The most famous vet of all time in the UK is James Herriott, of "All Creatures Great and Small" fame and one of the most prestigious awards in the veterinary calendar is named after the man behind the fictional name - Yorkshire vet Alf Wight, who died in 1995 from prostate cancer.
|James Wight and Clare Rusbridge|
Clare, who appeared in Pedigree Dogs Exposed to raise awareness of the extent of syringomyelia in Cavaliers, is a world-renowned research and clinical neurovet who also specialises in canine epilepsy. She received her award from Alf Wight's son, James.
I have witnessed at first hand Clare's warmth and calm professionalism with her clients - two-legged and four - and it's obvious why they adore her. She is also meticulous and unwavering in her determination to help Cavaliers - despite a whispering campaign aimed at discrediting Clare and her research by a small minority of Cavalier breeders who have resented her highlighting the problem of syringomyelia in the breed.
I know there are times when Clare has been upset about this, so it's fantastic that she has been recognised for her work by her peers with this important award - and I am sure my congratulations will be joined by many Cavalier pet owners and supportive breeders who recognise the huge debt of thanks they owe her.
Many congratulations to Clare and her team at Stone Lion Vets in Wimbledon and to her research team, which includes her very proud mum Penny Knowler.