Consistent with its mission to improve the welfare of the horse, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation has created an equine research endowment to help fill the growing need for better understanding of and solutions to diseases and maladies that affect horses of all breeds.

The endowment, announced today during the opening session at the AAEP’s 63rd Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, has been seeded with $150,000, more than half of which was committed by the late Dr. Michelle LeBlanc. A renowned theriogenology educator, researcher and practitioner, Dr. LeBlanc pledged a portion of her estate to the Foundation in 2012 as a member of its Legacy Society with the stated intent to fund future equine research.

“The Foundation is embarking on a journey of great potential,” said Dr. Richard Mitchell, chairman of the AAEP Foundation Advisory Council. “From this modest start, there is no limit to how far this initiative can go—no limit to the kinds of important research we can someday invest in.”

Before accepting unsolicited funding requests for research projects, the AAEP Foundation’s immediate goal is to grow the endowment’s corpus through additional gifts so that it will consistently yield sufficient resources to fund research that addresses pertinent needs in the equine industry.

“This endowment embodies everything near and dear to Michelle in one amazing effort,” said Dr. Chris Sanchez, medical director of the Large Animal Hospital at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, where Dr. LeBlanc served on faculty for 22 years. “She loved the AAEP and everything for which it stands. Michelle also spent her life asking questions. She had an incredibly inquisitive and creative approach to her craft along with the passion to answer as many questions as possible. Her answers have helped horses, owners and veterinarians for decades. This endowment will allow her to continue answering questions vicariously for generations to come while hopefully also inspiring us all to continue asking.”

To help the AAEP Foundation create a sustained impact on the well-being of horses through the advancement of equine research, click the Donate button at and select Equine Research on the donation form. Or, to discover planned giving options tailored specifically to your individual goals, contact AAEP Foundation Senior Development Officer Paul Ransdell at or (859) 233-0147.

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $4 million to support its mission. For more information, visit

Post Type

  • Press Release

Publish Date

November 18, 2017

Related Articles

Capital Building
May 20, 2024

AVMA and AAEP praise strengthened regulations on horse soring

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)…

May 16, 2024

Horse Doctors to Expand Lameness, Musculoskeletal Imaging and Ophthalmology Skills at AAEP’s Focus on Field Medicine

Equine veterinarians will grow their toolbox of field medicine diagnostic techniques and…

Biometric Sensors
May 10, 2024

AAEP Project for Wearable Biometric Sensor Development Advancing to Next Phase

Thoroughbred industry participation needed for testing, validation  The American Association of Equine…