The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) has awarded equine veterinarian and farrier Stephen O’Grady with its 2019 Gold Medal for outstanding scientific achievement of veterinary science.

O’Grady, a graduate of the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, has predominately worked in the United States for most of his career. However, the Keswick, Va., equine practitioner has worked extensively around the world to assist, consult and train equine hoof-care professionals.

“He has specifically made it his goal to make a difference in lesser developed countries where he generously gives his time free of charge in order to give something back to the community,” according to SAVA. “What makes Dr. O’Grady’s contribution to veterinary science outstanding is how he brought together theory and practice by tirelessly working first to educate himself through observations and practice, and then publishing his practical findings and sharing the new-found knowledge and skills widely.”

O’Grady has published 36 scientific articles and contributed 14 book chapters over the course of his career. He was inducted into the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame in 2003.

“He challenged the traditional approach to farrier trimming and shoeing by applying a scientific base to his work and thus succeeded in transforming the way in which farriery is currently understood and practiced,” according to SAVA. “With the development of other new disciplines in veterinary science such as veterinary physiotherapy, Stephen’s approach to hoof care, which is based on functional anatomy and physiology, has enhanced the ability of veterinarians and other veterinary para-professionals to collaborate in improving quality of life for equines.”