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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.

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION for Sask. Horse Federation

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

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION
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

http://www.saskhorse.ca/pages/home.php

Arabian Horsemens Distress Fund

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 11, 2012 19:22

Prairie Fire

Prairie Fire Photo 1Wednesday afternoon, long time Arabian horsemen Gordon and Sandy Hester of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada were dealt a devastating blow when a prairie fire, fueled by hurricane force winds topping 75km, raced through their property destroying virtually the entire farm with the exception of the house.  Thanks to early-enough warnings and the assistance of a tight-knit farming community, they were able to move 55 horses out ahead of the blaze, along with their dogs, but lost virtually everything else to the fast moving blaze, including tack, farm equipment, medications and feed.

Sandy, Gord, and Brady are long-time Arabian breeders, trainers and owners, and well known faces in the working western divisions.  They run a family business out of their Alberta farm that includes breeding Jack Russell Terriers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, as well as many notable Arabian horses.  They stand a number of stallions, including SR Delta Force,  US National Champion Work Cow Futurity horse, and have been mainstays of the Arabian industry for many years.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist the Hesters, you can go on-line to make a secure donation through paypal to www.horsemensdistressfund, or you can send a check to The Arabian Horsemen’s Distress Fund, 236 Henry Sanford Road, Bridgewater, CT 06752, along with a note to earmark the funds to assist the Hesters.

reprinted from www.horsemensdistressfund.com

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Unwanted Horse Coalition's Operation Gelding Continues into New Year

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 6, 2012 10:13

 

WASHINGTON, DC – January 5, 2012 - The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program continues into the new year with three additional clinics completed in November and December 2011 and three more on the schedule for March 2012.   The UHC’s Operation Gelding program has aided in gelding 359 stallions to date.

 

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is able to continue aiding in the castration of stallions thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEP). Operation Gelding 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.

 

The Operation Gelding program is in its second year, with seven clinics already completed since September 2011. Clinics have been held in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, and Washington.

 

The UHC was pleased to be involved with Georgia Equine Rescue League’s (GERL) first ever Stallion to Gelding Castration Day on November 12. The GERL had an incredible 96 horses signed up for the event, with twelve equine veterinarians signed up across the state of Georgia. Patty Livingston, president of the GERL said, “Additionally, senior students from the University of Georgia School Of Veterinary Medicine as well as Veterinary Technician students were invited to take advantage of this learning opportunity. A large number of students participated and actually performed or assisted with the surgeries at Countryside Hospital for Animals near Jersey, GA. These students were under the supervision of UGA Vet School Instructors and the veterinarians at Countryside.” 

 

Ande Miller, with Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue located in Valley Center, Kansas, castrated 13 horses at their second Operation Gelding clinic. Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic also conducted their second Operation Gelding clinic on December 3rd in Newberry, Florida, castrating 13 horses.

 

The Denton County 4-H Veterinary Science Club conducted their first Operation Gelding clinic in Pilot Point, Texas. Youth member, Lacey Garrison, only 14 years old, organized this clinic for her 4-H club along with the help of her veterinarian, Dr. Paul Dean. With the help of the rest of the youth 4-H members, they were able to geld 17 horses at their clinic on November 19.

 

Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said “We are excited to be able to continue this important nationwide program, thanks to the generosity of the AAEP. 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. We hope to gain assistance from the equine industry in order to offer more grant money for Operation Gelding clinics, to help tackle the problem of indiscriminate breeding.”

 

Currently there are six more Operation Gelding clinics on the calendar. Upcoming clinics will be held in Florida, Kansas, Iowa and Texas.

 

For more information on 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.

 

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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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War Horse Promotes Horse Welfare Fund

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 17, 2011 11:50

 

The spectacular Mirvish theatre production, ‘War Horse’ will warm your heart in two ways – once when you watch the performance and again when your ticket purchase contributes to the new Equine Guelph-Ontario Equestrian Federation ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund. 

 

Through the use of life-size and life-like handspring puppets, ‘War Horse’ transports the audience back to WWI – a time when horses were integral to progress but welfare conditions were often challenging. This heartfelt stage adaptation examines the horse-human bond and draws the audience in for an evening where the subtle becomes pronounced and awe is often inspired by the ability to communicate without words. 

 

Recognizing the ongoing need for equine welfare awareness, Mirvish Productions has partnered with Equine Guelph and will generously donate $10 to the Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund for each War Horse ticket purchased by OEF members for performances between February 10 – May 6, 2012. And, as a special thank you, at the performance, OEF members will receive a complimentary CD (one per order) of the music of War Horse. Call 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333 to order tickets and provide this special benefit code – WHFUND. 

 

In addition, Equine Guelph will be hosting a special gala fundraising evening on March 8th, 2012 for avid horse enthusiasts.   Be part of this magical evening at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto!  Enjoy premium seats in the orchestra section, pre-show reception and meet the 'puppets' on a backstage tour after production.  There are a limited number of tickets and cost is $200. Go to http://uofg.convio.net/warhorse or call 1-888-266-3108 to order today.

 

With over 16 intensive online equine courses dedicated to horse owners and caregivers, Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph understands the need for horse welfare education.  In an industry where well-intentioned old wives tales are often passed down rather than scientific knowledge, the horse is often the victim of mistreatment.  Education in horse welfare will result in the following benefits:  well-informed caregivers, healthier horses, lower vet bills and fewer unwanted horses.

 

Support Equine Welfare through Education and enjoy the show!  Visit www.EquineGuelph.ca for more information.

              

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Attached image

Image Caption:   The upcoming ‘War Horse’ theatrical production will support the new

Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund (Photo © Simon Annand)

 

Note: image also available as eps format – please contact

 

Media Contact:

Jackie Bellamy, Communications

Equine Guelph

Guelph, ON   N1G 2W1

519.824.4120 ext. 54230 

jbellamy@uoguelph.ca

 

thank you

Susan

 

Susan Raymond, PhD.

Communications & Programs Officer

Equine Guelph, University of Guelph

50 McGilvray St, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1

Tel: (519) 824-4120, ext. 54230

Fax: (519) 767-1081

www.EquineGuelph.ca

www.EquiMania.ca

www.EquineScienceCertificate.com

 

YOUTH EDUCATION PARTNER OF THE Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Kentucky 2010