Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

Smoke Coping Strategies

Smoke from wildfires in the West had made its way to the East Coast of America and has hit Europe. Speculation that it will circumnavigate the globe is sadly realistic.  That smoke is as bad for horses’ health as it is for people.

Here’s a primer on smoke and tips on minimizing its effect on your horse.

What’s in Wildfire Smoke

Smoke comes in endless variations, depending on what is burned. In the case of wildfires that spread beyond forests and rangeland to consume homes and other structures, smoke is produced from burning wood, vegetation, plastic, building materials, furniture, vehicles, and combustibles such as gas and oil.

Wildfire smoke can contain carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides, among other chemicals, for example. Even the smoldering stages of a fire can be deadly – that’s when colorless, odorless carbon monoxide is produced in the greatest quantities. In high doses, carbon monoxide can be fatal.

Of greatest concern, however, is the particulate matter from wildfire smoke. Particulates are an airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets that are very small – fewer than five microns, less than the width of a human hair, which is typically 70 microns. Sub-micron particles are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs where they can cause damage even before any signs of respiratory distress become evident.

How Horses Are Affected

Horses show signs similar to humans, with irritated eyes and respiratory systems, compromised lung function and worsened conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum that ranges from Inflammatory Airway Disease to Recurrent Airway Obstruction, AKA “heaves.” Watch for signs such as coughs, nasal discharge, wheezing, and other breathing distress – if such signs increase or persist, your veterinarian should be called to provide professional diagnosis and treatment.

Not as widely discussed is the effect of particulates on the immune system, but it’s high time to highlight this important fact. Particulates have been shown to alter the immune system, which reduces the lungs’ ability to remove inhaled materials such as pollen and bacteria. Because horses are continually exposed to allergens outdoors as well as in the stable, an immune system compromised by wildfire particulates is a serious matter.

How to Help Your Horse

First of all, watch for clinical or behavioral signs that your horse needs treatment and don’t hesitate to call your vet if you are concerned. You know your horse better than anyone, and your equestrian instinct can be your horse’s best defense.

Keep exercise to a minimum. Avoid activities that increase smoky airflow into your horse’s lungs. You may note your horse being less active in his field or paddock, a sign that his horse sense tells him not to exert himself when it’s more difficult to breathe. Even if his horse sense hasn’t kicked in, be his advocate and refrain from normal activity until the air clears.

After a particularly intense period of smoke inhalation, it may take four to six weeks for your horse’s airway to heal. Give your horse the gift of time to heal. Exercising too soon could aggravate the condition of your horse’s lungs, delay healing, and compromise future performance. Experts familiar with the training and competition schedules of sport horses advise a return to exercise no sooner than two weeks after the atmosphere is clear of smoke.

In the meantime, water is your horse’s friend. It keeps the horse’s airways moist and helps clear inhaled particulates from the airways; dry airways encourage particulates to stay in the lungs and air passages. Because horses drink most of their water within two hours of eating hay, encourage water consumption by keeping fresh water close to where he eats.

Helpful Equipment

As an equine health company, respiratory health is one of Haygain’s primary areas of expertise. The Flexineb Portable Equine Nebulizer Haygain distributes is on the frontlines of efforts to help smoke-threatened horses throughout the West right now.

If your horse is diagnosed with smoke-induced respiratory conditions, your veterinarian may prescribe treatments such as IV fluids, bronchodilator drugs, nebulization, or other means to hydrate his airways. Nebulization, commonly known as aerosol therapy, enables medications or natural therapy liquids to be aerosolized into tiny particles small enough for your horse to inhale deep into his lungs.

The Flexineb is proven to deliver 71% of the nebulized drug deep into the horse’s lower respiratory tract, with the other 29% reaching the upper respiratory tract and trachea. Its light weight, silent operation and easy application help the horse stay calm during treatment.

Haygain’s high-temperature hay steamers also help by adding water to the diet and reducing up to 99% of the respirable particles found even in hay of good nutrient content. These are problematic every day and especially when the horse’s respiratory function is compromised from smoke inhalation.  Soaking hay is another way to add water and reduce some of the particles; however, soaking for as little as 10 minutes can increase the bacteria load in hay by 150%. That’s especially hard on horses whose immune function is suppressed by respiratory distress.

While it’s usually healthier for horses to live outdoors, the opposite is true when smoke is present. Keeping the barn air clean is extra critical, especially reducing two main culprits in respiratory disease: dust from stall bedding and ammonia fumes from bacteria that proliferate in the urine collecting under conventional stall mats. Haygain’s ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring has built-in cushion that reduces bedding needs to only that required to absorb urine. Its top layer is sealed to the stall wall, preventing urine seepage to the stall floor.

Bottom Line:

Keep exercise to a minimum and hydration to a maximum. Watch for signs your horse is not feeling normal and keep an extra watch on horses with compromised respiratory and immune systems. If in doubt, call your vet.

by Nan Meek & Kim F Miller

BLM’s Massive Roundups Underway

One of the largest roundups of the past ten years concluded last month. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported that 1,825 wild horses and burros were removed from the Shawave Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) northeast of Reno, NV.

Eleven horses and one burro were killed during the roundup. Five of these were senior horses, and three of those were killed for “missing an eye.”

Next week, BLM will start another major roundup to remove over 1,100 horses in the Diamond Complex just north of Eureka, NV. If the BLM 2020 Roundup Plan is fully implemented, 2020 will rank as the year with the highest number of wild horses and burros captured in the last 19 years.

Read the Shawave report here.

Sept. Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is holding their next meeting on September 23-24, 2020 via Zoom. Register by September 17 (first come, first served) to give public comments.

While this Board is stacked with anti-wild horse folks who support massive roundups and voted to send horses to slaughter, it’s important they hear from the American people they are supposed to represent.

You can also send an email to whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov calling on the Advisory Board to protect natural wild horse behaviors and to give our wild horses and burros their fair share of AUMs (forage) on the range. For more information, or to register for public comments, click here.

Congressional Update

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet acted on FY2021 funding for the federal government. Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) is threatening to not allow Committee markup of the funding bills. Markup is the process by which committees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.

It’s looking more unlikely that the FY2021 budget will be passed by Congress before the Fiscal Year (FY) ends on September 30th. This means Congress will likely pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) which will carry over the same funding from the last budget.

We will continue to keep you informed on the status of the Wild Horse and Burro Program funding. In the meantime, please continue to make your voice heard!

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

Old Friends Welcomes Birdstone

GEORGETOWN, KY – Aug 28, 2020 – Belmont Stakes and Travers winner Birdstone has been pensioned to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.

A homebred for owner Marylou Whitney and trained by Nick Zito, Birdstone captured the G1 Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old in 2003. Birdstone ran up the track in the Kentucky Derby and sat out the Preakness, before surprising most of the sell-out crowd when he got up in the final yards in the Belmont Stakes to ruin Smarty Jones’ try for the Triple Crown. That summer, at Saratoga Race Course, Birdstone proved that the Belmont was no fluke when he added a victory in the Travers Stakes to his impressive resume.

The son of Grindstone, out of the Storm Bird mare Dear Birdie, Birdstone retired from racing in 2004 after a chip was found in his left front ankle after his final start was in the GR1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Birdstone retired with five victories from nine starts and earnings of $1,575,600.

He spent his stallion career at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, KY where he became one of very few sires to have produced a Kentucky Derby winner in their first crop, when Mine That Bird captured the 2009 Run for the Roses at 50-to-1 upset in 2009. That same year, his son Summer Bird repeated his sire’s efforts by winning both the Belmont and Travers Stakes.

“We are so grateful to John Hendrickson for allowing Old Friends to care for Birdstone in his post-breeding career,” said Blowen. “He’s a living tribute to the late Marylou Whitney, and we plan to carry on her great contributions to the aftercare of both humans and horses,” he added. “We’re extremely grateful to John for trusting us to care for his tremendous stakes winner. Birdstone had a great life at Gainesway and we plan to continue that tradition at Old Friends.”

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

Old Friends Welcomes New Retirees Work All Week, The Pizza Man, and Syndergaard

The Pizza Man (left) and Work All Week.

GEORGETOWN, KY – AUGUST 21, 2020 – This week, Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, welcomed three new retirees, stakes winner all.

Work All Week, a seven-time stakes winner, was owned and bred by Richard and Karen Papiese and campaigned by trainer Roger Brueggemann. The Illinois-bred son of City Zip was the champion male sprinter of 2014 after capturing the 2014 GR 1 Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Work All Week was retired from racing in 2015 at the age of six due to a stress fracture in his right knee with a 13-4-1 record from 19 starts and earnings of $1,511,071. In addition to his Eclipse Award as outstanding male sprinter, Work All Week is a two-time Illinois Horse of the Year.

The Pizza Man, another star for Papiese and Brueggemann, is a multiple GR1 winner. By English Channel out of the Lear Fan mare I Can Fan Fan, The Pizza Man is the only Illinois bred to claim victory in both the GR1 Arlington Million (2015) and the GR1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (2016). He retired from racing in 2017 at the age of eight after being diagnosed with a chip in his left front ankle. He closed his career with 17 wins from his 36 starts and earnings of 2,158,941. Since retiring, The Pizza Man enjoyed a second career as a stable pony for his former trainer.

Syndergaard, owned by the partnership of Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Guri Singh, and Jerry Walia, was named after New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The New York-bred son of Majesticperfection – Magic Belle, Magical Thinking, was a dazzling 2-year-old under the tutelage of trainer Todd Pletcher, cinching his maiden outing at Saratoga and going on to capture the Funny Cide Stakes over the same oval. That same year he was second in the GR1 Champagne, which led to a start in the 2016 GR1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he ended up 5th. He later moved to the barn of trainer John P. Terranova II. This year, the chestnut gelding was retired after his last start June 6 at Belmont Park with 17 Starts, 3 Wins, 4 places, 2 shows, and earnings: $477, 269.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “I wish everyone could see the absolute joy expressed by The Pizza Man and Work All Week as they celebrate in their paddock. And Syndergaard is just gorgeous. Thanks to their owners for trusting us and their fans for all their support.”

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

Tell BLM: No Barbaric Surgeries on Our Wild Mares

At their current population numbers, private livestock outgraze wild horses 60 to 40 in the Confusion Herd Management Area (HMA) of western Utah. Of course, according to BLM, this means there are too many horses. As we know, the agency prioritizes livestock use ahead of our federally protected wild horses.

The BLM is proposing to round up nearly 90% of the Confusion HMA wild horses. They plan to sterilize (killing the WILD in wild horses) up to half of the 70 horses (mares & stallions) they plan to leave on the range.

Could it get any worse? Yep!

They plan to use the outdated and barbaric ovariectomy via colpotomy on the Confusion mares. This is an archaic procedure whereby a vet forces his arm up through the mare’s vulva and rips out her ovaries with a chain device that was used back in the 1800s (chain ecraseur).

This horror MUST STOP.

WE are the horses only voice. Please join us and raise your voice against this cruelty.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Old Friends Named Beneficiary of Charity for Champions Campaign

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 17, 2020 – Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, and Maker’s Mark®, the original premium bourbon, announced the 2020 Limited-Edition Maker’s Mark bottle from the Charity for Champions program, which began in 2015, with the goal of raising money for Thoroughbred industry charities.

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, is once again proud to be named, for the fifth consecutive year, one of the official charity beneficiaries.

Home to such Breeders’ Cup Champions as Alphabet Soup (1996 Classic), Eldaafer (2010 Marathon), Little Mike (2012 Turf), and Amazombie (2011 Sprint), Old Friends cares for over 200 retired Thoroughbreds in six locations.

In addition to Old Friends, proceeds from the 2020 auction will support the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s COVID-19 relief efforts supporting industry stakeholders most in need.

The latest collection of limited-edition Maker’s Mark® bottles will feature James E. “Ted” Bassett III, a former Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup President who has long been regarded as Thoroughbred Racing’s Gentleman Ambassador.

“Old Friends is honored to team up with the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America to pay tribute to Ted Bassett,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “Mr. Bassett, who has visited Old Friends on numerous occasions, is an enthusiastic supporter. His ambassadorship on behalf of these great Thoroughbreds is unparalleled and we are overjoyed that Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark are saluting him with this magnificent bottle.”

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY.

Bottles can be reserved for a donation of $400, and fans can secure bottles now through the Charity for Champions page: CLICK HERE.

Bottle fulfillment and pickup information will be announced in the coming weeks.

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

Summer Camp-in-a-Box Brings Days End Farm Horse Rescue to Kids Everywhere

Over the past eight years, close to 200 children each summer flocked to Days End Farm Horse Rescue to attend our popular day camp. Youth play an integral part in sharing DEFHR’s mission, and our entire staff look forward to several weeks of fun and learning with the campers. When we were forced to close our traditional camp this year, we knew we needed to shift our focus to stay connected virtually with the children. Our management team spent hours discussing scenarios that would allow us to operate while keeping campers safe, but also inspired and committed. We came up with the perfect solution: Camp-in-a-Box.

Each child’s ‘Camp-in-a-Box’ includes hands-on projects, DIY experiments, online videos, and activities revolving around the DEFHR horses. Campers will also find out why caring for the environment is important to us at DEFHR. Each week’s activities center around an environmental theme as part of “WE CARE” (water, erosion, composting, agriculture, recycling, and ecology = WE CARE). WE CARE invites children to discover how caring for the environment also gives back to the horses.

Campers will receive trading cards of their favorite horses, our official camp shirt and bag, a field journal, and a field notes guide, along with other goodies for hands-on learning from home. The first week’s box also includes a “WE CARE Ambassador” certificate and pledge card.

“Whether it’s at the farm or at their home, we want our campers to have an inspiring experience and feel connected to the horses they love,” says Nicky Wetzelberger, DEFHR’s Community Outreach Director. “Camp-in-a-Box was our innovative answer to keeping our campers engaged from a safe distance this summer. This program also allows us to educate youth anywhere in the world, at any time, from the comfort of their home.

“DEFHR knows that the future of equine and animal welfare lies within our youth communities,” adds Wetzelberger. “Any opportunity for us to teach them about the importance of caring for the environment, each other, and animals is something we will continue to pursue and a program we are committed to growing.”

Days End Farm Horse Rescue – www.DEFHR.org

Contact:
Emily Daily
edaily@jumpmediallc.com

Grade 1 Winner Dinard Euthanized at Old Friends

Dinard at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 16, 2020 – Multiple graded stakes winner Dinard has died.

The son of Strawberry Road (AUS) was euthanized at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, due to the infirmities of old age. He was 32.

Dinard had been pensioned at Old Friends since 2010. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing.

Bred and campaigned by Allen E. Paulson and trained by Richard Lundy, Dinard (Strawberry Road (AUS) – Daring Bidder, Bold Bidder) was among the top three-year-olds in 1991.

He broke his maiden as a 2-year-old in his inaugural start at his home track of Santa Anita. Not three months later he earned his first graded stakes in the San Rafael (GR2) and soon after the Santa Anita Derby (GR1), which made him the favorite for the 1991 Kentucky Derby. But an injured foreleg took him out for the competition.

Other victories include the Los Feliz Stakes, and place finishes in the Grade 1 Strub Stakes and San Vicente Breeders’ Cup Stakes.  He finished out of the money only once in his career.

Dinard retired in 1992 with 8 starts, 4 wins and earnings of $590,250.

After retirement, Paulson sent the gelded Dinard to the Kentucky Horse Park with hopes he could be retrained for a second career, but foot and leg injuries prevented it. While at the park he was cared for by Georgetown local Beverly Sharp. Sharp fell in love with Dinard and Paulson gifted him to her on Mother’s Day. He remained with Sharp until 2010.

“He was my best friend for so many years,” said Sharp. “I want everyone to know how much I loved him.”

“Dinard was a great racehorse, a great companion, and a great elder statesman,” said Blowen. “We were proud to have him these 10 years. His kind spirit will be missed by all.”

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

Wild Horses under Attack in DC & NV

Bad News from Washington DC: Take Action

Sadly, our elected representatives in Washington DC are pushing forward with full funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse Disaster Plan which details massive roundups and includes the agenda to kill the “wild” in our wild horses through controversial surgical sterilization.

On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget of $122.6 million for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, despite the agency not having a “well-defined action plan.” This is more than a 25% budget increase from FY20. While the bill includes a prohibition on killing healthy horses, there is no guarantee that horses will not continue to end up at slaughter auctions. FY21 Appropriations now heads to the Senate.

We must convince the Senate to protect the “wild” in our wild horses and ensure that the extra money is dedicated to humane on-the-range management. Please take quick action today to speak up for these iconic animals.

Oppose BLM Elimination Plan for Moriah Herd in Nevada

The BLM is working fast & furious to wipe out America’s wild horses from the landscape of our public lands. Now the BLM Ely District, in eastern Nevada, is proposing to eliminate, or zero-out, all wild horses in the Moriah Herd Area – more than 700 wild horses are set to lose their homes, freedom, and families. Based on BLM’s history, at least some of these horses will end up in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Of course, true to their usual form, the BLM will continue to allow livestock grazing on these same public lands.

It only takes a minute; please raise your voice for our cherished wild horses now.

TAKE ACTION

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Ginger Discusses Nomination of Controversial Anti-Public Lands Candidate as BLM Director

Photo credit: BLM.

The nomination of William Perry Pendley as Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rife with controversy and inconsistency. If this self-proclaimed “sagebrush rebel” has his way, we may no longer have federal public lands – making our wild horses and burros effectively homeless.

Pendley is well known for espousing the idea that our treasured public lands should be sold off. He has called man-made climate change “fiction” despite the ample support of scientific evidence and decried the origin of the Black Lives Matter movement as “a lie that spread like cancer.”

For the senators who now face the process of confirming Pendley’s nomination, the decision should be a simple one. If they represent the belief that public lands belong to every American, they must vote against Pendley. But, for the Republican-dominated Senate in our highly charged, politically-polarized nation, the decision is weighing heavily on some.

To watch Ginger’s take on Pendley’s nomination and what it could mean for our cherished wild herds, click here. Watch the video and then please take decisive action. It only takes a minute, and your impact may very well make history.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org