International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame member Carlos Rodriguez passed away on Nov. 15, 2023, in Venezuela.
Rodriguez’s death was announced on his Facebook page on Nov. 16, 2023.
A knowledgeable equine veterinarian and first-class farrier, Rodriguez promoted continuing learning opportunities. Even though education in the farrier industry is expensive in Venezuela, Rodriguez formed an American Farrier’s Association chapter in 1996 at his own expense to help farriers gain extra knowledge and experience.
A practicing equine veterinarian with a master’s degree in equine reproduction who did considerable equine embryo work, Rodriguez also had several farriers on his staff. They specialized in working on footcare concerns with Paso Fino horses, jumpers, dressage horses and horses used in bull-tailing, a popular rodeo-type sport in Venezuela.
“Actually, I got involved in the equine field through participating in bull-tailing and ended up going to the university to study veterinary medicine,” Rodriguez said. “A friend had a foundered horse and that problem got me interested in learning more about laminitis. Earlier, I wanted to go to Oklahoma for horseshoeing school, but decided instead to become an equine veterinarian.”
He attended Bud Beaston’s Oklahoma Farrier’s College in the late 1980s and shod horses with Chris Bailey in Okeechobee, Fla. He was frequently asked to train and teach veterinary students who have finished school.
“Not only does he give them the experience needed for veterinarian work, but he also trains them in farrier work and helps them find ways of sharing ideas to make their skills even more useful to their profession,” Colorado farrier Gene Ovnicek said in nominating Rodriguez to the Hall of Fame. “Rodriguez employs five farriers to provide valuable apprentice opportunities. Along with vet students, these farriers gain extensive experience, including shoemaking and well-rounded practical farrier knowledge.”
Rodriguez frequently visited the United States for meetings and symposiums to keep abreast of the newest informative topics and lectures. He returned to Venezuela with newfound knowledge to pass along to farriers and students. Each year, he also ran a foot-related educational conference in Venezuela that included about 130 attending veterinarians, farriers, trainers and horse owners.
Rodriguez was inducted into the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame in 1999.