VMCVM hosted a Virtual Equine Lecture Series over four evenings in January 2022.

CE credit was provided to live participants. No CE credit will be provided for viewing the recorded lectures. Transcripts available upon request.

Sophie H. Bogers, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, DACVS–Large Animal

Clinical Assistant Professor, Large Animal Surgery

Dr. Bogers received her DVM from Massey University in New Zealand in 2009. She completed a internship in lameness and sports medicine and a fellowship of equine internal medicine at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, then returned to New Zealand as a clinical instructor at Massey University while completing a Master’s degree that investigated bone mineral density changes in Thoroughbred racehorses with condylar fracture. Dr. Bogers completed her surgical residency from 2012-2015 at Virginia Tech's EMC in Leesburg. She stayed on to complete a PhD that investigated a novel stem cell therapy for equine osteoarthritis and worked as an emergency-critical care surgeon and adjunct faculty. She has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Large Animal Surgery at the VTH in Blacksburg since 2017 and enjoys all aspects of equine surgery as well as research and teaching.  

Clinical Interests

  • Stem cells and regenerative medicine
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Orthopedic injury


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Lauren Trager, (DVM '14, MS '19) DACVSMR–Equine

Clinical Instructor, Equine Sports Medicine and Equine Field Service

Dr. Lauren Trager is a Maryland native and received her DVM from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she completed a one-year internship in equine sports medicine, lameness and diagnostic imaging at Virginia Equine Imaging in The Plains, VA. She returned to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine for a three-year combined residency and Master of Science program in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, splitting her time between the main campus in Blacksburg, VA and Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA. Dr. Trager achieved board certification in 2021 and is currently a Clinical Instructor in Equine Sports Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include diagnosis and treatment of axial skeleton pain, poor performance issues of the sport horse and diagnostic imaging.

Research and Professional Interests

  • Axial skeleton pathology, treatment, rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation of sports injuries
  • Podiatry
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Elaine Claffey, (DVM '14), DACVS-LA

Clinical Instructor for Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Dr. Elaine F. Claffey is a 2014 graduate of the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a private practice equine internship in Vermont before going on to a large animal surgical residency at Cornell University. Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Claffey worked at Cornell in Ithaca as a Clinical Instructor and then as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital on Long Island adjacent to the Belmont racetrack. Most recently her family has returned to Virginia and is enjoying life back in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Clinical Interests

  • Upper airway diagnostics and surgery
  • Large animal gastrointestinal surgery
  • Poor performance evaluation of the sport horse
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Sharon Witonsky, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Associate Professor, Equine Field Service

Dr. Witonsky received her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1993. She then pursued and completed a rotating internship in large animal internal medicine, surgery, anesthesia and ambulatory practice and a PhD in comparative and experimental medicine/immunology at the University of Tennessee in 1997. She then concurrently enrolled in and completed a large animal internal medicine residency as well as a post-doctorate studies in immunology and infectious diseases both at the St Jude’s Children’s Hospital and University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She joined the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in the summer of 2000.

Research Interests

  • Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)
  • Immunology and Infectious Disease: mouse models
  • Equine Immunology
  • Brucella
  • Neurology
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