We are looking for an outstanding vet who has made a real difference to the horses in his or her care in 2020, and subsequently has had a positive impact on the lives of their owners, too, for which they cannot thank them enough
Simon Constable’s Equine Vets
Length of veterinary career: 28 years
Speciality: Equine vet with a certificate in equine orthopaedic surgery
What made you become a vet? “When I was younger, I lived next door to a large animal and equine vet called Ron Thomson. From when I was 13 years old, he would take me out and about with him. Ron was fantastic and is the very reason I’m a vet today.”
Proudest vetting moment: “We do a lot of work with the RSPCA and have been involved with some horrific cases. One rescue, Razor – named due to his protruding backbone – was one of the worst cases I’ve seen. He had strangles and a host of other issues but we eventually got him right. He’s now on loan to a client and I see him fairly regularly. He was a yearling when he was picked up and he’s now 15.”
Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic
Length of veterinary career: 25 years
Speciality: lameness and emergency surgery
What made you become a vet? “A mixture of a medical interest and a deep interest in animals.”
Proudest vetting moment: “One horse was presented with a severe epistaxis (nosebleed) which we quickly diagnosed by endoscopy to be caused by guttural pouch mycosis; this is a fungal infection in a cavity in the Eustachian tube connecting the back of the mouth with the ear. The fungal growth erodes the very large arteries in the pouch and they can eventually leak, sometimes fatally. A colleague and I immediately subjected the horse to a general anaesthetic and cut down on to the artery involved, tying it off, managing to keep the horse alive by flooding his circulatory system with fluids and blood expanders. The life-or-death situations often make us feel most proud of having done our best, win or lose.”
Stables Equine Practice
Length of veterinary career: 26 years
Speciality: Lameness and breeding work
What made you become a vet? “James Herriot was largely responsible as well as my own riding and eventing career.”
Proudest vetting moment: “There are some obviously memorable moments, such as acting as a vet at the Rio and London Olympics. But some of the most rewarding times are when you go and see an ill or lame horse with a stressed-out owner and can quickly diagnose the problem and diffuse the worry. It’s incredibly satisfying.”
Ardene House Vet Practice
Length of veterinary career: eight years
Speciality: works in a mixed practice but specialises in horses and donkeys
What made you become a vet? “I was one of those lucky people who knew from an early age this was the only thing I wanted to do. I loved animals and went full steam ahead to make them my career.”
Proudest vetting moment: “We treated a pony for pieces of wire stuck in her throat and tongue, thought to have come from a Chinese lantern. A year and a half later, the pony started to colic frequently. One night, she colicked violently and needed surgery. A piece of wire embedded in scar tissue was found within her intestine. She had several serious complications, and there were times we weren’t sure she would survive. It was so rewarding to see her recover after everything we had been through.”
Former winners of this award include Ken Anderson, Alistair Field and Natalie McGoldrick.
About the Horse & Hound Awards 2020
The H&H Awards, in partnership with NAF, are back – this year’s ceremony will be virtual, an exciting multi-media online bonanza. This innovation means equestrian fans around the world can be part of the celebration. We look forward to sharing the evening with you all.
This year’s awards will celebrate the heroes of the past decade (2011–2020) in elite equestrian sport, while honouring the unsung stars who have helped our industry, our horses and our spirits during this unusual year.
As previously, the H&H Award winners will be nominated and voted for by you. Anyone is welcome to nominate the person, group or horse they feel deserves recognition from Thursday 3 September.
Following the close of nominations at 5pm on 4 October, the H&H judging panel will decide on a shortlist of contenders. The panel will be influenced by the number of nominations and strength of the story of the nominee’s dedication and achievement.
On 29 October, we will announce the shortlisted candidates in the magazine and online, sharing their stories and inviting you to vote for your winners online, with voting closing on 5 November.
The winners will be revealed in our sparkling online virtual ceremony on 10 December, with guests joining us from around the world.