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.
“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 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.
"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 spanned 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.
“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.
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 and 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.
“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
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 from 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.
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