A University Veterinary Scientist will be on hand to lend his expertise throughout the Grand National meeting, which starts today.
Professor Chris Proudman, Chair in Equine Studies at the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, has spent the past 15 years at Aintree during the meeting.
A specialist in gastroenterology, Chris will be based in the racecourse stable yard, while five other vets take their places on the turf, ensuring that all of the animals taking part are given the best possible care, before during and after the four mile, 856 yard steeplechase.
Chris said: “Being involved with the Grand National is very exciting – you get to see some lovely horses and meet owners and trainers who really care about their animals.
“All are happy to see their horse home and safe, especially when the races are so competitive. I enjoy the professional challenge, but always breathe a sigh of relief come the Sunday!
“My work at Aintree doesn’t just stop once the Grand National meeting is over; the School has been working with the racecourse for a number of years in an ongoing knowledge exchange capacity.”
In the period since Chris first started working at Aintree, there have been great improvements in the standard of veterinary care and in the welfare of racehorses generally. The University has worked in conjunction with the racecourse, and with the sport’s regulatory body, the British Horserace Authority – chaired by alumnus of the University Paul Roy – to design improved facilities, to enhance the expertise of the veterinary team and to minimise the risk of injury through enhanced course design.
Chris added: “Aintree currently has a standard of care for its equine athletes that compares with the rest internationally.”