Current Award Winners

Awards are given at the biennial Equine Science Society Symposium.

Distinguished Service Member Award

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of equine science. The award is the most prestigious honor that the Equine Science Society can bestow upon one of its members.

2021 Recipient: Craig Wood

Dr. Craig Wood is a Professor and the Associate Director of Extension and has been with the University of Kentucky and Cooperative Extension since 1985 when he started work as Extension horse specialist. In that role, he was in charge of all adult and youth equine programming within the state, taught undergraduate equine courses and managed the teaching/research facility. He developed and offered an online undergraduate course, ASC 320 Equine Management, and taught several online students from around the country in the late 1990s. Craig has been instrumental in developing and delivering award winning educational web-based material for K-12 students as well as post-secondary students. Wood is well known for his technology leadership. Wood was associate director of the eXtension Initiative. Housed at UK, eXtension provided a one-stop, virtual connection to Cooperative Extension Service specialists across the nation. In 1989, Craig received the Outstanding Young Extension Specialist award and the M.D. Whitaker Excellence in Extension award in 1993. In 1995, he was awarded the Young Animal Scientist Award – Education, by the Southern Section of the American Society of Animal Science. His course The Art and Science of Equine Production was awarded the Best Distance Learning Program in Higher Education in 1993 by Telecon Magazine and the United States Distance Learning Association. In 2004, Craig and the Southern Region Equine Extension Professionals were awarded the Bill Murphy Barrier Buster award and an ACE bronze award for innovative and effective use of technology and the Internet for HorseQuest.info. Craig raises and rides horses, served as President of the American Paint Horse Association and the Equine Science Society. He is also an APHA judge, and an active member of Extension Horses, Inc. Originally from Texas, Craig received his B.S. from Texas Tech University, and M.S.  and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University.

Fellow of the Equine Science Society

This award recognizes distinguished service to the horse industry and to the Equine Science Society over an extended period of time.

2021 Recipient: Karyn Malinowski

Dr. Karyn Malinowski, an accomplished equine scientist, is the Founding Director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). She has served as a faculty member at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences since 1978 in various roles including an Extension Specialist in Equine Sciences, Animal Sciences Professor, Founding Director of the Equine Science Center, and Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Her research and extension programs concentrate on improving the well-being and quality of life of the equine athlete while ensuring the vitality and viability of the equine industry, both statewide and nationally. Malinowski is the recipient of many awards, including the ASAS – ESS Award, the US Harness Writers Association – Unsung Hero Award, Governor’s Trophy for Horse Person of the Year, Rutgers Graduate School Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Equine Educator Award from the Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society, Marjorie Van Ness Award from the AHC, Research Excellence Impact Award from Cook College and NJAES, and Woman of Distinction from the Delaware-Raritan Girl Scout Council. In 1995, she became only the second woman in fifty years to receive the New York Farmers Club Award from the Northeastern Agricultural Society for her contributions to agriculture. Malinowski is the author of over 60 refereed journal articles and abstracts, and numerous book chapters. Since 2003, Malinowski has spent much of her effort on horse racing issues and is responsible for producing the award winning The New Jersey Equine Industry 2007: Economic Impact study which for the first time outlined the importance of the New Jersey horse industry, including racing to the Garden State. Malinowski has also partnered with others to conduct research needed to keep the playing field level and to also recommend thresholds and withdrawal times for medications based on that science in the racing industry.

Outstanding Educator Award

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in the area of equine education, either to students or persons in the horse industry.

2021 Recipient: Rhonda Hoffman

Dr. Rhonda M. Hoffman is Professor and Director of the Horse Science Program at Middle Tennessee State University. She has been teaching horse owners, youth, college students, veterinarians, and feed manufacturers about horse science, especially equine nutrition, since 1997. She recently teamed with Drs. Warren Evans, Jessica Petersen, and Dale Van Vleck to co-author a revised edition of The Horse, a textbook that relates scientific principles to practical applications for experienced horse owners, students, extension agents, and horse enthusiasts. Dr. Hoffman earned board-certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition in 2007 and maintains the certification as a guarantee to remain current and be the best teacher possible. She has published over 80 scientific research and popular press articles and has been a speaker at over 100 national and international meetings, including conferences in Canada, England, Germany, Spain, and a keynote presentation in Brazil. Known for her research in carbohydrate nutrition of horses, her early work formulated some of the first low starch, high fat-and-fiber horse feeds. She developed concepts for interpreting analysis of forage carbohydrates that impact equine digestion and health, and she was the first to quantify equine insulin resistance using the Minimal Model FSIGT. Dr. Hoffman has served as a peer-reviewer for several scientific journals and for the 2007 Nutrient Requirements of Horses. She has mentored 53 graduate students (18 as committee chair), directed 4 undergraduate research projects, and serves as an academic advisor to 60-80 undergraduate majors annually. She received the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013. Nominated by students and selected from over 900 faculty, it is the university’s highest teaching recognition.

Josie Coverdale Award for Outstanding Young Professional

This award recognizes an individual under the age of 40 with less than 10 years of service in academia or industry, who has made meritorious contributions to equine science in teaching, research, public service, or industry. In 2017, this award was renamed in memory of Josie A. Coverdale.

2021 Recipient: Sarah White-Springer

Dr. Sarah H. White earned her M.S. (2010) and Ph.D. (2014) in Animal Sciences with dual emphasis in equine nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Florida. She secured a prestigious postdoctoral position (2014-2016) in the College of Health Sciences and Center for Muscle Biology at the University of Kentucky where she studied the role of muscle satellite cells on muscle growth and repair in humans and mice. In 2016 Dr. White joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, where she has developed a balanced program that addresses equine research, teaching and stakeholder needs across the tripartite mission. She has established a research program focusing on nutritional and training modulation of skeletal muscle metabolism and mitochondrial function in young horses. Additionally, she has fostered collaborations with other scientists to study muscle biology and energetics in beef cattle, swine and aging humans. Dr. White is a rising star in the field of equine exercise physiology whose programmatic efforts are gaining notoriety for excellence in research, as evinced by national and international presentations, recruitment of horse industry collaborators, and funding support of over $2.7 million. She has authored or co-authored 18 refereed journal articles in top-tier journals, including a first-author paper published in Skeletal Muscle (in the top 10% of all cited papers in 2018) and several in Scientific Reports. She has mentored 5 M.S. and 1 Ph.D. students and serves as the primary instructor for 4 courses. Dr. White is also an accomplished horsewoman, earning many Arabian sport horse honors in dressage.

The American Feed Industry Association Award in Equine Nutrition Research

This award is designed to stimulate research excellence in equine nutrition.

Not Awarded in 2021

American Society of Animal Science – Equine Science Society Equine Science Award

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of extension, research, teaching, or agribusiness in the equine industry. This award is formally presented at the annual American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) meetings.

2021 Recipient: Kristine Urschel

Dr. Kristine Urschel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She completed both her BSc (Animal Science; 2002) and PhD (Nutrition and Metabolism; 2007) at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research program focuses on protein and amino acid nutrition and metabolism in horses, and she employs isotopic and molecular biology techniques in her research. She is one of only a few researchers in the world using stable isotope techniques to study whole-body protein metabolism and amino acid requirements in horses. She has been very successful in securing extramural funding for her program, with sources of funding that include the USDA AFRI competitive grants program, the Morris Animal Foundation, the Waltham-Buckeye Equine Grant, and the equine feed industry. She has 30 peer-reviewed publications, is the author of 1 book chapter and has given invited talks to both national and international audiences.

2020 Recipient: Bob Coleman

Dr. R. J. (Bob) Coleman is an Associate Extension Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He completed his BSc (Animal Science; 1975) and MS (Animal Science; 1978) degrees at the University of Manitoba and his PhD (Equine Nutrition; 1998) at the University of Alberta. He was the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture from 1980 to 1998. In 1998, Dr. Coleman moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist, where he oversees all adult equine extension activities. In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Coleman teaches and advises in the Equine Science and Management program and is the advisor for the University of Kentucky Equestrian Team. Dr. Coleman serves on the AQHA Research committee, is a board member of the Midwest ARPAS, the Executive Director of the Equine Science Society, and the President-Elect for the Certified Horsemanship Association. He was awarded the 2019 ASAS Distinguished Teacher Award.

Undergraduate Student Competition

1st place: S. Forino, University of Centre Sparsholt
2nd place: I. Walslag, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
3rd place: E. Naesje, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Exercise Science Graduate Student Competition

1st place: A. Logan, Michigan State University
2nd place: E. Briggs, University of Sheffield
3rd place: L. Wesolowski, Texas A&M University

Equine Biosciences and Reproductive Physiology Graduate Student Competition

1st place: C. Guy, Texas A&M University
2nd place: J. MacNicol, University of Guelph
3rd place: F. Vergara-Hernandez, Michigan State University

Genetics Graduate Student Competition

1st place: L. Radovic, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
2nd place: M. Pechanec, University of California - Davis
3rd place: W. Klecel, Warsaw University

Nutrition Graduate Student Competition

1st place: P. Svagerko, Clemson University
2nd place: C. Conrad, Kansas State University
3rd place: A. Hauss, University of Kentucky

Production and Management Graduate Student Competition

1st place: J. Weinert, Rutgers University
2nd place: E. Rankins, Rutgers University
3rd place: S. McGill, University of Kentucky

Teaching and Extension Graduate Student Competition

1st place: A. Schuft, University of Minnesota
2nd place: K. Layton, Middle Tennessee State University
3rd place: B. Parrish, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (JEVS) Graduate Student Publication Award

Awarded to the top two graduate students who presented research at the 2019 ESS Symposium and submitted their research for publication in JEVS within six months of the symposium.

1st place: A. Logan, Michigan State University
2nd place: K. Layton, Middle Tennessee State University
1st alternate: H. Lochner, University of Minnesota
2nd alternate: J. Prigge, University of Minnesota

Award Sponsors

The Equine Science Society thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the awards at the 2021 ESS Virtual Symposium.

  • Society Awards were sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, Versailles, KY.
  • Student Awards were sponsored by the North American Equine Ranching Information Council, Louisville, KY.
  • American Society of Animal Science – Equine Science Society Equine Science Award sponsored by Zinpro, Eden Prairie, MN.
  • Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (JEVS) Graduate Student Publication Award was sponsored by JEVS.