Steroid Hormones, Fearfulness and Performance in Sport Horses

PhD defence, Friday 16 March 2018, Rikke Munk.

2018.03.16 | Trine Berndt Turtiainen Scheelke

Rikke Munk

During her studies, Rikke Munk researched how being in a stressful competition environment influences the salivary cortisol concentration in young competition horses. The horses were also assessed in handling tests to identify fearful individuals and to investigate whether the more fearful horses would have an increased cortisol concentration in the competition environment. In addition, it was investigated whether either fearfulness or cortisol concentration was correlated to competition performance. Furthermore, the relationship between the two steroid hormones, testosterone and estradiol, and fear responses in handling tests was investigated, and finally she tested whether it was possible to measure testosterone in saliva. The new research findings contribute to the understanding of the influence of a competition environment on salivary cortisol concentration in young sport horses.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 16, March 2018 at 10.00
Place: meetingroom 2, Aarhus University, AU Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele,
Title of PhD thesis: The relationship between steroid hormones and performance in warmblood sport horses
Contact information: Rikke Munk, e-mail:, tel.: +45 23639245
Members of the assessment committee:
Dr. Kathalljne Visser, Owner of consultancy agency Horsonality, The Netherlands
Professor Joerg Aurich, Clinical Unit of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
Professor Jan Tind Sørensen, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University (chair)
Main supervisor:
Professor Lene Munksgaard, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University
Horse veterinarian, Lars Nielsen, Højgaard Hestehospital
Senior Scientist Janne Winther Christensen, Department of Anlmal Science, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST,
Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 23.03.2018