Published on February 15, 2011
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The New Mexico State University Alumni Association in October honored Dr. James T. "Skip" Prichard (COL '63) as a Distinguished Alumnus as part of the university's 2010 homecoming celebration.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is given in recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields and brought honor and merit to their alma mater.

Dr. Prichard earned his degree in animal science from NMSU in 1959. He founded the Mesilla Valley Clinic Inc. after completing his DVM degree at Colorado State University and practiced veterinary medicine in Las Cruces for 22 years. From 1987-1988 he was a consultant in Ecuador through the U.S. government to improve dairy health and production.

Dr. Prichard has also been the veterinarian for the NMSU campus Animal Research and Teaching Farm and the NMSU Horse Center for the past 25 years.

American Association of Equine Practitioners

Dr. Charles W. Raker

Dr. Jerry B. Black

Dr. Scott E. Palmer

Dr. Foster H. Northrop

The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored the 2010 recipients of four awards during its 56th Annual Convention, Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore.

Tribute was paid to Dr. Charles W. Raker (UP '42) with the Sage O. Kester "Beyond the Call" Award. It is the highest honor bestowed by the AAEP, and Dr. Raker is the second-ever recipient.

Dr. Raker led the Department of Surgery and Large Animal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine for many years. There, he helped to revitalize the clinic and spur the development of UPenn's New Bolton Center.

As chief of surgery, Dr. Raker distinguished himself as an expert in surgical techniques of the upper respiratory tract and joints. He helped establish fundamental techniques for the surgical repair of equine fractures. He also became a founder, diplomate, charter member, and president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr. Jerry B. Black (COL '71) received the Distinguished Life Member Award for more than 35 years of service to the association.

Dr. Black is director of the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Widely recognized as an expert in the treatment of Western performance horses, Dr. Black served as the on-call veterinarian during equestrian events at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

During his term as the 2002 AAEP president, Dr. Black re-established the AAEP's Equine Welfare Committee and led the association to the development of several position statements on equine welfare. He pushed for uniform medication at racetracks and sparked discussions about the use of medication in nonracing performance horses.

Drs. Scott E. Palmer and Foster H. Northrop were selected as the recipients of the AAEP President's Award for their leadership in promoting the safety of racehorses.

Dr. Palmer (UP '76) and Dr. Northrop (GA '89) serve as the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the AAEP Racing Committee. Since the committee was reinstituted in 2008, Drs. Palmer and Northrop have devoted countless hours ensuring that equine veterinarians are active participants in the ongoing reform of horse racing. Through their leadership, the committee has developed three white papers and the just-released clinical guidelines for veterinarians who practice in a pari-mutuel environment. In the past year, they have attended numerous racing industry meetings throughout the United States and have earned respect for their efforts to protect the safety of racehorses.

Dr. Palmer owns the New Jersey Equine Clinic in Clarksburg, N.J. Dr. Northrop co-owns Cheney and Northrop Equine in Lexington, Ky.

The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, a United Kingdom-based charity that seeks to alleviate human poverty by ensuring the welfare of working animals, was honored with the 2010 Lavin Cup, the AAEP's equine welfare award.

SPANA is the first international organization to receive the award. The organization, established in 1923, operates permanent service centers in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Mali, and Ethiopia, and responds to global animal welfare emergencies. SPANA's 21 mobile clinics educate impoverished communities about proper animal care and provide medical treatment for horses. Each year, an average 11,000 horses and donkeys are treated for multiple wounds and an average 14,500 receive teeth rasping through SPANA. In addition, SPANA associates train equid owners on basic husbandry, feeding, and the proper use of tack.

University of California-Davis doctoral candidate Dr. Carrie J. Finno (MIN '04) is the 2010 AAEP Foundation Past Presidents' Research Fellow for her contributions to advancing equine research. The $5,000 research grant is awarded each year to a doctoral student or resident who has excelled in the field of equine research.

Dr. Finno's doctoral thesis involves investigating the genetic basis for neuroaxonal dystrophy/equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy in horses. The objective of Dr. Finno and her collaborator is to perform a mapping study to determine a candidate region that may contain a genetic mutation causative for NAD/EDM in all breeds of horses. The ultimate goal is to develop a genetic test that will allow horse breeders to make informed decisions and avoid a devastating neurologic disease while aiding equine clinicians in diagnosing NAD/EDM antemortem.