Virginia-based private practitioner Stephen O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS, who has raised the standard of hoof care through instruction in basic and therapeutic farriery to veterinarians and students across the globe, received the Distinguished Educator – Mentor Award from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).
The Distinguished Educator – Mentor Award honors an individual who, by his or her actions and commitment, has demonstrated a significant impact on the development and training of equine practitioners through mentoring. Dr. O’Grady was recognized December 9 during the AAEP’s 2020 Annual Convention & Trade Show, which was held virtually.
A professional farrier for 10 years prior to obtaining his veterinary degree in 1981 from University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Science, in South Africa, O’Grady owns Virginia Therapeutic Farriery, a referral practice in Keswick, Virginia. Despite practice demands, O’Grady has travelled the world extensively to teach and lecture at clinics and veterinary conferences on farriery and foot care, including use of the wooden shoe as an alternative when treating a variety of foot problems. He has also taught proper hoof care to veterinarians, students and owners in many developing nations to help them maintain the soundness of their working horses, donkeys and mules.
After assuming leadership of the AAEP’s student farriery program in 2002, O’Grady developed a model for delivering farriery training to veterinary students throughout North America and the Caribbean that continues today. In addition, he has published 33 peer-reviewed papers in veterinary literature and numerous papers in farrier literature, written 18 book chapters and edited two editions of Equine Veterinary Clinics of North America on equine podiatry and therapeutic farriery.
“I know of no other colleague who has mentored and trained veterinary students and equine practitioners in basic and therapeutic farriery, both domestically and internationally, nearly to the extent and with the competence and dedication of Dr. O’Grady,” said co-nominator Dr. Harry Werner. "He teaches without any element of marketing, self-promotion or advocacy of novel techniques absent any relevant outcome data; thus, he promotes an ethical and evidence-based approach to farriery.”
O’Grady’s accolades include induction into the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame in 2003 as well as receipt of the 2009 AAEP President’s Award and the 2019 Gold Medal from the South African Veterinary Association.
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.