Renowned veterinarian faces being struck off for allegedly inventing an expert

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Dr Sue Dyson

Dr Sue Dyson is an internationally renowned equine veterinarian. She was carrying out research into how the weight of a horse rider affects a horse’s health. The research was partly funded by the British Equestrian Federation and World Horse Welfare.

Dr Sue Dyson

Dr Sue Dyson. Photo: Animal Health Trust

She submitted her research paper to the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour in November 2018. It’s is entitled: “Influence of rider: horse body weight ratios on equine welfare and performance-a pilot study“.

It is alleged that she bypassed the requirement that you need a Home Office licence before starting a project involving testing on animals. It is alleged that she made up an expert who wrote an allegedly fictional letter saying that in their opinion there had been no requirement for a Home Office licence for the project. This allegedly fictional letter was written by Dr JC Butler. No surgeon of that name is listed on the Royal College’s register.

Accordingly, she’s been accused of misleading the government system and of dishonesty. She is facing a Royal College disciplinary tribunal on a “charge” of “disgraceful conduct in a professional respect”. She faces being struck off. A representative Dr Dyson said that she was unable to comment at this time when asked to do so because of the investigation.

The study involved monitoring 6 horses while they trotted and cantered with 4 people of different weights. Some of the horses became temporarily lame when ridden by a heavier rider.

Dr Dyson is a renowned expert on equine orthopaedics. She has a particular interest in poor performance and lameness in horses engaged in sports. She is a Cambridge graduate with a first-class degree together with scholarships from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dyson is a highly distinguished veterinarian who has treated horses which competed successfully at the Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.