Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Last Set: Bob Agne, DVM, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Podiatry Veterinarian, Killed

Dr. Robert Agne veterinarian at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Saratoga

If you live in New England and turned on the news today, you heard about a cyclist killed by a car on a Vermont road yesterday. You might not pay much attention, it's one of so many accidents that happened over Labor Day weekend.

But that one news story was different. The victim was Bob Agne, DVM, an equine podiatry veterinarian at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's new satellite hospital in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Dr Bob Agne Saratoga Rood and Riddle equine podiatry
Rood and Riddle equine podiatry veterinarian Bob Agne, DVM was killed on Monday, September 7 in Vermont

Bob was cycling on a Vermont highway on Labor Day afternoon when a motorist driving in the opposite direction fell asleep and lost control at the wheel, according to news reports, which added that Bob was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Bob loved his work with horses and was dedicated to improving care for horses with hoof problems, especially with respect to laminitis prevention and treatment.

Rood and Riddle's Scott Morrison, DVM, shared his thoughts on the loss of his colleague and friend on Tuesday:

"On September 7, 2015, the equine community lost a most valuable, skilled and compassionate equine podiatry veterinarian. Dr Robert Agne was the first podiatry intern at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's podiatry center in 2003 and was then hired on afterwards as a podiatry clinician.

"He was a valued and much-appreciated colleague, who was adored and respected by his clients, colleagues and the Rood and Riddle staff. He cared for many cases with unyielding commitment, patience and integrity. 
"Dr Agne was a dear and true friend to all those who had the privilege to know him."

Dr. Bob Agne graduated from both the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Farrier Program, where he studied under Michael Wildenstein, FWCF (Hons), and the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he received his DVM degree. In 2003, he moved to Lexington, Kentucky and became the first staff member to augment Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's fledgling but growing podiatry clinic's original staff of farrier Manfred Ecker, now retired, and veterinarian Scott Morrison.

Twelve years later, Dr. Agne and his wife, Carrie Crowley Agne, moved to the Saratoga, New York area, where he headed the satellite Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's equine podiatry services. Included in his recent clients was the undefeated three-year-old Thoroughbred filly Lady Eli, who suffered from laminitis following a foot puncture wound this spring at New York's Belmont Park. 

On Thursday, the Daily Racing Form published an unusual article (for that publication). It reported Bob's death from the point of view of his work helping Lady Eli with her laminitis, and included an update on her condition.

The Form interviewed Lady Eli's trainer, Chad Brown, about his relationship with Bob, who would drive all the way from Saratoga down to Long Island's Belmont Park for the filly. This is what Brown said:
“For him to drop what he’s doing and come down and try to first save this filly and then continue to check on her and be available whenever you needed him to come down, I can just tell for a guy like him it was never about the accolades or the money, it was about trying to help this horse,” Brown said. “For the short time I knew him, it seemed like that’s what he was all about, the horse.”

Dr. Agne spoke at many conferences and his writing on laminitis and foot infections was published in journals and books in the United States and Japan. He was especially devoted to following laminitis innovations and research and in 2014 was a founder of the Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group.

The wonderful poem, "The Hoofs of the Horses", is posted here in Bob's memory.

I often share the poem "The Hoofs of the Horses" at times like this. I think horseman/poet Will Ogilvie wrote these words long ago because he knew we'd need something like it for a new generation of people who are stirred by hoofs. Bob Agne is quietly, and with his characteristically understated dignity, at the head of that line. If you can ever get your hands on a book of Will Ogilvie's poems, do it. And don't ever let it go. The same goes for knowing people like Bob Agne.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing 2015.  
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