Finalists for 2015 Zoetis PRCA Vet of the Year
October 1, 2015
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is proud to announce the five finalists chosen from an accomplished field of nominees for the 2015 Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award. The award was created in 2010 to recognize dedication to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock by veterinarians across the country.
Nominations for Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year are submitted by PRCA members and PRCA Rodeo Committees. The selection committee takes into account each nominee's specific contributions to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock, extent of involvement in the sport of rodeo and community involvement.
"I am very pleased the PRCA continues to recognize the hard work of veterinarians who contribute to the welfare of rodeo livestock," said Dr. Doug Corey, ProRodeo Hall of Famer and Chairman of the PRCA Livestock Welfare Committee. "All of the nominees are very dedicated to the sport of rodeo and the livestock athletes involved. The selection process is very difficult, and the sport of rodeo is lucky to have so many outstanding veterinary professionals involved in PRCA rodeos."
The 2015 recipient will be announced in mid-October and will be honored at the PRCA Contract Personnel Banquet Dec. 2 at The South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.
The field of 10 outstanding nominees was narrowed down to five distinguished veterinarians. The 2015 finalists are:
Dr. Jerry Billquist, Boerne, Texas. Nominated by the Montana ProRodeo Circuit
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Dr. Billquist has been committed to the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo for 24 years as the on-site veterinarian. He attends every performance as a volunteer, performs both pre- and post-performance livestock inspections, and provides care for rodeo livestock during the performance. Dr Billquist works closely with contestants, stock contractors and the rodeo committee to insure the health and safety of rodeo livestock. Carolynn Vietor, President of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association, says, "Dr. Billquist began his involvement with the Montana ProRodeo Circuit when he was practicing in Billings, but for the past decade or more he makes the trip from the hill country of Texas to Great Falls to be our veterinarian at the Circuit Finals. Never, over all of these years, has he charged for these services." Montana Circuit committee member David Wagner says of Dr. Billquist: "His professionalism shines inside and outside the arena."
Dr. John Boyington, Phillipsburg, Kan. Nominated by the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association
Dr. Boyington has volunteered his time and professional services to Kansas' Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg for the past 25 years, attending every performance and section of slack. He also serves as a member of the rodeo committee heading up ticket sales. His rodeo career began with youth rodeo, continued in college rodeo, and as a contestant in the PRCA he qualified for the Prairie Circuit Finals in steer wrestling. In 1978, he won the Phillipsburg Rodeo steer wrestling title, and that same year placed his professional rodeo career on hold and started veterinary school. Dr. Boyington participates in numerous community organizations, events, and continually practices veterinary medicine with a strong commitment to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock. PRCA Stock Contractor Rhett Beutler says, "One thing we never worry about in Phillipsburg is knowing John is the veterinarian caring for our animals. John has been a big asset to this rodeo, and is held in high regard not only by the Beutlers, but everyone that knows John."
Dr. Rhett Scoggin, Belle Fourche, S.D. Nominated by Deadwood Days of '76 Rodeo
Dr. Scoggin has served as the veterinarian for the Days of '76 Rodeo in Deadwood, S.D., since 2010; the Range Days Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D., since 2011; and added the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, S.D., in 2015. His clientele includes several members of the PRCA, NIRA, NHSRA, and NLBRA. With the outbreak of vesticular stomatitis virus this summer, Dr. Scoggin worked closely with state animal health officials as well as the rodeo committees and contestants to ensure the health of animal athletes to which he was honored to serve. Ted Thomson, a PRCA Executive Council Member and the Deadwood Days of '76 Committee Chairman, says, "Dr. Scoggin has gone above and beyond the call of duty toward animal health and welfare. Not only does he have a concern over nutrition, pen conditions and welfare of the rodeo livestock, he takes great pride in treatment and education of all livestock and their owners, on and off the rodeo grounds."
Dr. Tony Sheiber, Cody, Wyo. Nominated by the Cody Stampede Rodeo
Dr. Sheiber has been a volunteer with the Cody Stampede Board since 1990, personally dedicating his time to working with the PRCA to implement animal welfare policies. Not only does Dr. Sheiber volunteer his time for the Cody Stampede, but also for 86 consecutive nights of PRCA and open rodeos held in Cody each summer, as well as the local college rodeo each year. He has proactively reached out to state and local officials, inviting them to the Cody Stampede to inspect the facilities and review the protocol for livestock welfare. Dr. Sheiber and his wife own and operate an Equine Nutrition Research Facility in Cody, aimed at improving the health of horses through improved nutrition. PRCA stock contractor Maury Tate of the Mo Betta Rodeo Company says, "Dr. Sheiber is always there, no matter what time of day or night. He goes way beyond the call of duty. He is very passionate about his job and the sport of rodeo."
Dr. Marty Dean Tanner, Elgin, Texas. Nominated by PRCA members Phil Lyne and Joe Beaver
Dr. Tanner is a specialist in Equine Sports Medicine and is well-known as a veterinarian of choice to many top PRCA and WPRA competitors. He routinely travels to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to assist his clients during the 10-day rodeo. Dr. Tanner takes great pride in studying the sport of rodeo and, as a result, is well respected among the contestants who trust the care of their equine athletes to him. Dr. Tanner also serves as veterinarian for stock contractors, including the Harry Vold Rodeo Company. He actively supports youth, including members of 4-H and FFA and the Joe Beaver Jr. Roping. PRCA Hall of Famer Phil Lyne says, "Dr. Tanner volunteers for the TQHA Barrel Horse Committee, 4-H and FFA organizations, as well as serving on the Austin PRCA Rodeo Committee for over 20 years. I do not know where Dr. Tanner finds time, but he always finds the time for anyone and their horse. He is just amazing."