Kirsten is an Equine Dental Veterinarian who provides horse dentistry services to Perth, Western Australia. In June 2012 Kirsten became one of only 14 vets in Australia and New Zealand to obtain membership in the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Sciences in Equine Dentistry.
It was very difficult to pick the scholarship a winner this year due to the impressive quality of the applications but Kirsten's application stood out. The combination of her well-presented and structured application and her proposal to help improve horse welfare in Australia as well as advance veterinary science made Kirsten a very worthy winner of this award.
Kirsten will use the funds from the Scholarship to support her Masters project which is an international research collaboration between the University of Western Australia and Edinburgh University investigating Peripheral Dental Caries. This condition is a very severe form of dental decay and can result in periodontal disease, tooth root infections and premature tooth loss. Affected horses suffer dental pain, difficulty eating, weight loss and reduced performance. The disease is relatively common but poorly understood and Kirsten’s research project is an epidemiological study to identify the cause, treatment and prevention of this disease.
Kirsten was also a finalist in the Ceva UK Animal Welfare Awards for Vet of the Year this year for her volunteer work looking after working ponies in the Gili Islands in Indonesia.