The search is on for the winner of the Equine Thesis of the Year Award, BETA’s annual initiative to recognise academic excellence in undergraduate equine-related study. Universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland offering appropriate courses have each been invited to submit one student thesis into the running.

There have been 10 entries to date, from University Centre Reaseheath, Writtle University College, Harper Adams University, Duchy College, Warwickshire College, Royal Veterinary College, University Centre Myerscough, University of Limerick, Bishop Burton College and University Centre Sparsholt. Further submissions are expected before the 9 July deadline.

All entered theses will then be put through an independent preliminary judging round, with shortlisted students called to present their work to a panel of equestrian experts chaired by Dr Georgina Crossman during a virtual finals and awards ceremony on Sunday 31 October. The winner will receive a cash prize and trophy.

“The awards are a fantastic showcase for undergraduate study,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “Since BETA reintroduced them in 2016, they have continued to grow in both popularity and stature. A win in these prestigious awards is certainly something to write home about and a tremendous asset to add to students’ CVs as they embark on their chosen careers.
“We are really looking forward to finding out what subjects have been covered this year – and seeing how students approached and interpreted their findings.”

Last year, there were joint winners for the first time – Victoria O’Hara, of the Royal Veterinary College, and her thesis, “Use of commercial ELISA for deduction of myostatin protein in equine serum and the examination of an MSTN gene promoter SINE insertion mutation in vivo”, and Daniela Amiouny, of Aberystwyth University, with “The effects of night light and bedding depth on equine sleep and memory consolidation”.