Offering science-backed solutions to the clinical challenges of everyday practice along with resources and strategies to strengthen emotional resilience and personal wellbeing, the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 65th Annual Convention drew 5,443 veterinary professionals, students, guests and exhibitors from 37 countries to Denver, Colo. Dec. 7–11.

Practitioners selected from 137.5 hours of practical and innovative continuing education across the spectrum of equine medicine, including dentistry, imaging, lameness and reproduction. In addition, more than 200 veterinarians and nearly 120 veterinary students refined techniques and learned new skills at an expanded slate of wet and dry labs.

During an uplifting Opening Session on Dec. 8 that celebrated practitioners’ selfless acts of service and unveiled a new era for the AAEP’s charitable arm now known as The Foundation for the Horse, keynote speaker Tammy Hughes explained the unequivocal link between successful organizations and establishment of a corporate culture that values and encourages the unique communication and working styles of men and women. The following day, renowned equine orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dean W. Richardson explored the difficulties and possibilities of surgical repair of major bone and joint injuries while providing emergency management strategies for practitioners in the field to increase the odds of a successful outcome when confronted with a fracture.

In addition to clinical education, practitioners and students established and expanded important professional connections at numerous networking and social events. They also discovered the latest solutions for practice success from 340 companies that exhibited in the trade show.

“One size does not fit all for equine veterinary CE, and this year’s annual convention continued our aim of melding all the advantages of a large meeting with the benefits of a smaller, focused meeting,” said AAEP Executive Direct David Foley. “The amount of practical knowledge from presenters at the forefront of their fields is always impressive, but this year our members took advantage of even more opportunities for hands-on skills development in core areas. In addition, our new Practice Life Conversations series provided a small group setting for equine veterinarians to discuss, share and learn how to navigate daily practice rigors in specific non-clinical areas to improve quality of life and professional satisfaction.”

Installation of 2020 officers: Dr. David Frisbie of Fort Collins, Colo., was installed as AAEP’s 66th president. He is joined as a 2020 officer by President-Elect Dr. Scott Hay of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Vice President Dr. Emma Read of Columbus, Ohio; Treasurer Dr. Lisa Metcalf of Sherwood, Ore.; and Immediate Past President Dr. Jeff Berk of Lexington, Ky.

New members of the board of directors are Dr. Amanda House of Gainesville, Fla., and Dr. Sarah Reuss of Philadelphia, Penn.

Presentation of annual awards: Three AAEP members and an industry collective improving the lives of horses in transition were honored during the Dec. 10 President’s Luncheon:

Distinguished Educator Award – Academic: Dr. David Wilson, El Macero, Calif.
Distinguished Educator Award – Mentor: Dr. Terry Swanson, Littleton, Colo.
The Lavin Cup: The Right Horse Initiative
President’s Award: Dr. Katie Flynn, Sacramento, Calif.

Award of scholarships: Through the generosity of its scholarship program partners, The Foundation for the Horse awarded $366,000 in scholarships to 13 veterinary students and four recent graduates.

The AAEP’s 66th Annual Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 5–9, 2020.

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.

Note: Photos of officers, new board members and award recipients are available by contacting Giulia Garcia at Press releases about the award recipients and new board members are available at

Post Type

  • Press Release

Publish Date

December 17, 2019

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