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SRUC invests in new Aberdeen equine centre

SRUC invests in new Aberdeen equine centre

New centre to be completed by end of summer

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is working on a new centre for equine skills at its Craibstone campus in Aberdeen, which will provide new opportunities for students to learn practical skills.

The College is investing £310,000 into creating new stables for up to six horses, a ménage, equipment storage and supporting facilities for students at the centre. It will seek planning permission for the work in the next few months.

SRUC expects that most of the centre will be completed by the end of the summer, ahead of the arrival of the first cohort of students on the HNC and HND Equine Studies courses at Craibstone. The ménage is expected to be completed in the autumn.

The new HNC course offers practical experience and teaches students about horse care and riding, while the HND course provides more experience and knowledge of management within the equine industry.

The new equine centre will also supply extra opportunities for students on SRUC's Animal Care course.

Education at the new centre will complement the practical training provided by Aberdeen Riding Club through its partnership with SRUC.

Caroline Argo, dean of SRUC’s North Faculty, said: “Horse husbandry, training and business management skills are in high demand. We’re delighted to be able to offer more opportunities for students to help them enter and flourish within the equine industry.

“We’re looking forward to our role as an integral part of the equine community across the North of Scotland.”

Blue Cross survey reveals concerns about impact of fireworks on horses

Blue Cross survey reveals concerns about impact of fireworks on horses

Charity asks public not to let off fireworks this New Year

Blue Cross is urging people to forgo private firework displays for New Year's Eve this year, after a survey conducted by the charity revealed high levels of concern among horse owners regarding the effect of fireworks on horses.

The survey was carried out in early December. It showed that 69 per cent of horse owners are extremely concerned about the welfare of their animals this winter. Many reported difficulties in predicting when fireworks would be let off, making it difficult to plan accordingly.

Preparations that horse owners made in anticipation of firework displays included putting the animal into a stable early, playing music, distracting it with food and in some cases using prescribed medication and herbal remedies.

Despite these efforts 35 per cent of owners reported accidents as a direct result of fireworks. Several said that these accidents resulted in the animal having to be euthanised.

The survey also polled pet owners, finding that 70 per cent were concerned for their dog or cat's welfare during fireworks season.

Gemma Taylor, Blue Cross education officer, said: “These results have laid bare the extent of suffering so many of the nation’s horses go through for days and weeks at a time every single year.

“That’s why we are pleading with people to think about their own actions this New Year’s Eve and consider ditching setting off loud fireworks, which leave many horses literally shaking in fear, for other celebrations.

“We know at Blue Cross just how upsetting this time of year can be for animals – especially now we are seeing more and more people doing their own fireworks in their back gardens and private fields. Let’s all do our bit to help make this fear a thing of the past.”

The charity has produced a series of posters to help spread awareness about the negative impact of fireworks on pets. These can be downloaded on the Blue Cross website.

Study reveals insights into equine obesity

Study reveals insights into equine obesity

Researchers assess impact of social behaviour on body condition. 

New research by the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College has revealed how social behaviour can influence the body condition of horses and ponies living in herds.

Ponies and horses have evolved to live in herd environments within a distinct social hierarchy. Scientists say their findings, published in the journal PeerJ, could help to address problems associated with equine obesity. 

The study was conducted in collaboration with SPILLERS™ through the WALTHAM™ equine studies group. Clare Barfoot, marketing and research and development director at SPILLERS, said: 

“Most owners and keepers know that individual horses and ponies experience different positives and negatives when living in groups. This is why we tend to choose field companions carefully so that a balanced and harmonious relationship can be maintained within the herd.” 

Previous research found that the foraging success of individual animals in social groups may in part be influenced by their social status. Building on this knowledge, the team set out to investigate the importance of other social factors on foraging efficiency and body condition.

In the study, researchers spent 120 hours observing the winter foraging behaviour of 20 separate domestic herds of horses and ponies, noting the duration, frequency and cause of interruptions (vigilance, movement, social displacements given and received, scratching and startle responses). 

They found that vigilance frequency was the individual interruption behaviour most strongly and negatively associated with body condition score: a lower body condition was associated with greater vigilance. 

But vigilance was not associated with dominance status, the team notes, indicating that some individuals may be more likely to conduct vigilance, perhaps on behalf of the group or due to being more anxious or alert. 

The study also revealed that the subordinate horses showed more movement while foraging and were more likely to receive displacements and be forced to move foraging location. 

Ms Barfoot said: “These results are novel and exciting in that they present the first behavioural evidence to confirm previous theoretical work. Neither the more vigilant nor the more frequently disturbed individuals compensated for their reduction in feed (energy) intake by spending more time foraging which probably explains the link with lower body condition. 

“We hope that what we have learnt about the behaviour of individual horses when kept in groups could be included as a relevant factor when addressing health problems associated with equine obesity.”

Owners urged to think before rugging their horse

Owners urged to think before rugging their horse

Keeping horses rugged risks further weight gain, Blue Cross warns. 

National animal charity Blue Cross is calling on horse owners to think carefully before rugging their horses this winter.

The charity says that even though hoses might look 'cute and snug' wrapped up in a rug, it might not be the kindest or healthiest course of action for them. 

Ruth Court, horse welfare manager at Blue Cross, said: “As winter approaches, it’s tempting to reach for the extra rugs, but does your horse actually need a rug at all?

“There has been a lot of research around rugging in recent years and there are many reasons why we may not need to rug our horses, the most obvious one being weight gain.” 

The national charity has put together the following list of points for owners to consider when deciding whether to rug their horses:

Self-protection: Horses are programmed to protect themselves in bad weather, turn their backs on wind and rain to protect their head, neck, eyes, ears and belly. 
Natural shelter: They may choose natural shelters such as hedges and trees and keep together to share body warmth. Or they may have access to a field shelter.
Natural insulation: Horses with frost on their backs may look cold but they are quite the opposite as very little body heat is escaping through the air which is why the frost hasn’t melted.
Compromised thermoregulation: The horse has a very efficient coat covered with tiny hairs. The hair erector muscles for each hair need ‘exercising’ to work efficiently and over rugging may compromise this natural mechanism.
Heat imbalance: Over rugging mean that the horse warms up under the rug but not in other exposed areas.
Over-heating: If the horse becomes too hot under the rug, he doesn’t have a natural ability to cool down and may begin to sweat and become uncomfortable.
Natural weight control: The use of rugs can affect the horse’s natural weight control system. Horses are designed to use fat reserves over winter to keep warm. By keeping horses over rugged and overfed during the winter we are increasing the risk of further weight gain in the spring, increasing the risk of laminitis.
Forage: munching and digesting forage for 24 hours a day will help generate heat to keep a horse warm naturally.
Individual needs: There are some exceptions to the rugging rule: lighter, elderly or unwell horses may benefit from the additional warmth of a rug. Clipped horses and stabled horses with restricted movement may also appreciate a rug.

Ruth added: “Horses have evolved to deal with the cold. As long as we meet their basic management needs by providing ad lib forage, water, equine companionship and access to shelter they should be comfortable and warm with the lightest of rainsheets or no rugs at all.

“Do remember to make any changes gradually though, to give them time to adapt their natural heating system and they must be checked at least once a day to be sure that they are happy in the field.”

Horse owners asked to take part in Blue Cross fireworks survey

Horse owners asked to take part in Blue Cross fireworks survey

Charity seeks to better understanding of equine community's concerns

Charity Blue Cross is appealing for horse owners across the UK to respond to a survey about the impact of fireworks.

There were many reports of horses becoming scared or injured as a result of fireworks displays this year. As COVID-19 restrictions led to an increase in people hosting private displays in their gardens.

Blue Cross is concerned about this rise in personal firework displays – particularly in the lead up to new years eve – as well as the negative impact this can have on pets and horses.

The national pet charity, which has equine centres in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, is calling on horse and pony owners to take part in a national survey. The results of which will be used to gain a greater understanding of any concerns from the equine community.

Blue Cross is looking to receive as many responses as possible from horse owners by 10 December.

The survey is available to fill out online.

Blue Cross education manager Kerry Taylor said: “In these changing times it is important to understand the existing concerns horse owners have around fireworks season and the impact these celebrations can have on their animals.

“Horses have a natural and innate flight response and we know some fare badly when local fireworks are set off and we are hoping to understand the national picture in greater detail.”

BEVA backs World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

BEVA backs World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Daily quiz and live debate to encourage best practice in antibiotic use.

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has announced an exciting line up of quizzes, live debates and upgraded resources in preparation for World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November) and to encourage the continued reduction of critically important antibiotics.

Organised annually by the World Health Organisation, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAWW) aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

Throughout the week, BEVA will be running a daily quiz on antimicrobial stewardship, with a vet asking members a question every morning, via video, and providing the answer in the evening. 

On European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November), BEVA will be hosting a live debate, with leading names from the veterinary and human health sectors giving TED-style talks, which will be preceded by a series of case discussions with a panel of vets.

Mark Bowen, co-opted member of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee, said: “BEVA remains opposed to overly restrictive legislation on antibiotic use but believes that the membership has an important role to play in maintaining our freedom to prescribe under the cascade.

“It is great to see BEVA making full use of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week to interact with members, encourage healthy debate and make practical information and research highly accessible.”

Among the updated resources includes an upgrade to BEVA's award-winning Protect ME toolkit, including new content and refreshed graphics. This free resource for BEVA members aims to help compliance and facilitate the education of horse owners about the importance of antimicrobial stewardship.

David Rendle, chair of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee, said: “We have made great strides since the Protect ME guidelines were introduced, but multi-resistant bacteria are an increasing problem in equine practice. Affected horses have longer recovery times and their owners are faced with higher costs of treatment.

“Regrettably some multi-resistant infections simply do not respond to treatment, leading to euthanasia. The problem is relevant to all vets and all horse owners, and we must all take responsibility for slowing the development of resistance.”

Antibiotic Awareness Week will also see BEVA share a variety of research papers on antimicrobials published in Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) and the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) as well as relevant online CPD resources.

Horses feel as much pain as humans when whipped, studies suggest

Horses feel as much pain as humans when whipped, studies suggest

Findings support calls for a total ban on whipping in horseracing.

Two research studies conducted by the University of Sydney, Australia, have provided the first conclusive evidence that horses feel as much pain as humans do when whipped, and that the whip does not enhance race safety.

The findings, published in the journal Animals, support calls for a total ban on whipping and could have the potential to overhaul the racing industry both locally and worldwide.

Professor Paul McGreevy, who led the research, says he would not be surprised if the findings prompt the phasing-out of whipping in Australian racing within two years.

In the first study, researchers from the School of Veterinary Science took microscopic skin samples from deceased humans and euthanised horses and looked for differences between the skin structure and nerve supply. Their results yielded “no significant difference” in the concentration of nerve endings in the outer layers of the skin, nor did they show a difference in skin thickness.

Professor McGreevy commented: “This was not surprising, as horses, like humans, need robust yet sensitive skin to respond to touch, say, from flying insects or other horses. From this, we can deduce that horses are likely to feel as much pain as humans would when being whipped.”

In another study, researchers compared UK racing industry data with whips to races without them. In Britain, unlike in Australia, horse racing authorities such as The Jockey Club run whip-free races for apprentice jockeys. 

Their results revealed no statistical safety difference between races with and without whips, neither did they find any differences between race times and compliance with the rules. Professor McGreevy said this “invalidates industry assumptions to the contrary” and provides evidence that the use of whips in horse racing is “unnecessary, unjustifiable and unreasonable.”

In Australian racing, horses may not be struck more than five times before the final 100 metres. Once over the final 100 meters, they can be struck with every stride. 

The industry claims the padded whip, mandated since 2009, prevents the horse from feeling pain. However,  evidence shows that unpadded sections of the whip, which likely cause more pain, are more likely than not to make contact with the horse.

Professor McGreevy concluded: “Repeated strikes of the whip in horses that are fatigued as they end a race are likely to be distressing and cause suffering. A horse’s loss of agency as it undergoes this kind of repeated treatment is thought to lead to learned helplessness.”

Blue Cross offers help for vulnerable horses during pandemic winter

Blue Cross offers help for vulnerable horses during pandemic winter

Home Direct scheme rehomes horses quickly while keeping centres clear 

Blue Cross is working to help horses and ponies that need to be rehomed this winter as a result of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for owners.

In the lead up to what is predicted to be a very difficult winter, most equine charities are already full and unable to help the public with their horses. Blue Cross is offering its Home Direct service as a welfare solution to help horses find new homes quickly and to take the pressure off struggling charities.

Vicki Alford, horse rehoming centre manager at Blue Cross, Burford said: “Home Direct is a practical and efficient rehoming scheme to help us support even more horses during this unprecedently difficult time.

“We understand the struggles that many horse owners may be going through as the pandemic continues. We encourage them approach us whilst their horses are still healthy rather than risk them being passed form pillar to post, potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation.

“We are here to listen and help, not to judge, and with Home Direct we a can help people as much as we are helping horses.”

Every horse that goes through the Home Direct service is thoroughly assessed by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then advertised on the charity’s website.

Blue Cross arranges and oversees initial visits with potential owners and then, if it’s a good match, the horse is rehomed directly from its old home to the new one. 87 horses have been helped through the scheme since its launch in 2015.

Horse owners looking for advice, support or guidance about giving up a horse should email helpmyhorse@bluecross.org.uk

Vets identify genetic cause of fatal condition in Thoroughbreds

Vets identify genetic cause of fatal condition in Thoroughbreds

Study of affected foals reveals a mutation in the RAPGEF5 gene.

A genetic cause of equine familial isolated hypoparathyroidism (EFIH) in Thoroughbreds has been identified by researchers at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Researchers say their finding, reported in PloS Genetics, marks the first genetic variant for hypoparathyroidism identified in any domestic animal species. It is also the first widely available genetic test for Thoroughbreds.

“For Thoroughbred owners and breeders, the loss of a foal has tremendous economic and emotional impacts,” says first author Victor Rivas. “It is important to promote safe and strategic breeding habits by actively breeding horses genetically screened not only for EFIH but for other diseases that may impact quality of life.”

EFIH is is an invariably fatal condition that causes involuntary contraction of muscles and seizures in Thoroughbred foals. Foals with the disease typically have low levels of parathyroid - a hormone that controls calcium levels - and often die or are euthanised owing to poor prognosis.

In the study, researchers identified an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and performed whole-genome sequencing of two affected foals. They found that a mutation in the rap guanine nucleotide exchange factor 5 (RAPGEF5) gene was present in two copies in both foals.

The team further analysed the variant and demonstrated loss-of-function of the RAPGEF5 protein leading to aberrant development. Their study concludes that RAPGEF5 could play a key role in the derivation of the parathyroid gland during development.

“The next steps are to assess the allele frequency in a large population of randomly selected Thoroughbreds,” explained study lead Dr Carrie Finno. “Additionally, we have discussed collaborating with Dr Nathan Slovis at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Kentucky to test for the variant in cases of ‘sudden death’ in Thoroughbred foals.”

Updated recommendations on equine metabolic syndrome

Updated recommendations on equine metabolic syndrome

Equine Endocrinology Group provides new guidance on diagnosis and treatment.

The Equine Endocrinology Group (EEG) has released updated recommendations for veterinary surgeons on the diagnosis and treatment of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).

EMS is associated with a reduction in the normal insulin response, placing horses at high risk of developing laminitis. Under the new guidance, the implications for horse health are that accurate diagnosis should be made more quickly, and that every animal should receive optimum treatment based on the latest scientific knowledge.

EEG group member Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow, a reader in equine medicine at the RVC, said: “These updated guidelines are designed to help equine veterinarians correctly identify animals with equine metabolic syndrome and then recommend the optimum management for an individual animal, based on cutting-edge research.”

The EEG is an international group of clinicians and researchers that work together to advance understanding of endocrine disorders in horses. The group contains key opinion leaders in the field who meet every two years to review diagnosis and treatment recommendations based on new research findings.

Dr Menzies-Gow, who has been a member of the EEG since 2016, added: “It was a pleasure to work with clinicians and researchers from across the globe to synergise our research on this common condition, which causes great distress to horses and their owners alike. The RVC has a long history of researching laminitis, and I am proud to be continuing this work."

Horse owners urged to sign up for Colic Awareness Week

Horse owners urged to sign up for Colic Awareness Week

Organisations offer free emergency plan and daily webinars

The British Horse Society (BHS) and The University of Nottingham are asking all horse owners to make a pledge during Colic Awareness Week 2020, which runs from 5-11 October.

This year the BHS and The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science are providing free daily 10-minute webinars, focusing on various colic-related subjects. They will also be sharing advice and guidance on social media, using the hashtag #ColicAwarenessWeek.

Additionally, horse owners can sign up to receive a free equine care and emergency plan, to help them recognise warning signs early on and understand what to do in an emergency before the situation arises.

Veterinary practices that are a part of the ‘Vet REACT Colic Champions scheme’ will also be sharing information with clients across the week - both in practice and on social media - to help raise awareness.

Dr Katie Lightfoot, teaching associate in equine welfare at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our collaboration with The British Horse Society to improve the health and welfare of the horse.

“The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science have continued our research into colic and emergency planning which underpins this educational campaign. Colic awareness week gives us a fantastic opportunity to share the evidence-based information as widely as possible within the horse community.”

To view the previous webinars and watch the remainder that will be hosted this week, please visit the BHS’ Facebook page.

National Equine Forum introduces special COVID-19 award

National Equine Forum introduces special COVID-19 award

Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 to celebrate 'exceptional efforts' during 2020.

Organisers behind the National Equine Forum (NEF) have changed the emphasis of the Sir Colin Spedding Award 2021 to celebrate those who have gone 'above and beyond' during this difficult year.

The NEF said the decision had been reached 'given the exceptional circumstances of 2020 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic'. The deadline for nominations has also been extended to 16 October 2020.

NEF Chair Tim Brigstocke, said: “We have already received many nominations for individuals and organisations, as yet without accolade, who have made exceptional efforts beyond their usual job or remit, during this troublesome year.

“The pandemic continues to present challenges for the equestrian sector on an unprecedented scale and we believe we should acknowledge the trials, tribulations and extraordinary efforts undertaken to overcome the challenges we have all been living through over the past seven months.”

Introduced in 2013, the Sir Colin Spedding Award has become one of the most respected annual awards within UK equestrianism. Previous winners include Suffolk Punch champion Nigel Oakley (2020 joint winner); welfare-driven equestrian journalist Eleanor Jones (2020 joint winner); equine sector stalwart Gordon Wesley (2019), and exceptional farrier Dr Simon Curtis (2018).

The award is named after the founding chairman of the NEF, who chaired the event for 20 years until his death in 2012. He ensured that representatives of all areas of the equine sector felt welcome and that topics of general interest and concern could be openly discussed.

For 2020/21, the award will be re-named to the Sir Colin Spedding COVID-19 Award. Individuals or organisations from any equestrian field are eligible for nomination, as long as their outstanding qualities have not been formally acknowledged elsewhere.

Non-pandemic related nominations that have already been received will be carried over to 2022. For more information and submit a nomination, visit the NEF website.

Renowned equine specialist awarded Honorary Membership of BEVA

Renowned equine specialist awarded Honorary Membership of BEVA

Professor Celia Marr recognised for commitment to veterinary profession

The BEVA has awarded an honorary membership to Celia Marr – internal medicine specialist at Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons and editor-in-chief of Equine Veterinary Journal – for her outstanding contributions to the equine veterinary profession.

Having previously held positions at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School, Valley Equine Hospital, Lambourn and the Royal Veterinary College, Professor Marr BVMS, MVM, PhD, DEIM, DipECEIM, FRCVS began working at Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in 2003 and received a Fellowship from the RCVS in 2016.

Professor Marr was instrumental in the founding of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine and its training programmes and was a founding trustee of the British College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Along with publishing more than 90 peer reviewed papers, she has contributed to books on equine medicine and has edited the leading equine cardiology text. She is a regular speaker at national and international meetings and congresses, and contributes to publications on equine welfare aimed at horse owners and trainers.

Lucy Grieve, president of BEVA said: “Celia’s contribution to the advancement of equine medicine in the UK is unsurpassed. Following in the footsteps of Dr Peter Rossdale as editor of the Equine Veterinary Journal, she has maintained the international reputation of BEVA’s flagship publication as the foremost veterinary publication focused solely on equines.

"She has also been highly influential in advancing the causes of evidence-based medicine, clinical audit and collaborative research within equine practice.”

Celia Marr added: “I am delighted to receive Honorary Membership of BEVA: I have thoroughly enjoyed my work with EVJ and BEVA. My role has often been as a co-ordinator so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the huge number of academics and horse vets who contribute to EVJ as peer reviewers and authors and to recognise all those who have worked with me on educational and welfare initiatives.”

Image (c) Rossdales.

Blue Cross issues laminitis warning to owners

Blue Cross issues laminitis warning to owners

UK weather and lockdown restrictions raise risk factor for crippling disease

Blue Cross is urging horse owners to stay informed on how to recognise and prevent the potentially fatal equine disease laminitis across the autumn months.

According to the charity, any horse or pony is susceptible to the pasture-associated form of laminitis, but overweight animals are at higher risk. Additionally, seasons where grass is growing are the most dangerous.

Clare Bevins, Horse Welfare Supervisor at Blue Cross, said: “The combination of sun and rain that we have been experiencing in most of the UK recently, coupled with many horses still out on summer pasture significantly raises the risk factor for laminitis.

“Add to the mix the fact that some owners may still be struggling with their horses’ weight given limitations on riding during the pandemic and potentially we have the perfect storm for laminitis.”

The charity has shared the story of Piglet, a six-year-old skewbald mare, to help owners understand when to take action to protect their horses and ponies from laminitis.

Piglet experienced a major bout of laminitis in autumn 2018 and was sent to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford for treatment. X-rays showed pedal bone rotation in both of her front feet. To treat this, her feet were trimmed every two weeks and pain relief was administered daily.

The pony was also placed on a strict weight loss programme, losing 21kg over the first four months of box rest. Piglet’s body condition score dropped from 5 (obese) to a perfect 3 and, over the next two months, she was comfortable enough to be turned out for short stints on a soft surface.

Six months after returning to Blue Cross, x-rays revealed that both of Piglet’s front pedal bones looked normal. The pony has since been rehomed with a family experienced in managing laminitis.

“Piglet was one of the fortunate ones – her laminitis was caught early, and immediate steps taken to treat the disease under the supervision of a vet and a remedial farrier.” said Clare.

For more information on laminitis, please visit the Blue Cross website.

Image (c) Blue Cross.

Winners of BEVA annual awards announced

Winners of BEVA annual awards announced

Veterinary professionals recognised virtually in absence of congress

The BEVA has continued to celebrate excellence within the equine veterinary profession, despite COVID-19 restrictions, by presenting two awards through a virtual event held on Thursday 10 September.

The BEVA Richard Hartley Clinical Award is awarded to the senior author of the best evidence-based paper with direct clinical application published in Equine Veterinary Journal or Equine Veterinary Education. It is presented in memory of Richard Hartley, a founding member of the BEVA and president from 1974 to 1975.

The award was presented to April L Lawson BSc BVSc MRCVS, for the paper Application of an equine composite pain scale and its association with plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone concentrations and serum cortisol concentrations in horses with colic by A. L. Lawson, R. R. Opie, K. B. Stevens, E. J. Knowles and T. S. Mair.

The Peter Rossdale Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) Open Award is given for the paper that most closely accomplishes EVJ’s goal of publishing articles which impact and improve clinical practice and/or the scientific knowledge behind equine veterinary medicine.

This award was created in recognition of Peter Rossdale’s exceptional contributions to the BEVA and EVJ. This year it was presented to Dr Monica Venner DipECEIM for the paper Changing policy to treat foals with Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in the later course of disease decreases antimicrobial usage without increasing mortality rate by D. Arnold-Lehna, M. Venner, L. Berghaus, R. Berghaus and S. Giguère.

According to the BEVA, the remaining awards have been postponed until 2021.

For more information on the awards please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA.

BEVA appoints new president

BEVA appoints new president

Lucy Grieve will lead work on weight management and equine obesity.

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has appointed Lucy Grieve, an ambulatory assistant at Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons, as its new president.

Lucy, who succeeds the role from Tim Mair, will oversee the organisation for 2020/21. She was virtually inaugurated at the BEVA Congress AGM on Thursday (10 September), where she received the presidential chains.

Lucy's areas of interest are diagnostic imaging, lameness and poor performance. After qualifying from the University of Cambridge in 2007, she became the first diagnostic imaging intern at Rossdales.

Following this, Lucy spent seven years in Newmarket at an in-house vet for Darley's pre-training facility. Here she worked on yearlings, horses in training and rehabilitation, before returning to Rossdales in 2015 as an ambulatory assistant.

Lucy became a member of BEVA Council in 2012, first serving as chair of the Ethics and Welfare Committee and sitting on the Equestrian Sports Committee, liaising with the BHA and FEI. She is also co-opted onto the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) Thoroughbred Research Consultation Group.

Weight management and equine obesity are special areas of interest for Lucy, and she was recently instrumental in setting up a pilot project to help owners positively recognise and address weight issues. Commenting on her presidency, Lucy explained that building on this project will be central to her new role:

“Obesity is one of the biggest problems facing equine welfare in the UK but a significant proportion of owners still don’t recognise that their horse is overweight or feel motivated to take action,” she said. “We have been looking at new ways to engage with horse owners and are currently assessing the results of our pilot project which revolved around careful veterinary interaction with clients on the topic during vaccination visits."

Image (C) David Boughey.