Tag Archives: American Horse Council

Congress Must Pass Great American Outdoors Act

As the states move to re-open public lands, Congress has a major opportunity to pass important trails legislation that will get Americans outside while promoting the health of recreational riders and other outdoor enthusiasts.  Thanks in large part to continued advocacy from the horse industry, a bipartisan group of senators has sponsored the “Great American Outdoors Act of 2020” (S. 3422).  This important recreation bill will come up for a vote in June.   Please contact your senators today!

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

How to Reopen Your Barn Following the COVID-19 Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a complete shift in the daily lifestyle of everyone in the United States, including our horses. Living under quarantine, curfews, and learning how to work from home has reiterated how important barn visits are to mental health. As states across the country relax stay-at-home requirements, we have some tips on how to keep your horses, horse people, and your barn as healthy as possible.

  • Limit gatherings to as few people as possible, and continue to maintain the recommended social distancing protocols that include six (6) feet of separation between individuals. Just because the quarantine is being lifted doesn’t mean the threat is over. COVID-19 can be detected in the air for up to 3 hours after being transmitted. Some stables have created a schedule where clients can reserve time slots for their visits, reducing the amount of people in the barn by only allowing 3-4 people present at once. This may be the most appropriate step forward for those barns in states that were forced to close outright.
  • Encourage proper hand-washing and provide as many locations/opportunities for people to do so. Due to the structure of the virus, washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to prevent contamination. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
  • Make a daily or hourly cleaning chart to prevent virus transmission. Disinfect common contact areas regularly and avoid sharing equipment and supplies between people, COVID-19 can live on copper for up to four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, and plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days.
    • Non-porous materials (leather bridles/saddles/halters, nylon halters/lead ropes, gate latches, door handles, spray nozzle) harbor the virus longer than porous materials (cotton lead ropes, saddle pads)
    • Clean communal leather tack daily with tack cleaner. Knowing how to properly disinfect tack is useful for any equestrian, be it for strangles or COVID-19. Aerosol sprays such as Lysol tend to strip leather of oils, so if you use an aerosol spray to disinfect your tack, be sure to let it dry completely and then recondition the leather to protect it. Soap and water is another effective way to break down the lining of bacteria and viruses and is often safe for most tack. Diluted bleach disinfects well, but leather may dry out and crack from repeated treatments.
    • Disinfect gate latches, spray nozzles, cross tie snaps, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and other frequently used items regularly or after contact with personnel.
    • Stall door latches, hose ends, light switches, faucets, and feed scoops should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • There may be state requirements to wear gloves or face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Many businesses will be looking to taking the temperature of those present in and will not allow anybody to come if they register a temperature or feel sick and this may go a long way to helping clients feel comfortable.
  • Long story short, nobody spends 2 months on the couch unscathed, so take it easy getting back into training. Many riding stables are closed to tenants and all equine events have been canceled in an effort to reduce the virus’s spread. Due to these closures, many horses are not receiving regular workout schedules, or maybe no exercise at all. While daily lifestyles are difficult for all during this pandemic, adapting a horse’s schedule to a life after quarantine can be equally as challenging. Exercise related injuries would be a terrible way to end the quarantine.

Making boarders and clients safe and secure will be critical in getting the horse industry back on its feet, and each facility, whether private or public, should have written policies regarding COVID-19 and expect all clients and professionals to adhere to them. Keeping our horses healthy has always been a priority, but without their owners you can’t keep the lights on. All of these tips, and more, can be found on the AHC COVID-19 Resource Page; please visit it here as we continue to update it during this transition.

Details: Contact Cliff Williamson at cwilliamson@horsecouncil.org.

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

White House Releases Guidelines to Re-Open the U.S. Economy

On Thursday, April 16, the White House released “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again,” a 20-page document outlining a tiered and regionally-based roadmap to get back to business.  The guidelines are voluntary and authorize governors to implement either state-wide, or “county by county” timetables for easing restrictions on personal and commercial mobility.  Importantly, the guidelines establish so-called “gating criteria,” enumerating health-based benchmarks that serve as a prerequisite for different classes of business establishments to re-open.

Mass gatherings including racing events and horse shows would fall under “Phase 3,” which Administration officials are identifying as a state of relative control over risks associated with COVID-19 exposure.  Talks between various private sector stakeholder advisory committees are underway to discuss tactics to comply with the spirit of the guidelines while limiting potential tort liability arising from new risks.  These advisory committees include horse industry partners in the agriculture and sports communities.  American Horse Council will share details related to next steps as they unfold.  To view a copy of the guidelines, go to the following link:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf.

Paycheck Protection Well Runs Dry, for Now

Since enactment of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Thursday, April 16 depleted $350 billion of loan commitments under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), hitting the maximum amount authorized by the massive economic relief package.  Because Congress is officially out of session until Monday, May 4, lawmakers would have to pass legislation to authorize additional funds under rigid “pro forma” procedures prior to that date.  Last week, the Senate passed in pro forma session a narrow bill adding $250 billion to the PPP.  The House, however, rejected the proposal, and countered with a bill that would authorize $250 billion to fund municipal governments and hospital networks, in addition to Paycheck Protection aid.  The Senate subsequently rejected the House proposal, initiating behind-the-scenes talks to move past the stalemate.  With both chambers having reached an impasse on specific dollar amounts and the scope of additional economic aid, a near-term path forward remains uncertain.

Much of the confusion arising from Paycheck Protection stems from the two-tiered roll out for loan eligibility.  On April 3, the SBA began processing loans for small businesses and sole proprietors.  A week later, on April 10, the agency opened the program to independent contractors and the self-employed, thereby extending the program to large segments of the horse industry.  SBA had not previously operated large-scale loan programs for these two classes of borrowers, therefore creating an environment of uncertainty for borrowers and lenders.

Many members of the horse industry have reported long waiting times from their banks to learn details related to their applications.  To give perspective on the bottlenecks, the Administration reported earlier this week that it had processed approximately 1.4 million applications and disbursed slightly over $70 billion to banks. While policymakers intend the program to operate on a “first come, first served” basis, the depletion of funds should not necessarily dissuade potential borrowers from moving forward with an application.  Many banks, especially larger institutions including Wells Fargo, for example, have stated that they will continue to process Paycheck Protection loans, pending additional funds from Congress.   AHC will continue to keep members informed of guidance and developments related to small business loans and other economic relief measures.  For a detailed overview of Paycheck Protection, go to the following link:  https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20–%20Overview.pdf.

Details:  Bryan Brendle at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org

UHC has pushed up the release of its resource database questionnaire in the wake of COVID-19, in an effort to compile a listing of all known safety net programs available in the nation to help owners who are in need, as well as the rescues and sanctuaries that help them.  It is our hope that by having one centrally located area to access these resources, we will help owners keep their horses from becoming at-risk during these trying times.

The brief questionnaire can be completed here: https://unitedhorsecoalition.org/resource-database/.

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org
info@horsecouncil.org

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).  During August, AHC members sent 200 letters to the Senate urging support for this important bill.  You can put even more horsepower in the PAST Act by sending a letter to your senators today!

Click here to take action.

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.

Congratulations, Bob Bell!

Paige Parker/$25k Pony Classic

Classic Company is proud to announce that its President, Bob Bell, was recently asked by United States Equestrian Federation’s President David O’Connor to take his seat on the American Horse Council’s Horse Show Committee. In this capacity, Bell will replace O’Connor and represent both the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) on the Council’s Show Committee. “I am very excited and honored that David selected me as his replacement,” commented Bell. “I take this responsibility very seriously and will represent both the USHJA and USEF to the best of my abilities,” he added.

The American Horse Council is a trade organization in Washington, DC representing the horse industry. The organization lobbies before Congress and Federal agencies for the interests of the horse industry, and serves as a unified voice for the equine industry. Bell’s position of representing both the USEF and the USHJA on the American Horse Council’s Horse Show Committee is critical in the promotion and advancement of the hunter jumper sport in the country.

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American Horse Council Recognizes Kentucky Equine Leader with National Award

Lexington, KY, July 2, 2012 – On June 26, 2012, the American Horse Council awarded Madelyn Millard of Lexington, Kentucky the prestigious national Van Ness Award.  Millard is former president and current board member of the Kentucky Horse Council.  The Van Ness award honored her accomplishments while President of the Kentucky Horse Council in “increasing awareness, generating interest, and raising the visibility of the horse industry through educational programs and related events.”

Presentation of the award took place at the annual American Horse Council Issues Conference in Washington, D.C. Jay Hickey, Executive Director of the American Horse Council, presented the award.

Millard, owner of a multiple discipline horse boarding facility, joined the Kentucky Horse Council in 2005 and was elected President in 2007. While president, she implemented a wide range of new equine programs to benefit the industry.  Some of those programs include: horse welfare training for Animal Control Officers, establishment of a U.S. Equine Disaster Fund, establishment of a networking venue for equine professionals, and implementation of a weekly “Kentucky Horse News” e-news for all horsemen, among others.

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DOL Withdraws Proposed Child Labor Rules on Farms

On Thursday, April 26, the Obama Administration announced its plans to withdraw a Department of Labor (DOL) proposed child labor rule applicable to agriculture.  The proposed rule would have severely limited the ability of young people to work on farms and ranches.  The AHC along with other agricultural organizations had opposed the rule and is pleased the administration responded to the concerns of the agricultural community.

The proposed rule would have placed new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches not owned solely by their parents and would have effectively barred workers under 16 from working in most capacities in agriculture, especially around livestock, such as horses.

In November 2011, the AHC submitted comments opposing the rule.

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Members of Congress Address AHC National Issues Forum

July 7, 2011 – This year’s American Horse Council National Issues Forum, entitled “Congress on a Diet: What It Means for the Horse Industry,” highlighted the current budget environment in Washington. The issues forum was part of the AHC annual meeting held from June 19th to the 22nd that also included the annual Congressional Ride-In, AHC committee meetings, and a Congressional Reception.

Several Members of Congress spoke to attendees during the issues forum including Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressmen Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), who are the co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus, as well as Congressman John Yarmouth (D-KY).

“The AHC is grateful to have had so many Members of Congress come give us their perspective on the fiscal challenges facing the country. There were several different viewpoints, but the message was clear that when it comes to spending it will not be ‘business as usual’ in Washington,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “Without a doubt we will be seeing less federal spending and that could impact the horse industry in many different ways.”

The remainder of the issues forum included presentations from several individuals from federal agencies, state health officials and other organizations. Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator and Chief Veterinary Officer for USDA’s Veterinary Services, and Dr. Guy Hohenhaus, President of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, discussed some of the issues USDA and state veterinarians face in responding to and mitigating equine disease outbreaks under current budgetary constraints.

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USDA Releases Second EHV-1 Situation Report

From The American Horse Council

USDA has released the second national EHV-1 situation report.  A summary of the updated information is as follows:

•    A total of 75 confirmed EHV-1 or EHM cases have been reported in 9 states (AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA)
•    Of the 75 confirmed EHV/EHM cases, 58 cases are horses that were at the Ogden, Utah event.
•    There are 11 horses associated with this incident that are dead or have been euthanized.
•    There are 15 newly identified premises with suspect or confirmed cases identified this reporting period.

You may view the complete USDA EHV-1 Situation Report that provides detailed information on the number of exposed, positive, dead, and euthanized horses on a state by state level here.  The AHC anticipates USDA releasing another national situation report at the end of next week. Please see the below links for additional information on EHV-1 transmission risks and disease mitigation strategies.

Continue reading USDA Releases Second EHV-1 Situation Report