Dr. Sarah Reuss * Photo from AAEP

AAEP Appoints New Leaders

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse, recently the AAEP appointed new leaders. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

AAEP Vice President

Sarah Reuss, VMD, DACVIM, Littleton, Colo.-based equine technical manager with Boehringer Ingelheim and steering committee member of the AAEP’s Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability, has been appointed 2024 vice president of the AAEP. She will be installed during the Dec. 2 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 69th Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif., and will assume the role of AAEP president in 2026.

Owning unique perspective from a diverse career in private practice, academia and industry, Dr. Reuss spent six years on faculty at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine as a clinical assistant professor and chief of the large animal medicine service. She served on the Admissions and the Internship and Residency Evaluation committees and as a faculty advisor to the AAEP and AVMA student chapters. Dr. Reuss transitioned from academia to industry in 2016 with Merial, which was subsequently acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim. She served as a professional services veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim based in the northeast from 2017–2020, assuming her role as a technical manager in 2020.

Dr. Reuss received her veterinary degree in 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Following an internship at Equine Medical Center of Ocala, she completed a large animal internal medicine residency at Texas A&M University, achieving board certification in veterinary internal medicine. Dr. Reuss practiced general and specialty medicine at McKinlay and Peters Equine Hospital in Newman Lake, Wash., until she moved to academia. Her professional interests include gastrointestinal disease, neurology, endocrine disease and infectious diseases of the horse and foal.

“I have been a proud member volunteer with the AAEP since my days as the vice president of our student chapter at Penn,” she said. “I passionately believe that engagement with organized veterinary medicine has opened many doors for me personally and professionally, enabling my unique career path and the opportunity to see so many facets of equine practice. I am honored to be in a role where I can continue to give back to the AAEP and to my present and future colleagues.”

An AAEP member since 2003, Dr. Reuss chairs the Horse Owner Education Committee and co-chairs the Internship Subcommittee of the Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability. She previously served on the board of directors from 2020–2022; the Welfare and Public Policy Advisory Council; and the Educational Programs, Member Engagement and Nominating committees.

In addition to her volunteer service with the AAEP, Dr. Reuss participated in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Future Leaders Program in 2013-14, and then served on the Early Career Development Committee. She also served as Equine Officer at Large with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and chaired the Large Animal Internal Medicine Strategic Planning and Marketing Committee. Dr Reuss has also volunteered with the Veterinary Leadership Institute since 2014.

AAEP’s New Treasurer

Mitchell Rode, DVM, founding owner of Clarke Equine Wellness and Performance in Berryville, Va., has been appointed treasurer of the AAEP. Dr. Rode will be installed during the Dec. 2 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 69th Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif. His three-year term expires in 2026.

Dr. Rode started his full-service ambulatory practice and intermediate care clinic in 1987 following several years in mixed-animal practice where he focused exclusively on the care of horses. He services the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, directly west of Washington, D.C.

Dr Rode * Photo From AAEP

A 1980 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Rode joined the AAEP in 1983 and currently chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. His legacy of volunteer leadership within the association dates back over a quarter-century and includes service on the board of directors from 2019–2021 and terms on the Educational Programs, Member Engagement, Nominating and Practice Management committees.

“I am very excited to once again participate in the governance of the AAEP,” said Dr. Rode. “My term on the board of directors was one of the most rewarding experiences of my veterinary career, and I can’t wait to work alongside another group of distinguished equine practitioners for the betterment of the AAEP. Following in the footsteps of my predecessors in the role of treasurer is a bit daunting, but I will do my best to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’.”