Published on January 18, 2010
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American Association of Equine Practitioners

The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored the 2009 recipients of several awards at its 55th Annual Convention, Dec. 5-9, in Las Vegas.

Drs. John T. Vaughan and the late R. Dean Scoggins each received the Distinguished Educator Award. Dr. Vaughan (AUB '55) had been an instrumental figure at Auburn and Cornell universities for 40 years. Dr. Vaughan is the sixth dean of Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2003, he retired and became the namesake of the college's large animal teaching hospital. Dr. Vaughan is a former president of the AAEP and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The late Dr. Scoggins (MSU '60) was an innovative instructor at the University of Illinois. He taught practice management and alternative therapies when such topics were not yet part of mainstream veterinary practice. Dr. Scoggins joined the University of Illinois in 1977 as an extension veterinarian. He chaired the ad hoc Dentistry Committee.

Dr. John T. Vaughan

Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith

Dr. Tom R. Lenz

Dr. Scott A. Palmer

Drs. C. Wayne McIlwraith and Tom R. Lenz each received the Distinguished Lifetime Member Award. Dr. McIlwraith (MAS '70) is a distinguished professor and director of the Equine Orthopedic Research Center at Colorado State University. He served as AAEP president in 2001, has been chair of the Educational Programs, Research, President's Advisory, and Professional Conduct and Ethics committees, and is the current chair of the Foundation Advisory Committee. Dr. McIlwraith is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Orthopedic Society.

During his 2003 term as AAEP president, Dr. Lenz (MO '75) championed equine welfare initiatives. Dr. Lenz is currently a member of the President's Advisory, Public Policy, and Foundation Advisory committees. He is a trustee of the American Horse Council, serves on the Veterinary Advisory Board of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and is chair of the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition.

Dr. Stephen M. O'Grady (OND '81) received the President's Award. Dr. O'Grady is an equine foot specialist who owns Northern Virginia Equine. In 2009, he was instrumental in organizing the program for the AAEP's Focus on the Foot meeting and traveled to veterinary schools to conduct farrier courses. In addition, he volunteered his veterinary services in the Dominican Republic, where he provided crucial foot care to prevent detrimental lameness in working equids.

Dr. O'Grady was a member of the AAEP's Tennessee Walking Horse Task Force and a former chair of the Equine Farrier Committee.

Dr. Scott A. Palmer (UP '76) received the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Palmer is director and staff surgeon of New Jersey Equine Clinic and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has been a key leader in preserving the public image of Thoroughbred racing and is currently the chair of the 2009 AAEP Racing Committee.

During his term as AAEP president in 2005, Dr. Palmer brought attention to the nation's unwanted horse issue with the Unwanted Horse Summit in Washington, D.C. He also helped expand continuing education offerings to international members during his presidency.

The North American Equine Ranching Information Council was honored with the 2009 Lavin Cup, which recognizes outstanding equine welfare initiatives. NAERIC is a nonprofit association comprising 64 family ranchers in Canada and North Dakota. Members manage broodmares that produce quality horses of several breeds as well as provide pregnant mares' urine.

NAERIC ranchers have organized programs and marketing campaigns to ensure quality breeding and promote advanced animal husbandry techniques that include at least twice-a-year veterinary herd health reviews as well as third-party veterinary oversight. NAERIC also manages an Equine Placement Fund to place mares no longer used for PMU production in productive markets.

Dr. Jennifer G. Janes (TEN '06) was named the 2009 recipient of the AAEP Foundation's Past Presidents' Research Fellow Award. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a researcher completing a residency or graduate program while conducting equine research. Dr. Janes is a postdoctoral student in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky. The award will help support her project on genetic determinants of wobbler syndrome (cervical stenotic myelopathy).


Dr. William James (LSU '80) received Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine's Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 78th Annual Conference for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians, Nov. 7, 2009. Dr. James is the chief public health veterinarian and executive associate for regulatory operations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. He joined FSIS in 1983. Until 1997, Dr. James was integral to the establishment of FSIS standards relating to livestock slaughter and inspection and the processing of all animal-related food products. Dr. James is an internationally recognized authority on foodborne diseases related to meat, poultry, and egg consumption.