Ask a Pro: Marc Koene, DVM

German team veterinarian Dr. Koene answered audience questions at the 2023 FEI World Cup Finals.
Marc Koene, DVM
© Friso Gentsch/dpa/Alamy Live News

Marc Koene, DVM, is an acknowledged German equine practitioner, FEI veterinary delegate and FEI permitted treating veterinarian. He’s been a team veterinarian for the German Olympic Driving Team for ten years and for the German Dressage Team for three years. He has served these teams at several Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games and German and European Championships.

At the Luesche Equine Veterinary Clinic in Germany, Dr. Koene works on lame horses, surgery, ophthalmology, sporthorse support and pre-purchase examinations. Additionally, he is active in research and application of new technologies such as 3D printing, feed supplements and laser treatment.

Audience Questions for Dr. Koene

At the 2023 FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska, Practical Horseman sat down with Dr. Koene for a live Q&A session courtesy of Arthramid Vet. In the two weeks leading up to the Finals, Practical Horseman’s audience submitted questions for Dr. Koene including “How do you prepare horses to fly?” and “What’s your best advice to keep a high performance horse successfully competitive and sound for the course of a long career?”

He also elaborated on topics such as joint health, equine jet leg and keeping horses happy while on the road. “Every horse has his own team, so they’re not only ridden, they will have massage, they have physical therapy,” said Dr. Koene in the Q&A. “Most horses really like to go to the show because they get very special attention. It’s 24-hour VIP service for the horses. They enjoy it!”

Dr. Koene noted that sleep is also an important factor when horses are traveling, which can be influenced by their surroundings. “Horses do have friends and it’s underestimated. If you change horses’ stalls to somewhere else, they can be happy or unhappy because they don’t like their neighbor. And, it has influences even on their sleeping behavior, because to avoid stress, a horse needs to lay down. Otherwise, he can’t have the REM phase of sleep.”

In addition, horses prefer a dark, quiet place to sleep, just like humans. “It’s now in the FEI veterinary regulations, the new ones, that at every show, [horses] need six hours of dampened light and noise reduction.”

Watch Dr. Koene’s Q&A

Thank you to the sponsor of Dr. Koene’s Ask a Pro Q&A, Arthramid Vet.

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