Baileys Horse Feeds Vet of the Year 2021

Welcome to the Horse & Hound Awards 2021, which are back for the sixth year to celebrate the stars of equestrianism, in partnership with NAF

  • Appreciating the singular difference this skilled professional has made to a horse or horses’ lives and subsequently to their owners’ lives too.

    The winner of the Baileys Horse Feeds Vet of the Year 2021 is Elizabeth Frew of Kings Bounty Equine.

    What made you become a vet: “I grew up on a farm in Ayrshire and knew from a young age that I wanted to be a vet. My interest and love for horses was initially inspired by my late father’s passion for breeding and showing Clydesdales. I have a special interest in breeding and reproductive work.”

    A highlight from 2021: “There have been many wonderful and memorable moments, but watching all of our clients enjoy their horses at any level is rewarding, especially when I have been a part of their journey. It is especially rewarding to be able to help diagnose and treat any problems and reassure owners if they are worried and I feel incredibly privileged they have nominated me for this award. One particular highlight this year was watching a very long-standing client achieve her dream of taking her veteran eventer clear around a CCI4*-S cross-country and receive a very well-deserved write-up in Horse & Hound!”

    A happy client says: “Liz is always at the end of the phone and once when one of our ponies was very ill, Liz practically lived at the yard and gave him hospital care. This year, when we had a pony due and I rang her at 10.30pm, she stayed on the phone until she arrived at the yard and delivered the foal. A compassionate, caring and truly lovely lady.”

    This year’s other nominees were:

    Beth Bromley of Severn Edge Vets

    What made you become a vet? “It’s a cliché, but I wanted to be a vet from a young age after growing up riding. I wanted a job with variety and that’s certainly the case as a vet – no two days are ever the same. I love being able to help people and their horses in varied and sometimes difficult emotional situations.”
    A highlight from 2021: “Working with remedial farrier Marc Jerram to bring a laminitic horse who was in chronic pain back from spending most of his day lying down in his stable to being pain-free out in his paddock and enjoying ridden work again. The journey involved repeat X-rays, diagnosing and treating the underlying causes, remedial shoes and lots of hard work from the dedicated owner. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a horse beat the odds.”
    A happy client says: “Our horse was diagnosed with life-threatening peritonitis over New Year. Beth worked tirelessly, calling at all hours to provide the best treatment possible, often visiting multiple times a day. The horse made a full recovery and went on to achieve a top placing at the Area Festivals a few months later thanks to Beth’s hard work and dedication.”

    Eamon Smyth of  Equivet Ltd

    What made you become a vet? “I grew up with Connemara and Irish Draft breeds, and developed a passion for the Irish Sport Horse, so was exposed to the profession from a young age.”
    A highlight from 2021: “With performance horses, even apparently mild concerns must be investigated thoroughly. I was called to assess a horse reported as ‘just not right’ two days before a competition. A ridden assessment revealed a mild and transient forelimb lameness on a downward transition from canter to trot. Subsequent ultrasonography revealed a small but significant injury to the superficial digital flexor tendon. Early identification prevented the injury becoming more serious. The horse was withdrawn from competition, received treatment using regenerative therapies and underwent a strict rehabilitation programme, going on to make a full recovery.”
    A happy client says: “Eamon is the most dedicated vet. He calls back out of hours to discuss possible problems and follows up after call-outs in the days after to check if everything is OK. He has a fabulous bedside manner and is exemplary in equine care. I cannot rate him highly enough.”

    Ricki Watson of Emerson & Watson

    What made you become a vet? “My mother was a riding instructor and a Pony Club district commissioner so I was lucky to spend a lot of time around horses. My father is an engineer so I inherited a genetic interest in fixing things, but after he saw my mechanical ineptitude with bikes and cars, he steered me towards animals. As with many of my peers, James Herriot also has to shoulder some of the blame.”
    A highlight from 2021: “A very talented polo mare we look after, called Happy Trap, came down with an odd but severe case of laminitis last year. There were long, tough discussions with owners, players and farriers about the best way to go forwards, whether she would compete again or even if she would survive. Amazingly, with huge dedication and patience from all of us involved, she resumed work this season. It was incredibly rewarding to see her playing in and winning the Gold Cup final at Cowdray with Thai Polo NP.”
    A happy client says: “Kind, confident and efficient, with an excellent bedside manner. His practice goes above and beyond to deliver professional care while adding a personal touch. Nothing is ever too much trouble, be it an emergency or a last-minute vaccination. I recently lost a horse and the way the practice reached out to me showed that their clients are more than just a job.”

    Previous winners of this award include:

    • Tim Randle
    • Ken Anderson
    • Alistair Field
    • Natalie McGoldrick

    About the Horse & Hound Awards 2021

    We’re back! The Horse & Hound Awards returned for the sixth year in a row, running again in partnership with NAF.

    Last year’s successful online H&H Awards achieved record participation, with nearly 58,000 votes cast. We were thrilled to be back in person for 2021, with a glittering ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse. Around 300 people, including Olympic and Paralympic superstars, gathered to enjoy a glamorous evening of champagne and dancing as the winners were revealed.

    As previously, the H&H Award winners have been nominated and voted for by you. We seek to recognise both the big names who have made 2021 special and the unsung heroes who make it possible for all of us to enjoy equestrian sport and our horses, at whatever level.

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