In Memory: Dr. Glenn Blodgett, an icon in equine medicine, dies at 73

Dr. Blodgett
Dr. Glenn Blodgett

Dr. Glenn P. “Doc” Blodgett, a pioneer in equine theriogenology, died Nov. 20, 2022, at age 73. He shaped the U.S. performance horse industry over a 40-year career with the storied Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

Outside of practice, Dr. Blodgett held leadership positions with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Horse Council, and the American Quarter Horse Association. In 1988, he was appointed to the first Texas Horse Racing Commission.

David Foley, AAEP executive director, said, “We were all at our annual convention when we heard of Dr. Blodgett’s tragic passing.” Dr. Blodgett never missed the convention himself. “He was an icon in this profession and a friend to many and will be greatly missed,” he said

Born Dec. 21, 1948, in Spearman, Texas, Dr. Blodgett earned a veterinary degree in 1974 from Texas A&M University. Eight years later, he was recruited to be resident veterinarian and manager of the horse division at the Four Sixes Ranch.

Under Dr. Blodgett’s supervision, the ranch became an industry leader in equine embryo transfer and artificial insemination. Each year, more than 1,400 mares are bred from ranch, performance, and racing Quarter Horse disciplines, while maintaining a 95% conception rate, according to the ranch’s website. 

Dr. Blodgett was elected to the executive committee of the American Quarter Horse Association in 2012 and to the presidency three years later. During his leadership, the AQHA implemented the Multiple Medications Violations System and the Animal Welfare Commission and began offering a multipanel genetic disease test to help breeders make more informed decisions.

Dr. Blodgett served on the AAEP board of directors and also its Racing Committee and Ethics Committee. In 2016, the association named Dr. Blodgett an AAEP Distinguished Life Member. Praising his years of service to the organization, the AAEP described Dr. Blodgett as “a pioneer who has contributed mightily to the equine industry and veterinary profession.”

In light of Dr. Blodgett’s considerable contributions to the equine industry, he was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

“I know of no person more dedicated, compassionate, and concerned with the welfare of our horse than Dr. Glenn Blodgett,” said Frank Merrill, AQHA past president, in a statement.

“Glenn was an unapologetic servant to our horse and the industry that supports him. His knowledge and opinion has carried the day on many occasions and we will suffer greatly in his absence.”

Dr. Blodgett is survived by his wife, Karen; two daughters; five grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials may be made to the American Quarter Horse Foundation, 1600 Quarter Horse Drive, Amarillo, TX 79104; Texas Tech University School Veterinary Medicine, Administration Building 213, MS 42010, Lubbock, TX 79409; or Texas A&M University Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.

A version of this article appears in the January 2023 print issue of JAVMA.