Innovation and commitment to excellence were honored Sept. 28 at the Thoroughbred Club of America’s 83rd Annual Testimonial Dinner.

Three veterinary pioneers—Edward Fallon, DVM; Gary Lavin, VMD; and Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS—were each recognized by their peers and the racing community for their groundbreaking contributions to reproductive, diagnostic, and surgical medicine, respectively. Among the 84 industry leaders previously recognized by the Thoroughbred Club of America as Honor Guests since 1932, only six have been veterinarians.

All three of this year’s honorees were at the forefront of new techniques and technologies they embraced, improved, and with which they excelled.

Fallon was a graduate student at Cornell University when an instructor, Myron Fincher, DVM, told him about the technique of palpating ovaries in mares that was occurring in Germany. The technique dovetailed with what Fallon was being taught by another professor, Francis Fox, DVM, who urged his students to use all their senses.

“What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel?” the fourth-generation veterinarian recalled being taught. “That’s excellent advice for veterinarians, be they in a barn, at the track, or in the clinic.”

By educating his sense of touch, Fallon could detect whether a mare was pregnant at 45 days after conception and even whether twins were present.

“Then ultrasound came along and changed everything,” Fallon said in a question-and-answer session during the ceremony.

Fallon also was a pioneer in using artificial lights to prompt m