AAEP honors include first Distinguished Service Award

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A new award recognizing individuals who have provided exemplary service to the American Association of Equine Practitioners or a similar organization to the benefit of the horse, horse industry, or the profession of equine veterinary medicine was presented at the 2000 AAEP annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

During the president's luncheon at the 46th annual convention, Dr. R. Bruce Hollett and Lucy Kester were named as recipients of the first Distinguished Service Award.

"The AAEP is pleased to recognize two people who have tirelessly dedicated their time and talents to help others succeed," said Dr. Gary Norwood, a former AAEP president and chairman of the 2000 Nominating Committee. "Dr. Hollett and Mrs. Kester embody the spirit of service that this award seeks to honor."

Dr. Hollett is an associate professor in the University of Georgia Department of Large Animal Medicine and director of continuing education for the university's College of Veterinary Medicine. He has also served as the equine extension veterinarian for the UGA Cooperative Extension Service and the resident veterinarian for Stone Farm in Paris, Ky. Dr. Hollett's involvement in the AAEP includes service on the Educational Programs, Scientific Programs, and Resident Veterinarians committees.

Mrs. Kester, widow of Brig Gen Wayne O. Kester, worked in the AAEP office as office manager for more than 15 years. During Brig Gen Kester's tenure as AAEP executive director, the AAEP office was based in their home in Golden, Colo. Mrs. Kester remains active in the horse industry and serves on the executive board of the Akhal Teke Association of America.

Three equine practitioners were presented with the Distinguished Educator Award for their efforts as educators and mentors to the many students and colleagues with whom they have been affiliated.

Dr. Albert Gabel has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinary profession and his clients benefited from his pioneering work in equine orthopedics, and his contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of lameness in Standardbreds.

Drs. Wheat and Franklin
Dr. John D. Wheat (left) accepts the AAEP's 2000 Distinguished Educator Award from 1999-2000 president, Dr. Ben Franklin.

Dr. Charles Raker has dedicated his career to teaching veterinary students at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Raker developed the first internship program in equine medicine and surgery. He was also instrumental in the formation of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The third recipient, Dr. John D. Wheat, is a professor emeritus and a founding faculty member of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Wheat, with more than four decades of active university service, has become an internationally known surgeon and made many contributions to the teaching and practice of equine medicine and surgery.

Gary L. Carpenter, a lifelong supporter of the equine industry, was presented with the George Stubbs Award, recognizing a nonveterinarian. Currently, Carpenter is the executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.

"While Gary satisfied many of the award guidelines," said Dr. Gary Norwood, "it was his leadership and dedication to the equine industry, veterinary medicine, and the AAEP membership that made him a natural selection as the Stubbs recipient."

Carpenter's support of the industry includes service as the executive director of the AAEP from 1990-2000. One program implemented by Carpenter is the highly praised "On Call" program, which provides a media-trained veterinarian to discuss horse health during live network telecasts of equine events.

Drs. Franklin and Carpenter
Dr. Ben Franklin congratulates Gary L. Carpenter, the 2000 recipient of the
George Stubbs Award.

Carpenter is also the co-founder and chair-elect of the Horse Industry Alliance, and is a member of the American Horse Council's Government Affairs Advisory Committee and Animal Welfare Committee.

Three past presidents of the AAEP were honored with the Distinguished Life Member Award.

Dr. James Coffman, provost and professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, served as the dean of the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine until being appointed the university's chief academic officer in 1987. He recently chaired a National Research Council subcommittee on the use of drugs in food-producing animals. Dr. Coffman was the 1978 president of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the 1986 AAEP president.

Dr. Gary Lavin specializes in the care of Thoroughbred racehorses and practices equine medicine and surgery in Kentucky. His contributions to the AAEP include service as the 1994 president, former chairman of the Racing Committee, and the AAEP liaison to the American Horse Council's Racing Committee. He is past president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

Dr. Robert Shideler was the AAEP president in 1974 and has also served as the president of the Mississippi VMA. He was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi VMA in 1974. Dr. Shideler was a private practitioner in Illinos and Mississippi for 26 years before joining the Colorado State University faculty. He retired from CSU in 1995.