Ponies and puppies win BVA competition

Vet pics SM Farm

Companion animal vets Peter Myatt and Stephen Ashman have clinched top spot in their respective categories in the third annual British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition, which saw more than 500 entries from vets across the UK offering a unique insight into the daily life of a vet and the wonderful world of animals.

PDSA vet Stephen Ashman captured the judges’ attention with his stunning image of a pair of wild ponies in the ‘All creatures great and small’ category, while Peter Myatt, who graduated from Nottingham University this summer, won in the ‘Human: animal bond’ category with ‘Best part of a job’, which shows a laid-back 10-week-old cocker spaniel puppy lounging contentedly on Peter’s lap.

Of his winning photo, Peter, who recently began working at a Bicester-based veterinary practice, said: “This photo was taken whilst on placement in Chipping Norton as a student.

“The puppy was in to have her second vaccinations and a general health check after she had been with her new family for a week, and she was on my lap so that I could calm her, examine her, and socialise her.

“Working in the veterinary world is by no means easy, which is why moments like this are so important. Everyone needs a puppy cuddle!”

Stephen said: “I had a great day out photographing these wild grey ponies on a similarly grey January day on the Long Mynd, a heath and moorland plateau in the Shropshire hills.

“I was simply out on a photo walk to take in the scenery and wildlife, look for a good shot and get a breath of fresh air; I’m chuffed that the judges have selected it as a category winner!”

For the first time this year a specially curated selection of photos was also opened to vote by BVA members. The winner of the first Members’ Choice Award, receiving more than a quarter of the votes cast, is ‘Shepherd’s Delight’ by Australia-based vet Liz Bailey.

Commenting on the striking image of her two dogs – Bea, a Border Collie, and Bonnie, an Australian Kelpie – on a warm summer’s evening on Aldinga Beach, South Australia, Liz said: “This photo is a combination of what makes me happy – a warm summer’s evening on the beach with my dogs. It’s amazing what you can achieve with an iPhone, a sunset and a couple of willing volunteers!”

The high standard of entries made picking winners a difficult task for the judging panel, which included David Tipling, one of the world’s most widely published wildlife photographers, BVA President John Fishwick, Veterinary Record Assistant Editor and photographer Gill Harris, and Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) President David Charles.

Winning images were chosen based on their technical excellence, originality and how much they fulfilled the brief.

o The full gallery of the 2018 BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year Competition entries is available to view online at www.flickr.com/photos/britishvets/albums/72157685476775301

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