Hoof and equine care is an ancient trade, dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. Today, equine hoof care specialists are called farriers. Though the trade has evolved significantly over the centuries, there are still numerous conditions and diseases that require ongoing research.
The George Stubbs Award, presented by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, recognizes contributions made to equine veterinary medicine and research by individuals with no medical background.
Past winners include Sue McDonnell, John Castle and his wife Marianne, and Roy and Gretchen Jackson and Michael Matz, and numerous others. The award itself is named for George Stubbs, an artist and teacher who contributed greatly to veterinary education.
In 2008, the award was presented to John Castle, director of Castle Harlan, and his wife Marianne, at the 54th Annual Convention in San Diego, California. The philanthropists received the award in honor of a $1 million contribution used to establish the Laminitis Institute, an international research facility based at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
The Castle family dealt with the effects of laminitis first-hand when their Appaloosa, Spot, began to suffer from the disease. The couple turned to a team of AAEP members and tested several innovative treatment techniques in an effort to maintain Spot’s quality of life. Their dedication was infectious and the treatment team credits them as a true inspiration.