In memory: Dr. Glenn Blodgett, an icon in equine medicine, dies at 73

Dr. Blodgett
Dr. Glenn Blodgett

Dr. Glenn P. “Doc” Blodgett, a pioneer in equine theriogenology, died on November 20, 2022, at the age of 73. He shaped the US performance horse industry over a 40-year career with the famed Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

Outside of practice, Dr. Blodgett has held leadership positions with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Horse Council, and the American Quarter Horse Association. In 1988, he was appointed to the first Texas Horse Racing Commission.

David Foley, executive director of the AAEP, said, “We were all at our annual convention when we heard of Dr. Blodgett’s tragic passing.” Dr. Blodgett never missed a convention. “He was an icon in the profession and a friend to many and he will be sorely missed,” he said

Born December 21, 1948, in Spearman, Texas, Dr. Blodgett earned a veterinary degree in 1974 from Texas A&M University. Eight years later, he was recruited to be the resident veterinarian and manager of the horse division at Four Sixes Ranch.

Under Dr. Blodgett’s supervision, the farm became an industry leader in equine embryo transfer and artificial insemination. Each year, more than 1,400 mares are bred from the ranch, performance and racing Quarter Horse disciplines, while maintaining a 95 percent conception rate, according to the farm’s website.

Dr. Blodgett was elected to the executive committee of the American Quarter Horse Association in 2012 and to the presidency three years later. During his leadership, AQHA implemented the Multiple Drug Violation System and Animal Welfare Commission and began offering a multi-panel genetic disease test to help breeders make more informed decisions.

Dr. Blodgett has served on the AAEP Board of Directors as well as the Racing Committee and the Ethics Committee. In 2016, the association named Dr. Blodgett an AAEP Distinguished Life Member. Praising his years of service to the organization, the AAEP described Dr. Blodgett as “a pioneer who made powerful contributions to the equine industry and the veterinary profession.”

In recognition of Dr. Blodgett’s considerable contributions to the equine industry, he has been inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

“I know of no one more dedicated, compassionate and concerned for the welfare of our horse than Dr. Glenn Blodgett,” Frank Merrill, past president of AQHA, said in a statement.

“Glenn has been an unapologetic servant to our horse and the industry that supports it. His knowledge and opinions have done us good on many occasions and we will suffer greatly in his absence.”

Dr. Blodgett is survived by his wife, Karen; two daughters; five grandchildren; and a sister. Memorials may be made to the American Quarter Horse Foundation, 1600 Quarter Horse Drive, Amarillo, TX 79104; Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, Administration Building 213, MS 42010, Lubbock, TX 79409; or Texas A&M University Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair, 4461 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.

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