MIAMI BEACH — The American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) On Call program, which provides veterinary expertise to the media at racing and other equine competitive events, received the Thoroughbred racing industry's prestigious Eclipse Special Award.
The award was presented at the 38th annual Eclipse Award ceremony at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel. Awards are sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association.
The On Call program was created in 1991, following accidents and injuries at the previous year's Breeders' Cup races; at the time, television commentators lacked adequate equine medical information to describe injuries and prognoses.
Through AAEP's On Call program, more than 20 veterinarians now assist print and broadcast media at more than 100 televised races, three-day eventing and rodeos annually, or whenever there is a need to address a media inquiry about equine health and safety.
"It is an incredible honor for the On Call program to be recognized for its contributions to racing and its role in increasing the public's knowledge of horse health issues," says David L. Foley, AAEP executive director. "We dedicate this award to the many AAEP members who have volunteered their time and expertise to serve the industry, the media and, most importantly, the horse."
Two of the most visible On Call veterinarians, who provide commentary at the Triple Crown events, are Dr. Larry Bramlage of Lexington's Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, director of Colorado State University's Gail E. Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center.