Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

FEI Researches Equine Health and Performance at Tokyo 2020 Test Event

Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Grisors JRA. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

With optimising performance in challenging climatic conditions high on the agenda during the numerous Ready Steady Tokyo test events, the FEI had already put in place a major research study aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments.

Long travelling times and distances, time-zone disruptions, and heat and humidity pose specific challenges to horses and of course to human athletes. Monitoring of the combined effects of all these factors was put in place prior to the horses’ departure from their home countries en route to Tokyo and throughout last week’s equestrian test event in the Japanese capital. Data collected will be used to provide the FEI, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (TOCOG), as well as National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with detailed information on equine performance in these conditions.

“High level equestrian competitions are increasingly taking place in parts of the world where the climate poses health challenges for both humans and horses,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said.

“The study plays a crucial role in guiding the TOCOG and other Organising Committees on appropriate facilities and support, and will be used to advise and guide athletes and National Federations on the preparation of their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The study monitored horses before, during, and after their journey to Tokyo, with data collected through under-tail temperature monitors and sensors that measure stable and travelling activity, as well as thermal comfort. SaddleClip sensors were used to record gait, speed, and distance, and heart rate monitors were used on the horses prior to and during competition. The technology for the data collection was made possible through the FEI’s partnerships with Epona Biotec, Arioneo, Equestic, and Polar.

Findings from the study will build on the existing framework for implementing measures to run equestrian sports in hot and humid climates that was developed for the Games in Atlanta 1996 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. Olympic test events prior to Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008 also included organised monitoring of competing horses.

To ensure that NOCs and NFs are fully aware of the climatic challenges, the FEI included an information session on climate mitigation protocols aimed at minimising the effects of heat and humidity in the official Observers Programme, which ran concurrently with the test event.

During next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, equestrian sport will be held at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park and Sea Forest venues. Baji Koen, which hosted the Olympic equestrian events at the Tokyo Games in 1964, has been extensively refurbished by the Japan Racing Association, while the cross country venue at Sea Forest that will be shared with rowing and canoe sprint is on reclaimed land and will be turned into a park post-Games.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Click here to take action.

Old Friends Welcomes Stakes Winner Soi Phet

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 8, 2019 – Old Friends welcomed new retiree Soi Phet, the 11-year-old son of Tizbud who was pensioned following his 64th and final start on June 29 at Los Alamitos.

Bred in California by ARCHA Racing, Soi Phet was claimed by conditioner Leonard Powell for $16,000 in May of 2013 at Hollywood Park for the partnership of Mathilde Powell, the Benowitz Family Trust, and Paul Viskovich. He went on to earn nearly $1 million for his new owners.

He scored his first stakes win in the 2014 Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos (a race he captured again in 2018), and later that year he returned to the one-mile oval to register a 7 1/4-length romp in the inaugural $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile.

In 2018, Soi Phet became the oldest stakes winner in Santa Anita history when, at 10, he captured The Crystal Water.

Soi Phet finished his career with 15 wins, including eight stakes, and a grade 1 placing in the 2013 Awesome Again Stakes, when he finished behind Mucho Macho Man and Paynter. His lifetime earnings total $1,023, 917.

“I’m such a fan of Soi Phet, and I’m so excited to welcome him to Old Friends,” said the organization’s founder and President Michael Blowen. “We hope all of his fans will visit him here, and we thank Leonard and his owners for sharing this great champ with us.”

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

Preparing Your Horse for Fourth of July Fireworks

Question: My neighbors set off fireworks in their backyard (directly over my barn and pastures!) for two nights in a row. The first night, my horses were in their stalls, and I found them sweating and worked up. The second night, I had them turned out overnight – not knowing that there would again be fireworks – and one of them ended up getting minorly injured after trying to go over the fence! Can I take legal recourse?

Answer: You might not like this answer, but chances are probably not. Because the fireworks were set off on your neighbors’ own property, likely in the manner that they were intended to be used, and without the direct intent to harm your horses, your neighbors are not likely to be held liable. You wouldn’t want your neighbors trying to dictate what you do on your property, would you? Unfortunately, that’s largely the scenario at play here.

However, it may be worth looking into and familiarizing yourself with the local firework laws. If fireworks, or fireworks of a certain size or type, are illegal in your town, your neighbor could then obviously be found at fault. If setting off fireworks violated any laws or ordinances – and the purpose of the law was to preserve peace and quiet in the neighborhood – you might be able to bring a legal action for damages. With that being said, this could lead to a great deal of tension between you and your neighbors!

While this does not sound like the situation at hand here, if the neighbor’s fireworks landed on your property, or if they set off the fireworks with the intent to purposely agitate your horse(s), you may be able to bring a claim for, amongst other things, the injury to your horse. An example would be if you caught the neighbor kids shooting bottle rockets aimed at your horse because they liked watching the horse run.

As long as you are given advance notice or know it is a holiday when fireworks may be prevalent, there are also several other things that you can do to best prepare your horses:

  • Ensure that your horses are inside for the night and close all windows and doors to help cancel out noise and block any views. While this doesn’t sound like it applies in your case, for others who keep horses outside 24/7, it may be worth talking to other equestrians in the area to see if they have open stalls available just for the night.
  • Play music in the barn. If you have a stereo system in the barn, put it to use to again help cancel out the noise of the fireworks. (Make sure that the night of the fireworks is not the first time that your horses have heard the stereo system though – otherwise it could potentially have an equally dramatic effect!)
  • If there will be any fireworks visible from in the barn even with the doors and windows closed, leave the lights on to help lessen the effect of the bright flashes.
  • If your horse is used to wearing earplugs, try leaving earplugs in just for the night.

I might advise (kindly) approaching your neighbors – if you have not already – about what happened and requesting that they let you know in advance the next time that they plan to set off fireworks so that you can prepare your horses accordingly. Depending on your current relationship with them, they may offer to pay for a portion or all of the horse’s injuries if you explain how and why your horse was injured, allowing everyone to avoid the uncertainties of legal action.

Visit www.equestriancounsel.com to learn more or email info@equestriancounsel.com with inquiries.

Cloud Foundation Calls for Hearings on Dangerous New BLM Management Plan

(June 11, 2019) Last week, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization, sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee (Click here for letter), voicing opposition to a dangerous and ill-conceived management plan that could result in the roundup of over 50,000 horses. The letter calls on the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Raul Grijalva, to hold hearings regarding the failure of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to effectively manage the Wild Horse and Burro program. The Colorado nonprofit also urges the committee to provide oversight and benchmark requirements for a BLM pilot program, embedded in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill.

The legislation, as passed by the House Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2019 and headed to the House floor this week, “lacks safeguards, assurances, and oversight,” said Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation. (Click here for legislative text and report language.)

“We believe the appropriations language gives the agency far too much latitude on issues where there is disagreement between BLM and the wild horse and burro community. The Cloud Foundation recommends that this pilot program be developed with the oversight and guidance of the House Natural Resources Committee and that the committee initiate a series of hearings to oversee the development of a sound and balanced management plan that holds BLM accountable for implementing humane, reversible fertility control programs.”

The management plan, submitted to Congress earlier this year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) et al. would double the number of horses in off-range holding at enormous cost to the American tax-payer. “While perhaps seen as a compromise, these groups are bargaining with the lives and potential deaths of 50,000 horses,” says TCF Director of Communications, Lisa Friday. “Unless funds are allocated to support those horses in holding for the rest of their natural lives, it is not hard to imagine that slaughter will be their eventual fate.”

TCF has advocated for wild horses and burros since its inception in 2005, and Kathrens has documented these animals in the wild for over 25 years.

“BLM never wanted the job of managing a wildlife species, particularly one that competes with one of their major clients, the livestock industry,” Kathrens states. “We cannot trust that BLM will implement reversible fertility control if we simply ask nicely, as called for in this plan. BLM must spend the money where it is allocated – and we must allocate the majority of funds to humane, reversible on-range management. We believe one way to hold BLM to account is to build oversight into any pilot program.”

Click HERE for TCF’s full response to new “multi-stakeholder” management plan.

Click HERE for the Unified Statement, a plan for humane management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros signed by over 100 wild horse and animal advocacy groups.

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

Multiple Graded Stakes Winner Hogy Joins Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY – JUNE 14, 2019 – Hogy, the multiple graded stakes winner, has been retired from racing and will be pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY.

Bred by Dr. John E. Little in Kentucky, Hogy (Offlee Wild – Floy, by Petionvillle), finishes his seven-year career with 55 starts and 19 wins and earnings of $1,339,782.

The near-black gelding launched his career at Arlington Park in 2011 capturing his first three starts, including the Brian Barenscheer Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury Park. He earned his first graded stakes in 2013 in the grade 3 Hanshin Cup Stakes, again at Arlington. In 2017 he set a track record for 5½ furlongs in the Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds, while defeating Old Friends retiree — and that day’s 4-5 favorite — Green Mask.

Claimed from owner William Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker for $80,000 in 2017 following three straight losses, Hogy quickly earned his keep for new owner Michael Hui and trainer Mike Maker when he took the grade 3 Kentucky Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs, defeating group 1 winner Undrafted in the process.

After a defeat in the grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, Hogy went on the following year to capture the grade Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream.

“It’s always rewarding to pension one of racing’s great warriors,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “Hogy has seen it all and done it all — multiple tracks, multiple surfaces, competing in claimers up to grade 1 stakes. Now we hope he will just enjoy being loved and admired by his friends and fans.”

Now 10, the gelding arrived at Old Friends on June 14 with owner Hui in tow. “Old Hogy,” Hui noted, “could not be in better hands.”

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 Launches New Membership Program, “The Hoof Patrol”

Illustration by Remi Bellocq.

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 30, 2019 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, is introducing a new fan-based membership initiative, “The Hoof Patrol,” which will serve to educate members and aid with equine retirees facing costly and ongoing hoof-related issues.

Members who join the Hoof Patrol will be able to choose from different levels of support, and their contribution will supply a continuous funding stream to for Old Friends retirees that have short and long-term ailments — everything from common abscesses to serious issues such as Laminitis.

All Hoof Patrol memberships will include a gift of an official key chain, a full year of email updates and information, including spotlight horse case-studies, videos & photos, “Talk to the Hoof” Q&As, and photo opportunities with Old Friends Hoof Patrol horses when visiting the farm.

Members will also enjoy contest eligibility for giveaways of shoes worn by selected Hoof Patrol horses.

Fans will have three Hoof Patrol support levels to choose from:

Bronze Shoe Member ($50 annually)

Your annual donation provides supplies directly for the Hoof Patrol Hoof care Tool Box. Supplies for care of hoof ailments include:

Keratex hoof hardener
Animalintex hoof poultice
Betadine
Cast padding
Elastikon (4″)
3M Vetwrap
Heavy duty duct tape
Farriers Formula Double strength
EasyBoot Rx therapy hoof boot
Soft-Ride hoof boots
Custom fit glue on shoes

Silver Shoe Member ($125 annually)

Your annual donation provides support for horses experiencing short-term hoof issues such as abscesses, bruises, cracks, and general soreness.

Gold Shoe Member ($250 annually)

Your annual donation provides support for horses experiencing long-term issues, such as chronic arthritis, Laminitis, brittle hooves, quarter cracks, issues associated with Cushing’s Disease, and other geriatric issues.

For additional information and to join, interested fans can either click here, visit the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org, or call (502) 863-1775.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

Yankee Fourtune, Grade 3 Winner, Euthanized

Yankee Fourtune in retirement at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 29, 2019 – Grade 3 winner Yankee Fourtune was euthanized May 28 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, due to issues of chronic arthritis.

The 12-year-old gelding had been pensioned at the non-profit organization since 2015.

Campaigned by New Jersey business man Harvey Clarke and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, in 2010 the 3-year-old Yankee Fourtune (Yankee Gentleman – Madam Ann, Mi Cielo) was undefeated in five starts on turf, which included his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby and culminated with a win in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs.

The gray gelding raced for four additional seasons, but never quite regained his championship form, and he soon entered the claiming ranks.

In 2012 Yankee was claimed from owner Clarke for $50,000. But the gelding always had a special place in his heart. Two years later Clarke — who was also known as the breeder or co-breeder of such champions as I’ll Have Another, Stopchargingmaria, and Cairo Prince — tracked down the horse’s new owners to offer his assistance if ever needed.

Clarke soon received a call that Yankee Fourtune needing emergency colic surgery.

Clarke took care of the surgery, and donated the horse to Old Friends to secure his retirement. Clarke remained a frequent visitor to the farm and a longtime supporter until his passing in January 2019 following a long bout with lung cancer.

“Losing Harvey and Yankee Fourtune is a huge blow to everyone who knew them both,” said Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends. “Harvey loved Yankee Fourtune, and inquired about him a lot. They were lucky to have each other.”

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

Geri, a Grade 1 Winner, Euthanized at 27

Geri at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 27, 2019 – Grade I winner Geri was euthanized May 25 at Park Equine Hospital in Versailles due to complications from colic.

Geri had been a retiree at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, since 2013. The stallion was 27.

Geri was among nine stallions repatriated from overseas stud duty by the non-profit organization. He arrived back in the U.S. from Italy.

Raced as a homebred by Allen E. Paulson and trained by Bill Mott, Geri (Theatrical-Garimpeiro, by Mr. Prospector) entered the spotlight with his victory in the 1996 Grade3 Creme Fraiche Handicap. The chestnut colt earned his first Grade 1 later that year in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Geri went on to capture the Woodbine Mile and the Citation Handicap in 1997 before finishing his career with a total of nine wins and earnings of $1,707,980.

As an international sire Geri was well represented by the multiple stakes-winning mare Bedanken, Japanese millionaire Lucky Break, and champion steeplechaser Party Airs. He was also the sire of A. P. Slew, another Old Friends retiree.

“Geri’s handsome countenance offered an insufficient disguise for his deep-seated toughness,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He knew who he was. He was even smart enough to tell us when his time had come. We will miss him terribly. Our thanks to Madeleine Paulson for supporting him and other great Paulson Thoroughbreds throughout the years.”

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

Mustangs’ Insides Viciously Ripped Out: Stop the BLM!

The Bureau of Land Management is once again callously planning to permanently sterilize wild horse mares using a gruesome procedure so deadly and inhumane that many veterinarians refuse to perform it. Don’t let the BLM rip out the ovaries of wild mares!

The proposed surgery, called ovariectomy via colpotomy, is controversial even for domestic mares who are used to human handling and given normal surgical protections such as sterile conditions, anesthesia, and complete long-term aftercare. The situation at the Burns Corral in Oregon, where the deadly experiments are slated to take place, is not conducive to any of those conditions which makes the already risky procedure all the more dangerous and life-threatening.

This is the third time that the Bureau has tried to perform this barbaric experiment on defenseless wild horse mares, under the guise of a “study.” After two major universities dropped out, lawsuits were filed, and massive public outcry occurred, the first two attempts were abandoned by the Bureau. Many thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters wrote to both of the universities initially involved, and also to the BLM in protest of this vile procedure from its past attempts.

Take action on this issue.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org