Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

Forest Service Adoption Event Poses Potential Health Hazard

Nearly 1,000 Devil’s Garden wild horses captured in October’s roundup are in danger of being sold for slaughter. Despite public opposition and California law, which makes it a felony to sell wild horses to slaughter, the Forest Service may get away with this heinous act.

To compound this tragedy, to date the Forest Service has destroyed 6 horses rounded up from Modoc National Forest after they showed signs of Pigeon Fever. While we know this is a curable illness that does not warrant death, the fact remains that it is a communicable disease – transmittable to adopters’ own livestock.

Despite deeming it serious enough to kill 6 animals, the Forest Service plans to move ahead with adoptions starting Nov 16. Action is needed urgently!

Due to a 3-4 week incubation period during which animals may appear asymptomatic – and lack of quarantine in the holding corrals, there is no way to know how many of the 962 horses rounded up may be affected or how many potential adopters’ animals will be at risk.

Your voice is needed to protect these vulnerable animals!

What you can do to help

Please speak out on behalf of the wild horses and domestic animals at risk if this adoption goes forward. Just a few minutes of your time will make a huge difference.

US Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Veterinary Services (VS)
Toll free: 1-877-741-3690

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Animal Health and Food Safety Services, Animal Health Branch
Email: ahbfeedback@cdfa.ca.gov

CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Email: xavier.becerra@doj.ca.gov

Sample message:
The Forest Service MUST halt the Nov 16th adoption of horses in the Double Devil Corrals in Alturas, California. It is public knowledge that 6 horses from this herd have been destroyed after showing signs of Pigeon Fever. This is a communicable disease that is easily transmitted to adopters’ animals. That the Forest Service would pursue this course of action after deeming the illness so grave as to warrant death is gross negligence and could result not only in public outrage but in potential lawsuits. Moving forward with this event would be inexcusable, as the Forest Service is knowingly putting the public and their livestock at risk of harm.

Act now to protect these animals

America’s wild horses are federally protected species, and yet they are in danger of being sold to slaughter by the truckload if the Forest Service is allowed to proceed.

We need your help to keep these American icons safe. We ask for just a few minutes of your time to speak on their behalf.

Visit www.thecloudfoundation.org for more information and ways to take action.

The California Fires: Four Ways to Help

Horses and humans seek refuge in Zuma Beach (Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)

Wellington, Florida — Nov. 14, 2018 — It’s heartbreaking to watch the images coming out of California this week, especially those involving fellow horsemen. For those who feel compelled to help, it can be hard to know where donations will have the most impact. While many credible efforts to raise funds for California’s wildfire victims exist, here are four direct and effective ways you can help members of the equestrian community in crisis:

  1. Donate to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

This foundation provides vital private funding for the Los Angeles Fire Department when city funds run out. Tax-deductible donations go directly to the firefighters, securing the equipment and supplies they need for their courageous effort on the front lines.

  1. Donate to Woosley Fire Horse Relief

This Facebook fundraiser initiated by California horsewoman Sami Gros is grassroots-meets-digital-age mobilization at its finest. Sami and others are working around the clock to locate, transport, and care for horses and horse people in devastated areas. She knows what these horsemen need because she’s beside them in the thick of disaster, and she pledges that every dime raised will be put toward the immediate needs of these animals and their caretakers who have lost everything.

  1. Donate to Horse Relocation and Support Costs

Devon Maitozo, WEG team coach and the most decorated vaulter in U.S. history, is working to help other horsemen even as the safety of his renowned vaulting center in Thousand Oaks remains in question. Donations to Devon’s Facebook fundraiser will help provide feed to displaced horses and veterinary care to those injured by fire and smoke.

  1. Donate to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund

One hundred percent of your tax-deductible donation will go to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, U.C. Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, and the Humane Society of Ventura County. US Equestrian will be working through the USEF Disaster Relief Fund with these organizations and others over the coming weeks to support the ongoing rescue and rehabilitation efforts throughout the state of California.

No donation is too small. Together, we can make a difference.

#HorsemenHelpingHorsemen

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Emergency Funds Needed to Help Equine Victims of California Fires

A horse is spooked as the Woolsey Fire moves through a property in Agoura Hills, California, on Nov. 9, 2018. Matthew Simmons / Getty Images Source: NBC News (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/california-wildfires-thousands-animals-displaced-fires-tear-through-communities-n935251)

LEXINGTON, Ky – Nov. 14, 2018 – Recent low humidity, dry conditions, and warm fast-moving winds have created ideal conditions for blazes to spread across California. Tens of thousands of acres are burning and images are emerging of horses being evacuated, roaming free, or fleeing approaching fires. The situation is devastating.

Stories of courageous rescue volunteers and make-shift shelters are unfolding throughout ravaged California communities – all focused on helping abandoned and displaced equines. The rescue efforts are complicated. Often, animals caught in fires flee or hide, especially when injured.

California’s equines need your help now, and they will need your help in the weeks to come as they are reunited with owners or relocated to new homes. Feed, medical supplies, and veterinary care are necessary to help manage this critical situation.

“Every time there’s an emergency affecting horses, the equestrian community rallies together,” said Emily Dulin, executive director of Brooke USA. “It’s complicated and challenging, but I am always impressed with how this community jumps in and helps. These generous people move heaven and earth to make sure horses are safe.”

Brooke USA is committed to helping. You can make a difference! Donate to our California Equine Emergency Fund, and stay tuned for more information. Funds raised will be donated to organizations directly helping relief and recovery efforts.

To learn more about Brooke USA, please go to www.BrookeUSA.org or contact or 859-296-0037.

USEF Announces Intent for Partnership with Univ. of Ky. for Development of Equine Testing Lab

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the University of Kentucky have entered into a Letter of Intent to develop an equine regulatory testing laboratory based in Lexington, Ky.

In January 2018, the USEF Board of Directors appointed a task force headed by Tom O’Mara to work with senior leadership to analyze USEF’s laboratory functions and future options for their sample testing program. The creation of the task force led to conversations with the university regarding potential collaborations. The USEF Board of Directors met on October 3, 2018 and unanimously approved the signing of this letter.

USEF President, Murray Kessler, stated, “Our senior leadership and task force have done a fantastic job of analyzing our laboratory and equine testing program. The recent announcement by the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment that Scott Stanley will be joining their faculty in January provides a unique opportunity for UK to build upon the foundation of the USEF Laboratory and expand the program under the direction of a leading expert in this field. This arrangement will provide USEF members with state of the art equine testing, research, and the independence between the laboratory and the USEF regulatory process.”

The lab will expand upon UK’s expertise in equine pharmacology and toxicology. Additionally, this partnership builds on the college’s mission of serving Kentucky and the world through unparalleled teaching, transformative research, and relevant service.

“We are excited about our partnership with USEF,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Dr. Stanley has an international reputation for sound application of the best technologies to pharmacology in the horse. Under his leadership, the lab will enhance our ability to provide state-of-the-art, dedicated service to the health and welfare of the horse.”

USEF and UK expect to finalize the details of an agreement in the near future.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Lawsuit Filed to Stop “Barbaric” BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

Citing violations of the U.S. Constitution and three federal laws, an alliance of wild horse protection and animal welfare advocates filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland. The groups seek to enjoin the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from proceeding with controversial and dangerous surgical experiments to remove the ovaries of wild mares at BLM’s Wild Horse Corrals in Hines, Oregon.

The complaint was filed on behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and its executive director Ginger Kathrens, who is also the Humane Advocate on the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board; the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC); the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI); and wildlife photographer Carol Walker, who is also a Director of Field Documentation for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, by Nick Lawton of the public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks LLP.

A key demand of the legal action is the right to meaningful public observation and video recording of the experiments to improve public awareness of how the BLM is treating these federally protected wild horses and help the public inform BLM that this inhumane form of sterilization is not socially acceptable.

“To date, the BLM has refused to allow a meaningful opportunity for media or the public to observe and record these procedures,” said Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks. “The BLM’s refusal to allow meaningful access to observe and record these experiments thwarts the important newsgathering objectives that Plaintiffs aim to achieve by observing and documenting the BLM’s treatment of wild horses, and thus violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

The legal action also alleges that the experiments, which involve performing an outdated surgical procedure called ovariectomy via colpotomy (a blind surgery in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a mares’ abdominal cavity through an incision in the vaginal wall, manually locates the ovaries, then twists, severs and removes them using a rod like tool with a chain on the end) are unscientific, inhumane, and dangerous, and will result in pain, suffering, and potentially life-threatening complications for wild mares.

Video of the procedure, which has been called “barbaric” by equine veterinarians, can be seen here.

This is the BLM’s second attempt to conduct research on the surgical removal of the ovaries of wild mares. In 2016, AWHC and TCF sued to uphold their First Amendment right to observe the experiments, a major objective of which was to determine the social acceptability of the procedure. The BLM cancelled the experiments, which it intended to conduct in partnership with Oregon State University — instead of providing public observation.

In its renewed attempt to conduct the research this year, the BLM dropped the objective of determining social acceptability in order to avoid providing meaningful observation. Instead, the BLM is offering limited observation through the doorway of a room adjacent to the surgical suite on a first-come, first-served basis with no independent veterinary observation provided.

When the agency re-released the sterilization research proposal, the BLM announced that it would be conducting the experiments in conjunction with Colorado State University (CSU). The University was to provide expertise in monitoring and assessing the welfare impacts of the surgeries on the wild mares. However, in August, CSU withdrew from the project. Instead of finding another academic institution with expertise in animal welfare monitoring and assessment, the BLM dropped CSU’s scientific observation of animal welfare from its study design.

Then, on September 13, 2018, the BLM announced that it was moving forward with the spay feasibility study despite opposition from the public and veterinarians, a warning from the National Academy of Sciences that the procedure was “inadvisable” due to health risks, and after two major research institutions – CSU and OSU – ended their affiliations with the project.

As soon as next month, the BLM plans to start rounding up 100 percent of the wild horses in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in southeastern Oregon. An estimated 685 horses will be permanently removed and another 100 mares will be surgically sterilized. The experiments carry a high risk of mortality from bleeding, infection and evisceration (fatal protrusion of bowel through the surgical incision) and will subject pregnant mares to risk of miscarriage and associated complications. (More details on the BLM’s plan can be found here.)

“It is unconscionable to conduct invasive and dangerous surgeries on wild mares, ripping their ovaries out with a chain, destroying their fetus, then returning them out into a dirt corral with little to zero pain management before releasing them into the wild,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and the Humane Advisor on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. “This is a rare, last ditch operation in the world of domestic mares. I would hope we, as a society, are beyond this kind of cruelty, particularly when humane, safe, and scientific alternatives to control wild horse reproduction have existed for decades.”

Contact: Lisa Friday, Director of Communications
lisa@thecloudfoundation.org| 804-389-8218

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council to Meet Oct. 9-11 in Salt Lake City

Photo: Ginger Kathrens – Humane Advocate on National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Come Out and Show Your Support for Our Wild Horses and Burros

BLM has announced that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be meeting October 9-11 at the Courtyard Marriott in Salt Lake City Downtown. As a member of the board, TCF’s Executive Director Ginger Kathrens will be in attendance. Please consider attending this meeting if you can to show your support for our wild horses and burros as well as for Ginger as she does her best to stand up for them in her capacity as the Humane Advocate on the board.

Even if you can’t attend, BLM will be accepting written public comment until October 2nd. Written comments and statements must be mailed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Attention: Dorothea Boothe WO-260, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003, or emailed to: whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov by October 2, 2018, in order for the Board to consider them at the October meeting. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

A public comment period will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MDT). There will also be a field tour from 7am to noon on Tuesday, October 9th of the Onaqui Horse Herd Management Area. (The field tour is open to limited public attendance with advanced sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees must provide for their own transportation (high-clearance vehicle recommended) and personal needs. Field tour attendees will depart from the Courtyard Marriott at 7:00 a.m. To sign up, contact Dorothea Boothe by email at dboothe@blm.gov by September 28, 2018.)

For more details on the meeting, please refer to the full BLM notice linked here.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

What Happens to NC’s Wild Horses When a Major Hurricane Like Florence Hits?

A filly was born to North Carolina’s wild horse herd in Corolla on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. She’s pictured here with her mother. Cathy Forgnone.

BY ABBIE BENNETT 

North Carolina coastal residents are evacuating or battening down ahead of Hurricane Florence — at least the human ones.

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.

Hurricane Florence is a category 4 storm as of Monday evening — 400 miles wide and still gaining strength and speed as it bears down on the Carolinas coast.

North Carolina’s wild horse herd has seen its share of storms, though. They’ve been around for 500 years, after all, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) said on Facebook Monday.

Currituck County, where the herd lives, ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Outer Banks communities, Corolla and Carova, beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Neighboring Dare County — where much of the staff that looks after the herd lives — and other coastal counties along the coast issued evacuation orders for all residents and tourists.

“The horses have lived on this barrier island for 500 years, and they are well equipped to deal with rough weather,” the CWHF said on Facebook Monday. “They know where to go to stay high and dry and are probably in better shape right now than most of us humans who are scrambling with final preparations.“

And CWHF staff believe the horses won’t need any human help.

“Anything we might do in the hopes of ‘protecting’ them would probably end up being more dangerous and stressful for them than the storm,” the CWHF said.

Florence could bring storm surge flooding to the Outer Banks reaching 8 to 15 feet or higher, according to the National Hurricane Center.

There are 18 rescued horses at a farm the CWHF cares for, and staff is “making sure they are ready to ride the storm out safely. They have shelter, but also the option to stay outside.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM Backs Down on Removing Horses from Pryor Mountain

Thank you from Rio (left) (Garay & Jacinta), Quahneah (right) (Baja & Washakie).

There will be no removal of young wild horses from the West’s most famous wild horse herd this year!  Like Cloud, we did not back down. He would have been proud of all of you who contributed to this victory. So, thank you from some of the horses whose freedom you protected.

Your donations made it possible for us to hire an outstanding law firm and to make a compelling case. (Read Ginger’s declaration.) And it didn’t hurt to have the expertise of those of you who read the documents and pointed out deficiencies in BLM’s Environmental Assessment and Record of Decision. Thanks to you all!

We hope that this victory for the Pryor Wild Horse Herd (read judge’s ruling) might help to protect other small herds in the West, many of whom are managed at disastrously low levels — below the genetic minimums of 150-200 animals.
Happy Trails!
Ginger

The Cloud Foundation is represented in the lawsuit by Katherine A. Meyer and Elizabeth Lewis of the Washington DC public interest firm Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Eubanks.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

A P Valentine, Son of A. P. Indy, Euthanized at 20

A P Valentine © Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 – A P Valentine, a Gr. 1 winner, was euthanized due to complications from colic on September 1 at Park Equine Hospital in Woodford County. The 20-year-old son of A. P. Indy had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY.

Campaigned by Rick Pitino’s Ol’ Memorial Stable (formerly Celtic Pride Stables) and trainer Nick Zito, A P Valentine (out of the Alydar mare Twenty Eight Carat) was a leading 2-year-old of 2000 having captured that year’s Gr. 1 Champagne Stakes.

The following year the colt broke the 1/16 miles track record at an optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and upwards at Hialeah Park before embarking on the Triple Crown trail, where he placed second to Point Given in the 2001 Preakness Stakes.

A P Valentine was retired from racing in 2001 to Ashford/Coolmore Stud but was soon pensioned due to unresolvable fertility problems.

In 2004, A P Valentine was pensioned with veterinarian Dr. William C. Day, a stallion reproductive specialist based in in Brenham, TX.  While preparing to sell his farm, Dr. Day retired the horse to Old Friends earlier this year.

“I loved that horse. He was very kind, very gentle,” said Dr. Day. “I have about 30 stallions on the farm, and he was by far the most affectionate. He didn’t have an evil bone in his body.”

“I first noticed A P Valentine before his Preakness Stakes because his silks were white with a green shamrock and he raced for Rick Pitino’s Celtic Pride Stable,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “As a longtime Celtics fan, I rooted for him as if he was Larry Bird. When he came here to Old Friends, it was love at first sight for virtually all of our volunteers and employees.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends August Newsletter

Green Mask (Photo: Laura Battles)

News from Michael Blowen:

Our visit to Saratoga Springs in New York was really great. The support for Old Friends, in general, and Old Friends at Cabin Creek, specifically, has never been better.

Joanne’s party at the Saratoga National Golf Club and Joe Bokan’s soiree at Anne’s Washington Inn were both enthusiastically attended and raised a lot of awareness and funds. Many owners and trainers who retired Thoroughbreds with us inquired about their horses, and others asked about eventually sending their horses to Old Friends.

The reception from fans was over the top, and it was great spending time with Lorita and Anthony and Jack Knowlton, in particular. It’s helped us re-double efforts to expand our facilities to meet the demand for all these amazing athletes.

The demand for Dagmar’s beautiful book, The Art of Old Friends, has been justifiably frenetic. The office has been working hard to get them packaged and sent to all that have placed orders, so if you have not received yours already, know that they are on their way soon. And if you have not ordered a copy yet, call the office today. They will also be on sale in our gift shop.

Green Mask is doing great. The efforts spearheaded by Dr. Bryan Waldridge and Park Equine Hospital in Woodford County has led to a marvelous recovery by this flashy turf sprinter. Special thanks to all who helped, especially Kirsten Johnson at KESMARC, Sallee Vans, the New Bolton Center Veterinary Hospital at Penn, and Dr. Dean Richardson, who performed Green Mask’s surgery.

We expect a huge crowd for our post-Breeders’ Cup Party on Sunday November 4th at the farm. Look for information about tickets on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and on our website. Tickets are on sale now ($30; $15 for 2018 membership holders).

The Breeders’ Cup / Maker’s Mark Champions for Charity is excited to have once again been named the charity beneficiary for the new bottle honoring trainer D. Wayne Lukas. They are available now via the Breeders’ Cup Champions for Charity website. CLICK HERE

Once again, thanks to all of you for making Old Friends home to so many deserving athletes.

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org; michael@oldfriendsequine.org