While many rodeo fans tune in simply to see their favorite cowboys and cowgirls chasing big prize money, they are only one half of the equation. Without the hard work and dedication of the horses and bulls, rodeo wouldn't exist. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is focused on maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both man and beast, and pay special tribute to the veterinarians that look over these majestic animals.
The PRCA's Veterinarian of the Year award is presented to the veterinarian who personifies the desire to protect rodeo animals and who shows exemplary dedication and commitment to rodeo stock. The PRCA's Livestock Welfare department scours through hundreds of submissions every year, and pick the large animal vet that works behind the chutes to protect and promote safe treatment at rodeos across the country. Veterinarian Doug Corey, chairmen of the PRCA's Animal Welfare Committee and ProRodeo Hall Of Fame member, states that, "We will honor one veterinarian each year, but it is also recognition of the hundreds of veterinarians who are on-site at PRCA rodeos and who care for livestock in their communities."
A relatively new program, the Vet of the Year designation as only been awarded to two outstanding veterinarians. The 2010 winner, Dr. William Anderson from Halton City, Texas, oversees the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, one of the world's biggest rodeo events. 2011 Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Garth Lamb from Las Vegas, Nevada, has been involved in the NFR for more than 20 years. This year's Veterinarian of the Year will be crowned at the 2012 National Finals Rodeo.