About the Award

If you are a final year Equine, Agriculture or Veterinary Honours Degree student or are a lecturer/programme leader who believes that their student’s thesis deserves special recognition, why not enter the prestigious Eqvalan Duo Equine Thesis of the Year Award. The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) present the award annually in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in the equestrian field. The event showcases the sharpest equine students and the very best equine related projects and academic research to the equestrian industry.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England champions the development of British agriculture and the rural economy by recognising and promoting good science and best practices. The Society pursues a coordinated, impartial approach to wide-ranging rural issues including education, supporting social welfare and businesses in rural communities as well as hosting world famous shows and events.

As the horse undertakes an increasingly important role in UK sporting and leisure activities in rural Britain, many landowners are diversifying their businesses towards the accommodation of livery and other equestrian related activities. The RASE believe that this award is an excellent way of promoting forward thinking research in the sector and hope it encourages students and academic institutions continue in their valuable work.

The competition is run by the RASE and sponsored by Merial Animal Health. Merial is the world’s leading and most successful animal health company producing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the performance, health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Both Merial and the RASE aim to bring colleges and the industry closer together by spotlighting the excellent research conducted by colleges and universities that might otherwise lay unrecognised.

Currently its thirteenth year, the competition is open to first degree students on the UK and Ireland’s equine, veterinary and agricultural Honours Bachelors degree courses (limited to one entry per establishment). The standard and quality of entrants is very high and demonstrates the quality of UK and Irish students as well as the hard work colleges and universities put in to educating students.

The winning entry receives a commemorative certificate and engraved glassware, a £500 cheque and free membership of the Society for five years. The winner is also usually offered the opportunity to present their thesis to industry delegates at the prestigious National Equine Forum, held at the Royal Society each Spring. The Forum is attended by more than 200 of the country’s most influential members of the equestrian community, including NEF President HRH The Princess Royal, equestrian society figureheads, international riders and trainers, leading equine vets, business leaders and members of the equestrian trade industry.

As the equine industry faces continual challenge, the shortlisted theses help to further understanding of the horse and the equine industry as a whole. The shortlisted theses from previous years’ events have received press coverage in Horse and Hound, Farmers’ Guardian, Forge Magazine, UK Vet, Veterinary Review, Vet Times, National Equine Student, Equestrian Business Monthly, Equestrian Trade News and Equine World UK.

To submit a thesis, students should contact their course tutor or contact the RASE, details of which are posted here. The deadline for submitting theses is during July of each year (exact date specified online) and following preliminary judging, the final shortlist is usually announced in September. The finalists present their theses to a panel of judges and an audience of equine industry professionals at Stoneleigh Park, home of the RASE, in Warwickshire in November of each year.