Three veterinarians, Dr. Lawrence R. Bramlage, Dr. Edward H. Fallon and Dr. A. Gary Lavin, have been selected by the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Club of America as Honored Guests, Club president Happy Broadbent announced. All three will be honored by the Club at its 83rd Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on Sunday evening, Sept. 28.
“These distinguished honorees are legends in equine veterinary medicine,” said Broadbent. “Through their respective accomplishments as a surgeon, reproductive specialist, and racetrack veterinarian, these three pioneers have all improved the welfare of the Thoroughbred. Particularly in a year when the world has focused on how Thoroughbreds are treated, we look forward to honoring these three remarkable men and telling the story of the best in veterinary care.”
Bramlage has distinguished himself as a teacher, researcher and leader within his profession, but he is best known as an orthopedic surgeon. He is the most highly sought veterinarian for countless owners and trainers whenever orthopedic problems need diagnosis or surgery.
Among his best-known cases was repairing Personal Ensign’s fracture, which had appeared to be career-ending. After surgery, Personal Ensign returned to continue her unbeaten career, culminating in a dramatic victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
A native of Kansas, Bramlage graduated from Kansas State University and taught at The Ohio State University before moving to Lexington in 1989 to join Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, where he became a partner in 1992.
Fallon represents the fourth generation of a family of veterinarians whose connection to Kentucky dates from 1875. That year, a Scottish-educated veterinarian named Edward Thomas Hagyard was called to Kentucky to consult on a valuable Shorthorn bull. An equine practice grew from that visit.
Third-generation Charles Edward Hagyard was joined in the practice in 1940 by Arthur Davidson and William McGee, which completed the team that for decades was known as Hagyard-Davidson-McGee (now Hagyard Equine Medical Institute).
Fallon is the son of Dr. Charles Hagyard’s sister. He graduated from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1956, and his son, Luke Hagyard Fallon, a fifth generation equine veterinarian, graduated from Cornell in 1996.
In taking his turn of stewardship of the revered old firm, Fallon was instrumental in bringing about an era of increased efficiency in broodmare management. He utilized and promoted such scientific developments as ovarian palpation to determine pregnancy in mares and use of artificial lighting to stimulate estrous cycles.
Lavin is the son of well-known racing secretary Allan Lavin and grew up in the sport. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary college in 1962 and for many years was a practitioner and surgeon on the race track. The many honors he received reflect the quality of care he gave to clients and their horses. They include his alma mater’s Bellwether Medal for Distinguished Leadership, status as a Distinguished Life Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and designation as a Distinguished Practitioner of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners.
Further indication of the respect he has earned within his profession was the AAEP’s establishment of the Lavin Cup for Equine Welfare in 1996.
Lavin has given his time and leadership to many roles, having been president of the AAEP and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, as well as steward of The Jockey Club, trustee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, The Breeders’ Cup, and presently as director of Keeneland and as vice chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
Lavin and his family operate Longfield Farm in Goshen, Kentucky. Lavin’s wife, Betsy, serves on the Kentucky Racing Commission, and their sons are involved in bloodstock agency and equine insurance.
For over 83 years, The Thoroughbred Club of America Annual Testimonial Dinner has honored persons who have rendered distinguished service to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. To learn more about The Thoroughbred Club of America, visit us online at www.thoroughbredclub.com. For tickets to the September 28th Testimonial Dinner, please contact Betty Flynn at 859-254‐4282.