Colorado State Equine Sciences Director Named President of National Organization, Wins International Award

The director of Colorado State University’s Equine Sciences Program has earned honors from two prestigious equine organizations in the United States and Britain, including an appointment as president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith was appointed president of the ACVS, a specialty organization that certifies veterinarians as specialist surgeons and sets professional standards for veterinary surgery, at its annual scientific meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The ACVS is the American Veterinary Medical Association’s specialty board. Established in 1965, the ACVS assures that improved veterinary medical services are offered to the public by establishing and monitoring veterinary surgical residence programs, maintaining fair and reasonable examination standards, abiding by a policy for humane care and use of animals, promoting and funding surgical research and disseminating new information about surgical advancements to professionals in the field.

The ACVS appointment is one of two recent prestigious honors bestowed upon McIlwraith. Recently, McIlwraith was awarded the John Hickman Award for Equine Orthopaedics for his leading work in arthroscopic surgery and research in equine joint disease.

The award was presented to McIlwraith at the annual congress of the British Equine Veterinary Association in Harrogate, England. The award is named after Col. John Hickman, a pioneer in veterinary orthopaedics in England and author of the first book on the subject. McIlwraith is the third recipient of the award; the first went to Hickman.

McIlwraith developed the technique of arthroscopic surgery on horses as an offshoot of his research in equine joint disease. Many big-name race horses owe their careers to the arthroscopic technique that McIlwraith helped develop. The techniques and surgical instruments that he developed led McIlwraith to write "Diagnostic and Surgical Arthroscopy in the Horse," the first book on the subject. The text is widely used to teach arthroscopy in horses.

McIlwraith also leads a large research program in orthopaedics and joint disease and has recently co-published a textbook on equine joint disease with Colorado State Professor Dr. Gayle Trotter.