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This Equine Veterinary Journal supplement on colic is being published in association with the 10th International Equine Colic Research Symposium. The 1st Equine Colic Research Symposium was held at the University of Georgia in 1982, with the goal of creating a forum where clinicians and researchers could present current research on colic, thereby stimulating discussion and generating new ideas and new research. Since the first meeting in 1982, the Symposium has become truly international with BEVA and AAEP alternately hosting the meeting every 3–4 years. The 10th International Colic Research Symposium is being held in Indianapolis, Indiana, 26–28th July 2011, and is being hosted by the AAEP Foundation. Recent symposia have been complemented by supplements or special issues of Equine Veterinary Journal, publishing full peer reviewed articles on colic, many of which are appearing as papers in the Symposium. In this way, the research presented at the meeting is disseminated to the widest international audience.

The success of the Colic Research Symposia is dependant on numerous individuals and sponsors, including the organising committee. The membership of the committee has changed over the years, but the contribution of several individual members who have recently or are about to retire merits recognition. These individuals include Professor Sandy Love (University of Glasgow), who retired after the previous symposium, and Professors Nat White (Marion DuPont Equine Medical Center, Virginia Tech) and Jim Moore (University of Georgia), who will retire after the forthcoming symposium. The contributions of these individuals have been considerable, and we thank them for their dedication and effort that have done so much to make the symposia successful.

This supplement has been made possible by the generous financial support of The Horse Trust, specifically the Echo Memorial Fund. This fund, established to ‘make colic history,’ was set up in memory of ‘Echo’ (top left) a police horse injured in the Hyde Park bombing in central London in 1982. Although Echo recovered well from his injuries and lived a happy retirement at the Horse Trust premises in Buckinghamshire, his later life was plagued with recurrent colic episodes. We are delighted that The Horse Trust has chosen to use these funds, donated for use in the battle against equine colic, to support this publication.

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Figure 1. Echo (left) and Yeti, both injured in the Hyde Park bombing in London in 1982.

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In 1982, horses injured in the Hyde Park bombing were referred to the Royal Veterinary College for treatment under the expert supervision of Professor Barrie Edwards CBE, BVSc, DVetMed, FRCVS (bottom left), who was also instrumental in the development of the Echo Memorial Fund. Sadly Barrie, a regular and much-respected contributor to the Colic Research Symposia, died shortly before this supplement went to press. Internationally recognised and frequently referred to as the ‘doyen of colic surgeons’ in the UK, Barrie Edwards was an outstanding clinician, surgeon and teacher who was an inspiration and role model for numerous young veterinary surgeons. Since the 1960s he was at the forefront of colic surgery, and his numerous, practical publications on the subject (many containing drawings produced by Barrie himself) are frequently referred to by young and aspiring surgeons. It is with great humility that this supplement is dedicated to Barrie's memory.

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Figure 2. Gwilym Barrie Edwards CBE, BVSc, DVetMed, FRCVS (20th May 1938–16th May 2011).

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