Virginia Sport Horse Practitioner Installed as 2016 AAEP President

R. Reynolds Cowles, Jr., DVM, founder and past president of Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in Earlysville, Va., was installed as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) during the Dec. 6 President’s Luncheon at the 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Raised on a dairy farm in Statesville, N.C., Dr. Cowles received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967. Following graduation, he accepted a position at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where he later became a partner.

After 11 years, the practice split three ways, and Dr. Cowles established Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in 1979. The full-service clinic serves central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The practice consisted of as many as 12 veterinarians, including Dr. Paul Stephens who became a partner in 1995. Drs. Cowles and Stephens sold their ownership in 2016, although Dr. Cowles remains involved with the clinic, where the bulk of his practice focuses on lameness in race and performance horses.

Dr. Cowles served as treasurer of the AAEP from 2006-2008; on the board of directors from 2000-2002; as chair of the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee; and as a member of numerous other committees, including Educational Programs, Finance, Foundation Advisory, Nominating, Political Liaison, Practice Management and Public Policy.

Dr. Cowles is a longtime advocate of the horse industry, particularly in Virginia where he currently serves on the Virginia Racing Commission’s Racing Safety and Medication Committee. He also serves on the National Steeplechase Association board of directors and chairs the NSA’s Safety Committee. Recipient of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 2009, Dr. Cowles is a past president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and served on the Advisory Committee for the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Virginia Tech as well as the Research Advisory Committee for Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

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.

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