D. Wayne Lukas received a standing ovation Sunday following his keynote speech that opened the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The Hall of Fame trainer gave an upbeat talk that focused on his keys to success during a career filled with Eclipse Awards, classic victories, and Breeders' Cup wins.
"If you will do the common things uncommonly well, you will be successful," Lukas told the veterinarians. His other advice included the following:
- "Keep it simple."
- "Don't take the try out of a man or a horse. If you are going to err, err on the soft side. There is a fine line between fitness and staleness."
- "Don't be afraid to lose. We have had great success running horses where they didn't belong. When you lose, you self-evaluate. You will go back and say, 'What could we have done differently?' "
- "You have to take the tension out. Horses and people do not give you a maximal performance with tension."
- "You've got to make a commitment. Most people dream of where they want to go, but they don't make a commitment. You must pursue excellence in your commitment every day. Never let anybody outwork you."
- "Don't ever underestimate what you can do for other people. People will never forget how you make them feel."
The AAEP has more than 9,000 members in more than 50 countries.
Dr. Tom Brokken, the organization's 2006 president, said the event, which runs through Wednesday, is expected to set an attendance record.
Its theme is "practical information that can be taken home and applied to the care of the horse," he said.