Nathaniel “Nat” White, professor emeritus of equine surgery at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC), was presented with the 2023 Equine Industry Vision Award at the American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference in Tempe, Arizona. 

The award, sponsored by Zoetis, a global animal health company recognizes innovation, commitment, and positive impact on the equine industry.  

EMC, located in Leesburg, Virginia, is one of three teaching hospitals of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), the brainchild of White, is an industry-driven service that shares disease outbreak information through real-time alerts to horse owners and equine professionals throughout the United States and beyond. 

EDCC was formed after a widespread outbreak of the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus, or EHV-1, occurred at a cutting horse show in Ogden, Utah. Management of this potentially fatal disease revealed inadequate and inappropriate information dissemination resulting in over 2,000 horses being exposed and the virus ultimately touching 19 states. Information shared on social media caused panic with many horse owners deciding not to travel and events across the nation were canceled.

In 2013 the United States Animal Health Association supported the formation of the EDCC and its use by state and federal health officials. 

The EDCC was launched in 2015 through collaboration and initial funding from the American Horse Council, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the United States Equestrian Federation, among others. It continues to alert the equine industry about disease outbreaks, and serves as an educational resource for information about infectious diseases and biosecurity.

White is a world-renowned expert in colic and has authored several books on the topic. He joined the EMC in 1985 as a professor of surgery, ultimately becoming the center’s director in 2003. White was awarded emeritus status in 2013 and remains heavily involved with EMC programs.

Written by Sharon Peart for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing