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Equine Extravaganza, with Rags-to-Riches Talent Search, Collaborates with Unwanted Horse Coalition

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   August 25, 2012 07:40



Washington, DC – August 21, 2012. The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) announces its newest member, Equine Extravaganza.

Equine Extravaganza is a Mid-Atlantic region equine trade show that occurs in Richmond, Virginia in November each year. This year marks Equine Extravaganza’s eighth anniversary and the event will occur between November 2nd and 4th. The mission of the Equine Extravaganza is to provide an annual comprehensive horse industry exposition that will promote all aspects of the Mid-Atlantic horse industry and offer a variety of educational opportunities for horse enthusiasts of all types and across all disciplines.

The Rags-to-Riches Talent Search is the newest feature of Equine Extravaganza’s Horse Rescue Initiative, which aims to promote the adoption of unwanted horses and aid for horse rescue groups. The Rags-to-Riches Talent Search will feature rescued superstar horses and their comeback journey, giving the selected rescuers and their rescued steeds the chance to share their story and strut their stuff for Equine Extravaganza fans, both online and at the event.

The competition, which will be held on November 3rd at the Equine Extravaganza, will feature these rescued horses’ talents that may range from jumping, dressage, liberty work, flatwork, tricks, barrels, or other unique abilities. The horses’ stories may be equally as heartwarming and entertaining as their talents. The goals of the competition are to showcase the rescued horses’ talents, highlight their potential as spectacular partners, and educate attendees about rescued horses and horse rescues in an effort to increase support for horse rescues nationwide.

The panel of celebrity judges will include, Harry De Layer, owner of Snowman, and Elizabeth Letts, author of The Eighty Dollar Champion, the story of Harry and Snowman. The judges will select the winner of the Rags-to-Riches competition and the winner will be awarded a cash prize. A special care package will be given to a rescue of the owner’s choice.

“Equine Extravaganza is committed to encouraging adoption of unwanted horses whenever possible,” said Vicki O’Hara, President of Equine Extravaganza. “We began our Horse Rescue Initiative 3 years ago with a showcase of horses that are available for adoption. This year we’ve taken it a step further by including our Rags-to-Riches Rescue Horse Talent Search, which will give our attendees a flavor of the magic that can happen when these horses are given a second chance.”

The UHC is a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the umbrella of the American Horse Council. The Coalition’s mission is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety, and responsible care and disposition of these horses. 

“The Equine Extravaganza is an event that is truly dedicated to helping our nation’s unwanted horses and aiding rescue horses and facilities. The UHC is looking forward to collaborating with the Equine Extravaganza and the Rags-to-Riches Talent Search Competition,” said Ericka Caslin, UHC director.

For more information about Equine Extravaganza, the Rags-To-Riches Talent Search, and how you can enter your rescue horse, please visit http://www.equineextravaganza.com.

Additional information about the Unwanted Horse Coalition is available by logging on to www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org or by calling 202-296-4031.

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


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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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AHC Presents 2012 Van Ness Award to Kentucky’s Madelyn Millard

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   July 3, 2012 12:59

 



Each year, the American Horse Council presents the Van Ness Award to a person who has shown leadership and service to the horse community in her state.  It is awarded in memory of Mrs. Marjorie Van Ness, one of the founders of the New Jersey Horse Council and the AHC’s Coalition of State Horse Councils.  This year’s award was presented to Madelyn Millard of Lexington, KY for her great service to the horse community in Kentucky and nationwide. 

“As president of the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC), Ms. Millard has made her state council effective and critical to the industry’s health and involved at the state and national level,” said AHC president Jay Hickey in presenting the award at the recent AHC annual meeting.  “During her tenure as president, Madelyn guided the KHC board and staff to develop novel programs in such diverse areas as horse welfare, equine professional education, youth support and recognition, trail protection, and legislative involvement and communications.”

One of Ms. Millard’s major goals was to educate both the general public and Kentucky elected officials that the term “horse industry” not only applies to big racing and breeding operations in Kentucky, but to all breeds and all activities.  She helped to create programs that emphasized that horse farms, whether commercial or recreational, play a large part in the agricultural life of Kentucky.  Other noteworthy programs she helped create are: Save Our Horses, which funds programs helping unwanted horses; Gelding and Euthanasia Clinics, which supplemented funding for horse owners’ whose incomes did not allow them to pay for these services; and an Equine Disaster Relief Fund to assist horse owners nationwide if they are victims of floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters.  “These are all great programs and models for other states to follow,” said Hickey. 

Ms. Millard also had the vision to recognize that the Kentucky Horse Council was not just a state organization, but also an important participant in the national industry through equine connections and partnerships.  She believes it is critical to be involved with the equine industry at the national level and has been active in the Coalition of State Horse Councils, first serving as vice chair in 2010-11 and then being elected Chair in 2012 at the AHC’s Annual Meeting.

"I am honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the Van Ness award.  However, without the support of a great Kentucky Board of Directors and a truly outstanding Executive Director I would not be accepting this award today. They shared my vision and supported the creation of so many new programs and I share this award with them,” said Millard.
                                                                                                                         
Ms. Millard currently manages the Equine Division of Waterwild Farm, a 530-acre family-owned farm in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is responsible for 40-50 client horses, as well as twelve Waterwild-owned horses, most of which are sport/pleasure horses involved in disciplines from Dressage to Eventing.  She personally rides gaited American Saddlebreds, an off-the-track Thoroughbred or a Morgan.

Link to Full Article on AHC Website

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

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Damaging winds, severe thunderstorms, and hail across southern Saskatchewan

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 25, 2012 12:27

 

Forecasters began monitoring a storm system in southern Saskatchewan Monday, which has potential to produce severe thunderstorms, hail, and damaging winds. It is expected to track eastward throughout the day.
The gusts are extremely powerful with this system and may cause damage to property and hydro lines. Environment Canada last measured the winds to be in excess of 120 km/h.
"The gusts with this system are about 30 km/h stronger than the winds associated with Tropical Storm Debby" compares Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
The severe thunderstorm is capable of producing quarter-sized hail in some areas. Residents are urged to seek shelter and to stay indoors, as the hail may pose a threat to ones personal safety.
The severe thunderstorms located west of Kincaid will move toward the east throughout the day. Forecasters are reminding residents that some severe thunderstorms have the potential to produce tornadoes. People are advised to take immediate safety precautions if threatening weather approaches.
For latest watches and warnings visit our Alerts page.

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/storm_watch_stories3&stormfile=Damaging_winds__severe_thunderstorms__and_hail_across_southern_Saskatchewan_25_06_2012&warningtype=aw&ref=wxnetappactivewxV5&var1=537122432

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An End to Canada’s Horse Slaughter Industry in Sight?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   June 3, 2012 20:52

An End to Canada’s Horse Slaughter Industry in Sight?

Orangeville, Ontario:  On May 31, 2012, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) released its report “CFIA and the Art of Evasion”, http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/cfia-and-the-art-of-evasion.pdf, in response to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s deflection tactics to questions concerning the welfare of horses in Canada’s horse slaughter plants, as well as the safety of horsemeat for human consumption.

On the same day, the Daily Racing Form reported that two slaughterhouses, Bouvry Exports in Fort Macleod, Alberta, and Viandes Richelieu in Massueville, Quebec, will no longer be accepting Thoroughbreds: http://www.drf.com/news/canadian-slaughterhouse-firm-no-longer-accepting-thoroughbreds.

Thoroughbreds comprise approximately 14% of the total number of horses slaughtered in Canada for the meat market.  The vast majority of horsemeat is shipped overseas to Europe and Asia for human consumption.  It is a known fact that 99% of Thoroughbreds in the racing industry, at some point in their careers, have been administered drugs such as phenylbutazone, which are prohibited from entering the food chain.

Today we ask the CFIA:  What now?  This news may be the beginning of the decline of the horsemeat industry.  Thoroughbreds are not the only horses to receive drugs prohibited from being used for human consumption.  Horses from all directions enter the slaughter market.  They come from trail riding businesses, family farms, the rodeo circuit, and other facets of the racing industry, such as Standardbred harness racing and Quarter Horse racing.

The CFIA relies heavily upon an Equine Information Document (EID) system to determine whether horses headed for slaughter have been administered drugs.  However, this faulty system is, in turn, reliant upon the honesty of irresponsible owners wishing to offload their horses, as well as unscrupulous feedlot operators whose only interest in horse slaughter is the profit that can be made from this practice.

The safety of Canadian horsemeat cannot be guaranteed.  Neither is equine slaughter a humane process.  It is fraught with animal welfare violations, as proven by numerous undercover investigations:  http://www.defendhorsescanada.org/investigations.html

Today, we further ask the Thoroughbred racing industry:  What now?  The slaughter option has been removed from two large Canadian slaughter plants.  Will the industry now begin to truly work to protect its race horses through industry subsidized adoption programs and promote responsible horse husbandry that will include retainment and rehoming of Thoroughbreds, instead of silently allowing the untimely deaths of the very horses who make their industry possible?

The Canadian government can run, but it cannot hide from the truth.  There is no such thing as the humane slaughter of an easily-panicked flight animal such as the horse.  Further, there is no way to guarantee that the meat of horses can be free from drug contaminants.  They are our companions and our working partners, and many have been medicated with substances that can be risky to human health if consumed.

Canada must abolish horse slaughter without delay.

http://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/an-end-to-canadas-horse-slaughter-industry-in-sight-2/

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Marketing Initiatives and Advocacy Are Topics of AHC National Issues Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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100 mares and 800 race horses to China

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Link to Full Article on AHC Website

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

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UHC Announces Availability of How to Start and Run a Rescue

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to this article on the UHC website

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

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Dr. Rick Mitchell Appointed to AHC Board

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 11, 2012 09:29

International veterinarian, Rick Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, has been named to the American Horse Council Board of Trustees.  Dr. Mitchell has been involved in national and international equine competitions as both a rider and veterinarian.  This summer’s Olympic Games in London will mark his fifth visit to the Olympics as an attending veterinarian for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Dr. Mitchell will replace David O’Connor, President of the USEF, on the AHC board.  “David has been very important to the AHC board and we appreciate his service and counsel,” noted Russell Williams, AHC chair. 

“The AHC is very pleased to have Dr. Mitchell on the board,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.  “Dr. Mitchell has been chair of the AHC Health and Regulatory Committee for several years and provided great advice and experience.  He is a real ‘two-for’ in that he has veterinary expertise in equine diseases and international experience at the highest level of competition.  As the equine show world gets smaller, that is the type of experience the AHC is fortunate to have.”

Dr. Mitchell was born in Greensboro, NC and lived there throughout childhood, participating in fox-hunting and hunter/jumper competitions into adulthood.

Dr. Mitchell attended Guilford College majoring in biology then received his B.S. from North Carolina State University, and his DVM from Oklahoma State University.  He is currently in private veterinary practice limited to equine medicine and surgery with an emphasis on lameness.  He has been in practice with Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, CT since 1989, where he is president
 
Dr. Mitchell is internationally certified in veterinary acupuncture and equine locomotor pathology and has authored many nationally and internationally published articles and textbook chapters on equine health care.

Dr. Mitchell has served on various boards, including the United States Equestrian Federation, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He is a founding member of the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology.

“I am pleased to be on the AHC board and hope I can continue to make even more of a contribution to the AHC and the horse community,” said Dr. Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell is married, has two children and three grandchildren.


Link to Full Article on AHC Website

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