Colorado State will honor one of the nation’s pioneers in equine reproductive science in a ceremony from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 1 when the university dedicates the Equine Center on Overland Trail as the B.W. Pickett Equine Center.
Pickett, who first came to Colorado State in 1967 as director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory, was named director of the Animal Reproduction Laboratory in 1971. He has overseen some of the monumental breakthroughs in animal reproductive science, including the first set of cloned twin calves in 1982 and the country’s first "man-made" identical twin foals from one split embryo in 1984.
In 1982, Pickett became director of Equine Sciences and was the guiding force behind the creation of Colorado State’s Equine Teaching and Research Center, one of the nation’s first. Today, the lab is the largest and most productive equine teaching, research and service program in the world.
The same year, Pickett helped create the first equine science major by combining all horse programs across all colleges, making Colorado State the first university in the nation to offer such a program.
"I have had the privilege to work with Dr. Pickett since 1967," said Dr. James Voss, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "He is a brilliant scientist, a strong leader, a visionary and completely dedicated to the improvement of equine science and to Colorado State University. Obviously, he has had a lot of help from dedicated colleagues along the way, but without his leadership, this program would not be here today."
Since 1967, Pickett has served as principal investigator on research projects totaling several million dollars. These research efforts have resulted in the publication of numerous scientific abstracts, book chapters, bulletins and popular articles.
Pickett also was a member of the organizing committee to establish the first International Symposium on Equine Reproduction in 1974, now one of the most important quadrennial events for anyone involved in scientific advancements in equine reproduction.
Honors include being named the Evelyn Williams Scholar at the University of Sydney, Australia; the American Society of Animal Science’s Physiology and Endocrinology Award for outstanding research in reproductive physiology; and the National Association of Animal Breeders Research Award in recognition of meritorious research contribution in the field of animal reproduction and artificial insemination.
In 1981, he was presented Colorado State’s L.W. Durrell Distinguished Service Award in recognition of excellence in research and creativity and the Distinguished Service Award from the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society. The Colorado Horseman’s Council has also named him Colorado Horseman of the Year.