Dr Bridget Drew OBE is organising the day in memory of her late husband John Drew
Target to raise £250,000 for our charities
Bridget spent most of her professional career working with dairy cattle with a special interest in the effect of rearing management on subsequent performance, breeding management and fertility, a subject for which she attained a PhD.
After graduation she worked as a consultant to the farming industry and as a Director of a large Research Institute. Her contribution to the work of the Centre was recognised in 1997 when she was awarded the Training and Enterprise award for Hampshire Business Woman of the year. She is an invited Fellow of the Institute of Biology and a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society. She was awarded the National Agricultural Award for her contribution to the Advancement of British Agriculture and the OBE for her contribution to the British dairy Industry in 2001. She was invited to become a visiting Professor at the Royal Agricultural University and for some time sat on the School of Agriculture Advisory Board. More recently she devoted her time preparing the family veterinary business for sale and negotiating with prospective purchasers.
After the sale was completed she was able to “retire” and devote her time to horse racing and breeding starting with one horse in 2003 to some 50 at present She has already bred an Ascot course record breaking and Group winning filly and 2014 sold another for the highest price for a yearling filly by a freshman sire in the world. In 2018 she had a runner in the Oaks and two runners at Royal Ascot.
John was a well-known, greatly respected and much loved Veterinary Surgeon who died after a long illness borne with great courage and amazing good humour. John’s love of animals and compassionate nature led him to want to be a veterinary surgeon from a young age. He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1968 and joined a large mixed practice in Reading as an assistant spending most of his time working with horses. After two years he moved to a practice in Basingstoke where he developed his expertise in farm animals and small animal surgery and in 1977 started his own practice in Winchester where he worked for the next 30 years developing it from a one man band in the old Mildmay Arms, a converted public house to a seven veterinary surgeon practice in a purpose built, fully equipped Centre with a hydrotherapy pool.
Sadly by 2006 it was clear that health issues would prevent him continuing doing the job he loved so much and so the small animal side of the practice and name Mildmay Veterinary Centre were sold. A change of name to Mildmay Farm and Stud and a move to a small stud near Whitchurch signalled a start of a new venture breeding and owning racehorses. He developed a passion for racing and nothing gave him more pleasure than to see his horses run. Although in the latter years he was confined to a wheelchair and in the last few months totally immobile, John never lost the will to live, or his smile and sense of fun or his determination to go racing.
He was an inspiration to all who knew him.
One of the first vets to join him said of him “ I just remember John as being this lovely, lovely gentle person who I came to work for 30 years ago, always with a smile on his face and always willing to explain and help, and above all always kind. I do not think that there could be a better, more compassionate vet, or perhaps really, a better human being that I have come across”.