They traveled from as far away as Spain, Denmark and Australia with a common goal—to advance the field of equine dentistry.
Twelve candidates from all over the world spent four days at Morrisville State College performing testing on the college's horses to become certified by the International Association of Equine Dentistry (IAED).
Members of the IAED, veterinarians, equine dental technicians, officials and examiners hailing from all parts of the globe were also involved in the event which was conducted in the college's equine facilities.
Candidates went through the testing process in hopes of becoming certified by the prestigious association. IAED certification is offered only a few times a year in different locations. This is the first time Morrisville State College has hosted their testing.
“Morrisville State College's facilities are top-of-the-line, making it a great choice for our purposes,” Will Phillips, executive director of the IAED, who lives in Texas, said.
“Morrisville State College has one of the most premiere equine programs in the United States,” Doug Smith, an equine dental technician who works on the college's horses and helped coordinate the testing, said. Smith, a Morrisville State College alumnus with a degree in animal science, also taught at the college for 23 years.
“Everything we needed to allow us to do this testing was here for us, from the horses to the facilities and professional environment to the faculty,” Smith said.
The experience was equally impressive for students and faculty who were introduced to people from different countries, exchanged knowledge and ideas, learned about different cultures and became cognizant of dentistry as an important aspect of equine healthcare.
Throughout the testing process, Morrisville State College equine students had their hands in making sure testing went smoothly, assisting with handling horses as well as performing other duties.
“Students' confidence in handling the horses is a great reference to the quality of the college's equine programs,” Phillips said.
“I do equine dental work all over and everywhere I travel, I see successful Morrisville State College graduates working in the field,” Smith said.
The end result marked success for Maria Gandloese, of Denmark, who after passing her tests, became one of only five people in her country who is certified in the IAED.
“I didn't mind traveling to do this,” Lindsay Hewett, of California, said. “Why train so hard if you don't spend the money to travel to get certified.” She is among those who passed testing and became IAED certified.
Testing involved basic certification and advanced certification on prospective test horses determined by officials.
“As the largest equine dental group in the world, I encourage anyone who is practicing equine dentistry or simply has an interest in the area to get involved with the IAED,” Smith said.
Founded in 1986, the IAED is an international network of professionals dedicated to educating and raising public awareness in the area of equine dentistry in order to address the needs of the horse and advance the field.
Morrisville State College offers one of the most diverse Equine Science Programs, with specializations in breeding, western, hunt seat, draft/driving, thoroughbred racing, standardbred racing, and business.
Degrees offered are a bachelor of technology degree in equine science and two associate degrees in equine racing management and equine and science management. An Equine Breeding and Training Center, a 34,000 square-foot breeding and hunter/jumper facility, includes a breeding and foaling barn, hunter/jumper barn, stallion barn, a complete breeding laboratory, collection area, laptop classroom and three indoor riding arenas.
In addition to the Equine Breeding and Training Center, the college has an 80-acre Equine Center complete with paddocks, stables, and the only half-mile harness racing track on a college campus in the nation. Additional stables include a draft horse barn with a covered round pen and runouts.