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posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 12, 2013 08:23

Rimbey (December 10,2012) – The Rimbey Agricultural Society heads into 2013 with plans for the group’s most ambitious project ever. At the annual general meeting December 6th, members heard an update on the Agrim Centre facility. The $3.4 million building will boast close to 60,000 square feet of space, including a riding arena and 900 seat grandstand, plus meeting space and a board room. It’s to be located inside the existing track and infield of the rodeo grounds.
“We’re excited to move forward with the Agrim,” said Rimbey Ag Society President Will Mackinaw. “It’s going to be a big year for our group, and we look forward to support from the community.”
“Our feasibility study showed the potential for a two million dollar annual boost to the town of Rimbey from the building,” added Agrim spokesman Tim Edge.
A 3D model of the planned ag recreation facility was shown at the group’s meeting. Features include an outside balcony, and use of new ‘green’ technology in construction, such as a solar wall, and the ability to collect rainwater for the building’s non-potable water needs.
The project has been in the works for about a year, but organizers say the need for such a facility has been evident for years.
“Our old building has been too small for any feasible equine or bovine events in central Alberta,” said Edge. “After seeing the success of the Ponoka Ag Events Centre, our Ag Society decided to follow suit, with the full support of Ponoka County.”
In fact, the County has already committed a million dollars over two years to the project.
While some might question whether the region could support two large new ag buildings, Edge is confident the demand is already there.
“We’ve already had calls from numerous rodeo and horse groups, as well as oil related companies looking for trade show space. We can pencil in a profit if it’s used even thirty weekends a year, and we think that’s an achievable goal.”
“The possibilities for its uses are limited only by imagination, because it’s designed to be so multi-functional.”
The first phase of the project, which included the feasibility study, is complete, and a down payment has been made. Phase two, with some initial construction, is slated to begin early in the new year, after blueprints are completed.
“We appreciate the County’s support,” Edge noted. “We’re still looking for individuals and corporate partners to help make the facility a reality.”
A website with the latest information on the Agrim building project has also been launched at www.agrim.ca.
For further information contact:
Tim Edge 403-354-6730

Harper Government Invests in Improvements to Community Infrastructure in Central Saskatchewan

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 12, 2013 08:18

Lanigan, Saskatchewan - Today, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced federal funding for nine projects that are set to take place across the province over the next two years under the Harper Government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

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DOL Withdraws Proposed Child Labor Rules on Farms

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 2, 2012 16:33


On April 26, the Obama Administration announced its plans to withdraw a Department of Labor (DOL) proposed child labor rule applicable to agriculture.  The proposed rule would have severely limited the ability of young people to work on farms and ranches. 

“We are pleased the Administration responded to the concerns of the agricultural community and decided against changing the current rules for young people working on farms and ranches. This was a poorly conceived rule and they did the right thing by withdrawing it,” said AHC President Jay Hickey.   

The proposed rule would have placed new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches not owned solely by their parents and would have effectively barred employees under 16 from working in most capacities in agriculture, especially around livestock, such as horses.

The AHC had been working with a broad coalition of agricultural organizations to convince the Administration and Congress that these rules were ill-considered, would prevent young people from becoming involved in agriculture, and would negatively impact family farms and ranches. In November 2011, the AHC submitted comments opposing the rule that can be found here.      

“When the DOL proposed this rule we don’t think they completely understood the impact it would have on young people who work in agriculture. Thousands of Americans from the agricultural community, including the horse community submitted comments to the DOL explaining the problems with this rule and also contacted their Member of Congress to express their concerns,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.  “The Administration listened and withdrew the rule.  This is a good example of the way the system should work.”

The Administration has stated it will not re-propose any new regulations on this issue. Instead it will “work with rural stakeholders to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

The AHC encourages members of the horse community to visit its website www.horsecouncil.org to learn how federal legislation and regulations impact them and how they can get involved.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

Link to Full Article on AHC Website


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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The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 3, 2012 18:54


The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins!

What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry


You may be surprised to know that there are over 9 million horses in the United States, based on a study done by the American Horse Council entitled the Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States.


The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population.  Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry. 


This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love.  We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities. 


The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.


Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts.  Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry! 


It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue.  The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry. 


The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues.  By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice


To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit www.horsecouncil.org/ahc-memberships.


Interested in Developing an Equine Specialty? Here’s Your Chance

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 22, 2012 06:45

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - Imagine being able to take those skills you’ve learned as a veterinary technician and build upon them further with a specialty in horses. The University of Guelph has unveiled its new Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, which will offer a unique, hands-on educational opportunity to provide equine-specific academic and skill development for Veterinary Technicians in the form of online and face-to-face practicum courses.


Designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and build upon the student’s passion for horses, this professional development program will assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to launch a productive career in the equine industry, including those with an interest in working in an equine hospital, large animal veterinary practice, rescue hospital, racetrack or horse breeding facility. Motivated students can complete the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate in just one year.


"The Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate will provide technicians who have an interest in horses with additional equine-specific skills and knowledge,” said Dr. Irene Moore, Associate Director (Academic) of the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. “This is anticipated to provide them with enhanced job opportunities in the equine industry."


Offered through the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate consists of 12-week online courses including Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, and Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition.  Students will also receive hands-on, practical knowledge through face-to-face intensive courses in Equine Reproduction, Equine Critical Care, and Equine Dentistry.


However, the online portion of this program is not just restricted to veterinary technicians; this learning opportunity would also be suitable to students who have an interest in bettering their knowledge when it comes to equine health, behaviour and functional anatomy.

Courses start in May 2012 beginning with Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy with instructor Dr. Jeff Thomason, a University of Guelph (Biomedical Sciences) Anatomy professor. This course will build on students’ experiences with horses and explore current research and evidence-based practice pertaining to anatomy.


For more information or to apply for the Equine Veterinary Technician Certificate, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.equinestudiesdiploma.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.

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Yes You Can….Learn to Make a Difference With Horses

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 15, 2012 07:42

Guelph, Ontario – March 9, 2012 - The University of Guelph’s award winning continuing education program has unveiled their new Equine Welfare Certificate which will offer students the opportunity to explore animal welfare issues in the horse industry both locally and globally.


Made up of six online courses, this program has been designed to engage students who have a passion for making a better world for our equines, and will examine the biological and emotional factors that affect a horse’s quality of life. Course content will include housing, management practices and procedures that can affect the well being of horses.


"It is extremely important that everyone who owns or works with horses understands not only the complex issues, but also the common practices in daily care and management that can affect the welfare of horses,” explains Tina Widowski, Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare. “Through our partnership with Equine Guelph, we are able to combine top expertise in both equine science and animal welfare science to deliver a practical and well-rounded program in Equine Welfare."


Offered by the Campbell Centre, Equine Guelph, and the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support, the Equine Welfare Certificate core courses include Equine Welfare, Advanced Equine Behaviour, Advanced Equine Health through Nutrition, and Global Perspectives in Animal and Equine Welfare, as well as two elective courses including Health and Disease Prevention, The Equine Industry, Equine Nutrition, and Advanced Equine Anatomy.


The Equine Welfare and Advanced Equine Behaviour courses will be offered during the fall semester beginning September 10, 2012; however, the required pre-requisite courses for this certificate are currently available for registration, with courses starting in May 2012.

While acknowledging that most only want the best for their beloved equines, many horse lovers yearn for the chance to better understand why horses do the things they do and recognize situations that may compromise horse welfare. “This program has been designed to provide students with the tools to become familiar with negative emotional states and recognize how welfare can be objectively assessed in the horse to improve its overall health,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.


For more information, please contact the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support at info@coles.uoguelph.ca, call 519-767-5000 or visit www.EquineWelfareCertificate.com.


About The Centre of Open Learning and Educational Support

The Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support provides expertise and leadership to the University of Guelph community and our partners in the following: the scholarship and practice of teaching, technology-enhanced education, open learning and professional development. We provide support for teaching and learning that is evidence-based, responsive, developmental, and based on best practices.


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WCVM Students Journey Beyond Borders

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 10, 2012 11:47

By Lynne Gunville
Steve Kruzeniski in Ghana

Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières (VWB/VSF – Canada) has selected six students from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to be part of its 12-member student program for 2012.

This summer, WCVM students Colin Taylor, Rebecca Jackson, Graham Ellingsen, Andrea Pellegrino, Morgan Findlay and Steve Kruzeniski will travel to Asia, South America and Africa as volunteers for the global veterinary organization.

• Colin Taylor, a first-year WCVM student, will be working at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre) in Kathmandu, Nepal. He and a teammate will help to provide care and treatment to the animals – mainly stray cats and dogs – while sharing their experiences and knowledge with the centre’s veterinarians and other staff.

photo courtesy of Steve Kruzeniski

The KAT Centre partners with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Humane Society International (HSI) in their efforts to eliminate rabies in Kathmandu and to create a stable, healthy street dog population. Currently, there are more than 20,000 dogs living on the city’s streets.

Photo courtesy of VWB/VSF

• Second-year WCVM student Rebecca Jackson and first-year WCVM students Graham Ellingsen and Andrea Pellegrino will travel to Puerto Natales, a small Patagonian community in Chile. They will participate in a collaborative project investigating ways to reduce the problems associated with large numbers of free-roaming dogs.

The students will monitor the behaviours, social activities and roaming patterns of male dogs before sterilization. Their findings will contribute to the project’s goals: improving animal welfare while reducing human-dog conflicts and disease transmission.

• First-year WCVM student Morgan Findlay will provide veterinary care and extension to smallholder dairy farmers living in rural Kenya. She will also work on a research project investigating the effectiveness of various drugs on the gastrointestinal parasites found in dairy cattle.

As part of the dairy health management program, Findlay will work on a team composed of North American and Kenyan veterinarians and veterinary students. Team members will collaborate on clinical, extension and research activities with the goal of benefiting all participants as well as the local dairy farming community.

Photo courtesy of VWB/VSF

• Fourth-year WCVM student Steve Kruzeniski, a member of the VWB/VSF 2010 student program, will donate his time and skills to a goat production project taking place in Mbarara, Uganda. He and a teammate will help train paraveterinarians (people trained to help veterinarians), assist in disease monitoring and vaccination programs, organize livestock management workshops and conduct on-site inspection visits of existing farms.

The goat production project was developed by WCVM professor Dr. Claire Card in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, the Foundation for AIDS Orphaned Children and VWB/VSF. It’s aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Ugandan families by providing them with goats and goat training.

Since its inception in 2006, the goat production project has laid the foundation for a more hopeful future and has raised the socioeconomic status of some of the most vulnerable families – many of them affected by HIV and AIDS.

Originally published at WCVM Today (www.wcvmtoday.com), news blog for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. 



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

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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

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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