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Gluck Center > About Us > Equine Research Hall of Fame > Hobday

Photo of Hall of Fame Horse StatueThe Equine Research Hall of Fame — Frederick Hobday


Photo of Dr. Hobday
Frederick Hobday
The late Sir Frederick Hobday was a brilliant, innovative veterinary surgeon and principal of England’s Royal Veterinary College, which, despite the international economic depression of the 1930s, he literally rebuilt. Dr. Hobday enjoyed a world-wide reputation and his name became a household word among horse owners.
Inducted December 1990.

Sir Frederick Hobday carried throughout his career a torch brilliant with enthusiasm, initiative and burning ambition. This drive led him to develop, introduce to England, or refine a number of equine surgical procedures, including ventriculectomy (for which he is probably best known), ovariectomy and laparotomy for colic. Dr. Hobday is credited with rebuilding the Royal Veterinary College in London after World War I and a subsequent economic depression led to its “dilapidation and decay.”

Born in Burton-on-Trent in 1870, Dr. Hobday qualified in 1892 at the Royal Veterinary College. He stayed on there as house surgeon, and eventually was named a professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. For some years around the turn of the century, he worked in general practice in Kensington, served in the British Army during the war, and then was named principal of the Royal Veterinary College in 1927, where he remained until 1936. He died in 1939.

Dr. Hobday’s major research investigations were in veterinary surgery, anesthesia and physiology of domestic animals. He wrote several important early textbooks on anesthesia, surgery, anatomy and physiology, and articles on the use of x-rays in veterinary medicine (“the new photography”). Dr. Hobday developed the Hobday thermometer and patented anesthetic apparatus, as well. A gifted teacher, he was among the first to use film in the instruction of veterinary students. That he managed to raise $500,000 to rebuild the Royal Veterinary College during the depression era of the 1930s is graphic testimony to his unflagging dedication to veterinary medicine. Dr. Hobday was knighted in 1933 for his efforts. So popular and well-known was Dr. Hobday that, even now, horse owners in England take horses with laryngeal hemiplegia (roaring) to the college to be “Hobdayed”.

A prolific writer, Dr. Hobday was editor of the “Veterinary Journal” and “Courtenay’s Veterinary Medicine”. He also was a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Royal Society of Edinburgh. Among his honors were that of honorary veterinary surgeon to the King of England, honorary lecturer in comparative medicine at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, honorary fellow at the Royal Society of Medicine, and honorary member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Maxwell H.Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099

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