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Veterinary Physiotherapy graduate shortlisted for Equine Thesis of the Year

Posted 26 October

“I can’t put into words how brilliant the team of veterinary physiotherapy lectures are, they are all very approachable, helpful and provide extra support to boost confidence when it is needed."

A young woman - Jenny Johnson - and a pony.

A Harper Adams Veterinary Physiotherapy student’s study into the effects of kinesio tape on polo ponies has been shortlisted for the BETA Equine Thesis of the Year.

BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy graduate Jenny Johnson’s thesis is among four from across the UK and Ireland to make the final shortlist. Jenny and her fellow finalists will present their thesis to a panel of judges during an online event on Sunday 30 October.

The BETA Equine Thesis of the Year Award recognises and rewards excellence in undergraduate study - and universities and colleges offering equine-related degrees throughout the UK and Ireland were each invited to submit one entry to be considered for the awards.

Each finalist will present their work and while it is being considered by the judges, will take the opportunity to respond to questions from the audience. The judges will then return to announce the winner of the award.

BETA executive director Claire Williams said: “The Equine Thesis of the Year Award is a fantastic way for us to mark the extremely high standard of undergraduate study that is being produced at our universities and colleges.

“There is some incredibly impressive research taking place and some exciting and diverse ideas, which will certainly give our industry – and equestrians – plenty of food for thought.

“Taking a ringside seat makes sure we can hear about the work that is being done – straight from the horse’s mouth. And maintaining the event online makes it accessible to everyone. We are really looking forward to finding out more about the theses and discovering who is crowned winner. We wish the students and their universities the very best of luck and congratulate them on making it this far.”

Speaking shortly before the event, Jenny said: “Being shortlisted feels unbelievable! 

“I was notified by one of my lecturers that my honours research project had been nominated for the BETA Equine Thesis of the Year Award, but I wasn’t expecting to get this far, so when I got the email saying I had reached the final, I was speechless - I just couldn’t believe it!”

She added: “My thesis was looking at the effect that kinesio tape  - the colourful tape that you often see on athletes - has on the surface temperature increase of horse’s lower limbs during exercise when applied beneath polo bandages.”

“Polo bandages are compulsory in sports such as polo as they protect the horses’ limbs from cuts and scrapes, but has the side effect of causing the temperature of the tendons around the horses’ lower limbs to increase.”

“For this study, I had the privilege of using the amazing polo ponies at Henderson Polo – who also provide the coaching for Harper’s University Polo Club.”

Jenny, who is originally from North Devon, was drawn to Harper Adams by its rural nature – and the opportunities it offers for working with and being around animals.

She added: “My first time driving onto the campus, it just felt like home! 

“There are lots of opportunities to be around animals, with the companion animal house, the horses and dairy farm located on campus, which I feel was great for my degree! There are also numerous equine yards around the area that the veterinary physiotherapy degree makes use of, including Twemlows Stud Farm. 

“I can’t put into words how brilliant the team of veterinary physiotherapy lectures are, they are all very approachable, helpful and provide extra support to boost confidence when it is needed."

The BETA Equine Thesis of the Year finals will run online, starting at 2pm on October 30.

They are open to both the public, trade and members of the academic community and can be registered for here.

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