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My Mentor Honor Wall

We celebrate these mentors who have made a tremendous impact on the lives of many, especially to those who nominated and/or donated to help honor them. 


Hughie Dean “Mac” McInturff

Mr. McInturff was a lifelong Tennessean that called Franklin, TN home. He was a working man that had many professions. A retired regional manager with the Bell System/AT&T telephone company, owner and operator of both The Flower Mart and Christmas Tree Headquarters, and quality breeder of purebred Angus cattle at his Magic Meadow Angus Farm. He took pride in the love of his church, his family and his work with his various businesses. Active supporter of Williamson County (TN) 4-H Club and friend to his community.

Mentee Comments: 

“No matter whether you are a private practitioner, work at an institution, train or compete with horses, or simply a son or daughter, someone has helped you reach the level of success you have today.  In my case, it was my father, H. D. McInturff.

I have had many mentors in my walk through veterinary medicine but the one I want to honor has been “My Mentor”.

H. D. McInturff taught me this simple lesson: Be a good man, work hard, and honor others. There is no substitute for hard work and being honorable as you live.  My prayer is to be at least half the man he was.”

–Monty McInturff, DVM, Tennessee Equine Hospital

Dr. Zent
Walter W. Zent, DVM

Dr. Zent graduated from Cornell University, School of Veterinary Medicine, in 1963. Following an internship at Purdue University, he spent two years investigating infectious disease outbreaks and pathology with Drs. Bryans, Doll and Rooney at the University of Kentucky, Department of Veterinary Science. Since 1966, he has been an equine practitioner at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky.

Dr. Zent served as President of the Society for Theriogenology in 2005-2006 and is an active member and past officer or committee member of many professional veterinary and equine organizations, including the AAEP. He has delivered numerous presentations at national and international conferences, authored several book chapters and continues to contribute articles for publication. Dr. Zent serves on the committee for the Hagyard Bluegrass Equine Symposium as well as the committee for the International Symposium on Equine Reproduction. He is an honorary Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists.

He and his wife own and breed Thoroughbreds and reside on their farm in Lexington.

Mentee Comments

"One of the greatest attributes about the practice at Hagyard, Davidson and McGee when I graduated from veterinary school was the opportunity to gain valuable experiential mentoring from some of the greatest equine practitioners in the world. One of those early mentors from whom I was fortunate to have benefited was Dr. Walter Zent. Having spent a season palpating mares each morning with him in my first breeding season has shaped my career to this very day. Not only did I gain an incredible knowledge base in broodmare practice, but I learned an entire approach to daily veterinary practice to the benefit of both the patient and the client. Along with that experience, I learned the value of collaborative thinking in assisting other colleagues that I witnessed from Dr. Zent on many occasions—a personal attribute of this early mentor of mine that I have reflected on throughout my career in giving back to others."

Stuart E. Brown, II, DVM, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Lexington, Ky.

“Dr. Zent has a joy of equine practice to which we should all aspire. His inquisitive nature is undiminished after a storied career, and he remains a fountain of knowledge and experience which he generously shares to all he meets. Walter is a true friend to many, and importantly, to the horse.”—Peter Morresey, BVSc, MACVSc, DACVIM, DACT, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Ky.

Charles W. Raker, VMD, DACVS

The namesake of the Charles W. Raker Chair in Equine Surgery and one of the founders of the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine was called a “giant” of equine veterinary medicine. A renowned surgeon, gracious teacher and compassionate clinician, Dr. Raker had a professional career that Rakerspanned 43 years, and his work with students and faculty at Penn Vet continued well into his retirement.

A 1942 alumnus of Penn Vet, Dr. Raker spent eight years in private practice before being recruited by his alma mater in 1950 as an assistant professor in its livestock and large animal department. The New Bolton Center, the university’s 700-acre large animal hospital campus in rural Kennett Square, Penn., opened in 1952. The opening prompted Dr. Raker to study large animal surgery at Cornell University, and he was appointed chairman of the center’s department of surgery in 1956. Dr. Raker helped found and was a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1965, and he received the Lawrence Baker Sheppard Endowed Chair in veterinary surgery in 1967.

According to a university press release issued upon his passing in 2014, Dr. Raker introduced new surgical techniques and inspired and mentored countless students, interns and residents during his nearly 30-year tenure as the New Bolton Center’s chief of large animal surgery. “His mantra for students, house officers and clinicians alike was, ‘Remember the three C’s. Be a caring person, a compassionate person and remember that communication is vital to success in all things.’”

Among Dr. Raker’s many accolades over the years are the AAEP Sage Kester Beyond the Call Award in 2010 and the AAEP Distinguished Educator Award in 2000.

Mentee Comments 

“I appreciate and value the role that Dr. Raker played during my veterinary education both as a teacher of equine veterinary science as well as an example of professionalism worthy to be imitated. He personified the type of teacher and mentor that a broad cross section of students benefited from, regardless of whether or not equine medicine was their goal. His approachability and availability to any student that showed an interest in his attention, combined with his ability to transfer his enthusiasm for excellence to his students, makes him worthy of recognition as a true mentor.”—Jeffrey T. Berk, VMD, Equine Medical Associates, PSC, Lexington, Ky.

“Charlie Raker is the reason I migrated to equine medicine. My ‘formative years’ were spent working on a dairy farm from 1946 on until 1956. Bess and Nell (a couple of non-descript draft mares) were the only contact I had with horses until veterinary school. Charlie's knowledge, demeanor, ethics and personality were the traits I so admired and wanted to live up to.”—J. Clyde Johnson, VMD, Spofford, N.H.

Howard C. Raven, DVM

A 1937 graduate of Iowa State University and lifelong veterinarian in Connecticut and New York, Dr. Howard Raven was a pioneer of the modern age of equine medicine Ravenand surgery. His devotion to his equine patients and their human connections inspired everyone fortunate enough to know him.

Dr. Raven enjoyed riding horses—he played polo in his younger days and was known to ride a horse as a part of his examination process. He was also a devout sportsman who loved fishing on Long Island Sound and working his bird dogs while hunting game birds.

Although he was a true mentor to many, he played a key role launching the careers of Dr. Rick Mitchell and Dr. Mark Baus. He is remembered fondly for generously sharing his experience and knowledge of the horse.

Mentee Comments 

My mentor, Dr. Howard Raven, had a profound effect on my practice life. He instilled in me the need to be thorough yet practical in meeting the needs of my patients and clients. He was a horseman first and veterinarian second. He taught me the value of listening to the client and how to pick out the details. He valued accuracy and accountability in diagnostics and therapeutics, which in the long run made for a better experience for the client and patient. He implored me to be honest and ethical in my practice life and to appreciate the clients that entrusted me with the care of their horses. I can’t thank him enough.” 

Richard D. Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVSMR, Fairfield Equine, Newtown, CT

“I was told at my summer externship with two veterinarians in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to get a job with Dr. Howard Raven at all costs. That may have been the best advice I have ever received. Dr. Raven had practiced in the same area in Connecticut since the mid-1940s and successfully bridged the old-school style of equine practice with the new. During that time, he selflessly helped countless horses and their owners. His selflessness and graciousness extended to me, and I will be eternally grateful for that. He showed me how to practice with integrity and humility in a profession and a region that made those qualities hard to find yet valuable to have.

Dr. Raven (“Doc”) was a devoted sportsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing and horseback riding. In true equine vet fashion, he appreciated these sports only when he could steal that time away from practice! It is my fondest wish to do for other veterinarians what Dr. Raven did for me.”

Mark R. Baus, DVM, Grand Prix Equine, Bridgewater, CT

Midge Leitch, VMD

Dr. Leitch was in the vanguard of women entering veterinary medicine and one of the first to do a surgical residency at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center after graduating Midge Leitchfrom the Veterinary school in 1973. She was one of the first women equine practitioners to become board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, achieving that distinction in 1982.

A teacher, lecturer, and scholar, for 20 years Dr. Leitch held an adjunct position at New Bolton Center and was staff veterinarian in the Section of Sports Medicine and Imaging.

She served as an official veterinarian to the US Equestrian Team, providing skilled services in Poland, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Canada, and Spain. In addition to the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, Dr. Leitch provided veterinary support for the Devon Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, the Radnor Three Day Event, Fairhill Three Day Event, and Dressage at Devon.

Dr. Leitch was an active member of the AAEP for more than 40 years. In 2008, she was honored with its President’s Award, and in 2012, the AAEP Distinguished Service Award. During her career she gave more than 60 invited lectures and papers, and contributed more than 40 publications to a wide variety of professional journals and books. She also was a Legacy Society member of the AAEP Foundation.

Dr. Leitch was known as a passionate and caring individual and mentor, with forthright opinions and a well-developed sense of humor. Her gifts – not only to veterinary medicine, but also to her community, family, and friends – are legion.

Mentee Comments 

Dr. Midge Leitch was an early female presence in the world of Equine Sports Medicine. She was a “lead by example” human being. She was an equal mix of talent, horsemanship and knowledge designed to bring out the best in horses, riders, grooms, colleagues and students. She balanced this with welfare concerns and a sense of humor.

Motivation, Integrity, Guidance, Affirmation, Enthusiasm and a pinch of “kick in the butt” were the ingredients in the recipe for mentorship provided to me by Midge.

Anyone fortunate enough to have experienced Dr. Leitch as a mentor and a friend is never off the hook - you better pay it forward... but she will always be with you as you do so.

Carolyn M. Weinberg, DVM, Spruce Hill Equine, Bridgewater, CT

Charles "Chuck" D. Heinze, DVM

Dr. Heinze served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Heinzethe Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1953. Dr. Heinze began his career at a veterinary farm practice in Pocahontas, Iowa, before joining the faculty at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, now called the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, as assistant professor in 1958. Three years later, he arrived at Purdue University and served as associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine until 1967, when he entered private equine practice. He continued working as a private equine practitioner until his retirement in 1990.

During his career, Dr. Heinze authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific articles on equine surgery and treatment. He also was actively involved in numerous organizations, serving as section officer and Honor Roll member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, founder and general chairman of the Indiana Association of Equine Practitioners, and president of the Thoroughbred Association of Indiana.  In addition, he served on the executive board of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and was involved in the U.S. Trotting Association and Indiana Trotting and Pacing Horse Association.

During his time at Purdue, Dr. Heinze received the honor of membership in the Society of Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine; and Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture.

Mentee Comments

Dr. Chuck Heinze, along with my mother Maxine, was my greatest personal mentor. He also was my greatest professional influence. He was at heart a teacher and, after leaving Purdue, he had a nearly endless parade of pre-vet and veterinary students come through his equine hospital outside West Lafayette. He demanded excellence from himself and from those he worked with. He used his teaching skills to induce students to answer their own questions using knowledge they already possessed. He called that “learning them.” He spoke at numerous meetings always educating and informing practitioners as well. Dad was committed to organized veterinary medicine at every level and served in numerous capacities to give back to the profession he loved so much. 

David Heinze, DVM

A. Martin “Marty” Simensen, DVM

A 1956 graduate of Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. A. Martin “Marty” Simensen practiced in Massachusetts and New Hampshire until his passing insimensen 1995. Dr. Simensen served as the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Veterinarian for over 22 years and was beloved for his commitment to his equine patients and their owners. Dr. Simensen’s work touched the lives of countless equestrians, veterinarians, and horses; and he was renowned for his dedication and support of the equine athlete. In addition to being an innovator in equine practice, Dr. Simensen was known for his generosity of expertise and friendship and was always willing to give his time to those who asked for it.
Beyond the competition ovals, fields, and racetracks, Dr. Simensen was a founding member of the American Horse Council and an early member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), which he joined in 1958. He served on the AAEP Racing Committee from 1978-1987, AAEP Trail & Events Committee from 1977-1985, AAEP Horse Show Committee from 1984-1992, and as the AAEP liaison to the American Horse Shows Association (now USEF) in the early 1990s.  
Dr. Simensen mentored many young veterinarians nationally and internationally, to whom he instilled the value of hard work, professionalism, and compassion to all living creatures—humans and animals alike. He inspired his equine practitioner colleagues to learn and excel with passion and optimism. 
Mentee Comments:
Dr. Simensen was a role model from the moment I met him as a groom at the 1982 World Championships in Luhmuhlen, Germany where he was the US team veterinarian. He was a remarkable diagnostician but also had mastered the “art” of veterinary medicine from the horses to the people in his care. His indomitable “love of the game” was truly motivating—he got up every morning looking to the challenges of the day. His organizational skills and work ethic facilitated the depth of his commitment to all; he crossed all socioeconomic boundaries and was at home with racetrack grooms as he was with Eventing royalty, treating all with respect and compassion.
Dr. Simensen recognized greatness in horses early in their careers and stood solidly behind those individuals; but he was also a caring steward for all living creatures. As a new graduate, he showed me the way to enjoy every day in practice, to see humor and to learn from my mistakes, to trust my instincts, to believe in myself and to be an early adopter of emerging equine practice opportunities. Most importantly, he taught me the importance of giving others a hand either as a mentor or as an AAEP volunteer. I was truly blessed to have known Dr. “Marty” Simensen as a student and as a colleague for he provided the compass to life’s journey.

Kathleen Anderson, DVM, Equine Veterinary Care PC, Elkton, MD

My earliest memories of Dr. Simensen are of his inclusive attitude towards all people and horses. I was a teenager with a pony club horse - but he gave as much time and energy to us as he did a top Racing TB or Olympic Eventer.

Marty was a kind, smart, encouraging human being. He thrived on, used and shared growth and advances in veterinary medicine.  He was a horseman who was capable and involved in many sport horse disciplines because of that background. He was enthusiastic about his profession and the world he lived in. He encouraged others to be the same.

Dr. Simensen mentored me to find some sort of balance between horsemanship and veterinary medicine - reminding me as a veterinary student and young veterinarian that clients and horses were not only aware and watching your veterinary skills but also your approach with horses and your communication skills.

Many of us who are equine veterinarians, or otherwise involved in the horse industry, are forever grateful to Marty for all of his efforts towards the profession, the horse, education and benevolence.

Fifty years after meeting Dr. Simensen my thought process still includes “what would Marty do?” - a tribute to an influential and special man.

Carolyn M. Weinberg, DVM, Spruce Hill Equine, Bridgewater, CT