Lausanne (SUI), 19 April 2010 – All horses show normal nerve sensation or sensitivity. Where that sensation is increased beyond normal limits it is called hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity can be produced by a range of normal occurrences, such as an insect sting or accidental self-inflicted injury.
Hypersensitisation is the term used to define the artificial production of hypersensitivity and is contrary to horse welfare and fair play.
At FEI competitions, the determination of hypersensitivity in the horse is made by a combination of thermographic and clinical examinations, carried out by at least two experienced equine veterinarians.
Thermography is a means of detecting abnormal heat patterns of the skin through the use of an imaging camera. The clinical examination is carried out by observation and palpation (applying manual pressure).
Lausanne (SUI), 20 April 2010 – The FEI press conference, held on 17 April in Geneva, on the disqualification of the horse Sapphire ridden by McLain Ward (USA) in the FEI World Cup Jumping Final, is now available free-to-view on FEI TV in English. Visit www.feitv.org and register to watch for free.
The opening statement by the FEI President is available here.
Geneva (SUI), 18 April 2010 – An urgent appeal/protest was lodged this morning by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), McLain Ward (Person Responsible) and Dr Tim Ober (USEF Team Veterinarian) against the disqualification of Sapphire from the FEI World Cup Final. The FEI Tribunal heard the case for emergency relief to allow the horse to compete today. Following the hearing, the FEI Tribunal Chair Ken Lalo (ISR) denied the request for emergency relief on the grounds that the FEI Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to overturn the Ground Jury’s decision. This means that Sapphire remains disqualified from today’s final round of the FEI World Cup.
Sapphire, the horse ridden by McLain Ward (USA), was eliminated from the second round of the FEI World Cup Final on Friday night (16 April) and disqualified from the rest of the event following a positive hypersensitivity test.
Geneva (SUI), 15 April 2010 – The FEI Bureau today gave its unanimous approval to new Stewards’ guidelines on warm-up techniques produced by the Working Group formed after the round-table conference held in Lausanne on 9 February 2010.
One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately. The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse should be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.
The current guidelines for FEI Stewards already include instructions covering aggressive riding, but the Working Group has created a new Annex (XIII) that includes clear instructions on action to be taken if necessary relating to flexion of the horse’s neck during pre and post-competition training.
April 9, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) recently released hidden camera footage from an investigation that took place at the two largest horse slaughter plants in Canada, Bouvry Exports and Viande Richelieu.
So horrific are the conditions depicted at both plants that they have prompted Bill desBarres, Chairman of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) and a long time proponent of horse slaughter, to declare he believes the footage was fabricated by groups opposed to “any animal agriculture”.
Bill desBarres and his organization have repeatedly praised the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and its inspectors for their diligence in assuring that horses are treated humanely at the slaughter plants and his organization lists the CFIA as a “resource partner” on their web site. The Horse Welfare Alliance appears to be nothing more than a front for the horse slaughter industry.
Makendra and I had just landed in Columbus this morning to begin the Equine Affaire weekend when I got the message that I was “a grandmother!” Not of a two-legged, but of a newborn bay four-legged.
Baerbel Stuetzle, manager of the ranch at the base of Pryors where our Freedom Fund horses live, had left me this message: “The bay mare in Bo’s band (Chalupa) foaled this morning to a very strong baby — very healthy.” Baerbel couldn’t tell if it is a boy or girl yet, but the foal was about three hours old when she snapped these pictures. What’s your best guess? Is it a boy or a girl?
The little one was born in the snow, but born with his or her family thanks to so many of you who donated to save them and keep the bands together. Bet this little one doesn’t know he or she has thousands of grandparents all around the country!
Once we know the sex, we will let you know and we think it would be fun if you kids out there (anyone 16 or younger) submit a name for the baby and we will choose the winning entry. Sound like fun?
“Today, 5 April, is a landmark day for our sport, the beginning of the Clean Sport Era,” said Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General. “Today marks the culmination of a collective effort by the entire equestrian community to protect the integrity of our sport and the welfare of our horses.”
April 2, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – A peer reviewed scientific study tracing race horses sent to slaughter for human consumption has found that 100% of the horses in the study group had been administered phenylbutazone, a banned carcinogen that can also fatally damage the bone marrow of humans. The findings appear to validate the European Union’s recent tightening of traceability requirements on horse meat from third countries.
The paper, titled Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and calls into question the reliability of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) testing programs which have consistently failed to detect the substance.
The manuscript, which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau and Ann M. Marini, followed eighteen Thoroughbred (TB) race horses that were identified by matching their registered name to their race track drug record over a five year period and were given phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) on race day and were subsequently sent to slaughter for human consumption.
DC, LA, London, Las Vegas: March for Mustangs This Thursday!
I just returned from the Arrowheads and after much long distance glassing with binoculars and spotting scope I was able to spot Cloud and his family with his little daughter, Jasmine; Flint and his family including young Jasper, as well as Bolder and his family with his pale buckskin filly, Jewel. All looked great from about a mile away across deep Big Coulee Canyon. I’ll be sending out more details and photos from this winter trip soon.
For now, I’d like to be the first to tell you that this Thursday, March 25th, the March for Mustangs will take place not only by the White House in Washington DC but on the Las Vegas Strip, by the Los Angeles Federal Building and in front of the US Embassy in London! In D.C. we’re honored to have award-winning actress and advocate, Wendie Malick speak to the crowd at the rally. Wendie will be joined by long time advocate and advisor on the original 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act, Hope Ryden; author RT Fitch, Filmmaker James Kleinert and many, many more! We are especially pleased to announce that country music artist Clay Canfield will be at the rally to sing his incredible song “Wild Horses” and more before we march to the BLM office with signs and banners.
It lasted only minutes, but his life changed forever. His ordeal was horrific but he had no choice, he was motivated to risk everything in his escape to freedom. Freedom’s story needs to be told, so we don’t forget what it means to be FREE!
In January, Freedom and his family were among hundreds of America’s wild horses mercilessly chased by helicopters over dangerous terrain toward capture pens, where uncertain futures and sometimes death awaited them.
Most were terrorized – frozen with fear.
But Freedom fought back!
With dramatic determination, he regained his freedom by jumping a 6-foot fence, then breaking through barbed wire, as it painfully tore his flesh, in his successful effort to regain his liberty.