University Centre Sparsholt (UCS) Equine undergraduate students took top honours at the recent Alltech Hartpury Equine Conference. The event, with both national and international presenters, is open to all undergraduates and postgraduates for research submissions.

Against strong competition the team of six UCS undergraduates were all successful in getting their submitted research accepted by the review panel of academic and industry experts.  On the day, two students presented their research findings orally, with the remaining four presenting academic posters, a visual representation of their research.

Of the three prizes available UCS undergraduates won two.  Victoria Sly won best oral presentation with her research investigating state anxiety in collegiate riders.  And for the first time this year there was a special prize given to the student, who in the review panel’s opinion, submitted the most innovative and interesting research. For this category UCS had two students shortlisted – Victoria Sly and Georgie Adams with her Dodson and Horrell funded research investigating equine chewing biomechanics of novel forages. Victoria’s research on state anxiety in collegiate riders was awarded the Dr Pearse Lyons Prize for the most innovative project overall.

A very pleased Victoria said: “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for helping to prepare for today and pushing me to even submit an abstract. I’m still in shock I think, but feeling a lot more confident now.”

Commenting on the value of students submitting research to this and similar conferences, Teaching Fellow Lorna Cameron said: “This is a great conference and it gives our students a taste of having their research judged by leading academic and industry figures. It’s a huge confidence booster and show students the importance and value their research has to the wider equestrian public.”