BETA brings back Equine Thesis of the Year competition

Undergraduate research is being put back on the map thanks to the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), which is relaunching the prestigious Equine Thesis of the Year competition.

This academic initiative, designed to recognise and reward the excellent work carried out by students on equine-related courses, will be reintroduced this year after a three-year break, with participating colleges and universities throughout the UK going head-to-head for a place in the finals.

“Innovation, research and original thinking are the life-blood of the equestrian industry and essential ingredients for any thesis likely to succeed in this highly regarded competition,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “I am thrilled that the trade association is to play a key role in showcasing such an impressive collection of study in this way.”

Colleges and universities wishing to take part will be invited to submit one undergraduate student thesis. These will be considered as part of a two-tier independent judging process to select the finalists. Students whose dissertations make it through will be called to present their work to a panel of judges and take part in a Q&A session at Equestrian House, Abbey Park, Warwickshire, on 31 October. The winner and runner-up – who will both receive a cash prize – will then be announced.

The Equine Thesis of the Year competition, developed by Graham Suggett and Pat Harris in the late 1990s, was last held in 2012. It was hosted and administered by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) as a means of recognising the good work done by equestrian undergraduates.

“There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge stored in the libraries of equine colleges resulting from student undergraduate research,” said Graham. “However, the general equestrian industry remains unaware and we welcome the relaunch of the Equine Thesis of the Year competition by BETA.”

Claire Williams added: “We would like to thank the organisations and individuals responsible for helping to make the competition such a success over the years. BETA is extremely proud to have been handed the baton and we are very much looking forward to moving ahead into an exciting new chapter.”