2018 IEOC Equine Ophthalmology Symposium

2018 IEOC Equine Ophthalmology Symposium
Reykjavik, Iceland
June 7-9, 2018


Members will have first opportunity to register for our meeting in Iceland, June 7- 9, 2017. Do not miss it! Registration and call for papers will open by January.  

Introduction to the Area, Event Plans
Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is the country's capital and largest city. It's home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history. The striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Exemplifying the island’s volcanic activity is the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near the village of Grindavik.

Icelandic ponies! Isn’t that why we all want to go? We have organized a fabulous group event that will take you through the beautiful countryside, enjoy local Icelandic food, and be treated to a private performance of Icelandic ponies arranged by one of the best known competition riders in Iceland! This will be held in the National Horse Arena, approximately 45 minutes from Reykjavik. More information will be available upon registration in January.

Registration and Call for Papers will open January 2018!
If you are not a member and would like email notifications to be sent regarding call for papers and opening registration, please contact the office at office@equineophtho.org.

Continuing Education
IEOC will be seeking full RACE approval for 2018. We have worked hard to garner acceptance of ‘non-traditional’ education and apparently we’ve encouraged their board to reconsider their house rules.

The Planning Committee is strongly considering more interactive sessions that our members have loved in the past. This may involve some ‘hot topics’ sections, round-tables, or panel discussions. Interactivity will be the point of interest, but also compliance for CE is important to balance.

Radisson Blu Saga Reykjavik
Hotel rooms will go fast. Iceland is a hot commodity lately, one of the top five meeting locations in the world! Unfortunately this means prices are a bit steep. We will have the hotel block open very soon. Very limited ‘shoulder’ rooms will be available, so if you’re planning to come early or stay late you may pay a different rate or need to find different accommodations. A separate email will be sent soon to members only when registration is open for the hotel.

Radisson Blu Saga Reykjavik
Group rate: ~300 Euro
Reservation information will be provided in December.

  *  Free access to the Spa and Gym
  *  Free WiFi in all hotel rooms
  *  Free parking for attendees

State of the Art Speakers
Help us welcome Drs. Eric Ledbetter and Rebecca Bellone, as our esteemed State of the Art Speakers. Their titles and/or topics are listed below, along with brief biographical information. We will continue to build this information on the website as we receive it.


Dr. Eric Ledbetter, DVM, DACVO
Title: "Advanced Imaging of the Equine Eye"

Imaging techniques available for use in equine ophthalmology are expanding at a rapid pace. Utilization of these newer imaging modalities permits the observation of anatomical and physiologic changes associated with equine ocular disorders in a manner that was not previously possible. These techniques can also contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of several clinically-important equine ocular diseases. Advanced imaging technologies currently in clinical use for the equine eye, including in vivo confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography, will be reviewed. Ocular imaging modalities still under development for horses will also be discussed.

Bio: Dr. Ledbetter is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, he completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and a comparative ophthalmology residency at Cornell University, where he joined the faculty in 2006.

Dr. Ledbetter’s research interests include in vivo ocular imaging techniques, ocular infectious disease, and corneal disease. In addition to research and teaching endeavors, Dr. Ledbetter provides clinical ophthalmology services within Cornell University’s Companion Animal and Equine & Farm Animal Hospitals.


Dr. Rebecca Bellone, Ph.D.
Titles: "Seeing Equine Ocular Disorders thru a DNA Lens: Utilizing DNA Testing to Inform Clinical Management Decisions"

Advances in equine genetics and collaborative transdisciplinary research has enabled a better understanding of the etiology of some inherited ocular disorder. Results from genetic testing can assist in clinical management and identify horses with or at risk for multiple congenital ocular anomalies, congenital stationary night blindness, ocular squamous cell carcinoma, and equine recurrent uveitis. In addition, genetic testing can inform breeding decisions to aid in lowering the incidence of disease.  This presentation will review equine ocular genetic disorders for which DNA diagnostic tests exist.

"Seeing Equine Ocular Disorders thru a DNA Lens: Genetic Studies Underway"
Several ocular disorders are believed to have a genetic basis. An increased understanding of the equine genome and the continued development of tools in which to study inherited disorders will enable a deeper understanding of the biochemical pathways that lead to these disorders. In some cases, unraveling functional mechanisms could lead to earlier detection and more effective treatments. Genetic studies are underway to identify additional genetic risk factors involved in ocular squamous cell carcinoma across breeds, equine recurrent uveitis in Appaloosas and related breeds, and bilateral corneal stroma loss and distichiasis in Friesian horses.  This presentation will focus on the latest findings in these on-going studies.

Bio: Dr. Rebecca Bellone earned her Ph.D. in Equine Genetics from the University of Kentucky in 2001.  She has led an equine genetics research program involving both undergraduate and graduate students investigating the genetics of pigmentation and ocular disorders and the connection between the two.  Her research team has collaboratively discovered causative mutations for both congenital stationary night blindness and ocular squamous cell carcinoma in horses.  She was on faculty at the University of Tampa (FL) (2002-2014) where she was the recipient of several outstanding scholar awards. In 2014, she joined the faculty in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis and currently serves as the Director of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, a unit of the School, with an international reputation as experts in veterinary genetic testing. 

There are many adventures in Reykjavik. Review the Visitors Guide to learn a little about what to look forward to in Iceland.