2014 AAEP President, Vice President Installed

Racetrack practitioner Jeff Blea, DVM, a partner in VonBluecher, Blea, Hunkin Inc., Equine Medicine and Surgery, in Sierra Madre, Calif., was installed as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) during the Dec. 10 President’s Luncheon at the association’s 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Blea possesses significant expertise in ethical and policy issues affecting racetrack veterinarians and is a strong advocate for improving the racing model for both the horse and the practitioner through adoption of uniform rules among racing jurisdictions.

At the age of 8, Blea moved with his family from Santa Fe, N.M., to New Orleans, La., where his father trained Thoroughbred racehorses. In high school, Blea began exercising horses in the mornings before taking out his jockey’s license during his senior year, winning his first race aboard Miss Ethel at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 13, 1983. However, a morning training accident five months later at Jefferson Downs abruptly ended Blea’s riding career.

Blea enrolled at Colorado State University, where he obtained his bachelor’s in 1989 and his DVM in 1993. After graduation, he was hired as an associate with Robert Story Equine in New Mexico where he cared for racing Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs. The following year, Helmuth VonBluecher, DVM, brought Blea into his Southern California racetrack practice, where Blea became a partner in 1998. The five-veterinarian practice serves Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Pomona racetracks. Blea concentrates his practice on musculoskeletal issues and lameness diagnostics.

Blea serves on the AAEP’s Finance and Audit Committee and as chair of the On Call Task Force. He previously served on the board of directors from 2003-05 and on the Equine Welfare, Membership, Nominating, Professional Conduct and Ethics, Public Policy, Racing, and Student Relations committees. In addition, Blea serves on the University of California, Davis Intramural Grant Research Committee and on the boards of the Southern California Equine Foundation, Dolly Green Research Foundation and California Retirement Management Account.

Outside of practice, Blea enjoys spending time with his wife, Annie, who also is a veterinarian, and their daughters Faith and Abby. The family cherishes trips to Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Blea is able to enjoy his hobbies of fly fishing and western art.

Also installed during the President's Luncheon was Kathleen Anderson, DVM, owner of Equine Veterinary Care PC in Elkton, Md., who will serve as the organization's vice president in its 2014.

A native of British Columbia, Anderson grew up actively involved with horses as an eventing competitor, international competition groom, barn manager, and racetrack exercise rider prior to obtaining her DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (University of Saskatchewan) in 1986.

Following graduation, she entered private practice in South Hamilton, Mass., under United States Equestrian Team veterinarian A. Martin Simensen, DVM. For the past 20 years she has owned Equine Veterinary Care, a racing and performance practice located at the Fair Hill Training Center, in Maryland, and offering ambulatory and outpatient services.

Anderson serves as vice chair of the AAEP’s Racing Committee and as a member of the Leadership Development Committee and Foundation Advisory Council. She has volunteered as an AAEP On Call representative since 1997 and previously served on the board of directors from 2006-09 and on the Ethics and Membership Development committees.

In addition, she is a member of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee and has presented at the AAEP Annual Convention on issues of practice management and care of race and performance horses.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More