Scientists honored with equine research Hall of Fame induction



A trio of renowned equine scientists are being recognised for their work with induction into the University of Kentucky’s Equine Research Hall of Fame later this year by the Gluck Equine Research Foundation.

Norm Ducharme, Sue Dyson and Susan Stover were nominated by their peers and colleagues, and selected by past hall of fame inductees for their contributions to equine science and research.

David Horohov, chair of the Department of Veterinary Science, director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and Jes E. and Clementine M. Schlaikjer Endowed Chair said he was pleased that the research of this year’s nominees this year focused on athletic performance.

“Each has made important contributions to equine health and well-being in this area. Their efforts have greatly contributed to our increased awareness and sensitivity to the health and safety needs of these athletes,” he said.

Norm Ducharme

Norm Ducharme

James Law Professor of Surgery and staff surgeon at Cornell University Hospital for Animals and Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists.

Norm Ducharme has focused much of his clinical and research effort on understanding the equine upper airway physiology during exercise. The focus of his studies has been on methods of identifying and quantifying dynamic upper airway obstructions, defining the anatomical structures and their function and developing surgical and other methods of treatment for upper airway diseases in the horse.

He graduated from veterinary college at the University of Montreal in 1979 and completed his internship and residency at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He received his master’s degree from the University of Guelph and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1985. Ducharme served as president and chair of the board of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons from 2005-2007.

“I feel so honored by this nomination to the the UK Equine Research Hall of Fame. I consider this a team award. I have been so fortunate to have had great mentors to guide me, outstanding national and international colleagues to collaborate, support and challenge me, exceptional enthusiasm from technicians, graduate students and residents, who all have contributed good ideas toward improving diagnosis and treatment of the upper airway of horses,” he said.

“I also was driven by the horses, which seemingly are always saying, ‘You got to do better! And, how hard can this really be?’ I have been fortunate to be able to listen to the many trainers and referring veterinarians’ views on the problems. I am also very privileged for support from the many equine research foundations which have supported our investigations, namely the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, the Southern California Equine Foundation and, for most of my career, the Harry M. Zweig Memorial Fund for Equine Research.”

Sue Dyson

Sue Dyson

Head of Clinical Orthopedics in Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies, Britain.

Sue Dyson is a world-renowned expert in equine orthopedics, with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses. With a strong background as a rider, Dyson has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of performance problems in horses of all disciplines. Dyson has also made additional observations about how horses adapt their gaits in the face of lameness under a variety of circumstances and how the rider and tack can be influential. She has recognized the importance and limitations of diagnostic analgesia for localization of pain causing lameness. She has also validated the usefulness and limitations of ultrasonography, scintigraphy and MRI for routine diagnostic use.

Dyson graduated from Cambridge University in 1980 with a bachelor of veterinary medicine degree in medicine and surgery and completed post graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. She returned to Britain in 1982 where she began working at Animal Health Trust.

“As a lameness clinician, I feel humbled and honoured to have been elected to join an elite band of scientists in the UK Equine Research Hall of Fame. I owe a huge debt of gratitude, not only to the friends and colleagues with whom I’ve had the privilege to work, but of course also to the horses, which provide endless challenges. I have been constantly inspired to try to improve the welfare of these fantastic athletes,” Dyson said.

Susan Stover

Susan Stover

Professor of anatomy, physiology and cell biology at University of California, Davis.

Susan Stover’s research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in performance horses. Her research contributions have had an international impact and have influenced decisions on approaches to training and rehabilitation, horseshoeing, track surface types and preparation, diagnostic approaches and fracture repair techniques for improving racetrack safety for horses and jockeys. Her research on comparative orthopedics covers many areas with a primary focus on bone development and remodeling, the response of bone tissue to exercise and the pathogenesis of fractures and ligament injury.

Stover graduated from Washington State University in 1976 with a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine and completed an internship and residency in equine surgery at UC Davis. After working in private practice in Washington, she returned to UC Davis, where she provides equine lameness and surgical care. Stover obtained a doctoral degree in comparative pathology from UC Davis and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

“I have been privileged to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of talented students, residents and colleagues. Their passion to understand how the musculoskeletal system works has underpinned our 25-year journey to prevent orthopedic injuries and improve the welfare of racing and performance horses. Much remains to be done, and I am grateful to the mentors who encouraged me to push the envelope and to UC Davis, the California Horse Racing Board and the equine industry who trusted us with resources to pursue our goals,” Stover said.

“I am humbled to be recognized, and on behalf of the J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Lab team, I thank the UK Equine Research Hall of Fame for this honor.”

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