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Published: 01 April 2014

Surrey professor takes the lead in Grand National vet team

Chris Proudman swapped Surrey for the racecourse at Aintree, where he was part of the team overseeing the health and welfare of horses competing in the world's most famous steeplechase.

Professor Proudman, head of the School of Veterinary Medicine, has been on the veterinary team for the three-day Grand National Festival for more than 15 years and was part of a team of 11 vets ensuring the highest standards of equine welfare and veterinary care during the event.

Professor Proudman acted as a liaison between the racecourse management, the veterinary team and the media, having provided veterinary treatment for horses for many years. He said, "My role included speaking to the media and horseracing followers about how seriously Aintree Racecourse and the racing industry take the issue of horse welfare. 

"Since I first started working at Aintree, the welfare of horses and the standard of veterinary care have increased significantly. The industry invests heavily in welfare research. During the past ten years, the Horserace Betting Levy Board has invested £25 million in research into racehorse health and welfare. The outcome of this is that we can now train horses more safely and effectively, we can create racing conditions that minimise the risk of injury and we are better able to protect horses against debilitating infectious diseases."

He added, "It's a very intense three days. More than 600 million people around the world watch the Grand National, an event with a rich and fascinating history. It is a tough challenge, but a fair one, for the very best racehorses in Europe."

Learn more about veterinary medicine and science programmes at Surrey, including our new Veterinary Medicine & Science degree.