TAMU Equine Initiative Receives $2.5 Million Grant

The Burnett Foundation recently awarded a $2.5 million challenge grant to the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Foundation for the Equine Initiative in honor of Glenn Blodgett, DVM, leader in equine veterinary medicine and a 2011 TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Distinguished Alumnus, establishing the Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair.

This cornerstone gift will help support the Equine Initiative, a collaboration between the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Science Department of Animal Science at TAMU to establish one of the premiere equine programs in the nation. The Equine Initiative will utilize TAMU's expertise to build an equine program that will graduate the industry leaders and generate research and veterinary medical care that will improve the equine industry and horse welfare. The Equine Initiative is built on four major imperatives including; curriculum enhancement, outreach and engagement expansion, facility construction, and partnership development.

A 1974 graduate of the CVM, Blodgett has worked as a large animal veterinarian for more than 35 years. Throughout his veterinary career, he has contributed to the horse industry in many areas, particularly in equine embryo transfer and artificial insemination. Since 1982 Blodgett has been the resident veterinarian and horse division manager for Burnett Ranches, LLC (6666 Ranch) in Guthrie, Texas. Under his leadership, the ranch has consistently produced and developed some of the most highly recognized racing and western performance Quarter Horses worldwide, earning the ranch numerous awards and distinctions from the American Quarter Horse Association.

"I am truly honored and thankful to be recognized with a chair that bears my name and to help support such a distinguished program," said Blodgett. "The Burnett family has a rich heritage in the equine industry and this recent award to the Equine Initiative is another reminder of what the Burnett Foundation has done for the welfare of the horse. I wish nothing but the best for my alma mater, and I know that Texas A&M has the knowledge and tools to house a premiere horse facility. This grant will help to initiate and fulfill the hopes of the equine industry, particularly at Texas A&M."

"Both Dr. Glenn Blodgett and the Burnetts are icons in Texas," said Eleanor M. Green, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ABVP, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "How special it is for the Burnett Foundation to honor Dr. Blodgett in this meaningful way. The Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair will contribute significantly to lasting excellence of the Equine Initiative at Texas A&M in the No. 1 equine state in the nation. Students for years to come will know of Dr. Blodgett as a role model for equine veterinarians and as a quintessential horseman, as they will know the generosity of the Burnetts."

"This is a challenge gift, meaning the Burnett Foundation has challenged us to raise an additional $2.5 million for the Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair," explained Jim Heird, PhD, executive professor and coordinator for the Equine Initiative. "We are thrilled to have a cornerstone gift honoring such a deserving friend of the program to kick off our fundraising efforts."

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