Three renowned equine veterinarians are being honored by the Thoroughbred Club of America in September.
The trio, 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, and will be honored by the club at its 83rd Testimonial Dinner at Keeneland Race Course on September 28.
“These distinguished honorees are legends in equine veterinary medicine,” said club president Happy Broadbent. “Through their respective accomplishments as a surgeon, reproductive specialist, and racetrack veterinarian, these three pioneers have all improved the welfare of the Thoroughbred. articularly 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.”
Dr Larry Bramlage has distinguished himself as a teacher, researcher, and leader within his profession but 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.
Dr Ed Fallon represents the fourth generation of a family of veterinarians whose connection to Kentucky dates from 1875, when 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 used and promoted such scientific developments as ovarian palpation to determine pregnancy in mares and use of artificial lighting to stimulate estrous cycles.
Dr Gary 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 racetrack. 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.