World Horse Welfare is delighted to announce that the charity’s Chief Executive, Roly Owers, has been presented with the 2016 British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Welfare Award in recognition of his outstanding commitment to equine welfare.
Each year the BEVA Welfare Award, sponsored by Blue Cross, is given as a formal recognition of significant contributions made by veterinary surgeons and others to equine welfare. Now in its 16th year, the accolade was presented to Roly Owers by BEVA President, Mark Bowen because he“has driven forward many major initiatives for the horse industry, most having a direct impact on animal welfare and disease prevention or control. He has used his position to develop programmes across the Equine Sector and has provided much needed dispassionate and effective leadership.”
Steve Goody, Blue Cross Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Roly has shown unstinting dedication to the cause of improving equine welfare both at home and abroad and has led the way with many important initiatives. Tim Porter, Chairman of Blue Cross, was delighted to present the BEVA Welfare Award 2016 to such a deserving individual and offer many congratulations.”
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said: “I am over the moon to receive this award, although I do so with slightly mixed feelings as I really have only been doing my job with World Horse Welfare – a charity that I hold so dear. Whatever I have managed to achieve has only been possible thanks to the charity’s simply outstanding staff, volunteers and supporters. Without wishing to sound corny or clichéd, I am receiving this award on behalf of every single one of them who do such an extraordinary amount to help horses, donkeys and mules around the world through World Horse Welfare.”
Roly joined World Horse Welfare as Chief Executive in January 2008, having previously led the charity’s fundraising and communication teams from 1999 to 2003. Roly qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University in 1992 and after spending a short time with the Blue Cross, he joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps which included a posting as the Veterinary Officer at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London.
In addition to his role as World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly’s many contributions to the equestrian world include being a proactive member of the Steering Group for the Equine Sector Council for Health and Welfare, as well as being on the board of the European Horse Network, Chair of the Equine Disease Coalition, Chair of the Equine Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals and BEVA Honorary Treasurer.
Roly’s many achievements whilst at World Horse Welfare include establishing the Horse Crisis group of charities and successfully campaign for the Control of Horses Act; playing a direct role in facilitating changes to the Tripartite Agreement which controls the movement of horses between Ireland, the UK and France; developing guidelines for transporters on watering equines during travel and assessing their fitness for transport and the adoption by the OIE of standards for working equids.