Prestigious award for equine airway pioneer Ed Robinson

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Dr Ed Robinson. © Michigan State University
Dr Ed Robinson. © Michigan State University

An equine health pioneer has received the year’s Veterinary Achievement Award from the Animal Health Trust.

Dr Ed Robinson is a pioneer of several “firsts” in veterinary medicine, and his “phenomenal contributions” to the field have also had a great impact on human medicine, the AHT said.

Robinson, from Michigan State University in the US, was the first person to perform direct measurements of hoof blood flow, the first to pioneer studying recurrent airway obstruction as a model of human asthma, and the first to develop a two-horse model to study Recurrent Airway Obstruction, an idea which has since become the standard model for studying this disease.

Robinson founded the World Equine Airways Symposium and was founding editor of one of the most well-known textbooks in equine medicine, Current Therapy in Equine Medicine. Publisher of more than 200 scientific papers, 10 textbooks and author of more than 140 book chapters. Robinson serves on 35 editorial and scientific advisory boards. This award is in recognition of Dr Robinson’s phenomenal contributions to veterinary medicine which have also had a great impact on human medicine.

Mike Tucker during his final broadcast for the BBC at Badminton 2017. 
Mike Tucker during his final broadcast for the BBC at Badminton 2017. © Kit Houghton

Mike Tucker was posthumously awarded the SEIB Insurance Brokers Unsung Hero Award for his selfless contributions and dedication to the sport of equestrianism. Tucker, who died suddenly earlier this year, was described as “A man who touched many people’s lives and was a huge and much-loved character and true friend to many including the Animal Health Trust.” The special award was collected on his behalf by his wife Angela, son Andrew and daughter Emma.

The 30th anniversary AHT Awards night late last month at The Dorchester, Park Lane was opened by the AHT’s president, Princess Anne. In her opening comments, the Princess Royal highlighted some of the charity’s greatest achievements and current projects including research into developing an effective vaccine against equine herpes virus.

This event is not only a celebration of equestrian excellence, but is an essential fundraiser for the AHT to continue its work for the benefit of dogs, cats and horses. Every penny of profit made or raised by the AHT is reinvested into its industry-leading science and care for animals.

The other winners were:

Devoucoux Dressage Award –  Sophie Wells

Grade V para rider, Sophie Wells is the ultimate sportswoman. Supreme dedication, a 360° approach, a desire to constantly strive for improvement and determination beyond measure. All her hard work paid off at the World Equestrian Games where she took the two individual gold medals on offer with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction – both with World Record scores – and was pivotal to the team securing Paralympic qualification for 2020 and the silver medal. She has represented Great Britain at the last nine consecutive para championships, winning 25 medals in total, 16 of them gold. 

Dodson & Horrell Eventing Award – The World Champion Eventing Team

The World Champion Eventing Team of Ros Canter, Tom McEwen, Gemma Tattersall and Piggy French with reserve Tina Cook went to Tryon to regain the championship title last won in 2010. The riders were all relatively ‘new’ to the team but under the leadership of World Class Performance Manager Richard Waygood and World Class Performance Coach Chris Bartle they came back victorious.  

British Showjumping Award, and The Barbour Foundation Under 25’s Star of the Future Award – Harry Charles

Harry Charles, 19, took home two awards. The young rider has been described as the most talented youth rider the sport has on a global level. This year Harry stepped up into the Young Rider environment where, as a member of the Young Rider European Championship team, he posted four clear rounds at the Championships to deliver a Team Gold for Great Britain before going on to win Individual Gold 48 hours later. Following the Championships, Harry was invited to compete at the London leg of the CSIO5* Global Champions Tour series, posting a Grand Prix clear to finish 6th against the world’s very best and top ranked riders. He then posted the sole double clear for a Nations Cup team in Gijon.

Bet Solutions International Racing Award – Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington was one of Ireland’s top three-day-event riders who has trained horses to the highest level. She predominately trains National Hunt racehorses but has also had much success on the flat. She has trained many Cheltenham Festival winners, including the brilliant Moscow Flyer and last year won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John. This year she has steered the career of the brilliant filly Alpha Centauri to wins in the Irish 1000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Jacques le Marois at Deauville – all Group 1 races. 

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