Texas Tech University

Titan of Equine Industry Joins Faculty at School of Veterinary Medicine

George Watson

April 29, 2020

Mariposa Station

Jerry Black comes to Texas Tech after holding the Wagonhound Land & Livestock Chair at Colorado State University.

For more than 40 years, Jerry Black has enriched the practice of veterinary medicine and expertly attended to the needs of countless clients and their horses. All the while, he has built the next generation of veterinarians by sharing his wisdom with veterinary students in California and Colorado. His influence was such that he became a titan of the equine industry.

Now, he's coming home.

A native of Brownfield who spent his formative years on his family's farming and ranching operation near Clovis, New Mexico and was a pre-vet student at Texas Tech University for three years, Black will join the faculty of the new Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo as a visiting professor. He will begin his duties on Friday (May 1).

Jerry Black
Jerry Black

"I look forward to joining the founding faculty of the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine," Black said. "My career as a veterinary practitioner and university professor has afforded me many opportunities to serve in leadership roles in the equine industry and profession. It is my goal to use those lifelong experiences to contribute to the success of the mission of the Texas Tech professional veterinary school program. During my career, I have had the opportunity to teach and mentor many young veterinarians. I am honored to continue that service with the outstanding faculty being assembled for the School of Veterinary Medicine at Texas Tech University."

Black spent the last 10 years serving as the Wagonhound Land & Livestock Chair in Equine Science and the director of equine sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado. He also served as director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory for the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU.

Black earned both his bachelor's degree (1967) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1971) from Colorado State. He received the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences Honor Alumnus Award in 2011.

Prior to his arrival at Colorado State, Black served as a senior clinician and founding partner of Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, California, from 1973 to 2010. He also spent 15 years (1995-2010) as a resident veterinarian and owner of Valley Oak Ranch, a Quarter Horse breeding farm, in Oakdale. Black also served as an instructor of equine science at San Juaquin Delta College and Modesto Junior College in California (1974-1988) and visiting instructor at the University of California-Davis veterinary school (1993-2010).

"Dr. Black has a passion for helping students," said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "We are so fortunate he is joining our school to help our program be the best it can be for Texas and the students. There are many areas Dr. Black will help us grow and help the students. He brings to the school a network across the equine world like no other. This will open the door to countless opportunities for our students and, in turn, our graduating veterinarians. His contributions to the school over the next few years are going benefit students for generations to come."

Black brings almost a half-century of experience in applied clinical investigation into equine veterinary medicine to the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. He has been the principal clinical investigator (PI) or co-PI on numerous research studies since 1979 and, since 1994, has conducted numerous seminars and presentations around the world on various equine health topics, including hind-limb lameness of the western performance horse, diagnosis and treatment of distal fore limb lameness, and practical considerations for the use of intra-articular medications.

A past president (2002) of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, he earned the organization's Distinguished Life Member Award in 2010.

"Dr. Black brings a great equine background to Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. "He will be an anchor in our equine program in building relationships with the horse industry, to horse owners everywhere, and to our veterinary partners. His experience in the equine world will be valuable in mentoring and developing our students. As an equine practitioner myself, I am honored that someone of his stature has chosen to join our program, and I am excited to work with him."

Black joins Loneragan, Dascanio, associate dean for clinical programs Britt Conklin, professor of surgery David Dutton, assistant professor of general veterinary practice Bethany Schilling, professor of medicine László Hunyadi and professor of surgery Nancy Zimmerman on the faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional faculty members will be added over the summer and fall.

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, established in 2018, is working to enroll its first class in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the AVMA Council on Education.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to practice and succeed in rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practices that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the biennial state budget, which appropriated $17.35 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo that will go toward operational needs in order to get the school up and running. The appropriation included language directing Texas Tech to move forward in establishing the school.