Here are some of the first appearances by well-know equine veterinarians in the pages of this magazine.

In the July/August, 2010 issue of American Farriers Journal, and again in November, we looked at some of the “first-time” appearances of some of the best farriers in the pages of the magazine. Of course, AFJ pages have also featured stories by and about some of the great equine veterinarians who have made major contributions to hoof care. Here, as an online extra, is a look at some of those veterinarian debuts.

We’re starting out with 25, and will dig further into our archives over the coming months, and add names to this list.

1. The late James R. Rooney seems to have been the first veterinarian to contribute to American Farriers Journal. Rooney wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in March 1976, in just the fifth issue of the magazine. He offered advice on dealing with contracted hooves and the mechanics of hoof contraction. He went on to make many more contributions over the following decades and was an early member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame. He passed away in 2008.

2. David R. Heinze, DVM, authored an analysis of navicular disease in the June, 1978 issue of American Farriers Journal.  He stressed the importance of understanding the anatomy physiology and pathology of the navicular area and added, “One must be able to explain why a certain regimen of therapy, corrective trimming and s hoeing or surgery will work, or perhaps more importantly in this disease, why it may not.”

Dr. William Moyer

3. William Moyer was first featured in August 1982, in excerpted comments from his AAEP address on racehorse shoeing. Moyer didn’t pull any punches, noting that racehorses provide some of the best examples of what shoeing does or doesn’t do for a horse. Racehorses, he said, show a change in shoeing quickly. He called for better design of racing plates and argued that most racehorses should be shod in handmade shoes. He said new ideas on shoeing these horses were needed because current practices weren’t enough for the newer generation of weak-footed horses. Moyer was on the staff at the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He has since gone on to Texas A&M.

4. Olin Balch-Burnett, teamed up with fellow Washington State University veterinarians Sarah Metcalf and Pamela Wagner in an article for the January/February, 1983 issue. The trio tackled the topic of tendon disorders in young horses, noting the importance of having the services of a skilled farrier to make the specialized shoes required for treatment and because shoeing young horses presents particular problems. Balch-Burnett also authored a separate story on the results of a survey of veterinary schools and what they teach about horseshoeing.

5. Jack Roth, the man of many hats (he’s known as a veterinarian, farrier, farrier educator, as well as horseshoeing toolmaker and marketer), made his first contribution to AFJ in the June, 1983 issue. Roth wrote about why he believed in attending AFA conventions. Roth, of Purcell, Okla., said attending gave him a chance to talk with other farrier educators, increase his own knowledge, thereby increasing his value to his students, and was a great opportunity to network with others in hoof care. Roth has since been elected to the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame.

6. Dallas Goble, a future member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, was interviewed in the July/August, 1983, issue regarding his work as consulting veterinarian for the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. When asked if draft horses were more susceptible to lameness problems than smaller horses, he offered the opinion that most lameness problems are “related to use of that individual, body condition, conformation, etc.” He said these factors are more of a concern than the particular breed.  Goble, of the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine, stressed the need to tailor hoof care to the needs of the individual horse, rather than looking for generalities of a breed. 

7. J.G. Merriam, then working in North Smithfield, R.I., wrote a letter to AFJ in the July/August, 1983 issue on the subject of toe grabs on racing shoes. Merriam offered the opinion that “The steel toe grab is the single most destructive force the young racehorse encounters. It jars the foot as it lands, misdirects all the natural lines of forces as the foot rotates, and causes sever overextension of all the joints on the limb.” Merriam, who was later elected to the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, called for experimentation with other types of racing plates, particularly for use with young horses, noting his own successes in using tip shoes and new synthetics. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “it sometimes takes an act of Congress to convince a trainer t o use these shoes, or a farrier to apply them.” 

8. Matthew MacKay-Smith contributed a story entitled, “The Burden: Lame Horses,” in the September/October, 1983 issue. MacKay-Smith called for veterinarians to take a proactive role to prevent what he saw as an epidemic of lameness in racehorses. “Too often, in our profession,” he wrote, “we are called on as firemen to stop destruction that is already well under way. He cited a need for new research into the causes of lameness as well as its prevention.

Dr. Ric Redden

9. The July August, 1984 issue included a story on laminitis treatments being explored by Ric Redden — obviously far from the last time that the future member of the International Veterinarians Hall Of Fame would address that topic in the pages of this magazine. Redden was already working at identifying different types and causes of laminitis, as well as developing various treatments for horses afflicted with it.

10. The May/June, 1985 issue featured Jim Becht, then the chairman of the Farrier Liaison Committee of American Association of Equine Practitioners. Becht, who had attended a 12-week farrier school prior to attending vet school, spoke at the American Farriers Association convention that year and called on farriers and veterinarians to work together for the benefit of horses and horse owners as well as both professions.  He gave a brief history of the AAEP, as well as of the committee that he chaired. At that time, he was professor of surgery at the Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Stephen O'Grady

11. Stephen O’Grady, a future member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, authored the first of many articles for AFJ in the December 1985, issue. Working with Hall Of Fame farrier Eddie Watson, who has since passed away, O’Grady tackled the topic of therapy for hoof cracks, emphasizing the importance of first identifying and addressing the underlying cause of a hoof crack. O’Grady said he and Watson generally used a wide-webbed shoe with side clips for toe cracks, and a full bar shoe with clips on either side of a quarter crack. He said they also sutured some cracks and had success using heart bar shoes on flat-footed horses with dropped soles.

12. The May/June, 1986 issue marked the first appearance of a “Vet’s Corner” article in AFJ, a feature that continues to be used today. The first veterinarian to write and article that appeared under that title was Michael A. Collier, then at the Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Cornell University. Collier wrote on angular limb deformities in foals, noting that one of the biggest challenges is identifying the problem early, which will greatly improve the chances of correcting the problem. He said vets and farriers should ideally see such horses before they are 2 weeks old. “The chance of a total return to normal axial alignment decreases literally daily as time passes at this early stage in the horse’s life.

13. David G. Jolly authored a “Vet’s Corner” article in the July/August, 1986 issue. Jolly, an Arkansas veterinarian wrote on the need for farriers and veterinarians to work together. He made the interesting point that, too often, members of the professions put the horse owner in an awkward position, asking him or her to relay messages back and forth between a vet and farrier. He also stressed that farriers and veterinarians need to better understand the economic pressures they work under, particularly when dealing with high-end horses, as well as liability issues.

14. In the same issue, Murray Loring, a veterinarian from Virginia, further discussed those same legal aspects. Loring suggested that before farriers or veterinarians agreed to have an owner hold a horse during shoeing work, they should be sure the owner was competent to do the job and understood the risk of being injured. Loring went so far as to suggest asking the owner to sign a General Release form, and provided a sample copy.

15. Veterinarian Thomas E. Goetz teamed up with farrier Charles M. Comstock on the topic of adjustable heart bar shoes in the September/October, 1986 issue. Goetz, then an assistant professor with the Department of Veterinary Clinic Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, described a heart bar shoe in which the heart bar insert was mounted on a hinge across the heels, and was attached with Allen screws to a bar running across the center of the shoe. The Allen screws provided the adjusting mechanism to the heart bar shoe. Goetz said the adjustable heart bar was beneficial in certain situations because it could be adjusted, rather than reset and the adjustment could be fine-tuned without the need of removing the shoe from a laminitic foot.

16. Teamwork has been a common factor in many of the AFJ articles by and featuring veterinarians over the years. A January/February, 1988 article described a case study in which Roger Bruce, a veterinarian and future International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member Michael DeLeonardo designed a cradling brace to protect and support a severed flexor tendon on a horse in California. Bruce called DeLeonardo in as soon as he saw the horse and the two worked together to engineer the device that had to meet very complex goals, including keeping the horse from putting too much strain on the repaired tendon, but also keeping it from standing so much on its toe that tendon would contract.

17. The use of mushroom shoes for deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) disorders in young horses was the topic of a “Vet’s Corner” article in the March/April, 1998 issue, that was jointly authored by veterinarians Wayne Schmotzer and Pamela C. Wagner, and farrier Larry Bewley. Schmotzer at that time was at Oregon State University, while Wagner was at Tufts University. Bewley was instructor of farrier science at Linn-Benton Community College in Corvallis, Ore. They noted that the normal treatment for contracted DDFTs in young horses is to stretch the tendon by lowering the angles by trimming the heels or raising the toe.  The mushroom shoe they described enabled them to raise the toe when the heels could not be trimmed enough to correct the problem. The shoe was designed and fitted to allow the heels to be lowered or rasped away every 30 days. This, combined with resetting the shoe as needed, allowed the angles to be controlled until the problem was corrected.

18. Karl Gubert, a farrier and veterinarian from Great Lakes Equine Podiatry Center in Metamora, Mich., took over “Vet’s Corner” in the January/February. 1989 issue. As a regular contributor over the next few years, Gubert addressed many hoof-care topics, as well as responding to questions from readers. His first article was on laminitis treatment and he looked at mechanical support and management of the disease, as well as prevention.

19. George W. Platt, who with the now deceased Hall Of Fame farrier Burney Chapman, helped reintroduce the heart bar shoe for the treatment of laminitis, warned against a herd mentality in the December 1991 issue of AFJ.  In a message he continues to repeat to this day, Platt suggested that giving pain-relieving drugs to laminitic horses might cause more problems than it cures. Platt maintains that horses on pain medication will try to walk, causing further damage and tearing of the lamina. He still prefers to have these horses shod with a properly fitted heart bar shoe and wants the horse to lie down. Platt is a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame and now lives in Colorado. 

20. Carole C. Ludwig, a Georgia veterinarian as well as a competitive dressage rider, addressed preventative shoeing for sport horses in the March/April, 1991 issue. Ludwig noted the epidemic in career-shortening lamenesses in these horses and called for a shift in focus from using drugs and corrective shoeing to correct problems to preventing them. She said her experience indicated that shoeing and trimming to prevent long-toe, low-heel situations, hasten breakover, greater hoof angles and to better absorb shock would all be helpful.

Dr. Tracy Turner

21. Future International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Famer Tracy Turner made his first appearance in the December, 1992 issue of AFJ. Speaking at the AAEP convention that year, Turner suggested using seven hoof-wall measurements to graphically display the hoof, which he said would make it much easier to see medial-lateral imbalance. Turner suggested these measurements be made at toe, medially and laterally at the cranial edge of the collateral cartilage, medially and laterally at the quarter, and medial and lateral at the heel.

Dr. Glenn Anderson

22. At the same AAEP convention — and in the same issue — Glenn Anderson, a veterinarian from Broken Arrow, Okla., suggested that diagonal imbalance could be the hidden cause of much lameness in sport horses. He said farriers and veterinarians tend to focus on medial-lateral imbalance, but explained that these horses tend to land on the lateral toe quarter and then overload the medial quarter. He credited Hall Of Fame farrier Grant Moon with making him aware of the problem.

23. Andrew Parks, veterinarian at the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine, made his inaugural contribution to AFJ in the January/February, 1994 issue. Parks, who was later inducted into the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, described how infection occurs in the hoof, as well as treatments. He emphasized that while infections, particular deep infections should be treated by veterinarians, farriers are often the first ones to examine a horse. He said that is why it is so important for farriers to know the subtle signs that may indicate the difference between a subsolar abscess and more serious infections.

Dr. Al Kane

24. Albert Kane, then a veterinarian at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, wrote an article on the link between toe grabs and catastrophic racehorse injuries for the March/April, 1996 issue. Kane — reporting on the results of a study — said the results indicated that high toe grabs are associated with a substantial increase in the odds of fatal musculoskeletal injury. Kane, another member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame, currently writes the “Research Journal” column for AFJ.  (The scientific paper on the toe-grab study was co-authored with Susan M. Stover, DVM, PHD; Ian A. Gardner, BVSc, MPVm, PhD; Bill J. Johnson, DVM; James T. Case, DVM, PhD; Deryck H. Read, BVSc, PhD; and Alex A. Ardanas, DVM, M.S.)

25. J. Frank Gravlee, the veterinarian who developed Farrier’s Formula hoof-care supplement, offered advice on how farriers could help clients judge the freshness and quality of feed, hay and supplements in the March/April, 1998 issue. Gravlee stresses freshness, potency, proper storing and handling, as well as other factors. Later the same year, Gravlee was named to the International Equine Veterinarians Hall Of Fame. He continues as chairman of Life Data Labs.