Equine Thesis of the Year

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.

We are all very excited about the award, which BETA relaunched in 2016 after a three-year break.

The Preliminary judges of the 2016 competition were Dr Jane Nixon, Stewart Hastie, Dr Helen Warren, Claire Williams and Liz Benwell. Judges for the final were Dr Georgina Crossman, Dr Pat Harris, Ruth Bishop and Lucy Higginson.

Universities and colleges throughout the UK offering equine-related courses took up the challenge to submit one student thesis as part of this highly regarded competition and the following made it through to the finals.

● Harper Adams University – Lucy Morgan. Thesis: Equitation Science in the Equine Industry: Horse riders' understanding of the learning theory in equine training.
● University of Limerick – Alison Brassil. Thesis: The Effect of Paternal Age of Progeny Performance in Thoroughbreds.
● Warwickshire College – Tegan Hemingway-Wood. Thesis: The Effect of Water Depth on Equine Limb Swing Phase Kinematics During Walk Exercise on the Aqualcelander Water Treadmill.
● Royal Agricultural University – Anna Williams. Thesis: The Effect of Soaking on the Population of Acid Bacteria Found on UK Meadow Hay: Possible implications for equine gastric ulceration.

All students were called to present their work to the judges and take part in a Q&A session at Equestrian House, Abbey Park, Warwickshire, on 11 November.

The winning prize went to Alison Brassil of the University of Limerick and runner up was Tegan Hemingway-Wood from the Warwickshire College Group.

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