The endeavours of four outstanding achievers in equine health and welfare have been recognised at BEVA Congress this year. Each meticulously chosen individual was formally presented with a coveted Award on Thursday 10 September 2015. 

The Awards were established by BEVA, in conjunction with various sponsors, to reflect BEVA’s recognition of and support for significant accomplishments by equine vets and others involved in horse health and welfare.

The BEVA Equine Welfare Award, sponsored by Blue Cross, was presented to Miss Johanna Vardon MBE, founder and owner of The National Foaling Bank in Shropshire. The National Foaling Bank provides a nationwide service for horse breeders to pair foster mares with orphaned foals and to provide guidance through the adoption process. Johanna has documented involvement in over 20,000 cases of fostering. Without a doubt equine welfare would have been compromised significantly without the practical support and advice provided by Johanna and her team over many years.

The BEVA Richard Hartley Clinical Award was given to Professor Paddy Dixon for “A long-term study on the clinical effects of mechanical widening of cheek teeth diastemata for treatment of periodontitis in 202 horses (2008-2011)” by PM Dixon, S Ceen, T Barnett, JM O'Leary, T Parkin, S Barakzai. The article was published in January 2014, Volume 46 of Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ).

The award is given in memory of Richard Hartley, a founder member of BEVA and president from 1974 to 1975. It is awarded for evidence-based papers and the prize is intended to support travel of the senior author and/or co-authors.

The BEVA Trust Peter Rossdale Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) Open Award was presented to Dr Andrew van Eps for the paper “Continuous digital hypothermia initiated after the onset of lameness prevents lamellar failure in the oligofructose laminitis model” by AW van Eps, CC Pollitt, C Underwood, CE Medina-Torres, WA Goodwin, JK Belknap. The article was published in September 2014, Volume 46 of the EVJ.

This award is given for the paper that best achieves the EVJ’s mission to publish articles which either influence and improve clinical practice and/or add significantly to the scientific knowledge that underpins and supports equine veterinary medicine. The award is made by the BEVA Trust, in recognition of Peter Rossdale’s immense contribution to BEVA and the EVJ. Unfortunately Andrew was unable to make the trip from Australia, so Ben Sykes, fellow Australian and colleague from University of Queensland collected the award on his behalf.

The Voorjaarsdagen and BEVA Awards were introduced in 2005 to mark the close relationship between the two Associations. The award is selected and presented biannually, once at the Voorjaarsdagen Congress and once at BEVA Congress, and is open to all those presenting a Clinical Research paper.

This year’s BEVA Award winner is Dr Mathijs Theelen, DVM Dipl ECEIM for his paper on “Ethmoidal infection with Aspergillus spp. in 3 horses: successful treatment by transendoscopic removal of mycotic plaques alone or in combination with systemic itraconazole”. Dr Theelen’s presentation won the award at the Voorjaarsdagen Congress in April 2015; he will present it again during the Clinical Research Sessions at BEVA Congress.

The reciprocal Voorjaarsdagen Award winner will be selected from those presenting Clinical Research papers at this year’s BEVA Congress. Their prize will be free registration to Voorjaarsdagen Congress 2016 where they will have the opportunity to present their paper again.

The Sam Hignett Award will be presented for the best clinical research presentation from general equine practice at BEVA Congress, with the winner to be announced after Congress.