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Jean-François Pignon at the Dublin Horse Show 2012

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 31, 2012 07:41

The RDS is delighted to announce that the mystifying Frenchman, Jean-François Pignon and his free roaming Camargue ponies are set to take centre stage at the 2012 Dublin Horse Show, with demonstrations twice daily.

Jean-Francois Pignon has become something of a phenomenon, having developed and refined his skills of natural horsemanship to an unimaginable level.  He will demonstrate the true trust and understanding that can exist between man and horse through a series of daredevil acts and acrobatics in the RDS Main Arena & Simmonscourt during this year’s Show which takes place from the 15th to the 19th of August inclusive.

About Jean-François
It is almost 30 years since Jean-François Pignon took part in his first performance. Born in 1968, in Chalones sur Loire, in Western France.   As a young boy Jean-François was mainly interested in sports; running and soccer, that is until the day his father André, arrived home with a yearling filly which they subsequently named Gazelle.  There was an immediate and extraordinary link between Jean-François and the filly from the day she arrived.  They would play for hours and even go to school together!  It was obvious to all that Jean-François had a very natural way with horses.

After a period of time working in the family’s trail riding business, Jean-François and his brother Frederic decided to form their own company, where they put on circus-like acrobatic demonstrations with horses.  These shows proved very popular and as a result the brothers got roles in the riding scenes for the "Wilhelm Tell" TV series.  They were now also working with the offspring of Gazelle, a filly named Salsa.

In 1991 Jean-François and Frederic presented a show they called ‘Cheval Passion’ (Horse Passion) in Avignon, and this was the first time they worked with their horses without any tack.  It was a great success.  It provided opportunities to perform in Verona and Paris followed by many other big shows all over the world.

The brothers now work separately, with Jean-François choosing to continue to perform with his horses at ‘liberty’.  His performances take place with up to eight horses with Jean-François demonstrating time again, how he has achieved the maximum trust that there can be, between man and horse.

Jean-François now also runs training programmes which are attended by people from all over the world where he imparts his unique method of training and working with horses.


for more stories  http://www.zallina.com/news/breeding/show/569/

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Marketing Initiatives and Advocacy Are Topics of AHC National Issues Forum

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 30, 2012 20:31

The American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum, entitled “Reinvigorating the Horse Industry,” will feature several important initiatives undertaken by major organizations in the last year.  The forum will be held June 26 in Washington, DC, during the AHC’s annual meeting, which will run from June 25 to 27 at the Washington Court Hotel.    

“Many industry leaders are concerned with the decline in horse ownership and the falling trend in public interest in our various activities,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “Several organizations are striving to rebuild the fan base and attract young people to the magic of horses.  We are very pleased to have The Jockey Club and the American Quarter Horse Association outline their ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the horse industry.” 

James L. Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club, will provide an update on The Jockey Club’s multi-year plan to implement many of the wide-ranging recommendations that emanated from The Jockey Club’s comprehensive economic study of the Thoroughbred industry in 2011.

That study, conducted by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and entitled “Driving Sustainable Growth for Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding,” analyzed the current state and prospective future of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in North America.  Since its release last August, The Jockey Club has been undertaking the various recommendations, including: increased television coverage of racing, a new interactive website for fans, the creation of a free-to-play game and a social game, and development of a new resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership.

Todd Branson, director of Youth Development, American Quarter Horse Association, will describe AQHA’s efforts to bring tomorrow’s horsemen and horsewomen into the horse industry through its new Digital Oats program, a new, all-breeds youth organization that hopes to unite the world’s most active equine groups through a mixture of horse games, activities and a new website.  The program’s objectives are to introduce America’s youth to the world of horses and the equine lifestyle, ignite a lifetime passion for horses, and seek parental support for equine activities that can benefit their child mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.   

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Issues Forum will host speakers on “Legislative Advocacy in the Electronic Age.”  Congressman Bill Owens (D-NY) will be the featured speaker.  Mr. Owens serves on the House Agriculture Committee. 

Also speaking will be Neil Shader, Communications Manager of the Wilderness Society, who will give a presentation on how organizations can use social media to engage and communicate with their members and the broader horse community to improve grassroots advocacy efforts.

The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion with Congressional staff about how the increase in electronic correspondence and the use of social media is impacting how Congressional offices hear from, and respond to, constituents in this new age.

The AHC’s annual Congressional Reception will take place on Tuesday night and the Congressional Ride-In on Wednesday.  This year’s meeting will also host the AHC’s Breed Roundtable, a popular event that brings together leaders of horse associations to discuss common issues of importance to the industry.   

The AHC’s various committees, including the Unwanted Horse Coalition, will meet on Monday, June 25, to discuss issues affecting the equine community. 

More information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information, can be found on the AHC’s website, http://www.horsecouncil.org/2012-annual-meeting or by contacting the AHC.

The American Horse Council was organized in 1969 to represent the horse industry in Washington before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies.  It is a non-profit corporation that represents all segments of the equine industry. All individual horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, competitors, recreational riders, service providers, or anyone who desires to join the grassroots efforts of the horse community in Washington are encouraged to Join the American Horse Council <http://www.horsecouncil.org/ahc-memberships> .

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12 x $250 000 Grants to Small Business Available to U.S. Business

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 29, 2012 10:34


Chase and LivingSocial want to help fuel that drive by awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses.

Submit your Mission: Small Business℠ application today! Program ends June 30, 2012.



Matthias found the key to "Toti"

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 28, 2012 13:54

Matthias has finally found the key to lovely Totilas. It was a true pleasure to watch the pair at Horses & Dreams in Hagen.

The ride on the horse of the century have finally become a well deserved pleasure for Matthias Alexander Rath. It was easy to see he was able to enjoy the ride and from time to time a big smile appeared on his face.

He felt it, the spectators felt it and the judges felt it and rewarded him and Totilas with their biggest score so far.

If you was not so lucky to be there, watch the videos here:

Grand Prix
Grand Prix Freestyle

to read more http://www.zallina.com/news/dressage/show/533/

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100 mares and 800 race horses to China

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 28, 2012 13:38

The Irish economy has had a tough few years but it’s not all doom and gloom, but one piece of recent good news involved Ireland’s bloodstock industry. Coolmore Stud signed a Euro40m contract with China's horse racing industry to set up a stud farm with over 100 thoroughbred breeding mares and provide as many as 800 race horses......to read entire article http://www.zallina.com/news/breeding/show/565/

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Congress Acts to Protect Commercial Packers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 23, 2012 12:53

Last week, Congress passed the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Backcountry Access Act, introduced by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA). The bill directs the National Park Service (NPS) to issue permits to commercial horse and mule packers to operate in the wilderness areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Due to a lawsuit the NPS had not yet issued permits for the 2012 season.

“Commercial packers have been taking visitors into these parks for decades, allowing thousands of Americans to experience the backcountry of these parks,” said American Horse Council (AHC) Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “Without the leadership of Congressman Nunes who introduced and quickly passed this bill and the help of Senators Boxer and Feinstein Americans may have lost the opportunity to have this fantastic experience. This bill also saved the livelihoods of the commercial pack operators in the park and the jobs of their employees.”   

Congressional action was needed due to a lawsuit filed by the High Sierra Hikers Association against the NPS concerning its management of commercial packer access to the wilderness areas of the parks. In January, a federal judge ruled that the NPS had violated the Wilderness act because it had not adequately addressed commercial stock use in a 2007 park management plan. The NPS then decided not to issue any permits to commercial packers for the 2012 season until the court case was settled. 

The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to continue to issue permits to commercial packers to operate in the parks and complete a new wilderness stewardship plan within 3 years.  The NPS will now have the time it needs to address the judge’s concerns in a new management plan without interrupting the operations of the commercial packers in the parks.

“Preserving commercial and private equestrian access to wilderness is important not just to horse owners, but for everyone who does not have the physical ability to hike in the backcountry and for the communities that rely on jobs created by tourists traveling to our national parks and forests to have these experiences,” said Pendergrass. “We are grateful to Congressman Nunes for taking action when this access was threatened.”   

Link to Full Article on AHC Website

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As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.                       
The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

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Jackie Johnson, International Trick Trainer - Edmonton Clinic

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 18, 2012 08:29

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trick training school

What You Should Know Before Your Next Competition How Congress Can Affect Your Ability to Show Your Horse

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 15, 2012 16:26


If you are competing in a horse show this weekend, you might not realize it, but decisions   made in Washington, D.C. impact you and your ability to show your horse.  The American Horse Council (AHC) believes it is important everyone involved in showing horses at any level or in any discipline understands that federal legislation and regulations affect them.

A notable example of federal policy directly impacting horse shows is the amount of funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) receives to prepare for and respond to contagious equine disease outbreaks. Contagious diseases are a major concern for every segment of the horse community, but they can really negatively affect horse shows. “Remember the recent equine herpes outbreak at a reining event in Ogden, Utah,” said AHC Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs, Dudley Hoskins. “State and federal vets and organizations responded quickly to the outbreak.  Even with quick action, horse shows and events were canceled in 36 states and it could have been worse.  That incident was the most recent reminder that there is not a comprehensive federal plan, sufficient funding, or personnel to deal with contagious equine disease outbreaks. The AHC is working to change that and make sure USDA has the resources it needs to safeguard the horse industry.”

Federal policy also impacts competitors and horse shows in numerous other ways.  For example, many trainers, barns, and breeders depend on temporary foreign workers for grooms and farm hands and need the H-2B (non-agricultural) and H-2A (agricultural) foreign worker programs to work efficiently.

“Many people who participate in horse shows don’t understand how important foreign guest workers are to the showing community.” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “Without these workers, who often have years of experience caring for horses, there would be a major shortage of skilled labor in the showing industry. Unfortunately, right now we are fighting new H-2B rules that could make the program too difficult and expensive to use.”

Additionally, quarantine regulations impact equestrians who compete internationally. In January, the AHC requested the USDA allow U.S. horses to travel to CEM-affected regions for up to 90 days before more burdensome re-entry requirements kick in; currently it is 60 days. “Making this change would reduce the stress on U.S. competition horses, reduce the expenses for owners, and provide a more level playing field against our international competitors without increasing the risk of future incursions of CEM,” said Hoskins.

The AHC encourages members of the horse show community to visit its website at www.horsecouncil.org to learn how federal legislation and regulations impact them, and how they can get involved and support the AHC by becoming a member.

“Everyday we are here in Washington talking to Congress and the regulators to make sure they are aware of the concerns and needs of the $ 102 billion horse community. This is the only way to make sure equestrians will continue to have the ability to compete in their chosen equine discipline now and in the future,” said Hickey.

Link to Full Article on AHC Website

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As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.                       
The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

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Get into the world of the Dublin Horse Show!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 14, 2012 20:30

Have a view on our website for the latest news, to get information about the program, how to find us, the side events, how to get tickets and much more..


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UHC Announces Availability of How to Start and Run a Rescue

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 14, 2012 13:23

WASHINGTON, DC – May 14, 2012 - The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) announces the availability of Dr. Jennifer Williams’ resourceful book dedicated to rescues and sanctuaries, How to Start and Run a Rescue. Every dollar received from the sale of the book will go directly towards the UHC’s Operation Gelding program.

How to Start and Run a Rescue is an indispensable resource that offers practical and insightful advice to those who are interested in starting a rescue or those who may already have a rescue, but may need help improving upon their business. The book covers topics such as formation of a nonprofit, fundraising, public relations and marketing, formulating policies, successful bookkeeping, and much more. Dr. Williams discusses the complex issues involved in founding a rescue, long-term management, and improving upon a currently existing rescue. “Every rescue can certainly benefit from the topics covered in this book. Dr. Williams has left no stone unturned and has shared a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in the industry,” said Ericka Caslin, UHC Director.

The author, Dr. Jennifer Williams, has started and run two successful rescue organizations, Lone Star Equine Rescue and Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. She obtained a Masters and Doctorate degree from Texas A&M University in Animal Science with an emphasis on equine behavior, learning, and welfare.

The UHC is offering How to Start and Run a Rescue for $20 including shipping and handling. Every dollar of each sale goes directly towards funding the UHC’s Operation Gelding Program. This grant program is the UHC’s effort to help prevent indiscriminate breeding in our nation.

“The UHC is thrilled to be able to offer an amazing, irreplaceable resource to our nation’s rescues, while supporting such an amazing cause as Operation Gelding. It’s important for every rescue to be well-versed in the topics covered in this book, so we can help adopt more horses into loving homes and help more horses in need. The more successful rescues we have, the more horses we can save,” said Caslin.

For information on ordering How to Start and Run a Rescue, please visit: www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org or call 202-296-4031. E-mail orders can be placed by e-mailing Ericka Caslin at: ecaslin@horsecouncil.org. Each book is $20, including shipping and handling.

Link to this article on the UHC website

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The Unwanted Horse Coalition
The mission of the Unwanted Horse Coalition is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue. In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.

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