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AAEP Helps Continue Operation Gelding Program

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 21, 2012 11:01


WASHINGTON, DC – August 14, 2012 – Thanks to a generous donation from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEP), The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) is able to continue its Operation Gelding program.  The Operation Gelding program provides funds and materials to assist organizations, associations and events that wish to sponsor clinics to which horse owners can bring their stallions to be castrated.  Since the program was initiated in September 2010, Operation Gelding has assisted in gelding 489 stallions and has provided $24,450 in grant money to organizations that have hosted Operation Gelding castration clinics.
"The UHC is pleased to announce that the AAEP Foundation will be donating $15,000 to the Operation Gelding program to help continue this important effort and aid in the castration of 300 additional stallions. With this charitable donation, the AAEP is dedicated to making a positive impact on unwanted horses and the entire equine industry,” said Dr. Douglas Corey, Chairman of the UHC.
The UHC will provide information and forms necessary to conduct a clinic, along with seed money to defray the costs.  Funds of $50 per horse gelded with a $1,000 maximum will be awarded to groups once a year.  Assistance will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis, subject to available resources.  Organizations can apply by filling out the Operation Gelding Funding Form provided by the UHC.  Funds will be awarded once the clinic is complete and a veterinary statement is provided.  Any organization, association or event can participate in the UHC’s Operation Gelding program, the UHC wants to involve as many groups as possible.
"The American Association of Equine Practitioners, through our Foundation, is once again very pleased to be a part of the UHC's Operation Gelding Program. It is very encouraging to see so many organizations throughout the industry hosting clinics and working together to help horses in need,” said David Foley, AAEP Executive Director.
Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “We are so thankful to be able to continue this important nationwide program, thanks to the generosity of the AAEP.”
In addition to Operation Gelding, the UHC is offering the resourceful guidebook, How to Start and Run a Rescue, written by Dr. Jennifer Williams of Lone Star Equine Rescue and Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, for the low cost of $20 including shipping and handling. All of the proceeds from the sales of the book will go directly to the 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.
Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the fall in New Mexico, Michigan, Washington, Oklahoma, and Maryland.
For more information on Operation Gelding or how to purchase How to Start and Run a Rescue please contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031. Visit the UHC website at: www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org.
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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Inland NW Horse Expo moves to Spring 2013

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 10, 2012 10:57

Why the move? We wanted the Inland NW Horse Expo to be a great value for everyone involved and we know that means offering the very best in vendors, clinicians, demonstrations and services, in premium facilities.  Moving the Expo dates will allow us to do just that on May 3rd, 4th and 5th  2013!
The location remains at the Grant County Fairgrounds, but will be in the Ardell Pavilion, a venue that offers more amenities…restrooms, food concession in the building, more power, and larger vendor accommodations.  Overall, we are excited about the move to the Ardell Pavlion.  
You will still see great clinicians this spring.  Richard Shrake the creator of Resistance free® Riding and Training methods, and Resistance Free® Certified Coach Program with have session on Dressage and Reining.  Raye Lochert teaches a more effective method of communication with the horse with his sessions on Horse Problem Solving.  Rick Brighton natural gaited horsemanship helps riders improve with session to Evaluating Gaited Horse, Horsemanship for Gait, Tack for Gaited Horses and more.  Joan Curtin focuses on the rider’s need to establish pace and balance with session on how Longeing at different levels. Chrissy Wayne who will talk about Judging.  Larry Dacy sessions on More than Shoes will provide his insights as a farrier and trainers.  David Bodin the Horse Trailer Guru will have session to make your horse trailer the best for you and your horse.  Lucia Clemetson will show expo attendees the information you need to prepare your horse for the show ring with HAPS sessions.  Mike Miller from Land O Lakes will talk Nutrition and Body Scoring.  Theses clinicians will be joined by BCHW, WSU Vet Med Equine Group and more to provide great session every hour of the expo. 
Because we will be moving dates to spring we will be able to increase the number of vendors.  Many potential vendors expressed regret that they were unable to participate this Fall.  With the new dates we can add to our current roster of great companies like Triple Crown, EquiPride & EquiLix, Hoof Grid, DMA Fencing/Bayco Finish Line, and Columbia River Tack.  We encourage everyone to support these companies now and at the Expo.
In today’s economy committing to sponsoring a new event is entrepreneurial and we look forward to these companies continued support.   Postponing the Expo until May allows us to pursue additional partnerships in our commitment to make the Inland NW Horse Expo a premier event.  The Expo would also like to express our appreciation for our great sponsors; Inland Cellular, AmeriStay, Remuda Ranch Paint Horses, Big R, Danny’s Tavern and www.HorseOwnerToday.com.
Mark your calendars for May 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2013 at the Ardell Pavilion on the Grant County Fairgrounds!  Follow our progress on our website www.inlandnwhorseexpo.com or our Facebook page as we continue to update and expand the Inland NW Horse Expo!

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Equine Education

EQUINE CANADA, the Olympics and FEI's Hypersensitivity Protocol

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 8, 2012 15:15

CLARIFICATION ON THE STATEMENT FROM EQUINE CANADA REGARDING THE DISQUALIFICATION OF VICTOR, CANADIAN SHOW JUMPER FROM THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES August 8, 2012, London, England - Equine Canada has issued the following further statements regarding the International Equestrian Federation's (FEI) hypersensitivity testing protocol. "Equine Canada agrees that the FEI's hypersensitivity protocol is in place to protect the welfare of the horse and the fairness of our sport," states Mr. Gallagher. "Victor sustained a superficial cut on the front of the left front coronary band," states Canadian Olympic Team Veterinarian for Jumping Dr. Sylvie Surprenant. "In our opinion the horse was fit to compete as he showed no signs of lameness. However the FEI hypersensitivity protocol is such that if the horse is sensitive to the touch, regardless of the cause, the horse is disqualified. While the FEI rules for the hypersensitivity protocol were followed, we believe that there should be a review of this protocol." "We feel that further discussion of the hypersensitivity protocol needs to take place in order to ensure a balance is reached between the philosophical intent and the real-world application. Canada looks forward to playing a role in those discussions along with other nations within the FEI family," states Mr. Gallagher "Equine Canada wants to make it clear that there is absolutely no accusation of any wrongdoing on the part of our athlete Tiffany Foster or any member of the Canadian Team. Equine Canada fully stands behind and supports our athlete Tiffany Foster, as well as our entire team. Everyone at Equine Canada and the Canadian Olympic Team are disheartened and extremely disappointed over the premature ending of Tiffany Foster's Olympic dream, and remain fiercely proud of both her incredible sportsmanship and athletic achievements," states Mr. Gallagher.

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Equine Guelph Combats Colic with Your Help!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 4, 2012 09:17

Guelph, ON. - Colic is the number one killer of horses (other than old age!) and Equine Guelph is launching a comprehensive colic survey across Canada to better understand colic management practices in the industry and how people are dealing with colic. "Understanding the horse owners' experiences with colic will assist in developing targeted educational programs," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. 
Results from the survey will help develop Equine Guelph's Colic Prevention Program that includes a Colic Risk Rater and a Colic Prevention eWorkshop (a two-week online short course) with the aim of reducing horse owners' risk of colic. Dr. Judith Koenig, associate professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, states, "Colic is a major health issue facing horse owners both emotionally and financially. If horse owners are able to reduce their risk of colic through management, it will improve both the overall health and welfare of the horse." 
This is the first survey of its kind in Canada. The survey takes about 15-20 minutes and is available online through www.EquineGuelph.ca. The survey will be open from July 25th September 25th, 2012.
Participants of the survey will be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of two registrations to Equine Guelph's upcoming Colic Prevention eWorkshop!
In addition to funding from Standardbred Canada, investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council. 
For more information about Equine Guelph's Colic Prevention Program, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca/education/colic.

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Operation Gelding

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 31, 2012 12:57

Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Program Closes out the Summer with Four Clinics

WASHINGTON, DC – July 31, 2012 - The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program completed its summer schedule with four clinics between May and July. The Minnesota Horse Council, Patterson Animal Hospital, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, and Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue all hosted successful Operation Gelding clinics, castrating 66 stallions between the four organizations.  The UHC’s Operation Gelding program has aided in the gelding of 489 stallions to date.

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is designed to offer funding assistance to organizations, associations, and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse, $1,000 maximum, to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.

On May 5th, Dr. Yalonda Burton of Patterson Animal Hospital in Stillwell, OK, was able to perform 18 gelding procedures at her veterinary clinic. This clinic marks Dr. Burton’s second time hosting an Operation Gelding clinic with the help of the UHC.

“We were able to castrate 18 equines with the help of the UHC, 2 mules and 16 horses. We had student volunteers from Oklahoma State University student chapter of AAEP as well as a veterinarian from Goldsby, OK come to participate in this event.  It was a great day and we all felt like we made an impact on our community.  We were able to castrate some horses that may not have been castrated otherwise. Although hot and tired at the end of the day, we felt as if we became part of the solution to unwanted horses.  It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with some individuals from the horse world and people with similar goals for the horse industry. We appreciate all that the UHC has done to support this effort and realize that without their support, none of this would be possible.  Thank you for the opportunity to participate,” said Dr. Burton.

“The Minnesota Horse Council (MHC) with the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) castrated 22 horses with the help of 6 local equine veterinarians and 5 veterinarians and 22 students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Tracy Turner, President of the MN Horse Council. “The clinic was held on May 19th at the Isanti Fairgrounds. This was the fourth clinic sponsored by the MHC and MHWC, which to date has castrated nearly 90 equids.”

The Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue hosted an Operation Gelding clinic in June in East Hampton Connecticut along with the help of Dr. Stacey Golub.

Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, located in Jones, OK, conducted her first Operation Gelding clinic at the end of July. “The clinic went great!” said Cross, “We had a very successful day. We castrated 14 horses!” Ms. Cross was pleased with the outcome of their first clinic and looks forward to putting together more clinics for the horses and horse owners in her area in the future.

Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “With the two year anniversary of Operation Gelding coming up at the end of the summer, we are really pleased with the success of the program thus far. It is very encouraging to see the amount of interest and participation in the program. Participating organizations have helped hundreds of horses and horse owners in need and have done a wonderful job working together to help with the issue of unwanted horses. We look forward to organizing additional clinics for the fall.”

The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax-deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely toward funding the gelding of a stallion.

Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the fall in Michigan, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

For more information about Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

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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Equine Education

Saskatchewan Hay Report

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 23, 2012 17:35

One year ago
Fifty-nine per cent of the hay crop had been cut with 34 per cent baled or put into silage. Eighty-seven per cent of the hay crop was rated as good to excellent in quality.

Saskatchewan livestock producers have 65 per cent of the 2012 hay crop cut and 42 per cent baled or put into silage, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report.  Ninety-one per cent of the hay crop is rated as good to excellent in quality.
The estimated average hay yields on dry land are reported as 1.4 tons per acre (alfalfa and wild hay), 1.6 tons per acre (alfalfa/brome and other tame hay) and 1.9 tons per acre (greenfeed). On irrigated land, the estimated average hay yields are 2.1 tons per acre (alfalfa), 2.3 tons per acre (alfalfa/brome), 2.4 tons per acre (other tame hay) and 2.6 tons per acre (greenfeed).
Follow the 2012 Crop Report on Twitter @SKGovAg

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Maximizing the Benefits of Genomic Research on Clara Cell Secretory Protein

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 21, 2012 18:13






In a major step towards combating issues affecting equine reproduction and respiration, researchers at the University of Guelph have identified a protein called Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) that may assist in developing better defence systems when it comes to treatment and prevention.

The initial release of the horse genome database in 2007 has provided scientists with completely new information pertaining to horses' genes. This, along with the associated technologies in identifying proteins controlled by the genes, has since then greatly benefitted veterinary researchers working on equine health and disease.


Working as a main anti-inflammatory protein, CCSP appears to play a critical role in the defence against airway disease in mammals, and Dr. Dorothee Bienzle, Professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), is currently studying the effects of this key protein and the role it can play in determining and treating Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) in horses.


A chronic inflammatory lung disease, RAO is commonly referred to as heaves and affects up to 50% of horses worldwide. It is typically caused by an allergic-type of reaction following repeated exposure to environmental substances associated with poor quality hay or bedding. Even though this disease has been recognized for centuries, current treatment for horses with RAO is limited, resulting in affected horses being unable to race or perform as show horses.


While environment plays a key role in RAO, Bienzle believes that this disease could also develop in older horses that suffered severe respiratory virus infections as youngsters. Even after overcoming the viral infection, a certain proportion of these horses end up developing this asthma-like condition later on in life, which is then very difficult to treat and is essentially impossible to reverse.  


"We believe that some horses that suffer severe viral respiratory infections as youngsters, with organisms such as herpesvirus, influenza virus, or rhinovirus, develop a condition called 'inflammatory airway disease' (IAD)," says Bienzle. "Basically, the lining of the airways becomes inflamed, and some horses that have IAD never 'reset' their airway epithelium to the right balance of reacting to environmental stimuli and suppressing reactions. We believe those horses that remain prone to exaggerated inflammatory response are very likely to develop heaves."


Bienzle has discovered that the CCSP that is naturally produced in the lower bronchi plays an important role in counteracting lung inflammation in horses with RAO. In identifying the role of the protein they are studying, Bienzle explains that this will help researchers to better understand how the airway defends itself against environmental stimuli, enabling them to properly diagnose and better treat the condition.  


"We recognize CCSP as a main anti-inflammatory protein, but we don't really know how it works," explains Bienzle. "We would like to know whether it works in defending the airway epithelium (tissue which lines the respiratory tract) against viruses, inhaled particles, bacteria and/or other stimuli. We would also like to know how it decreases airway inflammation."  


While it has been found that the majority of CCSP is produced in the horse's conducting airway, University of Guelph researchers have also discovered important changes pertaining to key proteins that are involved in similar interactions between the uterus of the mare and the early developing embryo. Dr. Keith Betteridge, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Tony Hayes, Department of Pathobiology, both professors at the OVC, came together eight years ago with a common goal of reducing early pregnancy loss in mares.  


Nearly 17% of diagnosed pregnancies fail to produce a foal, and about 60% of the failures occur within the first five weeks of pregnancy. Both Betteridge and Hayes are focused on identifying the changes in molecules that are produced in the uterus in mares, including proteins that play a critical role in the failure of early pregnancy, as well as in infertility due to inflammatory processes. They feel that identifying these key molecules will assist in the development of early diagnostics and in creating new treatments for infertility.


"It would be very nice to be able to reduce the numbers of failed pregnancies," explains Betteridge. "And to be more specific, when we have systems that age the horse from the 1st of January for example, it is very important to get mares pregnant early in the season; being able to prevent pregnancy loss would go a long way towards meeting that goal."

Genomic research has equipped the veterinary researchers with the ability to identify many proteins by mass spectrometry and has revolutionized their ability to analyze the proteins in detail, as they study fertility and infertility in horses. It is details like these that guide researchers to the next 'growing point' of the continuous research process.  


The researchers note that there is much more to learn about early pregnancy, and by studying CCSP, they will have a better of idea of what can go wrong in early pregnancy.

"If we are able to identify the key molecules that are produced in mares," says Hayes, "We will be able to do two things. We will be able to hopefully develop a test which will help us measure the potential for that particular mare to get pregnant and may be able to use particular treatments that counteract the nasty effects of some of these proteins and therefore settle down the inflammatory response and make pregnancy more likely to occur earlier."


While genomic research has revolutionized the ability to identify the production of thousands of proteins, Hayes notes it can also be bewildering at times because researchers are confronted suddenly with huge amounts of new information about what's happening during these critical events. It then takes some time to analyze all of these activities and the locations of protein production.  


"There are a lot of the proteins controlled by these genes that have been identified in parallel with what has been known in other species, but still there are many, many genes that are poorly understood in the horse, and I think it will be another five or ten years before the full depth of genomic information will be available for researchers like us," says Hayes. "But nonetheless, there are many, many helpful items that we can follow now with regard to reproductive health that will be of benefit to the industry."


Funding for these research projects have been provided by Equine Guelph, Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the University of Guelph.


By - Barbara Sheridan  










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There has been a huge uproar in the media, of late, around the sport of chuckwagon racing. Most of this hull.....

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 18, 2012 15:32


Cami Ryan

Dear Pam (content warning: extreme sarcasm)

17 Tuesday Jul 2012

Posted by Cami Ryan in agriculture, communications, consumer perceptions, Personal Insights, Uncategorized   

Disclaimer: These words are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Stampede or its affiliates, nor do they reflect the opinions of HorseOwnerToday.com.

There has been a huge uproar in the media, of late, around the sport of chuckwagon racing. Most of this hullabaloo came as a result of the tragic accident that occurred on the track last week at the Calgary Stampede. Driver Chad Harden lost three of his valued team members; three horses – “members of the family” as he referred to them. It was a sad day for the Hardens and a sad day for the Stampede.

Before I go any further, I want to clear up some facts. Many sites are misrepresenting the details around the accident.

    FACT: The left lead horse collapsed and died on the track due to natural causes (a ruptured aortic aneurysm, a pre-existing condition that couldn’t have been detected prior to the race)
    FACT: The collapse of the left lead brought down the rest of the team and, subsequently, the horse and his outrider who were following behind
    FACT: Two of the horses (right lead and outrider horse) had to be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries
    FACT: One horse was to undergo surgery and is expected to survive. One is doing just fine.
    FACT: Chad Harden’s close attention to his team and his expert driving prevented what could have been a much worse on-track disaster.
    FACT: Yes, the loss of the animals was tragic but no human life was lost. For that, we are all grateful.

I had the opportunity to visit the chuckwagon barns at the Stampede last week and witnessed first-hand how well these magnificent horses are cared for. Chuckwagon drivers spend hours every day with their horses – feeding, grooming, washing and caring for them. They get to know their talents as well as their limitations. They take time to consider who should be positioned as leads or in wheel positions based upon their individual skills. They instinctively know which horses love each other best and, as a result, who would work well together as a team. These horses have incredibly distinct personalities, you can see it in how they relate to humans and to one another. A friend of mine refers to thoroughbreds as the “unruly teenagers”. They are high energy animals, they are athletes and they are always ready to run. That’s what they are born and bred for.

The sport of chuckwagon racing has an extensive history (with the Stampede and beyond) and there are incredibly strong familial links in the chuckwagon community. These people work together, play together and have developed working and sporting protocols that are dedicated to maintaining high standards in the sport and in animal care. And these protocols and standards are constantly improving and evolving. Horses are a chuckwagon driver’s life. I don’t know any cowboy (or cowgirl, for that matter) whose thoughts don’t often return to their horse(s) throughout the day. These people love their horses. They, like all people that bring their animals to the Stampede, care deeply about animal welfare and well-being.

What really burns my britches is when celebrities adopt a cause, push a political agenda (amplified by ego or other personal motivations) and see fit to misrepresent or malign good people and good practices (I see it in agriculture all the time). Flanking her friends at PETA and another Stampede-critic Bob Barker, Pamela Anderson has hit the headlines and airwaves of late, criticizing the sport of chuckwagons and petitioning the Premier of Alberta to ban the sport. This is my letter to her.

Dear Pam:

You stated that horses are “routinely killed” in chuckwagon races. What do you mean by “routinely”? Only 50 horses have died out of an estimated 75,000 at Stampedes in the past 26 years. This number represents ‘a percentage of a percentage of a percentage’ based upon total starts. This number is NOT statistically significant. Just so you know, Pam, more women died in the United States last year (2011) going under the knife for cosmetic surgery. This latter statistic, although relatively higher, is not significant either – so you can rest easy. The practice of cosmetic surgery will carry on.

So, you want the sport of chuckwagon racing banned? Let’s say, Pam – in all your infinite ‘equine wisdom’ – that you are able to somehow shut down the sport. Are you prepared to accept the consequences? Presumably, Pam, you wouldn’t want to see these animals euthanized. If you (and your friends at PETA and we can’t forget Bob Barker, of course) plan to move forward, you better be prepared to make some major investments. These thoroughbreds that are no longer working will require new homes. Yours, perhaps? If so, grab a pen and paper ‘cause this is what you will need:

    A minimum of two acres of pasture per animal so that you watch your magnificent creature frolic, prance and nibble grass in the setting sun (cue: elevator music)
    You will also have to seed this pasture acreage on occasion in order to sustain it
    You will need a truck and trailer to transport your new pet (plus other acreage maintenance equipment)
    Hay, on average, will cost ~500$ per horse per year (plus cost of supplements, etc, if you choose)
    Vet bills will run you $500-$800 per year at a minimum and that’s with NO accidents or significant health issues (good luck with that)
    Hoof trimming will run you at a minimum of $400 per year (if you are tempted to ride your new pet for “your amusement and entertainment” (God forbid), then add on another ~$1000 per year for shoeing)
    The horse will require some form of shelter which can cost anywhere from $1000 and up depending upon how extravagant you want to get (don’t forget maintenance costs)
    Then there’s fencing which will run you anywhere from $7000 to $10000 (you would want post-and-rail and not barb-wire, correct? Yeah, save the barb-wire for your tattoos).
    You will need tack (presumably you will not be riding for “your amusement and entertainment”, so you will only require a halter and a blanket or two) plus some grooming tools.
    As this pastoral animal will not be a ‘working’ animal, it will not be in top physical condition and its life expectancy will be reduced and it will be vulnerable to more health issuses. This means higher vet bills (see #5).

Conservatively speaking, we are looking at variable costs of well over $2000 per animal per year and don’t forget your fixed / capital outlay costs for shelter, fencing, land, truck, trailer, equipment, etc. Multiply all this by the number of horses that would be ‘out of a job’ if the sport of chuckwagon racing was banned. Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Wow, either way, this is adding up. Perhaps not all will find homes, Pam (imagine that). Then you would have to factor in another $700+ to euthanize, remove and dispose of each horse. Whew. Where are we at now? *franticallytappingcalculator*

In short, political motivations, optics and actions today can carry some serious long term implications, Pam. Although those retired thoroughbreds would look magnificent grazing in your back 10 acres just outside of LA, all that they would end up being is mere ‘eye candy’. Oh wait, that might work for you. Bad argument. At any rate, ‘eye candy’ does not justify the perpetuation of a breed. If these animals don’t work, there is no incentive to breed or raise them. The breed, as we know it, would eventually disappear (AKA “extinction”).

What happened at the chuckwagon races the other day was a tragic accident, Pam. Nothing more. If those horses weren’t out running there, they could have been just as easily running in some pastoral setting somewhere and have broken a leg in a gopher hole. In 2007, my husband and I lost two horses when they got out and were hit by a car (ironically, it was a Mustang). It’s difficult to estimate how many horses (and other animals) die in vehicular mishaps alone. Much of these incidents go unreported. Should we ban cars and trucks as well?

One final note, Pam. Did you know that the sport of chuckwagon racing also operates as a pseudo rescue organization? They adopt ex-race horses. You know – those same horses that you used to watch race every year at the Kentucky Derby until you boycotted the event in 2006. The sport of chuckwagon racing saves literally thousands of thoroughbreds each year from the abattoirs, often extending their lives for ten years or more! …Think about it.

Pam, honey, you have no jurisdiction here. You can no more tell the Stampede – or the Premier, for that matter – to shut down the chucks than any of us can tell you to stop getting cosmetic surgery. Stick to what you know.


A meat-eating, leather-boot-shoe-wearing, horse-back-riding, rodeo and chuckwagon-supporting, agriculture enthusiast. :O)

for all comments and argument go to http://doccamiryan.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/dear-pam-content-warning-extreme-sarcasm/

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Good Driving Skills Buddy!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 15, 2012 15:13

I was sitting quietly Sunday morning, drinking my first coffee, while the family bacon and eggs cooked on a wood fire. A young doe and buck walked across our pasture....I enjoy watching them.  They drink out of the water trough, lick the salt blocks and are generally at home.  I took the first bacon and eggs to the house, came back and whoooaa, 2 SUV's are stopped, male drivers are pacing around outside using cell phone minutes.....guess what, bambi and bambette are SOL.

Why can't people drive past their hood ornament?  I have 0 (zero) compassion for these drivers.  Low traffic volume day, early and they can't see 2 deer crossing the highwayThere is only one polite thing to say GOOD DRIVING SKILLS BUDDY! 

The past several years have seen our traffic volume increase dramatically while the quality of drivers decreases exponentially.  Our highway is 4 lane, 110 km/hour.  When I drive 110 km/hr, I get flipped the bird, cut off, fist are shook............hello *******, you are breaking the law here not me!  The speed limit is 110 km/hr, not 110 miles per hour.  Yes, if you are driving within Saskatchewan's borders you should know that we have a lot of wildlife.  If you don't STAY IN THE CITY, TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT!  (My frustration and potty language skills have not been lost on our son.  My attempt at rectifying the situation was to come up with a phrase that sums up the situation "GOOD DRIVING SKILLS BUDDY" seems to do it and he is learning the fine art of sarcasm.)

The Queen's finest showed up, spent over an 1.5 hours at the scene.   The scene of what?... a duo of idiots walking around boohooing on the cell phones because they only drive to their hood ornaments----what a waste of taxpayers time and money.

The tow trucks showed up, toted them all away, but guess what, we now have dead deer parts.   We now have to crate our dog, keep her on a leash or clean up the mess that should have been thrown into the SUV's before they were towed away!  Wonder what the duo of idiots would have said when presented with gloves and told get cleaning and loading in your vehicles.

My rant is coming to an end, I would like to share one interesting tidbit that I have noticed most GOOD DRIVING SKILLS BUDDY type accidents seem to have a common denominator, they seem to happen to SUV's, hhhmmmm I wonder why?  We see more SUV tires in the air during inclement winter weather than the sum of all other vehicles, again I wonder why?

I will leave you on that note with one more salutation to the duo of idiots  GOOD DRIVING SKILLS BUDDIES!

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Jim Shoemake Elected AHC Chairman

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 11, 2012 13:38

Jim J. Shoemake, past President of the American Quarter Horse Association and senior partner in the St. Louis law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall & Shoemake, L.L.C., was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Horse Council (AHC) at the AHC’s annual meeting in Washington, DC on June 26.  The AHC represents the horse industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington. 

Shoemake and his wife Rita own a farm near Farmington, Missouri and have been involved in breeding and raising registered American Quarter Horses for many years.  He received his undergraduate degree from Washington University and is a graduate of St. Louis University School of Law.  Shoemake is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lindenwood University, founded in 1827, and serves on the boards of a number of other charitable and not-for-profit entities, including the American Quarter Horse Association, the Urological Research Foundation, and the Missouri Quarter Horse Association.

Shoemake succeeds Russell Williams, Vice Chairman of the United States Trotting Association.  

“We are very fortunate to have Jim as the Chair of the AHC,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “His broad background in the horse industry, his legal skills, and his legislative experience when he worked in the U.S. Department of Justice will be great assets to the organization.”

“I appreciate the confidence the AHC has shown in me by electing me chair.  We have some difficult issues before Congress and several agencies, but we will continue to protect the horse industry,” said Shoemake.

Dr. Jerry Black, past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, was elected AHC vice chair.  Dr. Black received his undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University.  He is presently the Wagonhound Land and Livestock Chair and Director of Undergraduate Programs in Equine Sciences at Colorado State University.  Dr. Black recently completed two terms on the Executive Committee of the National Cutting Horse Association.  He also owns Valley Oak Ranch, a stallion station, with his wife Melinda.

“Both Jim and Jerry have been AHC Trustees for some time.  They know the issues the AHC must deal with and will step right into their new roles,” said Hickey.

For more information on the American Horse Council and its mission, please visit its website at www.horsecouncil.org.

Link to 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. 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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