March 28, 2019, by Emma Rayner
Equine vet champion wins major RCVS award
A leading UK expert in equine surgery who has led an evidence-based campaign on decision-making in colic in horses has won a prestigious award from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Professor Sarah Freeman, from the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, is being given an Impact Award from the RCVS which recognises vet professionals who go above and beyond in the cause of animal science, health and welfare.
Her work on the University of Nottingham’s Equine Colic Project, in collaboration with the British Horse Society, has had a significant impact on the welfare of horses in the UK and on the veterinary profession. The award was announced on the eve of next week’s Colic Awareness Week for horse owners and vets.
Reacting to the Impact Award, Professor Freeman said: “I am delighted to accept this award which recognises the contribution our project team has made, working with vets in practice and horse owners to generate new evidence, and develop and share our Colic REACT campaigns. We are very grateful to World Horse Welfare for funding the research, and the collaboration with The British Horse Society to develop the REACT campaign and the colic champions scheme. I have a fantastic team who have made this possible and would like to thank my academic colleagues Dr John Burford and Professor Gary England, and past and present PhD students, Dr Laila Curtis, Dr Adelle Bowden and Miss Katie Lightfoot.”
Professor Malcolm Cobb, Deputy Head of School at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, nominated her and said: “Sarah has worked tirelessly to develop and promote the REACT campaign, which is an evidence-based health education programme to help vets and horse owners in the early recognition and decision-making for horses showing signs of colic.”
He added: “Recent research led by Sarah has resulted in production of telephone triage materials to help veterinary practice staff guide owners in appropriate decision-making for colic; this has been launched in collaboration with World Horse Welfare.”
More information on the REACT Now to Beat Colic project:
The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science began researching the prolific problem of colic in horses in 2012. The impetus for the project was a lack of evidence from general veterinary practice and horse owners to enable practical recommendations to be developed. The project team worked with vet practices and horse owners across the UK to develop new evidence and use a co-production methodology to develop recommendations and identify where new educational resources were needed. The REACT campaign was launched in 2016 in collaboration with horse owners and the British Horse Society, and Vet REACT was launched in 2017 to support vets. Both campaigns focused on early recognition of signs of colic and supporting critical decision-making. In 2018, the Colic Champions scheme was launched, and it currently has 64 vet practices across the UK using and promoting the REACT resources and materials.