Following a short illness, this week saw the funeral of Chris House, Chairman of the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management (VAWM).
Chris was a champion for animal welfare having practiced in various counties. He specialised in equine welfare and had tended horses belonging to the Princess Royal while living in Gloucestershire. Chris was an avid horseman and hunted with the West Kent and Later Essex Hunts - something that no one could fail to notice given that the Essex Huntsman sounded Blowing for Home at the end of the funeral service.
His expertise, as with all the veterinarians in VAWM, made Chris a serious advocate when debating the need for hunting with hounds, taking the argument to student audiences in vet schools to spread his knowledge of wildlife management and how hunting plays a crucial role in that process. His presence on the VAWM stand at various country shows and at an event at Westminster allowed that wisdom to be spread to a wider audience, including politicians. VAWM grew in strength and influence under the chairmanship of Chris House and his passing leaves an important role to fill.
At VAWM's AGM last year, Chris and his wife Jane, also a vet, both rode with the East Cornwall hunt on a beautiful day, setting out from Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. Sadly, this was the last time many VAWM supporters saw him, but the numerous photographs taken in that superb setting provide the perfect image of Chris on what was a highly memorable day.
Our thoughts are with Jane and family.