Alberta horse industry honours Burwash
Dr. Wayne Burwash, a 1969 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), is the 2015 recipient of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta’s (HIAA) Distinguished Service Award.
The longtime Alberta equine veterinarian, who was recognized for his lasting influence and contributions to the equine industry, received the award in early January during the Alberta Horse Breeders and Owners Conference in Red Deer, Alta.
“Dr. Wayne Burwash truly fits the definition of what it means to offer distinguished service,” said HIAA President Jean Kruse.
“His contributions to the equine industry past and present have not just been based in Alberta but globally. I’m thrilled that he was chosen as this year’s recipient and is definitely a worthy member of this exclusive club.”
Burwash grew up on a mixed dairy farm in Balzac, Alta. He graduated with distinction from the WCVM and was a member of the veterinary college’s first graduating class in 1969. After a one-year internship, he joined The Animal Clinic in 1970 and practised with the clinic until 1977 when he opened his own practice — Burwash Equine Services.
Along with his clinical duties at the practice, he served as a mentor for other veterinarians including Dr. Claude Piche, who is now a leading diabetes researcher in humans, and Dr. Gayle Trotter, who was the head of surgery at Colorado State University. His success as a veterinarian has led to accolades from the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (Veterinarian of the Year in 2000 and Communicators Award in 2004).
Burwash Equine Services has also been a part of the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community with the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine since the faculty’s inception.
Burwash’s leadership in the Alberta horse industry isn’t limited to the veterinary profession. He was a founder of the Alberta Quarter Horse Breeders Group, helping to establish quality horse sales locally as well as internationally by marketing Alberta-bred horses to Europe.
As a producer of American quarter horses for over four decades, Burwash has been a leading breeder for the Alberta Horse Improvement Program, breeding champions such as Kilomax, Lopin Foran Invite, and Soo Good. Burwash has served on the executive and on numerous committees within leading organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, ABVMA, Equine Canada, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), American Association of Equine Practitioners and at local equine colleges.
The Alberta Horse Industry Distinguished Service Award is presented to a nominee that has had the greatest impact on the growth and development of the horse industry in Alberta in one or more of the following areas: breeding, manufacturing, facilities, organization, education, auction sales, export sales, training people and horses or communications.