Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Shane Westman Joins the University of California at Davis as Large Animal Clinic Farrier

Shane Westman recently was appointed Large Animal Clinic Farrier at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. (Image courtesy of UC Davis)

Congratulations to the University of California at Davis and to Washington farrier Shane Westman on Shane's official appointment as farrier at the UC Davis Large Animal Clinic. Shane is embarking on a new career path that will see him following in the rather large hoofprints of that university's famous longtime farrier, Mr. Charles Heumphreus and, more recently, another longlasting farrier, Bill Merfy.

Shane's been on the job since August 15, 2016, although the university only announced his hiring this week.

Shane said last night, "(Previous UC Davis farriers) Adam Wynbrandt and Kirk Adkins are still close and happily come by the shop fairly regularly to visit and share their knowledge and wisdom. Just last week Kirk spent a couple hours with me going over the process and tricks of properly applying his "Sneaker" shoes as well as a rundown on PVC braces.

"My career goals to be happy, help horses, learn and share what I have learned," he said. "I try and surround myself with like-minded people."

A staff position at the hospital puts Shane Westman in the proximity of some of the world's leading research on the function of the horse's foot, Thoroughbred racing safety and surface interaction, and imaging of the foot. Professor Sue Stover of the vet school's Department of Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology has earned tremendous respect for her work on the function of the limb, particularly as it relates to racehorse injury; she has also led research on the foot and how shoe design and hoof balance affect racehorse safety and injury.

UC Davis is the first vet school in the world to offer PET scanning technology to horses with lower limb injuries. As an example, these are combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) images of the foot of a 20-year-old Thoroughbred. The PET demonstrates an active lesion of the navicular bone (white arrows) as well as abnormal uptake in the bone adjacent to the pastern joint (black arrow). This second lesion was not seen on the CT, but suggests early degenerative changes that could lead to the development of a bone cyst. (UC Davis image)

Shane said he has also been in touch with Dr. Mathieu Spreit, who is working on equine foot lameness diagnosis using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning technology. UC Davis is the first veterinary facility in the world to utilize PET imaging technology for equine patients.

The vet school hosts a memorial lecture in January of each year in Charlie Heumphreus's memory. In 2017, the guest lecturers will be the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Professor Scott Pleasant, Director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s (VTH’s) Equine Podiatry Service, and farrier Travis Burns, FWCF, Lecturer and Chief of Farrier Services, who work together in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The lectures in Charlie's honor will be held at the vet school on January 28, 2017, and the opening session will be a presentation by Shane, the newest farrier to provide services at the vet school, which is currently ranked the #1 veterinary college in the world .

Charles Heumphreus was the UC Davis vet school farrier for many years. His memory is honored each year with an endowed lecture on hoof science at the school. (UC Davis photo)
• • • • •

Thanks to UC Davis for providing this biography of Shane.

The University of California at Davis veterinary hospital is excited to welcome farrier Shane Westman, APF, as a new member of the University's Large Animal Clinic’s (LAC) dedicated team of professionals. As a lifelong horseman and a farrier for 24 years, Westman brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the LAC.

Shane grew up riding and working with horses in his home state of Washington. He ultimately decided to turn his horse hobby into a career, and attended farrier trade school in 1992. He is a longtime member of the American Farrier's Association; Shane also joined the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) in its inaugural year as a founding member, and has since served on the AAPF Board of Directors for three years.

Shane is especially passionate about promoting professional development through continuing education to help all farriers to constantly improve their practice. In addition, he has moderated roundtable discussions at the International Hoof Care Summit, demonstrated at the AAPF Hoofcare Essentials Clinic, and served as a farrier field representative at various equine trade shows.

Shane credits International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Famer Dr. Ric Redden’s once-annual Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium, which he first attended in Louisville in 1994, for getting him hooked on professional development events. He has shared this passion for learning by volunteering at several events, including the Northwest Horse Expo, the Washington State Horse Expo, the Northwest Washington Horse Expo, and many local riding organizations and charity groups. 

Additionally, Shane spent five years presenting to students in the veterinary assistant program at Skagit Valley College in Washington, which included classroom lectures and live demonstrations.

Shane’s dedication to animals extends beyond his professional farrier duties. He is the co-founder and former board member of Skagit Animals In Need. The Washington nonprofit was established to assist animals in the care of the Skagit County Animal Control Officer. When county resources become depleted, Skagit Animals In Need steps in with further assistance.

“I am very proud of helping to get that program off the ground,” Shane said. “We helped many horses and other animals over the years, and assisted a very hard working and dedicated animal control officer in Skagit County.”

For the entirety of his career, Shane Westman has emphasized a team approach between veterinarians and farriers. This, in combination with Shane’s lifelong interest in therapeutic work, makes his new position at UC Davis one he has long sought. Working alongside a team of world-class equine specialists, Shane Westman’s services will be an integral part of providing superior diagnostics and cutting-edge therapeutic services to LAC clients.

This biographical sketch of Shane Westman is based on a news release provided by the University of California at Davis.

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