Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meet NEAEP. Now Ask: Who's an Equine Practitioner? New Org's Broader Definition Includes Vets and Farriers; Meeting Discount for Hoofcare Subscribers

by Fran Jurga | 19 April 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

NEAEP President Christopher ("Kit") Miller DVM and NEAEP Board Member David Farley work together in the barn aisle and in the board room. (NEAEP photo)

And now for something completely different...

A new organization unleashed a flurry of email promotions on the east coast of the USA this winter, and they're not done yet. The message is that a new organization, the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners (NEAEP), plans to expand what (and who) an equine practitioner organization is by inviting veterinarians, technicians and farriers to become members of the new umbrella professional group.

And they would recommend that everyone's first step--whether members or prospective members--be to plan to attend an equally ambitious dual-program conference planned for the fall at the Foxwoods Casino Resort in Connecticut.

According to its web site, the mission of the NEAEP is "to improve the health and welfare of horses by providing state-of-the-art professional education and to support the economic security of the equine industry by complementing local associations thereby giving equine veterinarians, farriers, technicians, veterinary students and horse owners a unified voice at the state and regional levels."

Two farriers--Patrick Reilly of Pennsylvania and David Farley of Florida--are on the new association's Board of Directors.

Reilly said, "It is fantastic to have these two professions working together in these areas. While this was intended as a regional association, we have had interest in membership from farriers all over the United States, and from as far as Ireland. I am encouraged to see that other farriers are equally excited at this unique opportunity for our professions to work and learn together."

I caught up with Dave Farley recently to ask him about the organization from the working farrier's point of view. Dave is a longtime advocate of continuing education for farriers; he runs a show horse shoeing business with his son, both in Florida and in Ohio, and keeps up a busy clinic schedule working in product development and especially product education for Farrier Product Distribution.

"This is a commitment, it's not an experiment," Dave stressed. "And the wider membership extends to vet students and technicians. The NEAEP is committing to hosting a foot conference each year, which will benefit any farrier. It's really exciting, and a very open group. The veterinarians are willing to learn from us (farriers).

"One of the biggest accolades in the farrier industry is this, to be accepted on an equal level," he continued. "And here it is. I work with vets all the time, but I know a lot of farriers who don't, and this organization will help them."

Perusing the list of directors and officers of the organization shows that this group is rooted in the east coast circuit of show horses and sport horses, with several noted veterinary practitioners making a commitment to the startup, including Dr Mark Baus of Fairfield Equine Associates and Dr Stephen Soule of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. President Miller practices outside New York City.

The academic side of equine practice is not forgotten; Dr Jose Garcia-Lopez of Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is currently President-Elect, and Reilly, the farrier quoted earlier, is on staff at the University of Pennsylvania and is on the board with Farley. You may recognize other disciplines and individuals on the long list of officials.

Hoofcare and Lameness has made a commitment in this venture as well. We will support the first conference and look forward to seeing many of our Hoof Blog readers and Journal subscribers there.

CONFERENCE DISCOUNT: The NEAEP has generously offered a $75 conference registration discount to Hoofcare and Lameness subscribers. This is like getting your subscription for free...with money left over! The catch is that you must pre-register by August 15th and, since the online registration is automated, you would need to register by phone to receive the discount. The normal registration for the three-day event is $465; the Hoofcare and Lameness rate will be just $390 for telephone registrations by August 15th.

By the time August rolls around, you will have forgotten this announcement, lost it, be away on vacation or be too busy to call. But you can get your registration done now, guarantee a hotel room, and plan to have a quality educational experience.

See you there!

Here are the links you will need to learn more:
NEAEP officials and staff
Vet program
Podiatry program
NEAEP membership information

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