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Equine MRI


How it works

Commonly, the outcome of a conventional lameness workup is a horse that blocks to a certain region but has no visible changes on X-ray or ultrasound. Response to treatment may be the only way to confirm or refute a potential diagnosis, and the horse may have to repeatedly return to the clinic for further examination. This pathway costs both time and money, while the patient may lose condition and the injury gets worse. By visualizing slices through tissue, MRI can quickly and precisely localize damage to both bone and soft tissues without the need for anesthesia.

  • Diagnostic in over 90% of cases, Standing Equine MRI (sMRI) identifies the specific cause of lameness
  • MRI is the only way to distinguish between the many different diseases underlying “navicular disease” in the foot
  • MRI of the fetlock and knee allows racehorse trainers to modify training to prevent poor performance and avoid the risk of serious injury

Is space at a premium? Our Standing Equine MRI Modular Room could be the answer.


Features & Benefits of sMRI

MRI without anesthesia

No risk to the horse makes it easier for your client to say yes to standing equine MRI than conventional “down” MRI.

From the ground up

The gold standard in diagnostic imaging from the hoof to the carpus or tarsus.

Award-winning motion correction software

Designed to compensate for any slight movement of the limb during image acquisition. Faster scan times means more cases and lower costs.

Seamless integration with PACS & DICOM standards

Our images can be read using standard workstation software. You have the freedom to choose your own radiologist for image interpretation.

Value add for your practice

Choose from a standard room or modular unit with our unique pay-as-you-go model. See the system pay for itself with just a handful of cases per month.

We’ve got you covered

With outstanding remote support, software upgrades, replacement RF coils and spare parts included in your annual contract.

Hallmarq’s Standing Equine MRI (sMRI) system brings the same diagnostic capability to equine clinical practice as human MRI, with the equine patient at the forefront of every design decision.


Clinical uses of sMRI

Distal limb

Diagnosis of bony and soft tissue disease when more conventional imaging techniques are negative, unclear or access is difficult.

Navicular disease

MRI is the only imaging modality to provide an accurate diagnosis of this multifactorial disease, allowing for targeted treatment.

Where other imaging modalities fail

MRI identifies subtle lesions such as bone inflammation and early onset degenerative joint disease earlier than ultrasound and radiography.

Emergencies and surgical planning

When additional assessment to radiography is necessary (penetrating injury, fracture), standing MRI aids surgical planning without the need for anaesthesia.

Racehorses in training

Repetitive fast work can increase risk of fracture. Detection of early indicators with MRI can result in modification of training and catastrophic injury prevention.

Rehabilitation guidance

Monitoring progress optimizes treatment and speeds time to return to competition.

Detailed imaging

Clinical Case Gallery

Specifically designed to image the limbs of standing horses, our innovative and award-winning standing equine MRI scanner captures superb images for a more accurate diagnosis. 

  • Excellent diagnostic images of the hoof, all the way up to the carpus/tarsus regions. 
  • Patented design includes a unique open, thin poled magnet, bespoke equine optimized patient handling and equine specific RF coils.
  • Award-winning motion correction software, to ensure accurate diagnosis of the standing horse under only mild sedation. 
  • Veterinary specific software includes an array of MRI scan options with equine optimized imaging protocols for efficiency and ease of use.

For real clinical examples from some of our installed scanners, please click to browse… 

“I must thank the whole Hallmarq team for your help and development of such a useful and effective tool”

Matteo Toniato DVM Clinica Equina San Biagio

“Standing MRI allows us to accurately diagnose the cause of lameness in the vast majority of cases where standard diagnostic techniques fail to give us the answer. It permits the selection of appropriate treatment methods, whereas without it we would often have been guessing”

Tim Mair BVSc PhD DEIM DESTS DipECEIM MRCVS Bell Equine Veterinary Hospital

“In many lameness cases, it is not possible to find a definitive diagnosis. With our Hallmarq system we are finally able to solve the puzzle! This is a big step ahead for us, our clients and most importantly, the horses.”

Dr Martin Stoeckli Pferdeklinik Dalchenhof, Switzerland

“We are proud to have been involved with the development of Hallmarq’s standing MRI scanner since its inception. This technology has transformed our ability to diagnose many musculoskeletal disorders, particularly diseases affecting the foot.”

Tim Mair BVSc PhD DEIM DESTS DipECEIM MRCVS, Bell Equine Veterinary Hospital

“The team at Hallmarq continue to find innovative approaches to improve motion correction and reduce slice thickness. When I use their images at International conferences, I am repeatedly asked if they were taken with a high field magnet.”

Sarah Taylor BVM&S MSc PhD Cert ES(Orth) DipECVS DipECVSMR MRCVS The University of Edinburgh. The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

“Hallmarq has been a great partner in providing our MRI services. The training provided was well organised and sponsorship of our MRI CE program provided to referring veterinarians was a great success. Thank you Hallmarq for your continued support.”

Dr. Bill Hay DVM DACVS Tryon Equine Hospital Columbus, NC

“Hallmarq’s MRI has revolutionised the way foot lameness has been diagnosed in thousands of cases over the last 15 years. Excellent image quality facilitates accurate diagnoses, appropriate treatment selection and formulation of a prognosis.”

Sarah Taylor BVM&S MSc PhD Cert ES(Orth) DipECVS DipECVSMR MRCVS The University of Edinburgh. The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

“The team at Hallmarq provide superb customer support, are friendly, approachable and always happy to help. This enables the user to make the most of the system and optimise image quality.”

Dr Rhiannon Morgan BSc BVSc CertAVP MVetMed(Hons) PhD DipECVDI MRCVS Royal Veterinary College

“Since installing Hallmarq’s Standing MRI in 2013, we have performed hundreds of examinations of the lower limbs, primarily in Thoroughbred racehorses. It is invaluable in identifying injuries that are not visible with conventional modalities.”

Dr Paul Robinson BVSc DACVS-LA The Hong Kong Jockey Club

“We have used Hallmarq’s Standing Equine MRI for nearly 20 years. Hallmarq has consistently provided us with quality, leading-edge equipment, fantastic hands-on training for our staff, and excellent remote customer service.”

Dr Maureen Kelleher DVM DACVS Virginia Tech Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center

“Advanced diagnostic imaging techniques have become increasingly within reach for countless horses over the past 15 years and Hallmarq has played a large part in this rapid and exciting evolution within the equine industry.”

M.A. Smith MA VetMB Cert ES DipECVS AECVDI MRCVS Image Equine


Why refer?

Much has been learned about the causes of equine lameness since the advent of MRI.  From the previously under-diagnosed, such as collateral desmitis of the distal interphalangeal joint, through the previously misunderstood, such as navicular syndrome, to the previously unknown, such as bone marrow oedema, MRI has revolutionised our ability to provide a diagnosis and improve prognosis in equine lameness.

MRI is unparalleled in providing images of both soft and bony tissues.  Distinguishing water from fat, it highlights areas of pathology such as inflammation and bruising, in a way that radiography, CT, ultrasound or nuclear scintigraphy just can’t do.  By imaging the region of interest in slices orientated in any 3D plane, a lesion can be visualised without superimposition of adjacent structures.  Multiple views allow you to appreciate the full extent of the injury.


We are your trusted partner for advanced veterinary imaging.

Providing high quality images is just the beginning. We’re here to help optimise your imaging service – from initial inquiry through installation and beyond. We guarantee support along your imaging journey, with an unrivalled program designed to add value to your practice.

Find out about Q-Care


Technical Specifications

In planning for the installation of your Hallmarq Standing Equine MRI system, the high-level technical specifications below should be taken into consideration. Please consult the Site Planning Guide for additional details.

Hardware & Software
Magnet field strengthField strength: 0.27 Tesla (+/- 0.02 Tesla)
Pole gap220mm (+/- 10mm)
Imaging volume140mm DSV
Homogeneity<110 PPM (peak to peak) measured over a 150 mm DSV
Position3-dimensional magnet positioning system
Rotation90-degree magnet rotation
Movement deviceVertical and in/out motorised movement with manual control.
Manual left/right movement via side wheel.
Three orthogonal imaging gradients, plus one Z2 channel
Maximum imaging gradient strength: 25 mT/m
Maximum imaging slew rate: 75 mT/m/ms
RF Coils
4 x coils of different sizes for imaging the foot and lower limb
SpectrometerDigital RF unit running at 11 MHz (+/- 1 MHz)
RF and gradient amplifiers
ComputerMulti-core processor with dual solid-state drives
Windows 10 LTSC operating system
Pulse sequence library with advanced motion correction
24″ wide screen monitor, mouse and keyboard
MRI software suite
Pulse sequence library with advanced motion correction
Remote access and management via LogMeIn
Equine Modular Room & Power
Standard Room & Power



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