As the AAEP Convention wraps up its final days, each year there’s the big banquet celebration that generates money for the AAEP Foundation.

For nearly two decades, the foundation has been dedicated to “delivering relevant research and education to the equine industry.” All contributions specifically target projects for improvements in the welfare of the horse. While the evening of celebration is a good feed and the dance floor opens up to a lively time with dancing to a well-known band, there is also a live auction. Amongst the gems to bid on are unique items like signed guitars from Sheryl Crow or full travel packages to the 2014 World Equestrian Games–these treasures get everyone pumped up to bid as the auctioneer fires off his staccato bidding words.

Last night, in the atmosphere of Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon where more than life-size painted plaster horses hang unceremoniously upside down from the ceiling, AAEP members opened their pockets and generated money to keep the Foundation moving forward yet another year.

It always strikes me as pretty amazing in how generous the AAEP members continually give of their time, finances and energy when it comes to fostering efforts geared toward bettering the lives and welfare of horses. It is, after all, what brought us to veterinary medicine in the first place.