The 53rd Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., set a convention attendance record for the second year in a row, as 7,238 veterinary professionals, guests, and exhibitors participated. The previous attendance record of 6,842 was set in 2006.
Equine surgeon Dr. Dean Richardson opened the conference with a talk specifically for equine practitioners recalling his treatment of Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner whose life was tragically cut short by a racing injury.
The conference's keynote speaker was Connie Podesta, a life balance coach and media personality. Podesta offered a motivational presentation about balancing career with personal life, a topic requested by the AAEP Lifestyles Task Force.
The Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture, "From a sperm's eye view: Revisiting our perception of this intriguing cell," was delivered by world-renowned reproduction specialist and AAEP member, Dr. Dickson Varner.
From nutrition and dealing with infectious diseases to practice management and cutting-edge surgical techniques, the wide array of CE sessions reflected the requests of AAEP members, according to 2007 Program Chair Dr. Eleanor M. Green. Dr. Green was named the 2008 AAEP president; see her profile on page 670.
New this year were a preconvention equine herpesvirus symposium and a media training session.
"Dr. Eleanor Green and the Educational Programs Committee put together another great meeting program for our members," said David L. Foley, AAEP executive director.
The Kester News Hour changed formats this year, with Drs. Scott Palmer, Bonnie Rush, and Margo Macpherson replacing Drs. John Madigan and Larry Bramlage at the news desk. Attendees listened to a series of fast-paced presentations on the latest scientific literature on equine medicine.
The annual live and silent auctions held during the AAEP Foundation Celebration and the Welcome Reception raised more than $125,000. The funds will go toward programs benefiting horses.
In addition, several awards were presented during the President's Luncheon on Dec. 4 (see story.)
The AAEP Executive Committee: Drs. Doug Corey, immediate past president; Nat White II, vice president; Eleanor Green, president; Reynolds Cowles Jr., treasurer; and Harry Werner, president-elect.