Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

Equine Organizations Pull Together to Provide Disaster Relief

Photo Credit: KBAK & KBFX Photo, Sonoma Valley Stables, and Stephanie Chalana Brown.

The USEF (US Equestrian) Equine Disaster Relief Fund has received incredibly generous support from the equestrian community, with over half a million dollars raised to date in response to the devastation and flooding caused recently by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. With raging wildfires spreading throughout areas of California and continued relief needed in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands, there is still a need for funding to directly assist equines of any breed who are victims of natural disasters such as these.

As the wildfires continue to spread and cause devastation in California, US Equestrian is working with organizations on the ground providing aid to ensure the support helps as many horses as possible.

In Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, through a joint fundraising effort with Equestrian Canada, the Pan American Equestrian Confederation, and the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, US Equestrian has helped contribute to over $100,000 in aid to horses to ensure they receive feed and care in the wake of the recent disasters.

Tens of thousands of pounds of hay and feed have been sent via shipping containers to the affected islands, helping to address immediate needs, such as lack of forage and nutrition. In addition, supplies sent will allow veterinarians to better assist horses needing medical care.

Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc. (CTA), which helps thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is using funds provided through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund not only to help more than 850 U.S. thoroughbreds stabled at the Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack, but also to provide assistance to smaller organizations in Puerto Rico, including riding programs, Paso Fino stables, and others. “We have been so blessed to have so much support and good people helping the horses,” said Kelley Stobie of the CTA.

On the hard-hit island of Sint Maarten, a shipping container with feed will help feed over 80 horses at Lucky Stables, a riding school on the island that provides equine-assisted therapy for at-risk families and youth. Since the hurricanes, the stable has taken in additional horses, and the generous contributions from the equestrian community will ensure they have feed for at least the next month.

Although relief is being provided, the recovery is far from over. One 40-foot container can feed about 40 to 50 horses for two to three weeks, but it costs as much as $15,000 to fill and ship each one. Additionally, many of the horses will need care in the upcoming months as rescue agencies help find new homes for horses that may not be able to return to their owners.

Money donated to the fund is held by US Equestrian in an account dedicated for this purpose and distributed only upon authorization of the US Equestrian Chief Executive Officer. Any donation to the Equine Disaster Relief Fund is a timely and efficient benefit for horses and horse owners in need.

Make a donation to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund today.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Saylor Creek Wild Horses Legal Win May Protect Other Herds from Being Sterilized

Image: Chad and Lynn Hanson.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation and Return to Freedom with Virginia Hudson bring good news to wild horse lovers throughout the country.

What a difference a sound decision makes from Judge Lodge’s ruling in the Jarbidge case! The decision finds that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a variety of ways in deciding to sterilize the entire Saylor Creek herd. The court agreed that BLM violated NEPA by failing to consider the National Academy of Science (NAS) report, by failing to adequately respond to public comments, by failing to consider reasonable alternatives, and by failing to consider inconsistency between sterilization and the agency’s duties to maintain self-sustaining and free-roaming herds. This precedent-setting decision is a major win in that it could make it difficult to sterilize healthy herds elsewhere in the west.

This case challenged a controversial and precedent-setting plan by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) to permanently sterilize an entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (“HMA”) — an action that would have disrupted and destroyed the natural, wild, and free-roaming behavior of these horses, as well as the social organization and long-term viability of the herd to which they belong. The BLM authorized sterilizing this wild horse herd in its recently approved Jarbidge Resource Management Plan (“RMP”).

“The Department of Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated NEPA in many aspects,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “They never considered direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that sterilizing the entire herd will have on the behavior and physiology of wild horses and herd dynamics.” The DOI and BLM violated NEPA by failing to consider a highly relevant technical report (the NAS Report) commissioned by the BLM itself from the National Research Council, a subsidiary of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lisa Friday (TCF’s Director of Communications), wild horse adopter and advocate, states: “We have known for years what the NAS Report concluded: that ‘absence of young horses itself would alter the age structure of the population and could thereby affect harem dynamics.’  It is simply unconscionable to tamper with the social dynamics that sterilization would cause.”

Judge Lodge’s decision states, “The BLM has not considered nor explained how the herd will maintain its wild horse instincts, behaviors, and social structure if it is entirely non-reproducing. Further, the BLM has not taken a hard look at how the introduction of horses from holding pens, where they may have become domesticated and reliant on humans, or from other herds that are unfamiliar with the area and terrain will impact the herd and its wild horse behaviors and survival instincts. In sum, the BLM has failed to consider, in the FEIS, any of these significant impacts on the Saylor Creek herd’s behaviors or on the HMAs environment itself. The Court therefore finds the BLM violated NEPA by failing to take the requisite “hard look” at these aspects of the decision.”

Most importantly, this precedent-setting decision will allow for future decisions in favor of wild horses that the BLM wishes to sterilize. “This decision recognizes that the BLM must carefully consider the harmful impacts of sterilization on wild horses’ behavior and herd dynamics,” said Nick Lawton, the attorney with the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks, LLP who represented the plaintiffs. “This case underscores that wild horse advocates and courts will closely scrutinize the agency’s decisions.”

“I would like to personally thank Virginia and Jeff Hudson for their hard work documenting the beautiful Saylor Creek Wild Horse Herd,” states Ginger Kathrens. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect our wild horse families and their legal right to live in peace and freedom.”

Although this is a wonderful victory for our Wild Horses and Burros, the main fight for their existence continues in the Senate with the interior appropriations committee likely to be decided next week. So please continue to call the Senate.

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

Hundreds of Caribbean Horses in Peril after Multiple Hurricanes

I am Shelley Blodgett, co-founder of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc., a non-profit (501c3) that helps Thoroughbreds racing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I think there is a story that needs to get out.

There are 864 U.S. Thoroughbreds (all Jockey Club registered) stabled at Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico. The racetrack, including the barns, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Maria. Further, the horses cannot leave their stalls due to debris, downed fencing and flooding. They are standing in water, and there is NO clean water or hay. I was told that they are giving them some grain (presumably without water). No horses died during the storm, but some needed stitches and such.

I learned this from a brief phone call from CTA co-founder, Kelley Stobie (the call was disconnected). She is at the track seven days a week, working as an equine therapist. She toured the track and spoke with the backstretch supervisor, some owners, trainer and vets. She told me the situation is dire and there is no way to get needed water, hay and medical supplies right now.

More than half of the Thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico were bred in the States. I have a line graph of numbers for both Puerto Rican-bred and U.S.-bred. There are some good horses there, including 2012 GI Belmont S. runner and 2013 Maxxam Gold Cup winner Unstoppable U, as well as Arch Traveler (who was also on the Triple Crown trail early in his career) and Becky’s Kitten. We gathered data and determined that 1,500 people have a stake in the racing industry in Puerto Rico (see pie chart). Thus, these horses are essential to the well-being of many people in Puerto Rico.

I do not believe that there has been any formal request by the Puerto Rican government to help the horses at that time, but I have been working to rattle the bushes and get things moving. I have spoken with a veterinarian, who is an equine disaster response specialist and on the National Veterinary Response Team, but they cannot help until there is an official request to FEMA from the Puerto Rican government official. Also, I’ve spoken with the Secretary of Agriculture for U.S.V.I., Carlos Robles, but he has not been able to make contact with his counterpart in Puerto Rico, though I know he has sent him an email.

There are about 200 Thoroughbreds in St. Croix, including race horses and breeding farms, and there are 40 Thoroughbreds racing in St. Thomas and many OTTBs in rescue/aftercare as well. Mr. Robles is assessing the situation in U.S.V.I. and trying to initiate needed federal help down there. I have tried calling all of the CTA board members, which include a prominent breeder, an equine veterinarian and an attorney, but all cell service is out. Further, I’ve called the Racetrack Administrator, Jose Maymo, but his cell phone isn’t in service.

We really need the racing industry and other equine organizations in the States to help urgently as there is little time to waste. These horses survived the storm, but are facing dehydration, starvation and risk of secondary health issues (e.g., colic, infection) due to the environmental hazards and lack of basic needs. These are U.S. horses. They do their jobs faithfully as racehorses and deserve better. They support the livelihood of many in the islands. Thank You.

https://www.facebook.com/horserescue/

Source: Thoroughbred Daily News

Old Friends Receives Donations from Owners of Forego Winner Drefong

Silver Charm (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 – Champion sprinter Drefong crushed the competition in the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego Stakes at Saratoga on August 26.  His gate-to-wire score also did much for Thoroughbred aftercare.

Charles and Susan Chu of the Baoma Corporation, owner the 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti, donated $10,000 of Drefong’s winnings to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY.

“The Chus are deeply committed to aftercare,” said Baoma representative Ed Nevins, “and they are also very impressed with the work being done by Old Friends. As the Chus benefit from racing, they want to continue to give back to the industry that has given them so much happiness.”

This latest donation is one of several Old Friends has received from Baoma following the success of Drefong, who is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

“Susan has visited the farm and has been such a generous supporter,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “We are indebted to them for their generosity and to their steadfast commitment to the horses.”

Old Friends in Georgetown, a non-profit organization, is home to more than 100 former race horses, among them such luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem and three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude. The farm is open to the public for daily tours by appointment.

The Chu family, long-time pleasure riders and amateur show jumpers, got into horse racing in 2012 after years of involvement in Olympic show jumping. Aside from Drefong, they have campaigned other top racehorses such as graded stakes winners Chitu and Super Ninety Nine.

With his Forego win, Drefong earned an automatic return trip to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, to be held this November 4 at Del Mar.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

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

Kentucky Horse Park Offers Help to Hurricane Irma Evacuees

200 Stalls Available for Horses in Potential Path of Hurricane

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 6, 2017) – The Kentucky Horse Park has opened stabling to horses that are being evacuated from areas expected to be impacted by Hurricane Irma. 200 stalls are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until September 17 for $20 per stall per night.

“Although we have limited capacity, it’s important for us to help however we can,” said Laura Prewitt, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park.

Due to contractual obligations with scheduled horse shows, no pasturing, lunging or riding will be possible. A negative Coggins test is required for stabling.

To reserve stalls, please contact Sheila Forbes in the park’s Equine Operations Department, at 859/259-4290 or at Sheila.Forbes@ky.gov. Any additional information will be made available on the park’s website at www.kyhorsepark.com.

Contact: Lisa Jackson
(859) 259-4224
Lisa.Jackson@ky.gov

PBEC Veterinarians on Call and Available as Hurricane Irma Approaches Florida

Hurricane Irma is making its way toward Florida, and Palm Beach Equine Clinic is ready and available to help horse owners prepare for and weather the storm. Owners are urged to put their hurricane emergency plans into action and take precautions to ensure their horses’ safety before conditions worsen.

Hurricane Safety Tips Include:

  • Clean up around the barn for debris that may take flight.
  • Put a halter on your horse with a tag stating the horse’s name/contact number in case he or she gets loose for the duration of the storm.
  • Ensure that horses have access to fresh water.
  • Place feed/hay in an easy place to get to and off of the ground.
  • As an owner, perform a physical examination of your horse the day before to make sure all is healthy and have a comparison for after the storm examination.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic is available for all emergencies 24/7. In case of an emergency, please call the main line at (561) 793-1599. Doctors will be on call to drive to farms to assist or treat horses.

Lend a Helping Hand

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, there are several ways members of the equestrian community can help. Click below to donate to American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and U.S. Equestrian Disaster Relief Funds.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation’s Equine Disaster Relief Fund

USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund

Disaster Preparedness for Horses

Why Horse Owners Need to Be Prepared

Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but it takes extra consideration for horses because of their size and their transportation needs. It is imperative that you are prepared to move your horses to a safe area.

  • During an emergency, the time you have to evacuate your horses will be limited. With an effective emergency plan, you may have enough time to move your horses to safety. If you are unprepared or wait until the last minute to evacuate, you could be told by emergency management officials that you must leave your horses behind. Once you leave your property, you have no way of knowing how long you will be kept out of the area. If left behind, your horses could be unattended for days without care, food, or water.

Horse Evacuation Tips

  • Make arrangements in advance to have your horse trailered in case of an emergency. If you do not have your own trailer or do not have enough trailer space for all of your horses, be sure you have several people on standby to help evacuate your horses.
  • Know where you can take your horses in an emergency evacuation. Make arrangements with a friend or another horse owner to stable your horses if needed. Contact your local animal care and control agency, agricultural extension agent, or local emergency management authorities for information about shelters in your area.
  • Inform friends and neighbors of your evacuation plans. Post detailed instructions in several places – including the barn office or tack room, the horse trailer, and barn entrances – to ensure they are accessible to emergency workers in case you are not able to evacuate your horses yourself.
  • Place your horses’ Coggins tests, veterinary papers, identification photographs, and vital information – such as medical history, allergies, and emergency telephone numbers (veterinarian, family members, etc.) – in a watertight envelope. Store the envelope with your other important papers in a safe place that can be quickly reached.
  • Keep halters ready for your horses. Each halter should include the following information: the horse’s name, your name, your telephone number, and another emergency telephone number where someone can be reached.
  • Prepare a basic first aid kit that is portable and easily accessible.
  • Be sure to have on hand a supply of water, hay, feed, and medications for several days for each horse you are evacuating.
  • It is important that your horses are comfortable being loaded onto a trailer. If your horses are unaccustomed to being loaded onto a trailer, practice the procedure so they become used to it.

There may be times when taking your horses with you is impossible during an emergency. So you must consider different types of disasters and whether your horses would be better off in a barn or loose in a field. Your local humane organization, agricultural extension agent, or local emergency management agency may be able to provide you with information about your community’s disaster response plans.

http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Animal-Industry/Consumer-Resources/Animal-Disease-Control/Emergency-Response-Resources

Hurricane Harvey Animal Response Efforts Underway

AUSTIN – When Governor Abbott declared a preemptive state of disaster for 30 counties in advance of Tropical Depression Harvey; the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) took the cue and accelerated preparations for what was predicted to be a major storm event. Under the State Emergency Management Plan, TAHC is the state’s coordinating agency for all disaster response issues related to animals, both large and small, including livestock, pets, and zoo animals. By the time Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25, the agency and its response partners were prepared for action.

The storm proved to be even more severe than predicted, and TAHC quickly set up an Animal Response Operations Coordination Center (AROCC) at its headquarters in Austin. Through daily operations at the AROCC, TAHC is striving to meet animal related response needs by coordinating efforts of state, federal, industry, and non-governmental cooperators with an animal focus. The AROCC can be reached at 512-719-0799, or 800-550-8242, ext. 799.  The AROCC connects with the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, through agency State Operations Center (SOC) assigned personnel.

TAHC has boots on the ground in some of the hardest hit areas of the state where local authorities have authorized entry, assessing animal issues resulting from Hurricane Harvey. Agency personnel deployed and continue to work with local disaster district committees, calling on resources to meet animal related needs locally whenever possible.

For animal issues related to Hurricane Harvey, owners should call their local animal control officer or their local emergency operations center for assistance.

Strong winds and rising flood waters destroyed fences and displaced large numbers of livestock. TAHC is coordinating with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to establish livestock supply points in areas of critical need, and with Texas Department of Agriculture to receive and distribute donations of hay and livestock feed.  TAHC requested the services of Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers (TSCRA) Special Rangers to assist in capturing stray livestock and returning them to rightful owners.

The number of shelters available to receive animals is at 74 and growing as response efforts progress.  In addition to pre-designated shelters, the TAHC has received numerous offers of sheltering space from livestock owners with pasture or barn space. With their permission, this information has been forwarded to the 2-1-1 operators and posted on our website at http://www.tahc.texas.gov/emergency/TAHC_SheltersHoldingFacilities.pdf.

With the help of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care and non-governmental organizations, TAHC is supporting evacuation, sheltering, and care of companion and zoo animals.  Many veterinarians and veterinary technicians have volunteered to provide care where needed. TAHC is compiling these resources and sharing information with emergency response centers and shelters.

Updates will be provided as new information becomes available and assessment teams are able to report damages and needs for assistance.

“Our hearts go out to all who are affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. “It is a tumultuous time in our State, but we are grateful for the support and resources our industry, government partners, non-governmental partners, and neighbors are providing.”

Response Partners actively supporting the AROCC include: Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Independent Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Pork Producers, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers, Texas Poultry Federation, SPCA, Texas Department of Emergency Management, Texas Forest Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team, USDA – Farm Service Agency, and USDA – Wildlife Services.

For the latest information on Hurricane Harvey animal response efforts, visit www.tahc.texas.gov.

For more information, contact the Public Information Dept. at 512-719-0750 or at public_info@tahc.texas.gov.

Urgent Notice Regarding Hurricane Damage

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  We know that some of you are facing terrible losses of animals, crops, or your homes, and there are no words for what you must be feeling right now.

After you have secured your own safety and that of your animals, there are two immediate steps that you should take:

  1. Document the damage as quickly as possible — preferably before the water recedes, and definitely before you begin any clean-up. Take pictures of everything before you do anything else. As you start cleaning up, document everything you do. A good option is to keep your notes in a spiral notebook or binder, so that you have everything in one place.
  2. If you have property insurance (whether it is a homeowners’ policy or a farm policy), send written notice of your intent to file a claim by Thursday at midnight.

    It can be a very short letter or email, simply stating that you have suffered damage and intend to file a claim, and preferably including your policy number. A phone call is not enough, but you can submit the notice through the company’s website if they provide that option. Keep a copy of the website confirmation page, your email, or your letter, so you can prove you submitted the notice in writing.

    A new state law goes into effect on Friday that will make it harder to sue insurance companies for denying, lowballing, or delaying claims for property damage from natural disasters — thus reducing the incentive for insurance companies to treat you fairly. The new law doesn’t affect your ability to file a claim, but it may affect how your insurer treats your claim.

We are compiling information about the resources available to help with disaster recovery from USDA, FEMA, SBA, and TDA and will send out more information shortly.

Read more about the insurance law changes in this Texas Tribune article.

info@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org | www.FarmAndRanchFreedom.org

Animal Emergency Preparedness for Those in the Path of Hurricane Harvey

Texans Should Prepare for Flooding, High Winds from Harvey

With the probability of extensive rain and high winds throughout much of the state from the resurgence of Hurricane Harvey, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts are asking Texans to take measures to prepare their houses, farms, and ranches for what could come.

“We’re expecting Harvey to bring a lot of rain and flooding over a large area of the state and as he intensifies, some strong winds as well,” said Andy Vestal, MEd, PhD, AgriLife Extension specialist in emergency management in College Station. “The storm system may also spur tornadic activity.” Vestal said people in both urban and rural areas of the state should take steps to prepare for what could come from this storm system to minimize damage and reduce the impact of its aftermath.

He said the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network (Texas EDEN) at texashelp.tamu.edu has a variety of materials on disaster preparation and recovery.

Vestal said to avoid being trapped by a flood, it’s best to evacuate before flooding starts.

Read the rest of this article HERE.