AAEP Good Works Honoree Serves Therapeutic Riding Center

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) commends Kevin Nelson, DVM, the June honoree of the Good Works for Horses Campaign, for showing extraordinary kindness through his service to Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program.

The AAEP’s Good Works for Horses Campaign honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate veterinarians for this monthly recognition.

Nelson, the co-owner of Bristol Veterinary Service in Union Grove, Wis., provides low-cost veterinary care for eleven therapeutic riding horses at Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program. He’s also a reliable and compassionate friend to the center’s staff and the children that participate in the program. Nelson assists the center in acquiring suitable horses for the program, educates staff and volunteers about equine health care topics, and supports program through fundraisers. Nelson is also involved with the local 4-H program.  

Staff members and riders at Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program praise Nelson for his remarkable dedication to people and horses. During his visits, he patiently answers questions from special needs children, who have come to know him as "Dr. Kevin." According to program director Stephanie Kubarth, Nelson makes his involvement with the center personal as well as professional.

When a young boy who participated in the program was hospitalized for 13 months for cancer treatment, Nelson was a frequent visitor at the hospital. Nelson also gave a permanent home to Goodie, a favorite horse in the program and North American Riding for the Handicapped Association horse of the year, when she was too sick to stay at the center. "Parades" of children from the program stopped by Nelson’s house to visit the treasured Appaloosa and after her death, Nelson built a gravesite under a line of apple trees on his property. He marked the grave with a bronze plaque and fence post.

Throughout 2011, the AAEP’s Good Works for Horses Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. Monthly honorees will be considered for the 2011 Good Works Award, to be presented during the 2011 Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Nomination forms are currently available at www.aaep.org/goodworks.htm

The Good Works Campaign is sponsored in part by AAEP Educational Partner, Pfizer Animal Health. Pfizer Animal Health strives to improve horse health by helping to build strong relationships between veterinarians and horse owners and providing a range of products backed by the highest standards of scientific research.

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