Left to right: WCVM dean Dr. Gillian Muir, Dr. Shelby Krywonos and Blair Anderson of the SSHA. Photo: David Stobbe.
Left to right: WCVM dean Dr. Gillian Muir, Dr. Shelby Krywonos and Blair Anderson of the SSHA. Photo: David Stobbe.

New award supports graduating equine students

A new equine scholarship for veterinary graduates had a flying start at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) spring awards program in early June.

The Saskatchewan Speed Horses Association (SSHA) Award is a $3,000 scholarship that’s given to a student who is graduating from the college’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. The annual award’s aim is to recognize veterinary graduates who demonstrate “a commitment to exceptional patient advocacy and compassionate care in equine clinical rotations at the WCVM.”

The award is funded by the SSHA, a former quarter horse racing organization that was active in the province until 2010 when quarter horses became ineligible to compete at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, Sask. The racetrack was permanently closed in 2021.

Remaining SSHA members — including treasurer Tom Kenway — decided to give the association’s residual funds of $12,000 to the WCVM to establish an award for veterinary students pursuing equine health-related careers. The SSHA scholarship will remain in existence for at least three academic years.

“We wanted the award to go to a student that was interested in horses and was going to do further work with horses,” Kenway says.

The award’s first recipient is Dr. Shelby Krywonos who grew up in Vernon, B.C., and has been involved with horses for much of her life. She competed in local hunter-jumper shows, rode horses in the mountains and spent 10 years as a Canadian Pony Club member — successfully completing her practical HB2 and written A levels in the national organization.

Krywonos plans on working in equine ambulatory practice after completing her one-year equine rotating internship at Paton & Martin Veterinary Services in Aldergrove, B.C. She’s grateful for the SSHA’s support of her personal career goals and of veterinary medicine.

“I’m very honoured to receive this award from a community like the Saskatchewan Speed Horses Association,” Krywonos says. “I think the relationship between veterinarians and people who compete with sport horses is really important.”

Kenway echoes this statement, adding that he’s glad that the SSHA’s remaining funds are going toward an award that supports equine work.

“We wanted to put our money to good use,” says Kenway. “We hope this award helps students go on with a career in equine medicine.”

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