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Dr. Ginger Reagan Receives AAEP’s Good Works Distinction for April

May 20, 2019

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) salutes Dr. Ginger Reagan, the April honoree of the Good Works for Horses Campaign, for both her efforts generating youth interest in horse health and responding to the plight of horses affected by historic flooding from Hurricane Florence. 

Good Works for Horses honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate AAEP members for this monthly recognition.

Concerned about children’s diminished exposure to horses and its impact on the future population of equine veterinarians, Dr. Reagan established a Junior Vet Club in 2016 at her three-doctor Reagan Equine practice in Wilmington, N.C. Comprising children ages 4 to 18, the club meets for two hours one evening per month during the school year; a weeklong camp is held in the summer. The monthly meeting includes dinner; interaction with animals; a craft; games like a relay race identifying the bones of a horse skeleton; and a live demonstration such as gastric scoping or teeth floating. Attendees pay a small fee to cover costs.

Originally anticipating 10 participants, Dr. Reagan hosted nearly 50 at one of the first meetings. Her loyal group of between 25 and 50 attendees has become proficient at physical exams and checking horses’ vital signs. While it’s too soon to know whether any will become future horse doctors, the club is succeeding in creating newfound interest in horses and horse health among area youth. 

Hurricane Florence last September delayed resumption of monthly club meetings as unprecedented flooding occurred in Wilmington and much of the Carolina Low Country. In preparation, Dr. Reagan equipped her hospital to take in 28 mostly client horses, even making stalls out of gates. She also alerted county officials of her willingness to volunteer with rescue and recovery efforts. After the three-day storm passed, Dr. Reagan spent two weeks from sunup to sundown tending to horses and other animals stranded by floodwaters.

Her volunteer team used airboats to reach many of these horses, administering iv fluids and antibiotics as well as delivering hay and grain so the horses could subsist until flood waters receded and rescue was possible. Some of the rescued horses were transported to her clinic for treatment and recovery, with time and supplies donated by the practice. 

Due to prolonged store closures, Dr. Reagan also set up her clinic as a food drop off so that affected horse owners could obtain hay and grain; and, with her team, she delivered dog, cat and horse food to another hard-hit area 20 miles away, setting up a distribution site in a grocery store parking lot.

Throughout 2019, the AAEP’s Good Works for Horses Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. To discover the Good Works of AAEP veterinarians or nominate a Good Works candidate, visit the AAEP website. For more information on nominating a veterinarian for this program, contact Sue Stivers at sstivers@aaep.org.

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. 

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