS

Fidji des Mélèzes EWalCo
Horse Makeba EWalDress details

Makeba EWalDress

Discipline

Dressage

Owner

Delphine Dispa

Studbook

KWPN

Makeba EWalDress
Horse Tarek Rabba details

Tarek Rabba

Discipline

Endurance

Studbook

Pur-sang Arabe

Tarek Rabba
Horse Hergé des Moîtes Fontaines details

Hergé des Moîtes Fontaines

Discipline

Eventing

Owner

Charlotte Lousberg

Studbook

BWP

Hergé des Moîtes Fontaines

Research & development

Developmental orthopedic pathology

With heavy horses, the MLS Centre keeps monitoring the outbreak of Osteo-articular disease in juveniles (OADJ) and informs breeders about the sought morphology and the importance of an early diagnosis in order to guide the selection of future studs.

In sports horses, Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) remains a major issue. Our previous results have shown the importance of environment on the development of the disease - especially energetic excesses (carbohydrates). Theses observations lead us to an epigenetical hypothesis when it comes to OCD. Current and future results and samples allow for the writing of a PhD. This research focuses on expression mechanisms of a family of genes and on energy metabolism at cell level. This work has led to a collaboration with a team from INRA in France.

  • OCD - In summary Download

Optimisation of locomotion

Methods and tools developed in the framework of the monitoring of Ecuries Wallonnes horses have lead to the progressive creation of an optimisation of locomotion concept which is transferable to all sports horses.

The basic principle is that it is crucial to prevent locomotor system issues. Each horse has its own anatomy and it is possible to act at many levels to improve their movement while reducing risks of damaging the locomotor system (joints, tendons, ligaments....).

Each horse's anatomy is carefully studied and we suggest a hoof trimming or shoeing adapted to the horse's morphology and to the sports discipline involved. Objective movement analysis tools are useful to quantify small movement asymmetries, detect anomalies very early on and monitor their evolution. For instance, we use the Equinosis Lameness Locator, a system based on accelerometer technologies.

We also work with the French company Value Feet/Delysis to offer custom-made horseshoes made out of innovative material.

The Centre is open to collaborations with veterinarians and blacksmiths willing to use this method and locomotion optimisation tools.

Impact of sport and prevention

Locomotion optimisation is the first part of sports horses monitoring. The goal is to prevent lameness and to launch a long-term sports career.

Besides the orthopedic approach, the monitoring of physical condition and of preparation level before sports deadlines is also part of horses promotion.

Physical condition training programmes are often empirical - riders and instructors lack landmarks when it comes to measuring the efficiency of their work. Mont-le-Soie has created the FitEvent programme, which offers riders to assess the results of their horses' training throughout the season. The first disciplines involved are eventing and endurance.

Image description
Aboufatmal Apal EWalRaid

History

Official opening in 2001

The Centre was created in 2001 after the Provincial Estate was recovered by the Walloon Region. The organisation's executive board is made out of local elected representatives of the municipality of Vielsalm and its surroundings, representatives from Liège University and stakeholders of the equestrian sector.

2007 ... Sport

After a first period using existing infrastructures and mainly studying the Ardennes Draught Horse, the Centre focused on sports horses in 2007 and a specific building was built to study the locomotor system.

2010 ... Equine reproduction

In 2010, the Centre took over the management of Linalux-Equins based at the time on the AWE site in Ciney (BE) and then physically brought this sector back to Mont-le-Soie in 2013. Mont-le-Soie has since been approved as a European Reproductive Centre accredited by the Walloon Region and AFSCA. .

Nowadays

In January 2020, Vice-President and Minister W. Borsus granted the Centre a subsidy in the shape of a framework convention on a 3-year basis in the framework of a global support to equine breeding. On top of these missions, the Centre keeps on developing its activities as an equestrian inn, its sports infrastructures, its equine reproduction centre (mares and stallions) and its partnerships with companies.

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