07/22/2014 2:52PM

TCA to honor vets Bramlage, Fallon, and Lavin


Three veterinarians, Dr. Larry R. Bramlage, Dr. Edward H. Fallon and Dr. A. Gary Lavin, will be the Honored Guests at the Thoroughbred Club of America’s annual dinner, held on Sept. 28 at Keeneland Race Course.

The three were selected by the TCA’s board of directors.

“These distinguished honorees are legends in equine veterinary medicine,” said TCA president Happy Broadbent.  “Through their respective accomplishments as a surgeon, reproductive specialist, and racetrack veterinarian, these three pioneers have all improved the welfare of the Thoroughbred.  Particularly in a year when the world has focused on how Thoroughbreds are treated, we look forward to honoring these three remarkable men and telling the story of the best in veterinary care.”

Dr. Bramlage is best known in the racing community as an orthopedic surgeon, and is the most highly-sought veterinarian for countless owners and trainers. In one of his best-known cases, Bramlage repaired eventual champion Personal Ensign’s fracture, which had appeared to be career-ending. After surgery, Personal Ensign returned to continue her unbeaten career, culminating in a dramatic victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. A native of Kansas, Dr. Bramlage moved to Lexington in 1989 to join Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, where he became a partner in 1992.

Dr. Fallon represents the fourth generation of a family of veterinarians whose connection to Kentucky dates from 1875, when a Scottish-educated veterinarian named Edward Thomas Hagyard was called to Kentucky for a consult. An equine practice grew from that visit. Third-generation Charles Edward Hagyard was joined in the practice in 1940 by Arthur Davidson and William McGee, which completed the team that for decades was known as Hagyard-Davidson-McGee – now known as the well-known Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Dr. Fallon, Dr. Charles Hagyard’s nephew, has been instrumental in bringing about an era of increased efficiency in broodmare management. He utilized and promoted such scientific developments as ovarian palpation to determine pregnancy in mares and use of artificial lighting to stimulate estrous cycles.

Dr. Lavin, the son of well-known racing secretary Allan Lavin, was a practitioner and surgeon on the racetrack for many years, and his numerous awards and honors include status as a Distinguished Life Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). He has served as president of the AAEP and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, as well as steward of The Jockey Club, trustee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Breeders’ Cup, and presently as director of Keeneland and as vice chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.