Equine surgeon named Appleton Professor

Dr. David FreemanDavid Freeman, M.V.B., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s department of large animal clinical sciences, has been named the Martha and Arthur Appleton Endowed Professor in Equine Studies.

A board-certified equine surgeon, Freeman serves as chief of the college’s large animal surgery service. He also directs UF’s Island Whirl Equine Colic Research Laboratory.

His research interests include treatment of diseases that cause colic in horses. Freeman has developed methods and management strategies for colic surgery in the horse that have reduced complication rates and improved survival rates.

“Dr. Freeman’s role in this professorship is to enhance our renowned program of research in equine veterinary medicine directed at specific needs and problems of the Florida equine industry,” said Carlos Risco, D.V.M., UF’s large animal clinical sciences department chairman and a professor of food animal medicine.

Freeman will lead a progressive graduate training program, recruiting and advising graduate students to ensure they will make ongoing contributions to the field throughout their own professional careers, Risco said.

Freeman’s many career accolades include being honored in 2011 by the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil for his contributions to the development of equine surgery worldwide.

He was invited by the British Equine Veterinary Association to present the Sir Frederick Hobday Memorial Lecture in 2004 and was named Teacher of the Year in 2007 by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2010. He received the Florida Veterinary Medical Association’s Clinical Investigator Award from UF in 2012.

The late Arthur Appleton, a businessman and horse breeder from Ocala, created the professorship in 1983 to support an outstanding surgeon with national and international recognition in equine research.

“This appointment is a great honor, and an opportunity to be linked through history with one of the premier farms in Florida, Bridlewood Farm, which was once owned by the Appletons,” Freeman said.

The Appleton Endowed Professor is expected to lead a center of excellence related to his or her area of expertise, attract external funding and develop a sustained, highly regarded equine research program. Another key component is to work closely with the college’s dean and department chairman to build on and enhance outreach to and engagement with the equine industry.

The professorship is a three-year, renewable appointment, with reappointment based upon meeting certain criteria and goals.