Susan StoverAugust has been particularly rewarding for University of California, Davis (UC Davis) veterinarian Susan Stover.

First, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) honored her with its Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. Two days later, Stover was selected for induction into the University of Kentucky Equine Research Hall of Fame.

“The Equine Research Hall of Fame … recognizes scientists who have distinguished themselves in the field of equine research,” according to the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Foundation. “The Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals who have dedicated their careers to expanding the body of knowledge of equine science through their contributions to basic or applied research. The award provides a lasting tribute to renowned scientists from around the world and serves as an international forum for honoring top achievements in equine health research.”

Stover will be inducted during a ceremony on Oct. 25 in Lexington, Ky.

The AVMA presented Stover with its 2016 Lifetime Excellence in Research Award at the 2016 Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium. Stover’s applied and clinical research focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries.

“Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Stover has played a pivotal role in improving our understanding of performance-related injuries in racing horses,” says veterinarian Joe Kinnarney, who is president of AVMA. “She is an accomplished researcher whose work has been recognized across the globe and has had far-reaching effects across the veterinary profession.”

Stover’s research has substantially improved horse welfare, the AVMA says, as evidenced by the industry-wide adoption of evidence-based recommendations to enhance racetrack surfaces, augmented training methods, and refined surgical treatments.

“Dr. Stover’s work spotlighting how fatal injuries develop in racing horses has led to changes in veterinary practice, to the racing industry in general and, ultimately, to new and sustained improvements in the welfare of performance horses,” says veterinarian Roberto Alva, who is executive director of the Merial Veterinary Scholars Program and head of Clinical R&D, Americas East. “Her dedication and commitment to this important research area make her an ideal recipient of this award."

Stover is a professor of veterinary anatomy and director of the UC Davis J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory. Her primary research focus is the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and biomechanics of repetitive overuse injuries in equine athletes. Her second research focus is silicate-associated osteoporosis in horses, a disease that involves both the lung and bone organ systems. Stover received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Washington State University, Pullman, and her doctor of philosophy degree in comparative pathology from UC Davis. She became the ninth recipient and first female surgeon to be recognized by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Founders Award for Career Achievement.