This is the 38th supplement to Equine Veterinary Journal and the 6th ICEEP proceedings to be published as a supplement to EVJ; the previous ones being: EVJ Supplement 9: ‘Equine Exercise Physiology’ (1990), EVJ Supplement 18: ‘Equine Exercise Physiology 4’ (1995), EVJ Supplement 30: ‘Equine Exercise Physiology 5’ (1999); EVJ Supplement 34: ‘ICEEP 6’ (2002) and EVJ Supplement 36: ‘ICEEP 7’ (2006)

The first actual EVJ supplement was published in 1983 entitled ‘A clinical and experimental study of tendon injury, healing and treatment in the horse’. The rationale for supplements included the need for a source of focused information based upon a specific subject area or topic. The aim was to provide this information either as a series of in depth reviews or new research papers at a level which would not necessarily be of interest to all readers and subscribers to the journal. Such compilations were therefore considered to be outside the objective of ordinary issues of the journal although the papers included in such supplements are taken into account when the Impact Factor is evaluated by the Institute of Scientific Information. Broadly speaking, this concept has continued and is exemplified by this current supplement in which all of the original research articles have been subjected to the same standard of peer review as is maintained in the journal itself.

The contents of this, the latest EVJ supplement, cover many of the papers that will be presented at ICEEP 8 (2010) in South Africa. The topics covered range from biomechanics to ethology, from metabolic correlations to exercise, and respiratory physiology to epidemiology of untoward effects sustained as a consequence to training and racing. It is hoped that the information provided will be of value to researchers, students and veterinarians and others involved in the management and training of horses all around the world for many years to come.

The hard work and dedication of authors is greatly appreciated as also is the voluntary contributions of the peer reviewers whose names appear on page xii. The editors, David Marlin and Pat Harris, and all the section editors deserve special recognition as do the members of the EVJ office, Sue Wright and Jane Woodley for their successful input into the processing of the supplement contents.

Conflicts of interest

The editor declares no potential conflicts.