AAEP Honors Longtime ‘On Call’ Spokesmen with Distinguished Service Award

The American Association of Equine Practitioners recognized a pair of past presidents who were pivotal in the development and growth of the AAEP’s award-winning “On Call” program when presenting its 2014 Distinguished Service Award to Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, DACVS, and C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, Ph.D., DSc, FRCVS, DACVS, DACVSMR.

The Distinguished Service Award honors exemplary service to the AAEP or a similar organization to the benefit of the horse, horse industry or profession of equine veterinary medicine. Bramlage and McIlwraith were honored Dec. 9 during the President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 60th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Created in 1991, the On Call program delivers accurate veterinary information to broadcast and print journalists through media-trained veterinarians who respond to crisis situations and answer questions about the health of the equine athlete. The program serves all nationally televised equestrian events and received the 2008 Special Eclipse Award for its contributions to Thoroughbred racing.

During their 23 years of On Call service, Bramlage and McIlwraith were instrumental in elevating the program to its current status within the racing industry and, by extension, the AAEP to its position as the respected authority on equine health and welfare for the media and viewing public. Each sacrificed considerable time away from family and practice annually to serve AAEP as On Call “spokesdoctors” at Thoroughbred racing’s premier events—the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships—and other televised races throughout the year. The 2014 Breeders’ Cup was the pair’s final On Call assignment.

Bramlage is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and a partner at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. A 1975 graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Bramlage served as an associate professor of equine surgery at The Ohio State University prior to joining Rood and Riddle in 1989. He focuses his veterinary career on the care of the racehorse. He served as AAEP president in 2004 and was recognized as a Distinguished Life Member in 2008 for outstanding contributions to the AAEP throughout his career.

McIlwraith is a Colorado State University distinguished professor of orthopedics, the Barbara Cox Anthony Endowed Chair and founding director of the university’s Orthopaedic Research Center. A decorated researcher who pioneered the use of arthroscopy in the investigation of equine joint injuries, McIlwraith is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Orthopedic Society. He served as AAEP president in 2001 and was honored by the AAEP as a Distinguished Life Member in 2009.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than five 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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