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February 01, 2021

American Association of Equine Practitioners

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66th Annual Convention, Dec. 1-18, 2020, held virtually


The 2020 AAEP Virtual Convention & Trade Show brought together more than 2,500 veterinary professionals, students, and educators. Attendees had over 100 hours of continuing education options to choose from that included topics such as sports medicine, hoof lameness, and equine anesthesia. The convention included live events, networking opportunities, social events, and panel discussions. The on-demand continuing education sessions are available to view until June. The Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture was delivered by Dr. John A.E. Hubbell, chief of anesthesiology at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and professor emeritus of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hubbell spoke about the challenges and clinical progress in safely anesthetizing horses.


Dr. Sanchez-Londono
Dr. Alfredo Sanchez-Londono

My Vet Rocks Award
Dr. Alfredo Sanchez-Londono, a 1997 veterinary graduate of La Salle University in Bogotá, Colombia, is an associate clinical professor in equine field service at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sanchez-Londono was honored for his clinical proficiency, communication skills, and commitment to owner and student education. The My Vet Rocks Award, sponsored by American Regent Animal Health, celebrates the relationship between the veterinarian, owner, and horse. Horse owners were encouraged to nominate AAEP member veterinarians.

Dr. O’Grady
Dr. Stephen O’Grady

Distinguished Educator-Mentor Award
Dr. Stephen O’Grady, a 1987 veterinary graduate of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, is owner of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery in Keswick, Virginia. He was recognized for raising the standard of hoof care through instruction in basic and therapeutic farriery to veterinarians and students. Dr. O’Grady was a professional farrier for 10 years before becoming a veterinarian. In 2002, he developed a model for delivering farriery training to students throughout North America and the Caribbean, and that model is still in use today.

Dr. Hinrichs
Dr. Katrin Hinrichs

Research Award
Dr. Katrin Hinrichs (California-Davis ’78), chair of the Department of Clinical Studies and a professor of equine medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, was honored for her research in the field of equine assisted reproductive techniques. She has advanced the understanding of equine oocyte development, fertilization, and early embryonic development.

Dr. Palmer
Dr. Scott Palmer

Sage Kester Beyond the Call Award
Dr. Scott Palmer (Pennsylvania ’76), an AAEP past president, received the award for his service to the AAEP and his impact on equine welfare. Dr. Palmer served on the Racing, Educational Programs, and Nominating committees. Dr. Palmer worked for 38 years in clinical practice as the staff surgeon and hospital director of the New Jersey Equine Clinic in central New Jersey. He was appointed equine medical director for the New York State Gaming Commission in 2014.

Dr. Scollay
Dr. Mary Scollay

Distinguished Service Awards
Dr. Mary Scollay (Illinois ’84), executive director and chief operating officer of the Lexington, Kentucky–based Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, was recognized for her longtime advocacy of racehorse welfare and the integrity of racing. She is currently serving a fourth term on the AAEP Racing Committee; she also serves on the association’s Professional Conduct & Ethics Committee. Dr. Scollay spent 11 years as the first equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and 13 years as senior association veterinarian at Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park in Florida. While in Florida, she conceptualized and developed the forerunner to The Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database, to which she serves as a veterinary consultant.

Keith Kleine
Keith Kleine

Keith Kleine, staff liaison for the AAEP’s public policy efforts, was honored for his tireless advocacy for equine veterinary practice and the welfare of horses since joining the AAEP staff in 2005. Further, he spearheaded assembly of the coalition and funding that enabled launch of the Equine Disease Communication Center in 2016. Prior to joining the AAEP, Kleine held a variety of executive communication roles with equine industry organizations, including the American Quarter Horse Association, Retama Park, and Churchill Downs.

Distinguished Life Member
Dr. Susan L. White (California-Davis ’73), a professor emeritus at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored for her four decades of volunteer leadership with the AAEP.

Dr. White served on the association’s board of directors from 2003-05. Since 1982, she has chaired the Educational Programs, Membership, and Pediatrics committees, and she served on the Equine Welfare, Nominating, and Scholarship committees, among others. She currently serves on The Foundation for the Horse advisory council.

As a member of the Tennessee Walking Horse Task Force, Dr. White co-authored a 2008 white paper, “Putting the Horse First: Veterinary Recommendations for Ending the Soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.”

She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program logo
The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

The Lavin Cup
The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, a Lexington, Kentucky–based charity, received the Lavin Cup, the AAEP’s equine welfare award, this year. The largest racehorse adoption charity in the U.S. was founded in 1992 and has led to the placement of over 7,000 horses, with nearly 500 retirees served each year. The program has facilities in five states and serves over 50 racetracks in need of equine aftercare options. Despite COVID-19, pandemic-related shutdowns, and social distancing guidelines, the charity found homes for a record number of horses using social media.

Dr. Johnson
Dr. Sherry Johnson

President’s Award
Dr. Sherry Johnson (Iowa State ’12), senior partner of Equine Sports Medicine, a mobile practice focused on Western performance horses near Dallas, was recognized for spearheading the AAEP’s first-ever online continuing education event as program chair of the Virtual CE Summer Series. Dr. Johnson serves on the AAEP Educational Programs and Performance Horse committees. She is a partner and co-founder of Equine Core, a company that offers rehabilitation services. Dr. Johnson is also a doctoral candidate at Colorado State University. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Past Presidents’ Research Fellow
Dr. Rosemary Bayless (Kansas State ’14), a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University, was awarded a $5,000 grant. Dr. Bayless was selected for her work on innovative therapeutic strategies to reduce inflammation in horses by modulating neutrophil function. Her research findings suggest a therapeutic potential of withaferin A for numerous disease processes in horses characterized by neutrophilic inflammation. Dr. Bayless completed an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and a residency in equine internal medicine at Colorado State University. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in large animal internal medicine.

Equus Foundation Research Fellow
Dr. Rebecca Legere (Kansas State ’15), a doctoral student at Texas A&M University, received a $5,000 grant for her research into aerosolized messenger RNA vaccination to protect foals from Rhodococcus equi infection. Dr. Legere developed primary cultures of equine bronchial epithelial cells, transfected those cells with mRNA in vitro, and recently transfected the upper and lower respiratory tract of foals in vivo with aerosolized naked mRNA. Administration of mRNA without a transfection agent greatly reduces the cost and complexity of delivering mRNA to the upper and lower respiratory tract for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes. Dr. Legere is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine with a specialty in large animal internal medicine.


At its most recent meeting, the AAEP board of directors received updates on strategic plan initiatives, including progress on retention efforts within the profession and integration of digital education, which was accelerated because of COVID-19. Other business included a status update from The Foundation for the Horse, the association’s charitable arm, which reported successful development efforts, despite the pandemic, and significant mission impact, especially in the areas of disaster relief, at-risk horses, and scholarships.

Despite the inability to meet in person in 2020, the AAEP’s committees and councils quickly adapted to the virtual meeting room and made considerable progress. The Infectious Disease, Racing, and Performance Horse committees introduced numerous new guidelines as resources for both the membership and the equine industry. Meanwhile, the Welfare & Public Policy Advisory Council revised guidelines relative to euthanasia and worked closely with the AVMA Government Relations Division on federal legislation, primarily related to equine welfare.

The AAEP has formed a task force on diversity, equity, and inclusion to address those issues within the association and the equine veterinary profession, which will be led by chair Dr. Jean-Yin Tan.

The Foundation for the Horse awarded three veterinary students with the 2020 Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarships of $75,000 each. The Foundation for the Horse and Zoetis awarded five graduating veterinary students with $4,000 each for their academic excellence, leadership, and long-term goals in equine practice.


Dr. Hay
Dr. Scott Hay
Dr. Read
Dr. Emma Read
Dr. Franklin
Dr. Rob Franklin
Dr. Grice
Dr. Amy Grice
Dr. Frisbie
Dr. David Frisbie

Drs. Scott Hay, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, president; Emma Read, Columbus, Ohio, president-elect; Rob Franklin, Fredericksburg, Texas, vice president; Amy Grice, Virginia City, Montana, treasurer; David Frisbie, Fort Collins, Colorado, immediate past president