A University Centre Myerscough equine graduate’s research has been recognised after made the final of a national competition.
Natalie Owen's dissertation has made the finals of the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Equine Thesis of the Year. This competition features the best dissertation from each equine college in the country, which are then assessed by a panel of leading researchers and industry representatives. The top four are then selected to compete in the finals.
23-year-old graduated in the summer with a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science. Her project investigated how owners of horses judge quality of life for their animals, introducing the idea that ‘normalisation’ of stabling has led to an assumption that a lifestyle of confinement can allow good equine welfare.
Natalie’s project was voted for by her fellow students to represent Myerscough in the prestigious competition, where her work was chosen by an esteemed panel of scientific and industry experts as one of the four best dissertations countrywide. Twelve academic institutions each entered one undergraduate thesis.
She will now be called to present to a second round of judges, along with members of the public and academic community, at the De Vere Staverton Estate Hotel, in Northamptonshire, on Sunday 28th October. The winner and runner-up will then be announced and presented with their awards and cash prizes.
Charlotte Brigden is Assistant Head of H.E Equine at University Centre Myerscough, said: ‘’Congratulations to Natalie on this incredible achievement.
‘’Natalie gave a truly outstanding performance throughout her degree, achieving amongst the highest exam and assignment grades recalled within the equine programme.
‘’As well as this competition, her dissertation has already been accepted at the Alltech-Hartpury Conference, which was held earlier this year.
‘’What is particularly great is that quite a few people have commented specifically on the topic and requested to be able to read Natalie’s project, a couple of these being authors in the field of equine welfare.’’
BETA Executive Director, Claire Williams, said: ‘’Student undergraduate research generates a huge amount of knowledge, which thanks to the award is now brought to the attention of the wider equestrian industry.
“I am thrilled that we are able to showcase the wealth of study in this way. There is no doubt that the standard of submissions is high, but I am sure that our judges will rise to the challenge. We wish all our undergraduates the very best of luck.’’
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by Dave Salmon