Dorset horse veterinarian Chris Pearce has been named the Petplan Equine Vet of the Year for 2011.
Pearce impressed the judges with his pioneering work in advancing equine dentistry, and his understanding of the importance of the bond between horses and their owners.
Sponsored by UK specialist equine insurance provider Petplan Equine, in association with Horse & Rider Magazine, the awards are now in their fourth year.
Pearce was announced the winner at the glittering annual Animal Health Trust (AHT) Equestrian Awards’ gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on Tuesday night.
Horse owners from throughout UK nominated vets who they feel are worthy of the prestigious title of Petplan Equine Vet of the Year. With more than 185 nominations the independent judging panel had a difficult job choosing a winner from the three outstanding finalists. However, they unanimously agreed that the strength of Pearce’s nominations placed him as the vet most worthy of this year’s title.
Isabella von Mesterhazy, Petplan Equine’s Marketing Manager, said the award recognises those vets who go the extra mile in providing an outstanding service to horse owners.
“All this year’s nominees have shown great commitment to their profession making choosing just one winner very difficult. However, Chris’s dedication and commitment, combined with his extensive work in equine dentistry and the support shown to his clients really stood out.”
Horses have always been important in Pearce’s life. Having ridden since the age of 11, he competed for his country in modern pentathlon as a teenager. After qualifying as a vet at the University of Liverpool in 1990, Pearce worked in Worcestershire for three years before moving to Dorset in 1996. In 2001 he became the first veterinary surgeon to qualify as an Equine Dental Technician, an area in which he now specialises.
“I was genuinely surprised and really delighted to have just been nominated,” Pearce said.
“As this is a people’s award, I would like to thank all the people who have voted for me. I love what I do, I am extremely passionate about it and that’s what really drives me. Winning this award is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of veterinary dentistry.”
The Animal Health Trust Equestrian Awards are designed to recognise the outstanding achievements made by horses, riders, owners and trainers throughout the equestrian world. Since the Petplan Charitable Trust was founded in 1994 it has raised more than £5 million, almost £500,000 of which has been donated to the AHT to fund research and development.