The American Association of Equine Practitioners presented its 2020 Sage Kester “Beyond the Call” Award to Scott Palmer, VMD, DABVP, for his extensive history of exceptional service to the AAEP and his impactful commitment to equine welfare, in particular, the health and safety of racehorses.
The Beyond the Call Award is named in honor of its first recipient, the late Wayne O. “Sage” Kester, DVM, and it recognizes a current or former AAEP member who has made significant and long-lasting contributions to equine veterinary medicine and the community. Palmer was recognized on December 9 during the AAEP’s 2020 Annual Convention & Trade Show, which was held virtually.
Palmer has served the AAEP with distinction for over three decades, punctuated by his term as AAEP president in 2005. His extensive contributions also include service as chair of the Racing Committee, Educational Programs Committee and Nominating Committee as well as participation on the Professional Conduct & Ethics Committee and Public Policy Committee, among many others. Palmer received the AAEP President’s Award in 2010 for his leadership in developing guidelines to promote the safety of racehorses. He currently serves as an On Call veterinary spokesperson for prominent racing telecasts.
After receiving his veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, Palmer worked in clinical practice as a staff surgeon and hospital director of the New Jersey Equine Clinic for 38 years prior to his 2014 appointment as equine medical director for the New York State Gaming Commission and adjunct professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The sweeping safety reforms recommended by Palmer and implemented at the state’s racetracks have elevated New York racing to among the safest in the country and served as a model for racing stakeholders in other regions.
“As a leader, Dr. Palmer comes to any challenge fully prepared, listens attentively to all opinions, is always willing to adjust his own position if indicated, and clearly and respectfully articulates his opinions,” said nominator Dr. Harry Werner. “These leadership qualities are very much respected by those who work with him.”
Palmer’s contributions to racehorse safety also include current service on the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium Scientific Advisory Committee and on the Association of Racing Commissioners International Drug Testing Standards & Practices Committee and Equine Welfare & Veterinarians Committee.
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.