Horse Receives Honorary Degree from UC Davis


No one wants to see their horse spend a long time confined at a veterinary hospital. But for Teddy, a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, his lengthy stay at the UC Davis Center for Equine Health resulted in an unusual but well deserved honor.

Teddy was recognized with an honorary degree from UC Davis for being a “Master Equine Educator.” You can call him Dr. Teddy.

Aspiring veterinarians at UC Davis got to know Teddy well during his time at the center. Students administered his routine treatments, such as vaccinations and deworming. Teddy was also a patient for more specialized treatments for a neurological disorder as well as stem cell therapy.

Many veterinary students come into their education without extensive large-animal experience. Teddy’s kind nature and evident enjoyment of human companionship made him an ideal patient for students still learning how to interact with horses.

“He would greet us with ears pricked forward, eyes bright,” said Dr. Claudia Sonder, director of the UC Davis Center for Equine Health. “I stood with my team in front of him on numerous occasions to discuss his progress, evaluate his comfort level and remark upon his cheerful nature despite months of confinement. It was clear to us that he trusted us and enjoyed our companionship.”

Congratulations to Teddy, and all of this year’s vet school graduates!

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Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, KY.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


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