EquiManagement is pleased to partner with ADM Cellarator Advantage to bring you these “hot off the presses” articles from the 2021 AAEP Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc, will bring you some highlights of presentations and gatherings from the live AAEP gathering. Make sure and check back each day to see what Dr. Oke has to share with you.
Huh, Who’d Have Thunk?
Part One: AAEP Invades the Country Music Capital of the World
After taking a year off due to COVID, AAEP Annual Convention Committee Members have planned for us to “Celebrate Equine Practice” from December 3-8. This, the 67th annual convention and trade show, welcomes back the equine community with gusto, offering six days of programming devoted to celebrating our careers and way of life.
I’m not sure about you, but I am eagerly dusting off my suitcase, frantically searching for the COVID vaccine card I put in a super safe place, and wondering if I will be laughed at for not owning boots (in my defense, there aren’t too many places to wear them in New York).
As I peruse the registration kit, I’ve already come across a number of presentations that made me stop and say, “Huh.” Not in that bad way, like when you get into a surgical procedure and find something you weren’t expecting and start wondering how you’re going to get yourself out of that situation. More like the “Huh” you say when you reach into a pocket of a pair of pants you haven’t worn for a while and find a $20 bill.
Here is an example. I am planning my Nashvegas Celebration and of course Googled the Grand Ole Opry House … because everyone who visits Nashville needs to go, I hear. It turns out the Opry has more than 4,000 seats, which is approximately the size of 40 veterinary classes. On Sunday, December 5, the second day of the Convention, tickets are available for the Opry Country Christmas Show starring Larry Gatlin, Riders In The Sky and Mandy Barnett.
Now, in case you didn’t know, Larry Gatlin wrote “Help Me,” recorded by Elvis Presley in 1973, the same year Elvis performed “Aloha From Hawaii” and began his extremely public downward spiral. We will, however, have just missed other … erm … classic Opry-style performances, including ZZ Top and Billy Idol.
With all this name dropping, I was starting to get a six degrees of separation vibe while writing this, which of course made me think of Kevin Bacon. Wondering about the niggling feeling I had that there was a deep connection between Kevin Bacon and the AAEP, I Googled Bacon and found that he and his wife Kyra Sedgwick own a goat and alpaca farm. Their farm also homes horses, according to an article by Hello! magazine. If you scroll on down in that article, you’ll see one of Bacon’s horses. Which, clearly, brings us back to the AAEP within six degrees. The Table Topic on geriatric horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction is on Sunday from 1:30-3 p.m.
Rather than attending the Opry on Sunday night (especially because it is far too early to celebrate Christmas, no matter what those day-after-Halloweeners might tell you), consider the Trade Show Reception from 5-6 p.m. You can shop in style with complementary wine in hand, meandering through the over 300 exhibitor booths expected at this year’s Convention. After that, your bedtime stories can be enjoyed en masse, Nashville Style, from 8-10:30 p.m. Grammy-winning artist and New York Times best-selling author Rory Feek, together with Wynn Varble and Brice Long will perform, intermingled with stories told by veterinarians. Tickets are required and donations benefitting The Foundation of the Horse will be accepted. For the young guns bursting with energy, you might also have time to fit in the Avenues Internship/Externship Career Night or the New Practitioners’ Reception between the Trade Show and Storytelling.
Follow me in this six-part, day-by-day coverage of the AAEP Annual Convention. Today’s article, a prelude to the Convention, highlighted some social aspects of the Convention in the spirit of promoting work-life balance. Starting on December 5, I plan on sharing one or two events every day that will (hopefully!) pique your interest, making you say, “Huh, who’d have thunk?”
Check back for articles posted each day of the AAEP Convention (Sunday, December 5-Wednesday, December 8), plus on the Thursday following the Convention.
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