Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

PBEC Case Study: Ethmoid Hematoma

Dr. Michael Myrhe and Dr. Weston Davis performing the Ethmoid Hematoma procedure. Photo courtesy of PBEC.

A horse was recently admitted to Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC), based in Wellington, FL, with symptoms that included bleeding from the nostril. The patient’s referring veterinarian had diagnosed the horse with an ethmoid hematoma, which in layman’s terms is essentially a mass that fills with blood in the nose or sinus cavity.

The patient was placed under the care of PBEC’s board-certified surgeon Dr. Weston Davis and Dr. Michael Myhre. They performed an airway endoscopy to locate and evaluate the hematoma that the referring veterinarian had identified. After confirming the diagnosis, Dr. Davis and Dr. Myhre were eager to ensure that it was the one and only hematoma they were battling.

PBEC is one of an elite group of equine veterinary clinics to have a computed tomography (CT) machine in their arsenal of diagnostic imaging equipment. A CT gives veterinarians a unique look at the head, neck, and spine of a horse that they would never be able to accomplish with other imaging modalities. After a CT of the patient’s sinuses, more masses were indeed identified.

“This was a fairly typical presentation of an ethmoid hematoma, but there were certainly more masses than normal,” said Dr. Myhre. “It’s for this reason that the CT was very useful. If we were not able to obtain the scans that we did, we may have missed the masses that were located deeper in the sinus.”

Click here to watch the CT scan that spotted the additional masses in progress.

The cause of an ethmoid hematoma is unknown, but the mass resembles a tumor in appearance and development without being neoplastic. Horses with extensive masses may have reduced airflow and an expanding hematoma can cause pressure necrosis of the surrounding bones, but rarely causes facial distortion. Treatments of the condition can range from conservative management to surgery. The conservative treatment route includes the injection of formalin – a mixture of formaldehyde gas and water – into the mass using a guarded endoscopic needle. Once injected, the mass typically regresses rapidly, but recurrence is common. For some cases, surgical excision is achieved via a frontonasal bone flap procedure.

Due to the location and advances nature of the masses in this case, injection was not an option and the CT imaging was used to plan a surgical approach. “After sedation and a local block, we went into the sinus through a flap approach where we took a section of bone, cut it into a flap, and moved it back so we could go into the sinuses through a nice window,” said Dr. Myhre. “We removed a mass four centimeters in diameter as well as several smaller masses two to three centimeters in diameter, then flushed the area and closed.”

According to Dr. Myhre the advantages of a standing procedure included fewer risks from bleeding and fewer risks of recovering from anesthesia.

Post-surgery, the bone flap will require several weeks to heal, but the skin itself healed within one to two weeks, which is when the horse was cleared to return to normal activity.

Jennifer Wood, Jump Media
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby 2019 Begins

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby” 2019 kicks off with a new chapeau honoring an Old Friends retiree.

For the 10th consecutive year, Maggie Mae Designs® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience. “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is a unique Derby-hat fundraiser featuring one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

This new hat pays tribute to King Congie, a stakes winner who resides at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, N.Y., and it uses the yellow and black racing-silk colors of former owners West Point Thoroughbreds.

King Congie’s career ended following an injury in 2012. In 2016 he was rescued from a livestock auction by the Rosemary Farm Sanctuary, and with the help of West Point Thoroughbreds was retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek.

This lovely hat was created out of black dupioni silk with layers and layers of organza. It’s highlighted by a bold yellow under brim, which adds a vibrant, colorful effect when the wearer’s face is upturned, and it is adorned with a delicate rose sculpted out of alternating layers of yellow silk and chocolate organza.

The “King Congie” chapeau is up for bid from January 2nd through January 12th. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends.

To Bid: CLICK HERE.

Special thanks to the Stronach Group’s Acacia Courtney for graciously modeling this month’s selection, and to Connie Bush of Tiger Eye Photography for her stunning images of Acacia and King Congie.

To read more about King Congie, the horse, please CLICK HERE.

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

Graded Stakes Winner Silver Ray Dies at 30

Silver Ray at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 2, 2019 – Silver Ray, a graded-stakes winner who was rescued from potential slaughter in 2013, was euthanized due to chronic orthopedic disease at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY. The stallion was 30 years old.

Bred in Kentucky, Silver Ray (Silver Hawk – Danceland, by Little Current) won six of his 26 starts for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, including the GR3 Hoist the Flag Stakes at Hollywood Park. His career earnings totaled $268,532.

As a stallion, Silver Ray sired 47 foals in 13 lifetime crops with 11 winners. He was eventually sold to a dressage trainer and had some success as a sire of sport horses.

But in the summer of 2013 the stallion was discovered at a livestock auction in Mira Loma, CA by April Smith, who bought him for a mere $30.

After uncovering his identity, Smith contacted Catherine Trope, founder of the Glendale, CA-based Polo Pony Rescue, and Trope helped nurse the ailing ex-racer back to health.

When the Glendale News-Press ran a feature about Silver Ray’s rescue and recovery, it came to the attention of the Mosses, who are best known for campaigning the champion mare Zenyatta.

Longtime supporters of Old Friends, the Mosses worked with founder and President Michael Blowen to secure Silver Ray a spot at the Georgetown, KY farm.

“It has been such an honor to have Silver Ray with us these years,” said Blowen. “He has been an unbelievable fan favorite. He had an incredibly gentle soul, he was wonderful with children, and he just loved getting treats and attention from all of our visitors,” Blowen added.

“Great teamwork brought this wonderful stallion to Old Friends,” said Blowen. “We’re grateful to the people who rescued him and the Mosses for sponsoring his journey home.”

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

Michael Blowen Clarifies Recent Release Announcing “Old Friends West”

GEORGETOWN, KY – DECEMBER 14, 2018 – Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY, wishes to clarify an unauthorized press release announcing the affiliate “Old Friends West”.

According to Blowen, no official agreement has been made with Elizabeth Neil or Doug Freeland to open a West Coast-based Thoroughbred retirement facility.

Mr. Blowen has exchanged emails with Ms Neil and Mr. Freeland, and was interested in further discussion of the idea; however, no formal proposal has been made and no steps taken to complete the venture as soon as March 2019.

“I believe an affiliate on the West Coast is an excellent idea. California is a huge racing hub, and Thoroughbreds bred and campaigned there deserve a dignified retirement in their home state where their fans are,” said Blowen. “However, while we have been in very preliminary discussions, no final agreement has been met, and this press release is premature,” he added. “At Old Friends we don’t like to put the cart before the horse — in fact, we don’t like to put anything before the horse!

“I have offered to consult on the formation of a West Coast farm, but I also explained to Mr. Freeland that many steps that would need to be taken before earning an affiliation with Old Friends,” Blowen continued. “We would only get involved with an existing 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, a visual inspection of the new facility and interviews with their planned farm personnel are mandatory, and, most importantly, a formal presentation would need to be made to the Old Friends Board of Directors and approval achieved. At this time, we have not moved forward with any of these phases.

“We also would have to consider our Accreditation with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Blowen noted, “and any new facility would need to be approved.

Blowen did say the Mr. Freeland is scheduled to visit Old Friends in Georgetown next week.

“This is not something that happens overnight,” Blowen said. “We have painstakingly built our brand over the years, and we guard it fiercely. It has taken more than 15 years for Old Friends to reach its existing place in the aftercare community and we’re very proud of our position.”

For additional information, please call Old Friends at (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Grade 1 Winner Wake Forest and New York Champ Kharafa Retire to Old Friends

Wake Forest checks out his new digs (Old Friends Farm Photos)

GEORGETOWN, KY – DECEMBER 3, 2018 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, announced the arrival of two new notable retirees: Grade 1 winner Wake Forest and stakes winner Kharafa.

Wake Forest was a Group 3 winner in Germany before relocating to trainer Chad Brown’s barn in 2015 for owners Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin and his Sheep Pond Partners, and Bethlehem Stables. In his third North American start, Wake Forest captured the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes and went on to win the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes in 2017.

This past July, the bay son of Sir Percy (GB) went on the block at Fasig-Tipton where he sold for $90,000. Under new ownership he began dropping down the claiming ranks. On November 24th at Gulfstream Park West he ran for a tag of $8,000 and finished ninth of 11 starters.

It was to be his final start, as former owner Dubb stepped up to claim the 8-year-old horse for retirement.  After 28 starts and eight wins, Wake Forest completed his career with earnings of $951,745.

Trained by Timothy Hill for owners Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch, New York-bred warrior Kharafa finished out his career after 52 starts in eight seasons.  A star of the NYRA circuit, Kharafa captured multiple runnings of the Ashley T. Cole Stakes and the Kingston Stakes at Belmont Park, as well as Aqueduct’s Three Coins Up Stakes.

This August, the 9-year-old was the unexpected star of Saratoga’s New York Showcase Day after capturing the $150,000 West Point Stakes to the delight of his fans.  The win brought Kharafa’s career earnings to $1,238. 622.

Since 2013, Kharafa had become a huge fan favorite thanks to a sensational rivalry with fellow state-bred turfers Lubash and King Kreesa. As fate would have it, all three are now retired at Old Friends in Georgetown.

“It’s a banner day here,” said Old Friends founder Michael Blowen. “Wake Forest is the sweetest most beautiful horse, and it’s such a thrill to reunite Kharafa with his famous rivals. We hope all their fans will come to visit them,” Blowen added. “We are so thankful to their respective connections for trusting us with these two beloved champs.”

For more information, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

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