The veterinary professionals and practices crowned champions in the Burgess Excel Vet Awards 2021

The Burgess Excel Vet Awards, which celebrate veterinary practices and individuals who work tirelessly to improve the lives of the UK’s pet rabbits and guinea pigs, has announced this year’s winners at the London Vet Show 2021.

A judging panel of industry experts, veterinary professionals and rabbit and guinea pig specialists chose one winner from a shortlist in six categories, who will each receive a cash prize of £250, along with a Burgess Excel Vet Awards trophy.

This year’s winners were judged on a range of criteria for each category, including evidence of exceptional knowledge of rabbit and guinea pig care and husbandry; outstanding care and attention to the needs of owners and their pets; and going above and beyond to improve the lives of rabbits and guinea pigs.

The winners and final shortlist for each category are as follows:

Rabbit Vet of the Year


  • Dr Nadene Stapleton, Royal Veterinary College, Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital, London


  • Dr Sara Dias, Pride Veterinary Centre, Derbyshire
  • Dr Sophie Jenkins, Origin Vets Clinic, Cardiff
  • Dr Madonna Livingstone, Ark Veterinary Clinic, Coatbridge
  • Dr Molly Varga Smith, Rutland House Exotics, St Helens

Rabbit Vet Nurse of the Year


  • Rachel Sibbald, Abercorn Veterinary Centre, Edinburgh


  • Heidi Barringer, Wood Green, The Animals Charity, Godmanchester
  • Katie Richmond-Jones, Downland Veterinary Group, Bognor Regis
  • Victoria Stearman, Origin Vets Clinic, South Wales area
  • Adina Valentine, Origin Vets Clinic, South Wales area

Rabbit-friendly Veterinary Practice of the Year


  • Royal Veterinary College, Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital, London


  • Highcroft Exotic Vets, Bristol
  • Origin Vets Clinic, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Quantock Veterinary Hospital, Bridgwater
  • Suffolk Exotic Vets, Suffolk


Winner of the Rabbit Support Staff of the Year award – Corinne Voigt Hill with Bruce the giant rescue rabbit

Rabbit Support Staff of the Year


  • Corinne Voigt-Hill, Vets4Pets, Bangor


  • Chrystabel Burt, Medivet, Ashford
  • Donna Robson, Pennard Vets, Sevenoaks
  • Rachel Sanderson, Robert Jones Vet Surgery Blackpool
  • Ellie Wright, Riversmeet Vets, Atherstone


Rabbit Student of the Year


  • Grace Mee, University of Liverpool


  • Megan Bailey, Duchy College Rosewarne, Camborne
  • Amy Loverance, Nottingham Veterinary School
  • Sarah McMahon, University of Glasgow
  • Tanya Peters, Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire

Guinea Pig-friendly Veterinary Practice of the Year


  • Derwent Valley Vets, Matlock


  • CJ Hall Vets, East Sheen, London
  • Highcroft Exotic Vets, Bristol
  • Origin Vets, Cardiff
  • Twickenham Vets, London


Dr Nadene Stapleton, winner of Rabbit Vet of the Year, whose practice also won Rabbit -friendly Veterinary Practice of the Year, said: “I am so excited and delighted to receive this award.  I feel really passionately about advocating for the health and welfare of rabbits and will continue to put in every effort on their behalf. Perhaps now my own rabbits will listen to me!”

Rachel Sibbald, winner of Rabbit Nurse of the Year, said: – “Rabbits have always been a part of my life. I am fascinated by them and want to better understand the species. Becoming a veterinary nurse allowed me to get a deeper understanding of their needs and promote health and happiness to the bunnies at my practice.  I am delighted with this award and truly grateful to anyone who nominated me.  Huge thanks to my veterinary colleagues who have supported, encouraged and allowed me to focus on all things rabbits!”

Grace Mee, winner of Rabbit Student of the Year said: “’Rabbits are the third most common pet in the UK but are so often overlooked. Rabbit welfare is gaining a higher profile and being more widely discussed, especially now that the Good Practice Code for the Welfare of Rabbits has been published in the UK. It is events like the Burgess Excel Vet Awards that will help to raise awareness of rabbits’ needs. I am honoured to receive this award and look forward to continuing to support and contribute to this cause in any way I can now and as a future vet.”

Dr Suzanne Moyes MVB MRCVS, Burgess Excel Awards judge and Veterinary Director at Burgess Pet Care said: – “On behalf of the judging panel, I would like to offer our huge congratulations to the winners of the Burgess Excel Vet Awards, who are evidently taking great steps to improve the wellbeing of rabbits and guinea pigs in the UK. We are equally thankful to all of the veterinary professionals and practices that were shortlisted too.

“We received hundreds of applications and nominations for this year’s Awards and the quality of entries was nothing short of outstanding. Everyone who made the shortlist should be incredibly proud of their achievement, not to mention of their hard work and dedication in going the extra mile to look after the wonderful creatures in their care.”

Future announcements about next year’s Burgess Excel Vet Awards, including information on how to nominate and apply, will be announced on the Burgess Pet Care website in due course.

Grace Mee, Rabbit Student of the Year, accepts her award from Ellie Parkes of Burgess Pet Care