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American Association of Equine Practitioners

Dr. White
Dr. Susan White
Dr. Bramlage
Dr. Larry Bramlage
Dr. Leitch
Dr. Midge Leitch
Dr. O'Brien
Dr. Timothy R. O'Brien


Marianne Castle
Marianne Castle
John Castle
John K. Castle
Jim Simpson
Jim Simpson
Georgia Simpson
Georgia Simpson


Dr. Hart
Dr. Kelsey A. Hart
Dr. Cates
Dr. Michael Cates

The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored the 2008 recipients of several awards at its 54th Annual Convention in San Diego in December.

Dr. Susan White (CAL '73) received the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. White is a professor of large animal internal medicine at the University of Georgia and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. White joined the United States Eventing Association Equine Exercise Physiology Study Group before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Most notably, she and the team spent five years spearheading a project to ensure horses could safely compete in the three equine Olympic disciplines in Atlanta's semitropical summer climate.

Former AAEP president, Dr. Larry Bramlage (KSU '75), received the Distinguished Life Member Award. Dr. Bramlage is a partner in Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Ky.; a diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons; and chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. His contributions to the AAEP include serving on or chairing nine committees and task forces. In addition, Dr. Bramlage is an AAEP On Call team member, providing veterinary expertise to broadcast media at major equine sporting events, including the Triple Crown races, each year.

Dr. Midge Leitch (UP '73) received the President's Award. Dr. Leitch is a radiologist at The New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She has traveled with the U.S. Equestrian Team to Seoul, South Korea; Atlanta; and Sydney, Australia, and she served as a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation's Veterinary Committee. Dr. Leitch recently chaired the AAEP's Tennessee Walking Horse Task Force.

Drs. Timothy R. O'Brien and the late John V. Steiner each received the Distinguished Educator Award. Dr. O'Brien (IL '65) spent most of his career at the University of California-Davis in the Surgical and Radiological Sciences Department, and is now retired. He is the founder of the Charlie Humphreus Endowed Lecture for Farrier and a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

The late Dr. Steiner (COR '68) worked at Hagyard, Davidson, and McGee in Lexington, Ky., more than 15 years. That is where he started and directed the practice's Equine Fertility Unit. In 2008, he joined Rhinebeck Equine in Rhinebeck, N.Y., in 2008, where he remained until he died. Dr. Steiner was a diplomate and past president of the American College of Theriogenologists.

John K. and Marianne Castle received the George Stubbs Award. The Castles were recognized for their philanthropy directed toward laminitis research. The pair is a major sponsor of the semiannual International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot. They also donated $1 million in 2007 to support the Laminitis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, Pa., considered the most prolific Standardbred breeding farm in the world, was chosen to receive the Lavin Cup—the AAEP Equine Welfare Award. Hanover Shoe Farms is owned by the partnership of Jim Simpson, Russell Williams and the Paul Spears family. The operation adheres to a policy of retiring broodmares older than 15 years old and deemed no longer fit for the breeding program. More than 100 are currently retired on the farm.

Dr. Kelsey A. Hart was named the 2008 AAEP Foundation Research Fellow. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a researcher completing a residency or graduate program while conducting equine research. After completing her three-year residency at the University of Georgia, Dr. Hart (COR '04) achieved board certification in internal medicine. She anticipates completing her doctorate in physiology in July 2010 and will continue a career in academic research.


Dr. Michael B. Cates (TEX '80), who recently retired as chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps with the rank of brigadier general, has been named as director of the Kansas State University master of public health program.

Dr. Cates will also serve as a professor in the university's College of Veterinary Medicine. He began work at the university in January.

The 42-semester hour degree program is intended for people employed or anticipating careers in public health, and information from the university indicates it allows them to address concerns including obesity and exercise, human nutrition, food safety, infectious and zoonotic diseases, and toxicology. Faculty from the colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine are involved in the program.

The retired brigadier general was the first veterinarian to serve concurrently as Corps chief, commanding general of the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, and the surgeon general's functioning proponent for preventive medicine, according to information from the Army.

In a retirement ceremony Oct. 22, Brig. Gen. Cates said he was honored to serve as an Army officer for more than 30 years, on active duty for 28 of them.

"Prevention is the best way to health, and our veterinary and preventive medicine teams are working wonders in our country and many others to improve global public health and animal health," he said in the speech. "I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these efforts."