January 2017 Issue - page 11

A transformational gift of $5
million by the estate of Seth and
Lucy Holcombe will establish
the Dr. Harry Werner Professor-
ship in Equine Medicine at New
Bolton Center.
The endowed chair is named
for the Holcombe’s veterinarian
and life-long friend, Dr. Harry
Werner, a 1974 Penn Vet gradu-
ate. Werner cared for the Hol-
combe’s Morgan horses since the
early days of his career, working
as a veterinarian in Granby, Con-
The professorship will
include teaching, research,
and clinical outreach, with an
emphasis on equine welfare and
wellness, important to both the
Holcombes and Werners.
Penn Vet is conducting an
international search for candi-
dates, with a goal of awarding the
professorship in 2017.
Although Werner and his
wife, Susan, were close friends
with the Holcombes, the gift
came as a surprise. A family
lawyer delivered the news after
Lucy Holcombe’s death at age 91
in January 2016. Seth Holcombe
died at age 91 in 2009.
“We had no idea,” said
Werner, about the donation in his
honor. “Susan and I feel responsi-
ble for making sure this gift does
what the Holcombes wanted it to
do. We want this to enhance the
health and welfare of horses.”
The professorship will be the
centerpiece of what they intend
to become a broader program
for equine wellness and welfare,
attracting international speakers
and reaching out to populations
of working horses in need.
“This gift will allow Penn
Vet to truly take a lead in provid-
ing direction on equine wellbeing
and welfare to both our profes-
sion and the horse industry,” said
Dr. Gary Althouse, Chairman of
the Department of Clinical Stud-
ies at New Bolton Center. “The
ability to dedicate significant
efforts to these critical initiatives
is truly transformational.”
Althouse said the new equine
professorship builds upon a
New Bolton Center initiative for
large animal welfare, including
participation in specialty training
for board certification by the new
American College of Animal
Werner has dedicated his life
and career to the care and welfare
of animals through his practice,
Werner Equine, in North Granby
and his continued service to vet-
erinary professional organizations
at state, national, and internation-
al levels.
He was the 2009 President
of the American Association of
Equine Practitioners and is now
part of the AAEP’s Welfare and
Public Policy Advisory Coun-
cil. He’s also on the American
Veterinary Medical Association’s
Animal Welfare Committee and
World Equine Veterinary Associ-
ation’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Werner speaks interna-
tionally and has authored many
articles on equine welfare, equine
lameness, pre-purchase exams,
farrier-veterinarian relationships,
and veterinary ethics.
Penn Vet Receives
$5 Million Gift
January 2017
Page 11
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