The UK’s best new suitably qualified persons (SQPs) were crowned at the Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA) conference in Birmingham.

Award winners Joshua Cridge (left), Katherine Hest (centre) and Anne-Marie Wright.

Specialising in farm animal, equine and companion animal health, the three award winners got the highest scores in their professional examinations, beating hundreds of other students.

The highest grade for an R-SQP – covering livestock, companion animal and equine health – was gained by Anne-Marie Wright of Anglia Farmers in Norfolk, who was also awarded the AHDA cup as the overall highest achieving SQP among AHDA members.

Joshua Cridge, a pet groomer at Pets at Home in Bridgwater, Somerset, was named top C-SQP, specialising in treatments for companion animals, while Katherine Hest of online equine retailer Supplement Solutions was this year’s top equine SQP.

Stephen Dawson, secretary general of the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority – the professional regulator for SQPs – said SQPs were a growing force in the animal health sector.

“They are often at the frontline, reinforcing important messages about animal health to livestock, horse and pet owners,” he said..

“This year’s top three SQPs are a great example of how committed SQPs are to improving the health and welfare of animals.”

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