The equine standing MRI (EQ2) developed by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging has won both international trade and innovation categories in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The company is one of only two businesses this year to have been awarded both accolades.

The EQ2 was invented and is manufactured in the UK and is the world’s first standing equine MRI.

Over 5,000 horses have been scanned using the EQ2 worldwide and it is now used by vets in 22 countries including Dubai, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Europe and North America.

“It’s wonderful for the company and all who work here to receive awards and recognition, especially one as important as a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Receiving two awards exceeded all our expectations,” said Hallmarq’s CEO Jos Belgrave who is an equine vet.

“Hallmarq’s EQ2 innovation has genuinely helped alleviate pain and saved the lives of thousands of horses around the world. That in itself is very rewarding,” he added.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. For many years it has been the imaging method of choice in human medicine.

Hallmarq’s standing equine MRI (EQ2) has brought the same diagnostic capability to the equine clinical practice.

It can show vets both the soft tissues structures and bone unlike X-rays, which can only image bone. This is especially valuable in the horse’s hoof, which has complex ligaments and tendons.

The standing MRI enables horses to undergo an MRI procedure without being anaesthetised. With a diagnostic success rate of 90% it has changed how vets approach equine lameness.

Hallmarq has over 78 veterinary MRI installations in 23 countries worldwide. The company’s latest MRI is the PetVet; a 1.5T veterinary specific high field MRI system aimed at companion animals.