New BEVA president wants to address shortage of horse vets

New BEVA president wants to address shortage of horse vets
Outgoing president David Rendle hands over to new BEVA President Roger Smith at the end of the BEVA Congress

The new president of the British Equine VeterinaryAssocoiation wants to address the shortage of horse vets and build an international community among affiliates.

Roger Smith, who has taken over from David Rendle, said: “I am honoured to become BEVA President,” Smith said. “While it is tough following on from some very effective Presidents in the past, not least the outgoing President, David Rendle, I am really looking forward to spending time promoting BEVA’s activities, thanks to support from my work colleagues and the Royal Veterinary College.

“Now with no requirement for veterinary students to ‘see practice’ in the equine veterinary sector, it is going to be increasingly difficult to showcase what a great job being an equine vet is. I want to work on introducing initiatives to advertise our profession to young students but also provide ways of improving job satisfaction.”

Smith is looking to encourage the development of a career structure for young vets with BEVA providing guidance, in particular for their first few years in the profession, by continuing to promote the intern toolkit which has been received favourably by practices.

“We want to build on this to extend it to residents and junior vets. I also want to encourage vets to expand their horizons and get involved in complementary activities such as practice-focussed R&D.”

In looking at international opportunities, Smith noted that David Rendle had been highly effective at increasing the affiliate membership of BEVA.

“This provides equine veterinary associations from other countries with access to our many online resources. Like never before we need to build an international equine veterinary community. I believe that BEVA has the resources and the impact to make a difference, especially for those countries that have less access to high-quality educational material. This will only help to further the already respected reputation of BEVA on the international stage.”

Smith is a Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Following graduation from the University of Cambridge Veterinary and two years in practice, he returned to academia to undertake further clinical training as a Resident in Equine Studies at the RVC. He then undertook a three-year research project culminating in the award of a PhD for his studies on the extracellular matrix of the equine tendon.

He remained at the RVC, first as a Lecturer in Equine Surgery, then as Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery before his appointment as Professor in Equine Orthopaedics in December 2003. He holds the Diploma of Equine Orthopaedics from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Surgery. He is a Diplomate of the European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and is also a Large Animal Imaging Associate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

Smith was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2016 for meritorious contribution to knowledge and was elected president of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in July 2017.

He took up his new post at the end of the BEVA Congress last week. Bruce Bladon is the President Elect and Imogen Burrows is Junior Vice-President. Nicola Housby-Skeggs, Helen Bickerton and Angela Jones have joined BEVA Council this year and Kate Blakeman and Safia Barakzai have been re-elected to the council.