Horse colic campaign wins prestigious award

REACT award
21 Sep 2017 15:30:00.000

A campaign to raise awareness of colic in horses among horse owners pioneered by the University of Nottingham’s Vet School and the British Horse Society has won the prestigious Veterinary Record Evidence Award.

REACT Now to Beat Colic educates horse owners on how to spot the early signs of colic in horses and encourages them to have a plan in place should their horse becomes critically ill. The campaign, run by the BHS is based on five years of research by Nottingham Vet School and was funded by World Horse Welfare.

The extensive research found that 90% of horse owners did not feel confident spotting the early signs of colic, and that up to 1 in 5 cases of colic seen by vets as an ‘out of hours’ emergency can be critical. The BHS ‘REACT’ campaign is linked to the ‘Vet React’ campaign, which has resources to help veterinary teams identify critical cases of colic as quickly as possible.

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Since the REACT campaign launched last year, the BHS has produced and sent out more than 10,000 REACT packs to horse owners across the country, and has had over 400,000 reaches through social media. The campaign has been well received by industry experts; the research behind it was presented at the International Equine Colic Research Symposium in Kentucky in July 2017, and the British Equine Veterinary Association Congress in September.

Dr John Burford, from the University of Nottingham’s Vet School, said: “The Veterinary Record Evidence Award is a prestigious award which recognises a major contribution to evidence-based medicine in veterinary practice. Winning this award recognises the science behind the campaigns, and the way in which The British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare and University of Nottingham have collaborated to bring the greatest benefit to the horse’s health and welfare.” 

BHS Welfare Education Officer, Emmeline Hannelly said: “We are thrilled that REACT has been awarded the Veterinary Record Evidence Award. Since we launched last year we have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from horse owners and support from the industry as colic is a major welfare concern. By educating owners how to react quickly at the first signs of colic can make all the difference to the outcome.”

More details on the REACT campaign can be found at

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Story credits

More information is available from Professor Sarah Freeman, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences on +44 (0)115 951 6422 

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