Since its inception in 1994, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation has allocated more than $750,000 to equine research, education, and benevolent programs that have improved the health and welfare of the horse. But the foundation is much more than a funding organization. It's about collaborating with stakeholders to address the real equine health issues we all care about. By uniting all those dedicated to improving horse health and well-being, the foundation is organizing and delivering relevant research, education, and outreach.

The AAEP Foundation fosters the ongoing exchange of information that can make a real difference. Programs include:

  • Pilot/Emergency Research Funding: More than $350,000 has been awarded to equine research since the Foundation's inception.
  • Industry Panels/Summit Sponsor and Host: We are proud to bring the world's horse health leaders together at meetings and forums for veterinarians to learn and collaborate on the latest research and medical innovations. Our most recent accomplishments include the Equine Genome Panel, Laminitis Blue Ribbon Panel, Equine Respiratory Panel, and the Equine Colic Research Symposium and Panel. Future work of the foundation includes sponsorship of the first Equine Research Summit. This summit will bring together the top researchers, funding agencies, and industry representatives to discuss and prioritize research needs for the horse industry.
  • Designed to promote and identify current projects through an online catalog of ongoing research studies, this website aims to decrease unnecessary duplication of research and fosters sharing of information between researchers at universities and organizations such as the AAEP Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, and American Quarter Horse Association Foundation.
  • Veterinary Student Scholarships: Our expanded scholarship program includes funding graduate researchers, internships, AAEP convention stipends, summer scholarships, externships, and more. We continue to partner annually with the American Live Stock Insurance Company to provide eight scholarships to fourth-year veterinary students. This collaboration has awarded over $350,000 in scholarships to date.
  • Horse Owner Education Programs: We send horse owners to the AAEP's Horseman's Day, an all-day event packed with educational seminars geared to help horse owners improve the health and welfare of their horses. We also assist with various horse owner education efforts throughout the year.
  • Veterinary Student Education Programs: Throughout each school year, the AAEP Foundation sends AAEP members to veterinary schools to teach students hands-on techniques in dentistry and emergency preparedness, and we assist in hosting farrier-veterinarian short courses.
  • Providing Equine Emergency and Disaster Relief: In 2005, we created an Equine Disaster Relief Fund, which has raised $100,000 in contributions. We have already allocated $50,000 to help horses through the Louisiana and Mississippi Veterinary Medical Associations in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf region. We also have coordinated supply and feed donations to these regions via our Educational Partners and others within the horse industry.

The AAEP supports the administrative expenses of the foundation, so all donations can be used for programs that help the horse. All horse owners can support the foundation's goal to improve horse health by making a donation. Our Equine Memorial Program remains a simple way to donate to the foundation and send a sympathy note in honor of a beloved equine companion or a friend who has experienced the loss of a horse. General donations and planned giving also are options, not to mention the needs of our Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

For more information about the AAEP Foundation, see, contact Amelia Geran at, or call her at 859-233-0147.

About the Author

Nat White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS

Nat White, DVM, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, is the Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and Director at Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. After receiving a doctor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University in 1971, he completed an internship and residency in surgery at the University of California-Davis from 1971 to 1973, and earned a master of science in pathology at Kansas State University in 1976. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). Dr. White, who has served on the faculties of both Kansas State University and the University of Georgia, joined the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in 1985, and held the position of Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Surgery at Virginia Tech from 1987 to 2003. A world-renowned expert in colic, Dr. White has authored several books on the topic including Equine Acute Abdomen and Handbook of Equine Colic as well as the surgical texts Current Techniques in Equine Surgery and Lameness and Current Practice of Equine Surgery. He has been a director for the ACVS Veterinary Symposium since 1997, and is a past president of the ACVS and of the ACVS Research and Education Foundation. Dr. White is a former director-at-large for the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and is currently AAEP President. Dr. White's research interests include pathophysiology of ischemia-reperfusion, epidemiology of colic, abdominal and orthopedic surgery, and treatment of orthopedic diseases. He is a member of the AAEP, the ACVS and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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