Merial’s Equine Brain Search Asks Students: Who’s Doing the Best Research?

The shortlist for the 2008 Eqvalan? Duo Equine Thesis of the Year Award was announced today. The award, which is sponsored by Merial’s animal health division in honor of its Eqvalan wormer, seeks to reward the very best in equine-related projects taking place in universities and colleges throughout the UK.

I don’t know of a similar award in North America.

Now in its tenth year, the award is presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of England each year to recognize outstanding academic achievement in the equestrian field and to showcase the best academic research to the equestrian industry.

The five shortlisted theses, their authors, and the college attended are:

? Laura Corbin, Warwickshire College: Foot balance and lameness in riding school horses

? Carol Quish, University of Limerick: Irish Point-to-Point Racing: A Critical Review 2000 – 2007

? Alexine Sevack, Hartpury College: The establishment of evidence-based guidelines for the reduction of the equine canine tooth

? Holly Wakefield, Harper Adams University College: A Comparison of the Cryoprotective Effect of different types of Avian Egg Yolk in Stallion Semen Freezing Media on In Vitro Post-Thaw Sperm Quality

? Charlotte White, Nottingham Trent University: An investigation into the OcclusalSecondary Dentine Thickness in Horses of different agesBeing a finalist in this competition is certainly an honor, but this is the point where the honor turns into more hard work. The shortlisted students will now have to defend their theses to a panel of judges, including horse science experts, the editor of Horse & Rider magazine, and the 2006 winner, Rachel Kay.

The winner, to be announced on November 7, will receive a cash prize, trophy and membership to the Royal Agricultural Society. She (the finalists are all female) will also have the opportunity to present her thesis to the National Equine Forum in March.

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