A vet who falsely certified that horses owned or ridden by top show jumper Nick Skelton were fit to travel to the US, despite not knowing the results of mandatory medical tests, has lost his appeal against being struck off.

A hearing of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) was told in November last year that John Brennand Williams of the Avonvale Veterinary Practice, Banbury, Oxfordshire, signed documentation stating that Centos, Russel and Namur 47, were clear of the venereal disease contagious equine metritis (CEM) before test results were back.

Stallions and mares must be tested for CEM every time they travel to America.

Mr Skelton told H&H that Williams was “a damn good vet and a good guy”.

But he was found guilty of “disgraceful conduct” in a professional respect by the RCVS disciplinary committee.

Mr Williams was to be struck off the register of veterinary surgeons in November but appealed to the Privy Council, the highest appeal court in the land, and has been able to practice while the appeal was being considered. But that appeal was dismissed last Thursday (12 May) and he will now be barred from practising.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (19 June, ’08)