New BEVA President Appointed

Roger Smith, Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the Royal Veterinary College, has been appointed as President of BEVA for 2023/24.
Roger Smith shaking hands while being inducted as BEVA president.
Roger Smith, Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the Royal Veterinary College, has been appointed as President of BEVA for 2023/24. | @JasSasi

Roger Smith, Professor of Equine Orthopaedics at the Royal Veterinary College, has been appointed as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) for 2023/24.  He takes over the role from David Rendle at the end of BEVA Congress September 13-16, 2023. Bruce Bladon becomes President Elect and Imogen Burrows becomes Junior Vice President.

Following graduation from the University of Cambridge Veterinary and two years in practice, Roger returned to academia to undertake further clinical training as a Resident in Equine Studies at the Royal Veterinary College. 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.  

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

During his presidential year Roger is keen to:

Develop new strategies to increase recruitment and retention

“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.  I would like 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 and to which many have signed up.  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-focused R&D.”

Build an international BEVA community 

“David Rendle has 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 do 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 which have less access to high quality educational material. This will only help to further the already respected reputation of BEVA on the international stage.”

Empower equine nurses

“I have been so impressed by the engagement and passion of our equine veterinary nurses during our discussions on the modifications/clarifications of Schedule 3 amendment of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, as well as chairing a review of the RVC’s Nursing Foundation and Degree courses. Getting nurses more involved in the care of our patients, similar to the way in which nurses work in the medical profession, could provide part of the solution to the current shortage of qualified equine vets and I am keen to support the ongoing discussions in this respect.”

Continue to deliver the highest quality CPD

“As chairman of BEVA’s Education Committee, it has been very rewarding to see BEVA’s CPD program being so expertly steered by Sarah Gasper and Debbie Wylie. The range of opportunities provided are amazing, from clinical catch-ups and the transatlantic clinics on-line to a full set of ‘Fundamentals’ courses and more advanced in person practical courses.”

“I am honored to become BEVA President,” said Roger. “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.”

Nicola Housby-Skeggs, Helen Bickerton and Angela Jones have joined BEVA Council this year, and Kate Blakeman and Safia Barakzai have been re-elected onto council.

For further information, visit www.beva.org.uk.

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