Record-breaking VET Festival Champions Wellness

Noel Fitzpatrick-minNotching up record delegate and exhibitor numbers for 2019, this year’s VET Festival, received an overwhelmingly positive response from delegates for the calibre of speakers and entertainment.  The event took place at Loseley Park, Guildford on 7-8 June.

With wellness a strong focus for VET Festival, the Wellness lecture tent was packed for Lara Heimann, an American who has achieved global recognition for her unique vinyasa yoga style and regularly leads international retreats and workshops.  Many delegates took their wellness into their own hands by visiting the Wellness Hub for a massage and yoga session while the Family Hub was busy throughout the two days.

Continuing the wellness theme but also embracing eco concerns, event sponsor MWI Animal Health offered delegates the opportunity to use their own energy by cycling on an exercise bike to create a fruit smoothie.  On the Friday night, delegates, many in 80s costumes, partied into the night with live music from MadHen.Vet Festival 1-min

Clinical speakers received with particular enthusiasm included Dr Ronaldo da Costa, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Ohio State University, USA, and Laurie Edge Hughes, a veterinary physiotherapist from Canada.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick said: “It is a real joy to see the VET Festival growing and growing, not just in physical size, but from the immense goodwill that radiates from it. The weather didn’t get in the way of the wellness and there was nothing rainy about the atmosphere at VET Festival – in fact I think that the rain brought us closer together.

“I set out to build a community of compassion for our profession and I genuinely felt that there was a tangible sense of togetherness. There were loads of great conversations with each other and with the exhibitors. The educational content really was world class and the tents were packed. I hoped that VET Festival would be a breath of fresh air, where having an education event outdoors – combined with a focus on wellness of body and mind for all of us – could help vet professionals to be the very best that they could be – and so serve our patients better.VET Festival 2 - CPD-min VET Festival 3 - delegates-min

“Everyone there was part of something innovative and refreshing I felt – the delegates, the exhibitors, the team who have worked year-round to create the event, and the fantastic speakers. I’m very grateful to all of them and I sincerely hope that this feeling remains strong for each and every one all year round. The resonant theme this year was ‘kindness’ – to ourselves, to each other, to the families of animals and the animals we are lucky enough to take care of. Nobody is a nobody at VET Festival, and never will be. In that field, we’re all equal, no matter what we do in the vet profession – we all matter – we all want the same thing, which is wellness for each other and the animals we serve – and importantly, we’re all in it together for the greater good, rain or shine.”

Nicole Cooper, Managing Director, Events Division, Fitz All Media, said: “We are all delighted by the support of the industry and welcomed over 1,900 delegates, a 12% increase and 60 exhibitors – a 28% increase on 2018. VET Festival continues to grow because its unique format, half top-flight congress, half festival, offers a laid back and fun environment in which delegates can learn, catch up with friends and have fun.  We’re delighted with the response to this year’s event and are already planning to make next year’s event even better.”


SURREYGlobal Wellness Guru Joins Clinical Experts for VET Festival 2019

unnamedAmerican physical therapist and Master Yoga teacher Lara Heimann will join veterinary experts from around the world on the speaker panel of VET Festival 2019.  The two-day event, now in its fifth year, aims to combine inspiring, world-class CPD for the whole practice team with an outdoor ‘festival’ atmosphere.  VF18_590

Since its inception, the wellbeing of veterinary professionals has been a strong focus of VET Festival and for, 2019, the inclusion of Lara Heimann in the Wellness and Practice Development lecture, takes this to a new level.  She is globally recognised for the unique vinyasa yoga style she has developed and regularly leads international retreats and workshops.

Speakers in the comprehensive clinical programme include Dr Antonio Pozzi, Head of the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery at the University of Zurich, Switzerland; Dr Susan Little, co-owner of two feline specialty practices in Ottawa, Canada, and past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Dr Ronaldo da Costa, Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery at Ohio State University, USA.  Other speakers include:

  • Veterinary cardiologist Professor John E Rush. A Diplomate of both the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care, Dr Rush has been a professor for 25 years at the Cummings Veterinary Medicine Centre at Tufts University in Massachusetts
  • Behaviourist Dr Sarah Heath. A founding Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine
  • Soft-tissue surgeon Professor Christopher Adin. Professor Adin is Chair of the University of Florida’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and Associate Professor of Soft Tissue

Veterinary nurses are welcome to attend any of the lectures, in addition to those in the dedicated nursing stream. An exhibition of the latest products and services for all veterinary professionals takes place in a dedicated arena.

Lara Heimann

Lara Heimann

Commenting, Nicole Cooper, event director, said: “VET Festival is unique in bringing together cutting-edge, inspirational learning, fun and the great outdoors.  CPD from our world-leading speakers is delivered in a high quality and contemporary setting but, once work is done, we encourage delegates to relax and enjoy free admission for them, their friends and family to the VETFest™ Live Party Night.”

She continued: “With the wellness and wellbeing of members of our profession increasingly in the spotlight, we’re delighted to welcome Lara Heimann for 2019 and hope that she will help our delegates to develop practical solutions to living healthier and more balanced lives.

Supported by MWI Animal Health, VET Festival is a family-friendly event, offering a unique Family Hub, in which parents can listen to lectures while their children play safely without disturbing other delegates.

“Balancing work and family life can often be a juggling act,” Alan White Group Commercial Director at MWI Animal Health, said “particularly in the veterinary profession where time is in short supply. This can sometimes compromise the work-life balance of vets, nurses and other team members.  At VET Festival, the ‘Family Hub’ means that there is no compromise and that both our attendees and their families can get the best out of their time with us – and ultimately, at MWI Animal Health, that’s what we are all about – supporting vets, veterinary practices and the veterinary profession, so that they can do what they do best – providing care for the nation’s animals.”

Tickets can be purchased here:

Veterinary companies retailing or promoting companion animal products, primary care veterinary practices or referral practices interested in exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities are asked to contact Kara Hiscox at

Notes to Editors

For more information about VET Festival, please visit: