The creation of veterinary education and development of hippiatric science in the 18th century

The need to create a rational teaching of veterinary medicine became evident in the 1750s and the first veterinary school was founded in 1762 in Lyon by the riding master Claude Bourgelat (1712-1779), a man prominent in the field of horse riding and hippiatrics. In 1744 he published The New Newcastle and then, from 1750 to 1753, the Elements of Hippiatrics. He then became a regular editor of the Encyclopédie by Diderot and d'Alembert for issues relating to riding and hippiatrics.

Two figures marked hippiatrics in the 18th century: Philippe-Etienne Lafosse, the author of masterful treatises and Bourgelat Claude, who created the first veterinary school.

Faced with the need to provide training to his students, in the next two decades Bourgelat published several books dealing with the aspect of the horse, the medical field, horse anatomy, and fittings and dressings. He died without publishing anything about medicine and surgery sensu stricto, and his successors, notably Philibert Chabert (1737-1814), continued his work.

Those who lost most in this decisive phase were the blacksmiths. The most famous, Philippe Etienne Lafosse (1738-1820) tried in vain to oppose Bourgelat. Son of Étienne Guillaume, himself a blacksmith as well and probably the biggest name in hippiatrics before the creation of veterinary education, he published flamboyant treatises such as his Course on Hippiatrics, next to which the work of Bourgelat pales.

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