By: Patti Strand  Date: 01/27/2012

The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with the Lavin Cup, an equine welfare award presented to organizations that demonstrate exceptional compassion or develop and enforce rules and guidelines for the welfare of the horse.

AAEP presented the award to PCRA during the its 49th Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 24, 2003. The PRCA was selected for the Lavin Cup because for its dedication to protecting the health of the animals that participate in its events.

"The PRCA has made tremendous strides in recent years in uniting the rodeo industry regarding animal welfare issues as well as establishing detailed animal-use guidelines," AAEP said in its presentation.

The PRCA employs a full-time animal welfare coordinator to administer its welfare program and regularly convenes the Humane Advisory Committee to review animal welfare issues. The PRCA also established a Veterinary Advisory Committee in 2001 and requires that a veterinarian be onsite at all PRCA-sanctioned events to inspect all animals prior to performance and to provide any necessary health care.

"It is a terrific honor and we are very humbled to be awarded the 2003 Lavin Cup," said Steven Hatchell, commissioner of the PRCA. "This is a testament to the hard work, leadership and guidance of many, including the PRCA Veterinary Advisory Committee, PRCA Humane Advisory Committee, rodeo veterinarians throughout the country and our own Cindy Schonholtz, animal welfare coordinator."

The Lavin Cup is named for AAEP past president A. Gary Lavin, VMD, and is presented annually to a non-veterinary individual or organization. Previous recipients of the Lavin Cup include the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Inc., the American Quarter Horse Association and the California Horse Racing Board.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners is a nonprofit organization dedicated to horse welfare. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, AAEP reaches more than five million horse owners through more than 7500 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

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