Baileys Horse Feeds Vet of the Year 2022

Welcome to the Horse & Hound Awards 2022, which are back for the seventh 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 2022 winner

    Emily Willoughby: EW Equine Vets

    “I’ve ridden since I was a child and becoming a vet was the only thing I ever wanted to do. It was about being able to help animals, and I liked the challenge of it being such a hard career to get into.

    “A particularly rewarding moment this year was when I was called to an older horse who was unwell with colic. He was rolling and thrashing about, but I got him settled enough to travel to Liverpool, where he had surgery. He is now doing well. Referring an older horse can be quite a difficult decision to be faced with, but your instinct always kicks in.”

    A happy client says: “The best vet I have ever had the pleasure to deal with, Emily’s attention to detail and care of horses is outstanding. The bubbly personality that is always present is uplifting and inspiring. All four of my horses have flourished while being under Emily’s care.”

    Also shortlisted were:

    Duncan Ballard: B&W Equine Vets

    “I’m a farmer’s son and have always been surrounded by animals. Aged 10 or 11, I saw a cow caesarean at home and I thought that was pretty special. From that moment on I knew what I wanted to do. When I first qualified in 2000, I was involved in the foot-and-mouth outbreak, before moving to equine practice.

    “A standout moment this year was attending to Avon and Somerset police horse Rocky, who had been hit by a car at about 50mph while on patrol. I attended the scene and have followed the case all the way. He is still in recovery, but the wounds are pretty much healed. He is walking out and starting a rehab programme and doing fantastically well.”

    A happy client says: “Duncan is extremely knowledgeable, highly respected and requested by all who have used him. Always contactable in an emergency, professional but friendly. There is no doubt he goes above and beyond for his clients.”

    Sam Bescoby: Bescoby Equine Vets

    “I stole the idea of becoming a vet from my little brother about age 14. We both grew up with animals and both loved science. He went and saw practice at the RSPCA in Manchester and came back buzzing. I was quite jealous, so I went and did the same. I realised it was the perfect combination of science and animals.

    “Hiring our first assistant in January has been brilliant. We set up the practice in April last year. When we finally got the numbers to justify an extra team member, it was a signal that this is working. It’s been awesome, we have an amazing team and it’s good to see that traditional values still matter.”

    A happy client says: “Sam has a wealth of knowledge and the patience of a saint. He doesn’t promise you miracles, but he does make them happen. He saved my tiny Shetland when he was at death’s door. He really looks after his clients’ best interests. Top man. Top vet.”

    Alan Hough: Celtic Equine Vets

    “My dad is a vet, so I always spent my life around the veterinary community and I always knew it was what I wanted to do. When I first qualified, I worked in a mixed practice for a couple of years, but drifted towards the equine side, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years.

    “Earlier this year, a client found her horse with one of its ears completely split in half. Ears are notoriously difficult to deal with because they’re so sensitive, even under sedation. Thankfully, the horse coped well. I was able to nerve block around the ear and stapled and stitched it back together, which was a very satisfying outcome. If the horse hadn’t played ball, he could have ended up with effectively three ears.”

    A happy client says: “Alan’s amazing. I can ask his advice and he takes the time to explain everything. He’s a genuine, kind, friendly vet. It’s not often you find someone so nice who has a real way with animals. He’s like a Dr Doolittle.”

    Previous winners of this award include:

    • Elizabeth Frew of Kings Bounty Equine
    • Tim Randle
    • Ken Anderson
    • Alistair Field
    • Natalie McGoldrick

    About the Horse & Hound Awards 2022

    The Horse & Hound Awards returned for the seventh year in a row, running again in partnership with NAF. Some 300 people, including Olympic and Paralympic superstars, gathered to enjoy a glamorous evening of champagne, winner reveals and dancing at Cheltenham Racecourse. As in previous years, the H&H Award winners were nominated and voted for by you, the readers. We seek to recognise both the big names who have made 2022 special and the unsung heroes who make it possible for all of us to enjoy equestrian sport and our horses, at whatever level.

    You may like...