The organization has its roots in Davos, Switzerland, where Dr. George Goudy attended the first veterinary ASIF course in December 1970:
“The VOS really had its inception [on] the ski slopes of the Alps. The Parsenn run at Davos to be exact. The occasion was the first veterinary AO (ASIF) course. We had a chartered plane from New York which, with our spouses, we filled. When we arrived in Davos most of the American contingent were billeted in two nearby hotels and we soon became a compatible group. This compatibility was later to pave the way for the formation of the VOS. On our last day I had been skiing with the late, great Jacques Jenny. As we were riding up the very slow lift I asked Jacques if there were an American equivalent to the European Veterinary [Orthopedic] Organization. Jacques answered no and then turned to me with the facial expression he achieved when he had found a solution to any problem. With that smile he said, ‘That is what you should do, George.’ I demurred as I felt that there were many more qualified people who were leaders in the field. Jacques continued his urging and I was relieved when we reached the top of the lift. That was our final run of our final day of that conference and I promptly put Jacques suggestion out of my mind.”
Dr. George Goudy, letter to Dr. Ernest Boone. May 11th, 1989.
After hearing of the passing of Dr. Jenny, he remembered those words: “That is what you should do, George.” So Dr. Goudy started to make phone calls, mainly to those that had been at the Davos meeting, to see if there was interest in a similar meeting in the US.
The purpose of VOS as Dr. Goudy and Dr. Jenny envisioned it was to combine the findings of the Academicians and the work of the practitioner.
It took some time to get everything organized and the first annual meeting was held at the Wildwood Hotel in Snowmass, CO in February of 1974. It was attended by 33 people, many of whom had also been part of the 1970 ASIF seminar. It was decided that since the inception of VOS was associated with the snow, this common interest with orthopedics and snow should continue. The following year attendance quadrupled, and 135 people arrived at Snowmass for VOS.
The 1980 annual meeting was a warm weather meeting aboard a cruise in the Caribbean to please the non-skiers. This warm weather meeting was proposed to happen every third year, having two ski meetings and one warm weather meeting. They were discontinued due to low attendance after just the second warm weather meeting.