Top award for horse charity

One of the country's leading equine research charities, the Animal Health Trust, won a top award from the British Horse Society yesterday.

One of the country's leading equine research charities, the Animal Health Trust, won a top award from the British Horse Society yesterday.

A total of 15 awards were presented by Desi Dillingham, chairman of British Dressage and a new vice-president of the BHS, at Saddlers' Hall, in London.

The award for best achievement to advance the welfare of all equines was made to the Animal Health Trust, which is based at Lanwades Park, Kentford, near Newmarket. It was founded in 1942 to help dogs, cats and horses by veterinary surgeon Dr Reginald Woolridge.

“This is tremendous because it recognises the vital research work that is being done to help horses and other animals,” said a spokesman, Jan Wade.


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“It is great pat on the back for the charity. We have an annual turnover of £13m and we have to raise at least £4m a year in donations and funding to keep the work going,” she added.

The AHT, which employs about 200 staff including many of the world's leading veterinary surgeons, does not receive any government funding. It is currently undertaking pioneering work in conjunction with the BHS to develop a cure for strangles, the most common infectious disease in horses.

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A cure for this painful disease is vital and the research scientists at the Animal Health Trust are working hard to develop a new vaccine, which is a long-term goal.

The BHS's chairman, Patrick Print said: “We recognise and honour the best work of professionals, companies and public servants who do so much to advance the interests of equestrianism. The award winners are the perfect examples of this type.”

Their successes in research have ranged from major breakthroughs in anaesthesia to the development of vaccines against diseases such as canine distemper and equine influenza.

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