AAEP Bestows Distinguished Life Member Award Upon Dr. Richard Mitchell
The American Association of Equine Practitioner (AAEP) presented its 2022 Distinguished Life Member Award to Richard Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, DACVSMR, co-founder and partner-owner of Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, Conn., for his meritorious leadership and service to the association during his 44 years of membership.
The Distinguished Life Member Award honors an AAEP member who has made outstanding contributions to the association throughout their career. Dr. Mitchell received the award November 21 during the President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 68th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Mitchell has been a staunch ally for the horse, the profession and his colleagues throughout his decades of exemplary service to the AAEP. As chair of The Foundation for the Horse since 2017, Dr. Mitchell led the AAEP’s charitable arm through a strategic rebrand in 2019 and a $10 million comprehensive campaign from 2020–2022 that will expand The Foundation’s global impact on equine welfare.
In addition to his leadership of The Foundation, Dr. Mitchell also volunteers as a member of the AAEP’s Finance and Performance Horse committees. In all, he has served on 10 different councils and committees, including as chair of the Purchase Exam and Horse Show committees and as a member of the Welfare and Public Policy Advisory Council and Educational Programs Committee, among others. Additionally, Dr. Mitchell served on the board of directors from 2000–2002.
Dr. Mitchell has effectively served the broader equine industry as a board member for multiple organizations, including the United States Equestrian Federation and, currently, as chair of the American Horse Council Board of Trustees.
“I am unaware of any request to serve that Dr. Mitchell has ever refused to accept and then gone on to give his best,” said co-nominator Harry Werner, VMD. “He has given his time and expertise selflessly despite also managing the many responsibilities as president of an international multidoctor referral practice, an extremely busy case load, and as a husband and father.”
Dr. Mitchell received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University in 1974. Following two years on active duty in the United States Air Force Veterinary Corps, he entered private practice in Connecticut with his mentor Howard Raven, DVM, before establishing his current practice in 1989.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.