The British Horse Society appoints new Veterinary Student Champion for 2022

The Stewart Hastie Veterinary Student Champion scheme aims to develop links between veterinary students, horse owners and the work of the BHS.

The scheme’s 3rd Veterinary Student Champion is Dominic Watson, a current veterinary student at the University of Surrey who takes over from previous VSC, Bryony Lovegrove. Dominic was selected from a large pool of candidates because of his enthusiasm for equine welfare, experience and motivation to help educate horse owners on best practices.

The scheme, named in memory of veterinary surgeon and longstanding supporter of the BHS, Stewart Hastie, was first launched in 2016 and strives to disseminate research from the university and information from the BHS to veterinary students, building the foundations of support for when the students go into practice.

The student champion will help to raise awareness of the two organisations and explore how each one can benefit from the work and expertise of the other. Dominic shared his thoughts about his new role: “The main thing that drew me to the role of VSC is to bridge the gap between the equine community and the future vets branching into it and being able to highlight the day-to-day things owners can be doing to improve the welfare of their horses.”

Through the highly successful scheme, students have taken part in shows, Healthcare Days, Healthcare & Education Clinics and attended lectures on the REACT Now to Beat Colic campaign.

Gemma Stanford, Director of Welfare at the BHS, said: “We very much look forward to working with Dominic in collaboration with the University of Surrey. With Dominic on board, we aim to continue helping to build industry links with new veterinary surgeons, raise awareness of BHS welfare campaigns within the veterinary profession and help build the skills and experience of veterinary students by giving them access to healthcare clinics and the experience of BHS Welfare Field Officers.”

Dr Teresa Hollands, Senior Teaching Fellow (Veterinary Nutrition) at the University of Surrey said: “Throughout my career, I have seen the results of cross-professional teams providing evidence-based advice and support for the benefit of horse welfare. It takes time to develop those team relationships, which is why we are so grateful for the opportunity provided by the BHS VSC, enabling our students to not just see but also be part of this teamwork. I am excited to see how this role develops in the 2020s, out in the field, the two-way exchange of education and research and the wider sharing of information via social media.”

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