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posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 24, 2012 07:14

Did I hear you SHOUT YES????

Just "like" @HorseOwnerToday and @FunkyGeeGees for an entry, "share" with your friends for 10 entries and then let us know, email us at bonnie.n@horseownertoday.com. Winner will be drawn when @Funky GeeGees and @HorseOwnerToday have 1000 Fb likes.

Record Crowds Attend the Inaugural Saskatchewan Equine Expo

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 21, 2012 12:24

Biosecurity Tool – Does Your Barn get the Green Light?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 14, 2012 18:37


With all the breaking news on the importance of biosecurity – Isn’t it time to bone up on preventative measures your barn could be taking?   Calculate your horse farm’s risks with Equine Guelph’s Biosecurity Risk Calculator, a tool designed for horse owners to generate a report that grades them on their biosecurity management practices on their farms.  See if you score a green, amber or red light.

Live and online at Biosecurity Calculator, the interactive tool is an educational resource of Equine Guelph (University of Guelph) developed in collaboration with Colorado State University and sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation and Vétoquinol Canada Inc.


"Every horse owner should think about a biosecurity management plan,” says Karen Ann Paradis, Equine Product Manager of Vétoquinol. “Having a solid understanding of equine health, infectious disease and disease control is paramount in reducing biosecurity risk in a high-risk industry."


After taking the 10 minute, 42 question Biosecurity Calculator quiz - turn those amber scores green by increasing your knowledge with Equine Guelph’s biosecurity workshops this March and 2 week e-Session April 16 - 29.    The combined feedback from the Biosecurity Calculator and Equine Guelph’s upcoming programs will provide you with the best practices for decreasing risk of infectious disease in your horse(s).  


To learn more about Equine Guelph’s biocesurity programs visit:    www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

Consistency is Key – Says Racing Surfaces Internationally Acclaimed Publication

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 14, 2012 18:11





A number of factors affect the performance of a racing or training surface according to the well received 34-page “Racing Surfaces White Paper” published in June this year.   This international publication is a survey of current understanding on ways to enhance track safety, and is co-authored by an esteemed panel including: Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D., University of Maine, United States; Lars Roepstorff, DVM, PhD, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Jeffrey J. Thomason, PhD, University of Guelph, Canada; Christie Mahaffey, MPhil, University of Maine, United States; C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Colorado State University, United States. 


Though there is still much research to be done since the forming of the racing surfaces committee at the inaugural Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006, this publication will benefit trainers, track superintendants and any person in charge of riding surfaces.  Details of proper maintenance of surfaces and training guidelines can be found, based on the knowledge gained from the researcher’s findings thus far.  The download is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org/resources/White_Paper_final.pdf


Climate and maintenance are two of many factors analyzed by the researchers looking for the best possible training surface conditions to enhance safety for the horse and rider. The Racing Surfaces White Paper publication will have future applications in helping in the design of tracks, in terms of banking and cushioning properties in track surfaces not only in racing but in training as well.  U of G, Co-author Dr. Jeff Thomason notes, “Horse industry leaders, interested in creating an optimum surface to help minimize injuries in the limbs of horses, will be interested in following this research”.


Thomason is pleased to be a part of this White Paper publication. It is the most comprehensive scientific body of research on race tracks to date; yet it is just scratching the surface.  New questions have been cultivated requiring further investigation.  Thomason will continue to be involved with this collaborative research with targeted studies on the effect of racetrack characteristics on the horse-hoof-track interaction.


With so many variables in play the next steps in research are always, short very specific experiments with a narrow focus (e.g., the effect of different height toe grabs or different shoes on the same surface).  “It is only by meticulously piecing together the answers of each precise question that you begin to see the big picture” says Thomason.  Studying the influences of forces and loads and the mechanics of loading on the hoof itself is an integral part of Thomason’s research.  One method used to measure these forces is by gluing lightweight sensors to a horse’s hooves before it goes out to the training track.  These sensors have been used to record two kinds of data: strain and shock. 


With so many track surface options available (including synthetic, dirt or turf), Thomason is often asked what the best option is.  The preponderance of evidence at the moment suggests the consistency of the surface is more important than the material it is made of.  A well-maintained all-weather track is desirable.  The track should be consistent around its circumference.  Three unknown topics requiring further research are:  1) the range of hardness or softness that is not dangerous to the horse.  2) How well does water need to run off a track?    3) Do track surfaces need to have different properties for the impact as opposed to the sliding?  Research proves good maintenance is an extremely important component for providing consistency and improving safety.  Of course, the track has to be well constructed to start with.  Regular maintenance includes light harrowing between races to level the hoof prints left in the ground.  Deeper harrowing, as required, provides a cushion at the top of the surface.  One superintendent reported a 30 - 40% reduction in catastrophic fractures at his track after attending a meeting of superintendents in North America and adopting the consistency maintenance program outlined in the White Paper. 

Climate also plays a vital and complicated role in determining maintenance.  Thomason reminisces, “Where I grew up, in England, the climate consisted of ample rain and you heard about the going being sloppy, firm or good.  This would be a measure of how slippery or firm the track was.”  Conversely California has problems with the surface becoming too dry. Artificial surfaces were designed to give a surface that was consistent.  This has not been achieved yet.  Even artificial surfaces change their properties throughout the day when the sun comes out. In the morning the surface becomes softer and records indicate the racing times slow down throughout the day showing a very local effect of sunny climate on the track. 


Thomason spends much of his time understanding the complexity of how the hoof interacts with the ground from absorbing the shock of impact to the abrasion of grinding into the surface and how the weight of the horse is distributed.  One excerpt of the Whitepaper states:  As the soil or top layer of the turf compacts, it becomes stiffer and more resistant to further compaction, bringing the hoof to a stop (Thomason and Peterson 2008). Once the motion of the hoof has been slowed or has stopped, the weight of the horse is dynamically transferred to the hoof and then to the harder surface material beneath the hoof. This dynamic transfer of the weight of the horse to the hoof is the source of the acceleration, resulting in peak loads which may approach 2.5 times the bodyweight of the horse.


The hardness of the track influences how quickly the foot is decelerated and then the stiffness of the track when the load is being applied. This rate of deceleration controls the strain which is transferred to the leg and results in higher peak loads for stiffer surfaces. Repeated loading to the bone can cause micro fractures and the catastrophic fractures (Radin et al. 1972).  Horses and their owners stand to benefit from this research when new information is discovered regarding how to reduce the factors causing injuries on limbs.


Jeff Thomason’s research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Equine Guelph and Grayson Jockey Club. 



Biosecurity Update: New EHV-1 case in Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 14:18

   Veterinary Update

Animal Health and Welfare Branch/Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


                                                    January 19, 2012

Confirmed Case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy in Southern Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been notified of a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), caused by equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1),  in Southern Ontario.  A blood sample from a horse with severe neurological signs tested positive for EHV-1 in early January. The horse was euthanized after its condition deteriorated.  On a second farm in the same area, another horse with similar signs was euthanized in late December.  No samples were collected from that horse.


In 2011, there was one laboratory-confirmed case and one suspect case of EHM in Ontario.


EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and/or neurological disease.  EHV-1 is not a federally Reportable Disease.  


Because infected horses may show no clinical signs, but still shed the virus, the temperature of suspect animals should be monitored twice daily for 14 -21 days and any abnormalities discussed with a veterinarian. Neurological signs include loss of muscle coordination, lethargy, inability to urinate, reduced tail tone and/or head tilt.  It is important that a veterinarian assess suspect cases of EHM, since it can be difficult to distinguish between this and other serious diseases, such as rabies, that can affect the nervous system in horses.


EHV-1 is easily spread by sharing contaminated equipment, contact with an animal carrying the virus, or by the clothing, hands or equipment of visitors to farms who recently had contact with an infected horse. 


All horse owners should be reminded to practice vaccination and appropriate biosecurity protocols and procedures (see links below) for horses and equipment coming on and off the farm, particularly if traveling to shows or events. 


Current EHV vaccines may reduce viral shedding but are not protective against the neurological form of the disease. Implementing routine biosecurity practices is the best way to minimize the spread of this disease.


Increased vigilance is needed in the equine industry at this time.  In cases of neurological disease, a veterinarian’s first obligation is to rule out rabies if the animal dies or is euthanized, by submitting a brain sample to CFIA. Appropriate personal protection, such as gloves and a face shield, should be used when collecting samples.

The resources listed below contain excellent information on basic biosecurity practices and infection control.


Equine Herpes Virus is an opportunity to remind your clients that the best method of disease control is disease prevention.



























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competition | dressage | employment | groom | disease

American Horse Council's 2012 Immigration Reform Outlook

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 21, 2012 19:58


Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, ranches, horse shows, trainers and others must rely on foreign workers and use both the H-2B and H-2A temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs.  For this reason immigration polices have a profound impact on the horse industry.


In 2011 numerous bills were introduced in the 112th Congress concerning immigration, most enforcement oriented.  Most notably, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), which would require all employers to use the federal E-verify system to make sure their workers are authorized to work.   The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on this bill and reported it out of committee on September 21.


“In the Summer and Fall we saw a lot of action in Congress on immigration.  Committees in both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and the House Judiciary Committee approved a mandatory E-verify bill. Since then however, there has been little movement on the issue because even Members of Congress who are in favor of beefing up enforcement and passing mandatory E-verify can’t agree on the best way to proceed,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.


In response to concerns that mandatory E-verify would cripple the U.S. agricultural industry several bills, like the American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R.2847) and the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act (H.R.2895), were introduced.  These bills would create new, less burdensome temporary foreign agricultural worker programs to replace the current H-2A program. However, no consensus emerged on which of the many proposals on the table would  best accommodate the needs of agriculture.


 “It is absolutely vital for the horse industry to have access to functioning, efficient, and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs to meet its labor needs and the horse industry can not support any bill unless it provides for those needs,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We would like Congress to reform our system in a comprehensive way.  However, as we enter another election year it is unlikely Congress will have much of a desire to deal with a hot-button issue like immigration.”


“It is likely more immigration bills will be introduced in 2012 and there maybe action taken on specific issues like the H-2B wage rule, but right now it doesn’t look like Congress will take action on major legislation like mandatory E-verify,” said Pendergrass.    


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.

American Horse Council Explains Changes in Tax Benefits for Horse Owners

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 21, 2012 19:55

Despite the acrimony and brinksmanship, Congress eventually passed an extension of the payroll tax reductions in late December maintaining the 2% reduction in payroll taxes for workers and the self-employed.  The relief is good for two months through February, 2012.  Negotiations are already underway between the House and Senate to find a way to extend payroll tax relief through 2012.


But the bill ultimately passed by Congress did not extend the Section 179 expense deduction or 100% bonus depreciation at the 2011 levels.  Both provisions have returned to prior lower levels. 


Section 179 Expense Deduction


The expense deduction has returned to $125,000 for 2012 and phases out dollar-for-dollar once purchases of depreciable property reach $500,000.  The 179 expense deduction applies to horses, farm equipment and other depreciable property used in a business and permits a horse owner or breeder to write-off up to $125,000 in assets purchased and placed in service in one’s horse business in 2012. 


The expense allowance for 2010-2011 was $500,000 and phased out after purchases exceeded $2 million.


Bonus Depreciation


In addition, bonus depreciation has returned to 50% for 2012.  Bonus depreciation allows horse owners and other horse businesses to write off 50% of the cost of “new” capital assets, including horses, when purchased and placed in service in 2012.  To be eligible for bonus depreciation the original use of the property must commence with the taxpayer.  Any prior use makes the property ineligible.


Bonus depreciation was 100% for eligible assets purchased and placed in service from September 8, 2010 through 2011.


Both provisions can be used together.


Retroactive Change is Possible


“It is possible that the higher levels could be reinstated retroactively to January 1, 2012.  In fact, the House-passed payroll-tax bill extended 100% bonus depreciation through 2012, even though the Senate bill did not,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “The negotiations between now and the end of February on the one-year extension of the payroll tax reduction could include other changes to the tax code, such as the expense deduction or bonus depreciation.  But this is speculation at this point.”


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.


competition | employment | entertainment | general | groom


posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 17, 2012 09:54


The Saskatchewan Horse Federation is the recognized provincial membership organization comprising over 6,000 persons and providing leadership to a diversity of 175 equine and equestrian organizations. As a member of Sask Sport Inc., it is the recipient of Sask Lotteries funding. Founded in 1974, it is a growing and dynamic organization whose objectives include the furthering of the sport, recreation and industry of the provincial horse community, both within and outside the province.
To succeed the 28 year term of the retiring Executive Director, we look for the right person who is seeking a career position. With offices located in Regina, we offer a trusted reputation and are a vital organization with opportunities for personal initiative, challenge and fulfillment.
Reporting to the president and working with a Board of Directors, the administration and programs of the Federation are managed by the Executive Director. Important direct and immediate responsibilities include liaisons with Sask Sport and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Further information on the scope of the organization may be found at www.saskhorse.ca
This position includes a comprehensive benefits package. To apply please send your resume outlining education, training and previous experience with your salary expectations.
Applicants are requested to send a resume on or before January 20, 2012, to:
Saskatchewan Horse Federation Inc.,
Attn.: Search Committee
2205 Victoria Avenue,
Regina, Saskatchewan. S4P 0S4


FEI Dressage: Blood Rule To Be Voted On

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   December 3, 2011 09:17

Blood rule to be voted on this weekend…

November 9th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

The FEI’s proposed blood rule will be voted on this weekend at the FEI General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There has been public outcry and heated debate about the proposed rule, which was released in June, with cries of animal cruelty and labelling of dressage as a ‘Blood Sport’. There are a number of conflicting views as to whether the rule is a good or bad thing but given the campaign in Europe it looks unlikely that it will be passed. Read on for a number of different viewpoints and let us know what you think…

Adelinde and Parzival

The proposed rule would mean that if a horse, at a top level Games or Championships, is seen to have blood anywhere on its body it can be assessed by an FEI veterinarian and if it is then deemed fit to compete, can restart its test. Up until now riders have been eliminated if there is any blood visible on the horse. While blood is not specifically mentioned in the FEI Rule Book for Dressage Events, the FEI has previously been able to refer to their all-encompassing rule that a reason for elimination is if: “the performance is against the welfare of the horse.”

The proposed new rule is as follows:
At top level events (Olympic Games, Championships and Finals for seniors), where FEI vets will be present at the warm-up arena, they would examine the horse and the test would resume if bleeding from minor injuries had stopped. If the bleeding had not stopped, the horse would be eliminated. Where vets are not present to examine the horse, bleeding would result in immediate elimination.

At the 2010 Lexington World Equestrian Games Adelinde Cornellisen was eliminated when blood was spotted in the horse’s saliva. Adelinde and her horse Jerich Parzival were tipped to win the dressage but had no grounds for appeal when they were stopped in their test. Once the horse returned to its stable the bleeding had stopped and after being assessed by the Dutch Team vet it was revealed that the horse had a very small cut on its tongue. Ground jury member at Lexington Stephen Clarke, who judged at C, said that informing Cornelissen that she was eliminated was “the worst moment of my career.”

The International Dressage Officials Club, the International Dressage Riders Club and the Association of International Dressage Event Organisers have all objected to the proposed new rule and have sent the FEI Dressage Board a clear message that they against the blood rule and want to promote a positive image for the sport of dressage.
This rule was proposed by the Dutch chef, Sjef Janssen, as a way to clarify the vagaries surrounding the rule, and allow riders at top-level competition a chance to compete if the injury would not cause the horse pain or inhibit performance. They did not predict the furore of debate that has raged among the world’s dressage riders, trainers, spectators and national committees; each with their own opinion…

Kyra Kyrklund – President of the International Dressage Riders Club

Kyra Kyrklund stated that the IDRC does not agree with the proposed rule: “Our viewpoint is that if there is blood in the mouth in the competition, the horse should be eliminated. The rider should have the right to appeal if he or she feels it was not blood and in that case have the chance to start again…I don’t think they should get a second chance if it is blood…The appeal is a right the rider should have. What if the judge is seeing something that isn’t there? In Kentucky they [the FEI stewards] felt the sides of the horses after the test with a white glove. One horse had sweat and brown from dirt, not blood, and the stewards were very upset until they figured out what it was.” Kyrklund also added that the proposed rule has practicality problems and would be hard to administer: “What about shows that don’t have an FEI vet “on guard” by the dressage arena all the time. What if the horse starting last in the competition starts to bleed? There are no pauses left, when should that one start again? And how much warm up time would be allowed for a re-start? What if the horse starts to bleed again, can it have a third go?”

Kyra Kyrklund

Astrid Appels – Editor of eurodressage.com

Astrid Appels has covered the controversy surrounding the rule on her website, and has linked to a petition started by Fair zum Pferd against the introduction of the blood rule, which has received more than 12,000 online signatures including major dressage figures such as Steffen Peters, Anabel and Klaus Balkenhol and Wilfried Bechtolsheimer. Australia’s Andrew McLean has also signed it. Astrid wrote that “Dressage might be on the verge of officially becoming a blood sport,” asking if the FEI Dressage Committee will “propose the IDTC-inspired rule which allows blood to taint our sport, or will sense for the welfare of the horse return to dressage?” Astrid went on to say that Sjef Janssen, in proposing the rule, believes that “medal potential and hard money are more important than animal welfare.” Astrid also accused Germany’s Sönke Lauterbach of preferring medals to horse welfare stating that he “decided to vote on a rule which promotes a negative image of the dressage sport allowing bleeding horses to re-appear in the show ring in order not to lose medal chances.”

Sönke Lauterbach – Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation

Germany, one of the strongest competitors in international equestrian competition, initially planned to vote in favour of the blood rule but has now reversed its position. Originally Sönke Lauterbach was in favour of the rule: “This rule only works at Championships and not at other international and national dressage events…It is undisputed that a horse will only stay in the competition based on a veterinary diagnosis. The point is to distinguish a minimal injury from a real health problem. The welfare of the horse will remain the main priority. There are plenty of veterinarians at top events, which can guarantee a quick check-up.” However, following the outrage that swept through the dressage world, with claims of medal potential being more important than horse welfare, he stated that Germany would not vote for the blood rule to be introduced at the FEI General Assembly. Lauterbach explained that they reversed their decision as “we wrongly assessed the reactions of our athletes, judges, veterinarians and members about the so-called Blood Rule.”

Sönke Lauterbach

Sjef Janssen – Dutch National Trainer

Sjef Janssen, board member and former president of the International Dressage Trainers Club (who proposed the rule), considers the vitriolic outcry about the blood rule unjustified and the rule perfectly reasonable: “I don’t approve of blood, let that be clear. Blood is a signal that there is something wrong. In my opinion a specialist needs to step up and check what’s wrong, like in the proposed rule. To me it’s irresponsible and not good that one judge takes this decision. Firstly he’s a judge and not a vet and secondly it has to happen by someone impartial and knowledgeable.” In regards to the concern about the fairness of the rule – as it would only allow restarts at Championships and Olympics and not at lower levels – Sjef stated: “It’s not feasible to make this rule happen at all shows, but for shows where large interests are at stake, I think the installment of the rule is very justified.”

Sjef Janssen

Sissy Max-Theurer – President of Austrian Equestrian Federation

Sissy Max-Theurer indicated that Austria was still undecided about the controversial rule. “There were many discussions about it in the dressage world and I can see the problem from all angles, as horse owner, judge and show organizer,” she stated. “Personally I haven’t made a decision yet on the rule. In my opinion you have to find a rule that treats all riders equally and not only the senior riders at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships. I don’t find it fair. In principle, I favour that there will be a veterinarian at all national and international competitions who can judge from the warm up ring if a horse can compete or not. It continues to happen that a horse harmlessly bites its tongue or lip, without harsh involvement of the hands. In principle one has to be fair to the horse but also to the rider. I can imagine that a test could continue after a horse has been rung out for blood in his mouth and a check-up by a vet shows that it’s a minor injury. However this has to be rule at all shows and not just at championships.”

Chris Hector – Editor of The Horse Magazine

“It is pretty scary to find I’m lining up with Sjef, but on this occasion I agree with him. I guess all of us have at one time or another bitten our tongue, it hurts but it is a long way from your heart. It really was a pity not to see Adelinde and Parzival compete at the last WEG, and if – as the Dutch claim – the horse’s tongue had stopped bleeding by the time it got back to the stables, why then not let the horse compete? We are not talking about horses bleeding internally as a result of physical stress, we are talking about simple, minor accidents. We are not talking about horses being allowed to compete when they are bleeding but about horses being allowed to compete when they are not bleeding. The rule change was only proposed for major major events where expert veterinary advice is always on hand. The talk of the millions of people watching every second of dressage on television ready to desert the sport at the sight of a speck of blood is sheer fantasy – the sort of people who are interested in dressage know how easily horses can bleed in the mouth from very minor accidents. Obviously at this sort of event, the stewarding should be of such a high standard that there is no chance that the blood can result from rough riding. I think the proposed new rule was a sensible one torpedoed by an hysterical campaign that has as more to do with anti-Dutch sentiment than logic. I have spoken to a number of riders who privately agree that the proposed rule is a good one but they are unwilling to publically speak out because they fear they will be crucified on Astrid Appels’ eurodressage website and/or savaged by the formidable Kyra Kyrklund who seems quite obsessive on this issue. I have watched a couple of million (well it feels like that) tests over the past thirty years, and can recall two occasions when a horse was sent from the ring for a mouth bleed – one was an eventer, the other was Parzival at Lexington. Statistically it is highly unlikely that I will witness another ‘blood’ incident, but just imagine for a moment that next year at the London Games, Uthopia bites his tongue and it is bleeding when he enters the ring. They are immediately disqualified (I’m assuming that Astrid and Kyra will get their way) and despite the fact that five minutes later the horse is perfectly fit to compete, Carl Hester, and the British team are eliminated. I do hope Mesdames Appels and Kyrklund are around to explain why that is a good thing for dressage…”

Chris Hector

Mary Hanna – Australian Olympian

“It seems to me that the recent debate about the ruling, in regard to blood in a horse’s mouth has become highly emotional, and not always rational. The purpose of the rule should be to safeguard the welfare of the horse, and prevent any form of cruelty. It is also important that we have one rule for all. To have a more lenient rule for international competitions than national or regional competitions is very unfair. However, I think we need to get things in perspective. If I break my fingernail and it bleeds, I do not stop riding my horse, playing golf, or sailing my boat! If I bit my tongue, I wouldn’t stop either. Likewise for the horse there is a big difference between a horse accidentally biting his tongue, or having bleeding from the corner, or the inside of his mouth due to rough hands of a rider. A minor and accidental biting of the tongue should be easy for a steward to identify, as opposed to a mouth bleeding from rough riding. Surely a vet is not needed to identify this problem. Well educated judges, or stewards should be able to make an assessment of the situation, and prevent a whole team of riders being taken out by a small and inconsequential nick to the tongue. I notice in Europe debate over this issue has reached hysterical levels. Surely common sense can prevail. Stewards are educated to be on the look out for any form of cruelty, and this is a very good thing. Rough riding should not, and is not tolerated in our sport. I believe stewards and judges should be able to make an on the spot decision over this matter. If they decide the blood is only a small amount from a small nick, the rider should be able to continue. If the bleeding is more obvious and from the rider being too rough, then elimination should be the consequence.”

Technology Platform Revolutionizes Horse Show Tradition

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 9, 2011 21:48




BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Nov 09, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Horse enthusiasts worldwide can now take advantage of the launch of HorseShow.com, a revolutionary online platform for equestrians to instantly compete and network with a global audience. Offering a modern approach to an old tradition, HorseShow.com offers members year-round access to a variety of online competitions for multiple breeds and disciplines.

Upon its launch, HorseShow.com is presenting three horse shows, which will award ribbons and a total of $17,500 in prize money. Competitive riders and horse enthusiasts can enter today through mid-December to compete in the Landmark Hunter Challenge, the Arabian Liberty Fall Classic and the Fall Harvest Dressage Festival.

"Offering this unique online resource for competitions has leveled the playing field in the horse world, making participation in horse shows more affordable and accessible, for those at all levels and interests," said Jeff Sloan, founder of HorseShow.com. "Through HorseShow.com, we are excited to expand the base of horse show enthusiasts, attracting more people to horse sports and thereby supporting and energizing the horse show community."

To enter in to a HorseShow.com competition, participants simply video record their performance, upload it to HorseShow.com, and enter their class or level. HorseShow.com has carefully chosen a panel of nationally recognized judges that will review participants' entries and provide a complete scorecard offering expert feedback.

HorseShow.com. members can create a network of other competitors, earn sponsored awards, obtain educational information, and be judged by professionals -- gaining a competitive advantage for both online and traditional shows. Cost to participate in an online show through HorseShow.com is $15.

The powerful team behind HorseShow.com is a combination of equestrians and technology experts led by visionary entrepreneur and HorseShow.com founder, Jeff Sloan. Sloan's keen eye for business and his passion for horses of have evolved into a revolutionary platform that allows horse enthusiasts the opportunity to take an age-old tradition of horse showing and compete online. Joining Sloan is noted dressage expert and horse sport insider Gil Merrick, who brings his years of experience as a competitive rider and trainer to his role as director of online shows. To become a member and view show entry dates, visit www.horseshow.com .

Sources:  http://www.horseshow.com http://www.marketwatch.com/horseshowcom-launches-equestrian-competitions-online-2011-11-09

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clinic | symposium | workshop | competition