We report on a lot of emerging studies here at TheHorse.com, translating them into layperson speak, and our writers and editors report on news as it happens. But we don’t always give our sources a chance to say, “Hey. Pay attention. This is important.” Or, “Keep an eye on this research avenue, it’s going to dictate how we handle this illness or that disorder.”

So, last week I got back to the heart of my early days at The Horse: I began visiting with scientists and veterinarians about care topics and research directions they deem important to our industry, whether right now or in the near future. First up as an important issue to horse owners right now? Mosquitoes.

We cannot become complacent: These little guys (well, technically, girls) are spreading disease as readily as ever, noted William (Bill) J.A. Saville, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM. Saville is professor and chair in The Ohio State University’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. I’ve worked with him on stories for almost 12 years. Dr. Bill Saville is a cowboy turned veterinarian turned researcher-and-educator (his research focus: equine protozoal encephalomyelitis, or EPM) turned administrator. He shoots from the hip, always giving me a “say it like it is” interpretation of an issue. In the early days of West Nile virus (WNV) emerging in the United States, he made it a personal mission to educate not only Ohio horse owners but also residents about mosquito reduction techniques.