Scientific Committee

Prof. Dr. László V. Frenyó PhD,
President of Scientific Committee

Rector Emeritus, Hungary

Dr. Frenyó Chair of the Supervisory Board of Hungarian Equestrian Therapy Association. He is also the Dean of the Faculty, McDaniel College Budapest Campus and Rector Emeritus of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest. His major research fields involve basic mechanisms of immune-physiology, immune-endocrinology. He has numerous publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Among his many international commitments, Dr. Frenyó was also involved in the higher education restructuring project by UNESCO-CEPES within the framework of the Task Force Education and Youth. The major focus of his activity was related to strategic management, governance and policy making, financial management and institutional relationships with civil society and local economy. He was one of the change agents of the fundamental restructuring of the European higher education through the “Bologna Process”.

He served as president of the Hungarian Higher Education and Research Council. Dr. Frenyó was the president of the Hungarian Rectors Conferenceand he served as Rector of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest. He spent several years as postdoctoral fellow, then as visiting professor in different US universities. In cooperation with Dr. Peter Edvi, President International Children’s Safety Service Foundation he provided the opportunity for the first equine assisted therapy summer camp in Hungary at the University of Veterinary Medicine.  

Prof. Selcuk Akpinar

Prof. Selcuk Akpinar is currently employed at Nevsehir Haci Bektas VeliUniversity at the Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education and Sport as a Faculty Member. He finished his bachelor degree with honors (first rank position) at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University. He was assigned to be a Physical Education Teacher by the Ministry of Education. He worked as PE teacher for two years. He continued his study as a Master at BoluAbant Izzet Baysal University where he became a research assistant. Later on, he moved to Middle East Technical University for the doctorate where he focused on motor learning and control studies. During his doctorate, he went to the Penn State University, USA, as a visiting scholar for one and a half years and later on Post-doc for 6 months. During his state at the Penn State University, he worked at a motor control laboratory and tried to find out the effect of participation of sports training on motor lateralization. After completing his doctorate, he moved to Nevsehir. He was promoted as an Associated Prof by the Higher Educational Council of Turkey in December 2017. He was promoted by Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University as full professor on February 2023. He has started working in Equine Assisted Activities in Nevsehir in 2013. He participated Erasmus + Projects in Equine Assisted Activities and has been conducting research in this topic. He is also assistant principal of Horsemanship-Horseback Riding Application and Research Center at Nevsehir Haci BektasVeli University. He also published articles in respected international journals in this topic, too. He has developed many international cooperation and has many colleagues from all over the world. His area of interest mainly focused on motor lateralization in sports and equine assisted activities, such as arm selection, motor learning and pedagogy, as well as body composition.

Octavia J. Brown, Ed.M., D.H.L. 

Professor Emeritus of Equine Studies, Centenary University

Born in England, Octavia Brown emigrated to the USA in 1964. She earned her Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1971 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2008 by Centenary University. A founder of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now PATH International) in 1969, she served four terms on the board of directors. She is a PATH Master Instructor. Founder of Therapeutic Riding At Centenary, Dr. Brown is now retired and is Professor Emeritus of Equine Studies at Centenary.

Dr. Brown is past president of the Federation Riding for the Disabled International, having served six years on the board of trustees. She was honored in 1982 as NJ Horse Person of the Year by the NJ Horse Council. In 1998 she received PATH’s James Brady Award for Lifetime Achievement in Therapeutic Riding. In 2022 received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Equus Foundation.

Gabriella Bozori

Special education teacher and therapist, equine assisted therapist, honorary associate professor at MATE University, Vice President of the Hungarian Riding for the Disabled Federation, Hungary

She has been working as a special education teacher and therapist since 1995, and since 1996, she has specialised in remedial riding and vaulting. She is one of the founding members of the Hungarian Riding for the Disabled Federation. She is a professional leader of the training courses organised by the Hungarian Riding for Disabled Federation. Since 2005, she has been working as the Head of the Therapeutic Riding and Education Centre of the International Children’s Safety Service in Fót. She is also a lecturer at several Hungarian universities.

Andrea Dúll Phd, DSc

Andrea Dúll PhD, DSc is an environmental psychologist, the founder of Hungarian environmental psychology, doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, pro-environmental psychologist, director of the Institute of Human-Environment Transactions at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, professor at the Department of Sociology and Communication atthe Budapest University of Technology and Economics. She is credited with building the institutional system of environmental psychology in Hungary, developing its training system and introducing it as a discipline into environmental design. As a researcher, theorist, and practical consultant, she deals with all areas of human-environment interaction.

Peter Holzmüller

Head of the staff unit for organizational development at the Bavarian Red Cross (Germany)

Research associate in the Sociology of Diversity working group at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the Technical University of Munich

Member of the Board of the Hungarian Therapeutic Riding Association

Member of the German Kuratorium für Therapeutisches Reiten

In the Hungarian Therapeutic Riding Association, he has been responsible for the development of hippotherapeutic education in a multiprofessional setting for 25 years. An essential aspect of this is the participant-oriented conception of the neurophysiological therapy units. Motto: “Let’s make sensitive and touching music”.

Hernika Jormfelt

Henrika Jormfeldt from Sweden has lived together with horses since she got her first pony at her seventh anniversary in 1973. She graduated as a registered nurse specialising in psychiatric care in 1993 and defended her PhD thesis Dimensions of Health among Patients in Mental Health Services in 2007 at Lund University. Henrika Jormfeldt became a Professor of Nursing at Halmstad University in 2019. She is the chief editor of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, chair of IFSAP Halmstad (the local association of persons with schizophrenia and other forms of psychoses). Henrika Jormfeldt runs a little firm offering equine-assisted therapy and activities for people with mental illness and conducts research on how horses can contribute to the treatment of mental illness.

Eszter Kövesi

Psychologist, couples and family therapist, equine assisted therapist, relaxation therapist, Hungary

Eszter graduated in psychology from the University of Debrecen and Roehampton University, London. As a couple and family therapist, equine assisted therapist and relaxation therapist, her aim is to empower people on their life journey.

She believes that as the human soul is complex and multi-layered, so the multi-layered nature of psychological therapies provides a useful framework for therapeutic processes. Therefore, working with a blend of her specialties, where individuals, couples and families can experience the dynamics of their personality or family structure with equine assistance, but also learning relaxation techniques on horseback can be valuable.

Horses have held a special place in her heart since childhood and now, after owning horses for nearly twenty years, they have become an important part of her family. In her equine assisted work, her goal is to help others experience the accepting, safe and loving relationship that can help guide them through life.

Drs. Willem H. M. van Lieshout

Supervisor Clinical Psychology, Supervisor Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy, Supervisor Forensic Psychiatry, Supervisor Leadership Balint Group, Supervisory Committee Forensic Psychiatry, Holland

Since 2003 has been working for the International Children ‘s Safety Service in Hungary as a teacher in Equitherapy (for psychologists and psychiatrists). Since 2003 yearly has been giving a lecture in ‘psychotherapy with the help of horses’ for the International Children ‘s Safety Service in Hungary.

Inês Pereira de Figueiredo

With a PhD in Neurosciences  University of Salamanca, Spain,  and a Master Degree in Zootechnical Engineering, from the University of Evora, Portugal, she made her fellowship and Graduation Thesis,  at INRA, Tours, at Centre de Bien Être Animal et  Ethologie , in France.

Coordinator of some Research  Projects regarding the field of  “The effects of handling  foals on their reactivity, learning ,and Human-animal relationships”, at the National Stud Farm. Author of several Research Articles focusing on the effects of stress in emotional outcomes and  learning, posttraumatic stress disorder and depression-like models. 

At the moment , she is Collaborator at the Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla y Leon, and the Faculty of Veterinary in the Laboratory of Animal welfare and Behaviour. Founder and President of the International organization THEKIDSFELLOWs Research Group in Anthrozoology, is working in some international Projects.

She is Academic member of the International Society for Equitation Sciences (ISES) and Associate Editor of HETI, The Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International.

Alexandra Stergiou

Alexandra serves as a vice president of HETI, holds the chair of the Research Committee, as well as, is the Chief Editor of HETI Scientific Journal. She has taken part in numerous scientific conferences and served as a member of organizing and scientific boards. Also, she has attained and announced many oral and poster presentations at congresses and published numerous articles in international scientific journals.

Originally from Ioannina, Greece, Alexandra holds a PhD from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Medical School of the University of Ioannina and currently is a lecturer in the field of Special Education at the University of Ioannina, Greece. Her research interest is in the rehabilitation of children with neurological disorders. In addition, she is running her own business at Ioannina Therapeutic Riding Centre, Greece for the last 15 years.

Dimitrios Varvarousis

Dimitrios Varvarousis is an Assistant Professor in Medical School of University of Ioannina. He is an Orthopaedic Surgeon, while he worked as an Orthopedic Rehabilitation Supervisor in several Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation departments in Greece and Germany. He has been principal investigator in 4 Research programs funded by the EU. As an author he has 30 publications in international journals and 7 chapters in medical books. He is specialized in neuromuscular diseases, gait analysis and spine.