Courtesy of the PRCA media team.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is proud to partner with Zoetis in recognizing and announcing the finalists for the 2016 Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award.
The finalists are Dr. Ben Espy, Dr. Troy Ford, Dr. Mike Harms, Dr. Marty Tanner and Dr. Edward Taylor. The recipient of the 2016 Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award will be announced in mid-October, and will be honored at the PRCA Awards Banquet Nov. 30 at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nev.
The award was created in 2010 to spotlight and honor the dedication to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock provided by rodeo veterinarians across the country. PRCA rodeo committees, PRCA members and contestants have the opportunity to nominate a veterinarian whom they feel has shown an extraordinary commitment to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock, and is deserving of this prestigious award. A selection committee, comprised of industry experts and advocates, takes into account each nominee’s specific contributions to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock. Additional criteria, including the extent of involvement in the sport of rodeo, as well as community involvement, also are also considered by the selection committee.
“All of the nominees are very dedicated to the sport of rodeo and the livestock athletes involved” said Dr. Doug Corey, ProRodeo Hall of Famer and Chairman of the PRCA Livestock Welfare Committee. “The sport of rodeo is fortunate to have so many outstanding veterinary professionals involved and dedicated to the sport. I am very pleased that the PRCA continues to recognize the hard work and contributions of veterinarians to the welfare of rodeo livestock.”
Speaking of the selection process, Senior Director of Equine Technical Services at Zoetis, Dr. Tom Lenz, stated, “Each one of the nominees is very deserving, dedicated and qualified in their respective fields. Narrowing the field down and selecting the finalists is a very tough process. There are a number of folks who deserve the award and have worked at it for years.”
The field of 12 outstanding nominees was narrowed down to these five distinguished veterinarians.
Dr. Benjamin Espy, San Antonio, Texas. Nominated by the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Dr. Espy, a life member of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (S.A.L.E.) and board certified Theriogenologist, began volunteering at the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo in 1997, and over the past 19 years has earned the respect of all involved with the annual event. During the 18-day run, more than 60,000 animals move on and off the grounds under the watchful eye of Dr. Espy. With a passion for higher education, Dr. Espy works as an advisor to the students who receive the Veterinary School Scholarships through S.A.L.E. and serve an externship at the annual Stock Show & Rodeo. Through his mentorship, these students are provided practical, hands-on experience. Dr. Espy’s professional affiliations include King Ranch, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners and The Horsemagazine, to name a few. “During the rodeo, Dr. Espy is dependable and maintains a composed presence,” said Keith Martin, Executive Director and CEO of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. “His work ethic distinguishes him, and he is an admirable ambassador for the sport of rodeo.”
Dr. Troy Ford, Clovis, Calif. Nominated by the Clovis Rodeo Association
The son of a longtime Clovis Rodeo committee member and volunteer, Dr. Ford grew up working the stripping chutes every last weekend of April during the annual rodeo. Following graduation from the University of California Davis Veterinary School, and an internship at New Bolton Veterinary School and Texas A&M Veterinary Surgical Center, Dr. Ford returned to Clovis and has been the official rodeo veterinarian since 1993. Dr. Ford unselfishly gives of his time and expertise to the Fresno and Clovis Police Departments’ Horse Patrol Units, Fresno Humane Animal Services, Fresno Chaffee Zoo and numerous vocational education programs. PRCA stock contractor John Growney, of Growney Brothers’ Rodeo, said the following of Dr. Ford: “He is without doubt, a hands-on veterinarian. Regardless of the situation, whether it is a bucking bull or a tie-down animal, Dr. Ford is always ready and waiting to do whatever it takes to ensure the animal’s health and wellness, without losing sight of the spirit of competition and the betterment of rodeo in general. He has proven time and time again to be the right man for the job, and his actions speak for themselves.”
Dr. Michael Harms, Canby, Ore. Nominated by Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo, Canby Rodeo
As a Rotarian for more than 30 years and exemplifying the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self,” Dr. Harms has dedicated his life to the welfare of animals, livestock and his community. Serving as the veterinarian for the Clackamas County Fair for 45 years, and the veterinarian for the Canby Rodeo for more than 20 years, Dr. Harms has been an invaluable livestock welfare resource to the rodeo committee. He has not only been very generous in his dedication to animals, but also to the youth of the area. In 2007, Dr. Harms was awarded the Red Cross Good Samaritan award for saving the life of a young girl involved in a terrible automobile accident. “Doc is a very humble man who enjoys helping others, and the amount of time he has given to our rodeo, fair, community and individuals is overwhelming,” said Paul Borgen, Canby Rodeo Committee Chairman. “He has primarily focused on large animals, but his door is always open to anyone with an animal in need or distress. Always dealing with empathy and compassion for not only the animal, but also the owner.”
Dr. Marty Tanner, Elgin, Texas. Nominated by PRCA members Phil Lyne and Joe Beaver
Dr. Tanner is a specialist in Equine Sports Medicine, and is well-known as the veterinarian of choice for many top PRCA and WPRA competitors. He routinely travels to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER, to assist his clients during the 10-day rodeo. Dr. Tanner takes great pride in studying the sport of rodeo, and as a result, is well-respected among the contestants who trust the care of their equine athletes to him. Dr. Tanner also serves as veterinarian for stock contractors, including the Harry Vold Rodeo Company. He actively supports youth rodeo, including members of 4-H, FFA, the Joe Beaver Jr. Roping and the Elgin Youth Team. PRCA World Champion Tie-Down Roper Monty Lewis said of Dr. Tanner, “He is one of the best performance horse veterinarians in North America, and we are very blessed that he gives the rodeo community so much attention. With his renowned facility and his progressive and innovative approach, he is very deserving of the ultimate recognition. The world standings are filled with competitors who owe a large portion of their success to him.”
Dr. Edward Taylor, Laporte, Colo. Nominated by the Tucson Rodeo Committee
Dr. Taylor has served as the attending veterinarian to many Turquoise Circuit rodeos, including La Fiesta de los Vaqueros in Tucson, for more than 25 years. With a background in the rodeo industry, his input was invaluable in the design of the animal care unit and adoption of livestock care procedures at the Tucson Rodeo. Dr. Taylor also was a collaborator on the PRCA Livestock Welfare Booklet, which is utilized to educate the general public on the care afforded to PRCA livestock athletes. Gary Williams, general manager of the Tucson Rodeo, said of Dr. Taylor, “The Tucson Rodeo Committee owes Dr. Taylor a huge debt of gratitude for his sacrifices on our behalf, and we are eternally grateful for his contributions to the high standards of care we are able to provide to the livestock at the Tucson Rodeo each year. The dedication displayed by Dr. Taylor during his tenure with the Tucson Rodeo has been unmatched. He has been available 24 hours a day for any livestock care issue which has arisen.”