Virginia Sport Horse Vet Installed as 2017 AAEP President

R. Reynolds Cowles Jr., DVM, founder and past president of Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in Earlysville, Virginia, was installed as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) during the Dec. 6 President’s Luncheon at the 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Raised on a dairy farm in Statesville, North Carolina, Cowles received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967. Following graduation, he accepted a position at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he later became a partner.

After 11 years, the practice split three ways, and Cowles established Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in 1979. The full-service clinic serves central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The practice consisted of as many as 12 veterinarians, including Paul Stephens, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, who became a partner in 1995. The pair sold their ownership in 2016, although Cowles remains involved with the clinic, where the bulk of his practice focuses on lameness in racehorses and performance horses.

Cowles served as AAEP treasurer from 2006-2008; on the board of directors from 2000-2002; as chair of the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee; and as a member of numerous other committees, including Educational Programs, Finance, Foundation Advisory, Nominating, Political Liaison, Practice Management, and Public Policy.

Cowles is a longtime advocate of the horse industry, particularly in Virginia where he currently serves on the Virginia Racing Commission’s Racing Safety and Medication Committee. He also serves on the National Steeplechase Association board of directors and chairs its Safety Committee. Recipient of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 2009, Cowles is a past president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and served on the Advisory Committee for the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Virginia Tech as well as the Research Advisory Committee for Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

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