Dr. A. Gary Lavin, a legend in equine veterinary medicine and a respected leader in the horse industry, has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance. Lavin, the son of well-known racing secretary Allan Lavin, grew up in the sport. He worked for many years on the racetrack as an esteemed equine practitioner and surgeon. As owner-breeders, Lavin and his family developed Longfield Farm in Goshen, Kentucky. Lavin's wife, Betsy, is a former member of the Kentucky Racing Commission, and their sons are involved in bloodstock and equine insurance.
In a statement to WHOA, Lavin said:
“After years of indecision, I have joined WHOA. The recent affairs of Rusty Arnold, Graham Motion, and earlier, Bill Mott, are the straws that have broken this camel's back.
“All major league sports have a governing body responsible for oversight, administration, and enforcement. Not horse racing….we have 38 separate bodies (states) that have the same responsibilities creating nothing short of chaos. When was common sense abandoned? Would anyone think that those three trainers would purposefully violate the rules? Something is needed to unite this industry or we will surely see it go the way of boxing, bull fighting, and dog racing.
“The bill currently proposed in Washington may not be perfect but it is better than what we have at present. We NEED uniform medication rules AND testing with results and decisions made in a timely fashion… ASAP. Until we have a united industry, we will continue this insane and absurd program of self-destruction.”
Dr. Lavin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary college in 1962. He has been honored with his alma mater's Bellwether Medal for Distinguished Leadership.
Lavin is a Distinguished Life Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and has been designated as a Distinguished Practitioner of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners. As an indication of the respect he has earned within his profession, the AAEP established the Lavin Cup for Equine Welfare in 1996.
Lavin has served as president of the AAEP and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, steward of The Jockey Club, trustee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Breeders' Cup, and currently as a director of Keeneland and as vice chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
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