The Late Stewart Hastie BVMS MRCVS

Jane Nixon was married to Stewart Hastie, for nearly 25 years, until his death in 2018

Jane & Stewart Hastie

Formed Nixon Equine Vets in 2005

The late Stewart Hastie BVMS MRCVS, a vet of some repute, graduated from Glasgow in 1944. He worked in general practice in Kent & Northampton before joining a one-man agricultural practice in Maids Moreton, Buckingham in 1956. He quickly developed a thriving companion animal section (dogs & cats in those days) and in the early sixties, began to species specialise in horse work, in which he was fully occupied 10 years later. It was here that Stewart’s pioneering interest in the value of ethical co-operation with recognised complementary disciplines developed.

Society of Master Saddlers (SMS)

Stewart Hastie was Veterinary Consultant to the Society of Master Saddlers

Stewart Hastie was Veterinary Consultant to the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) until 2015 and a member of the Society of Master Saddlers Executive Committee for over 15 years. Jane replaced Stewart as the SMS veterinary consultant and is now a board member of the SMS.

Before taking over as veterinary consultant, Jane Nixon assisted Stewart in this capacity, lecturing on his behalf to the following SMS courses:

  • The SMS Introductory Course
  • The SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters Course
  • The SMS Refresher Course.

Stewart Hastie: Author of the BHS Veterinary Manual

Now in its 2nd edition

Stewart Hastie Equine Vet Author of the BHS Veterinary Manual Authoritative, comprehensive and practical, this fully updated and revised edition includes new material on: Laminitis, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Body Condition Scoring, Biosecurity including Yard Biosecurity plans and National Biosecurity plans; and a brief overview on international horse movements. Also included are sections on Exotic Diseases, Equine Grass Sickness, Atypical Myopathy and an update on RAO (COPD). The BHS Veterinary Manual is a companion volume to The BHS Complete Manual of Stable Management and indirectly to The BHS Complete Manual of Equitation. They are intended primarily for examination students but should also be essential reading for all who care about and care for the horse. Share this page on Facebook to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Stewart Hastie’s book; the BHS Veterinary Manual.

Click the small image to look inside the BHS Veterinary Manual and buy online at Amazon

Stewart Hastie Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Stewart Hastie honoured with BETA Lifetime Achievement Award 2013

Pictured: Stewart Hastie is presented with the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award by Jane Holderness-Roddam

We are delighted to anounce that Stewart Hastie has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by BETA at the British Equine Trade Association Gala Dinner on February 17th 2013. Stewart received this prestigious award and was presented with a beautiful bronze horse & jockey to commemorate his awad by Jane Holderness-Roddam, when he and Jane Hastie (nee Nixon) attended BETA’s annual ‘black tie’ dinner and awards ceremony held at the NEC.

Press Announcement

This years’ Lifetime achievement award goes to a vet who has contributed so much to the equestrian industry in so many ways. As well as writing some of the seminal works for equine students, he most especially has contributed towards the development of the modern saddle fitter and an understanding of how important knowledge of the equine anatomy and physiology is to the saddle fitter.

Born in 1922 in Rutherglen , Scotland our recipient graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary School in 1944. He went into general practice in Kent, practising alongside the flying bombs !

In 1958 he moved to Buckingham, purchased his own practice and developed his equine work. At this time he also met John McTimoney and thus began a long interest in complementary and alternative medicine and in particular equine chiropractics.

He has written publications and conference papers and undertakes many specialist presentations. In particular, papers on `Diseases of the Back` presented to two annual conferences of the BEVA. He continues to be involved in research relating to normal and abnormal movement (lameness) in the horse as effecting functioning of the `back`: the application of complementary disciplines in association with chartered physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths.

Author of the definitive ‘BHS Veterinary Manual’ and ‘Horselopaedia: A complete guide to horsecare’, as well as multiple expert papers, Stewart has provided years of service to the Society of Master Saddlers as their veterinary consultant. He developed the veterinary sections for the Society’s Qualified Saddle Fitting Course on which he continues to lecture. His influence in this area has ensured that many of BETA’s retail members now provide knowledgeable services to their customers in all aspects of tack fitting, thus improving the wellbeing of many horses in the UK. As a result of his voluntary service Stewart was awarded the coveted Fellowship of the Society of Master Saddlers in 2007.

Stewart has contributed a massive amount to our understanding of the horse in today’s environment. He has been at the forefront of intensive studies carried out on the effects on the horse of saddles and girths using state of the art pressure testing; and also a recent joint programme with the Society of Master Saddlers, the Animal Health Trust, Centaur Biomechanics, and Equiscan Ltd into the effectiveness of thermography on the assessment of saddle fit.

His past and continuing contribution to the equestrian world in spite of suffering a stroke and consequent impaired mobility should be an inspiration for all of us involved with horses.

The award is presented to our winner of the BETA lifetime achievement award this year Stewart Hastie.


Stewart Hastie, 22nd September 1922 – 21st February 2018

Stewart Hastie died suddenly on 21st February 2018, aged 95 years. Stewart, a Scotsman, was a graduate of the University of Glasgow and worked as a veterinary surgeon for 74 years, focussing predominantly on horses throughout his career. After graduation in 1944, Stewart first worked in general practice in Kent, before moving to Buckingham to set up an equine and small animal practice. The practice, Hastie and Jenkerson, was where he was to meet his wife of 24 years, Jane Nixon, who came to work there in 1978 and who became a partner in 1983. Jane and Stewart founded Nixon Equine Veterinary Practice in 2005, which was to be rebranded and sold as Buckingham Equine Veterinary Practice in 2011. In a tribute Buckingham Equine Vets said, ‘When he retired from hands-on veterinary work he left a legacy of pursuing the very best in clinical excellence, while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. As a practice team we still strive to achieve these principles laid out by the father of our practice many decades ago.’ Stewart, however, did not really retire and remained very much involved with Nixon Equine Veterinary Consultancy, providing advice whenever asked for and when not! He had strong opinions and was never shy in coming forward, but he was also ready to listen to others and to learn.

Stewart was of the old school of veterinary surgeons with a background steeped in horses and a real passion for the horse. He was an observer, a questioner, a reader and a thinker. He was ahead of his time, recognising the importance of correct foot balance and appropriate shoeing, realising that saddle-fit for the horse was imperative for optimal function and embracing appropriately trained paraprofessionals as part of the team required to promote equine health and welfare. He recognised that learning never ended and his thirst for new knowledge continued unabated throughout his life. Stewart was a gentleman, with high professional ethics. Woe betide anyone who transgressed these principles when he was in practice. He had an amazing memory and, combined with his wit and sense of humour, had plenty of tales to tell from throughout his extensive career.

Stewart was intimately associated with many facets of the equine world, most particularly hunting, working hunter showing, eventing and racing. He supported eventing as a life time member of British Eventing. He was Veterinary Advisor to the Society of Master Saddlers and was recognised as an Honorary Fellow of the organisation. He delivered the inaugural lecture on the History of the Saddle to the Worshipful Company of Saddlers in 1983. Stewart was passionate about education of the horse-owning public and was intimately involved with the British Horse Society. He wrote two editions of The British Horse Society Veterinary Manual and received an Award of Merit for Welfare and Training from the British Horse Society. His contributions to the equine industry were recognised by the award of the British Equestrian Trade Association’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2013.

Stewart also played an active role in veterinary politics serving as Secretary to the British Veterinary Association in the 1960s and acting as both Honorary Secretary and Honorary Information Officer for the British Equine Veterinary Association in the 1970s. Stewart was a passionate believer in continued professional development and was an avid supporter of BEVA meetings until very recently.

Stewart provided unwavering support for his wife Jane and her work. Despite suffering a total right-sided stroke in 1999, Stewart’s indomitable perseverance and determination shone through. His gait was impaired, but Stewart still found ways to accompany Jane on the majority of her professional visits. They were a formidable team in the nicest possible way, forged from 40 years of working closely together.

As the British Horse Society have said, Stewart’s past and continuing contribution to the equestrian world was an inspiration for all of us involved with horses, enhanced by his sense of humour and captivating wit. I have been fortunate enough to know Stewart throughout my entire professional career. His powers of observation, thirst for knowledge, willingness to engage in debate and change his mind, and his overall passion for the horse and equine veterinary medicine have always shone through. <.p>

Sue Dyson
March 2018

A celebration of the life of Stewart Hastie was held on 24th April at Whittlebury Park, Towcester, which was attended by close to 500 people wishing to pay their respects and celebrate Stewart’s life. Donations were invited to ‘The Stewart Hastie Veterinary Student Champion’ programme, The British Horse Society, Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ.