Tag Archives: Horse Care

Harsh Realities & Boundless Opportunities: EQUUS Foundation 2020 in Review

Without a doubt, we can all agree that 2020 was by far the most challenging year in our history. We are hopeful that you are staying heathy and that there will be a return to some normality this year. Despite event cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are persevering and continuing to make a lasting difference in the lives of America’s at-risk and transitioning horses and in the lives of individuals who benefit from their magic and power.

During our fiscal year ending in August 2020, we were able to help provide care for nearly 5,000 horses at 160 charities nationwide. We’d like to double that number and provide a lifeline to 10,000 horses in 2021. We awarded over $500,000 in grants, including awards of new and gently used riding apparel, valued at $240,000, to 547 individuals through The Rider’s Closet program.

We believe that for horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to embrace a fundamental shift in our attitude towards horses – from the horse as a commodity to the horse as an athlete, companion, teacher, and healer.

We focus our efforts on raising awareness of the issues impacting the future of horses and inspiring horse lovers to be horse protectors. However, at the heart of our mission is our effort to empower and invest in the very best equine charities that are finding homes for at-risk horses and horses in transition, providing a safe haven for aged horses, and increasing opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new and innovative ways. Informed giving has never been more important.

View our 2020 Annual Report here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Brooke USA Recognized as the 2020 Humanitarian Award Recipient

The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) came together in 2009 to establish the Humanitarian Award to recognize the accomplishments of an individual or group of individuals in improving the health and welfare of the horse and promoting and expanding the general public’s appreciation and respect of the diverse role of horses.

Brooke USA received the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the virtual USEF Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration on Saturday evening, January 17, 2021. Brooke USA, the sister organization to Brooke and a leading funder of its work in the developing world, is best known for improving and advocating for the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Caribbean by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. Less widely known is Brooke USA’s commitment to America’s horses.

The Work of Brooke USA Worldwide

Over 100 million working horses, donkeys, and mules provide invaluable support to daily life for an estimated 600 million people (eight percent of the world’s population) in some of the poorest places in the world through haulage, transportation, and production.

Healthy working horses, donkeys, and mules help to put food on their tables, send their children to school, and build better futures for themselves and their families.

Brooke USA strategically invests in solution-oriented, community-based partner organizations that address the root causes of problems affecting vulnerable communities around the globe.

Working directly with animals, owners, health services agencies, and governments, Brooke USA supports growths in infrastructure, education, veterinary care, and funding for projects and causes positively benefitting and sustaining working humans and animals in the developing world.

The Work of Brooke USA in the US

Sadly, in the United States, many of America’s horses who empower and heal us face an uncertain future. Tens of thousands become at-risk for abuse and neglect each year. Over 65,000 were shipped across our borders to be slaughtered in 2019.

Since 2016, Brooke USA has stepped up to fund US-based organizations during natural disasters and other emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic was no exception. Brooke USA came to the rescue in the United States by supporting the relief efforts of national equine welfare organizations, including the EQUUS Foundation, the Foundation for the Horse, the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), and the Humane Society of the United States. Brooke USA also supported the disaster relief efforts of the United States Equestrian Foundation and the Equestrian Aid Foundation as well as other regionally based organizations.

“Brooke USA is thrilled to be recognized for our work in the United States. We have been building up our support of US-based organizations over the past few years, and COVID-19 made our national emergency our very own priority. To date, we have delivered micro-grants 24 fellow nonprofits. It has been about supporting day-to-day operations, providing feed, ensuring vet care, and helping owners. We thank the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation for the honor of serving as the 2020 the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award recipient,” said John Nicholson, Immediate Past Chair of Brooke USA.

“During this time of extreme hardship, one thing is certain. We are grateful to our first responders and to the individuals and organizations that rise above their own priorities to work for the common good. Brooke USA is one such organization and is most deserving to be recognized as the recipient of the Humanitarian Award,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

GR1 Winner Bellamy Road to Old Friends

Photo by Antonio Marin.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 16, 2021 – Grade 1 winner and Grade 1 sire Bellamy Road has been pensioned to Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY.

A Florida-bred son of Concerto out of Hurry Home Hillary, Bellamy Road, now 19, retired from racing in 2007 following an illustrious career.

Owned by the late George Steinbrenner’s Kinsman Stable and trained by Nick Zito, Bellamy Road broke his maiden in his first start at Delaware Park in 2004. He earned his first stakes next time out, capturing the GR3 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs.

In 2005, he roared back as a 3-year-old setting a stakes record in the GR1 Wood Memorial, a race he won by a record 17 ½ lengths. The victory made him the odds-on favorite for that year’s Kentucky Derby, where he finished 7th behind winner Giacomo.

His last start was the 2005 Travers at Saratoga, where he finished second to Flower Alley. Plagued by injuries, Bellamy Road retired that year with four wins from seven starts and earnings of $811,400.

Since 2016 Bellamy Road has stood at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains, N.Y. He had previously stood at Kentucky’s WinStar Farm and Hurricane Hall.

At stud Bellamy Road sired numerous stakes winners, including 2011 Wood Memorial winner Toby’s Corner and the GR1 winning filly, Constellation.

His son, Diversify, GR1 Whitney Handicap winner and 2018 New York-bred Horse of the Year, also currently resides at Old Friends.

“Bellamy Road has always had a special place in my heart,” said Kinsman President Jessica Steinbrenner, daughter of George. “His Wood Memorial is the most exciting race that I have ever been to. I remember going back to the hotel afterward and being escorted through the kitchen because of all the people gathered outside. To this day, I still watch his Wood Memorial on YouTube, and to hear the announcer say ‘a dazzling performance by a dazzling 3-year-old’ brings me to tears every time.

“Bellamy is a rock star,” Steinbrenner continued. “He deserves a retirement where his fans can visit and reminisce. It’s exciting to think he will be amongst the other great retired racehorses residing at Old Friends.”

“Jessica is following in her father’s footsteps,” added trainer Nick Zito. “George would have done the same thing. They’re very special people.”

“We were privileged that Kinsman, WinStar, and the other syndicate members sent Bellamy to us, and have allowed us to stand him in New York for so long,” said Dutchess Views Farm’s Michael Lischin, on behalf of the Syndicate Manager, Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions LLC. “He is sound and could continue as a stallion but the consensus was that, at his age, it would be in his best interest to retire him to a magnificent facility like Old Friends while he is still healthy and happy. We thank the Syndicate and Old Friends for doing what was right for Bellamy Road.”

“We want to thank Jessica Steinbrenner for trusting us to care for her great horse,” said Old Friends’ Blowen. “I know she went out of her way to make sure he’d get to us. Thanks also to Elliot Walden at WinStar who expedited everything, and to everyone at Dutchess Views for taking such great care of him.”

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

Equine Veterinary Virtual Summit to Features Top Experts in Equine Medicine and Sport

The Internet (January 11, 2021) – In a 2-day virtual event slated for February 13-14, 2021, the first Equine Veterinary Virtual Summit (EVVS) will deliver top equestrian and veterinary experts directly to your device of choice. From world-renowned vets to international show jumpers, the EVVS will harness this wealth of equine knowledge into a valuable package for any rider, trainer, or owner. Sponsored by VetWorld, a line of veterinarian formulated equine supplements, the EVVS is currently offering early bird discounts on all levels of access through February 10th.

One of the headline veterinarians, Dr. Sue Dyson, will address diagnosing equine discomfort in the ridden horse, a key early warning sign for treating and preventing lameness. Dr. Dyson is a MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, and FRCVS, a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Orthopaedics, and is an Associate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. A world-renowned expert in equine orthopedics, Dr. Dyson focuses particularly on lameness and performance in sports horses. Highly skilled in the diagnosis of both subtle and complex lameness cases, she is also an expert in diagnostic imaging, including radiography, ultrasonography, scintigraphy, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Sue has lectured internationally and published more than 230 refereed papers in scientific journals, relating to lameness and diagnostic imaging in the horse. Sue is co-Editor and major author of ‘Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse,’ ‘Equine Scintigraphy,’ and ‘Clinical Radiology of the Horse.’ In 2013 she received the American Association of Equine Practitioners Frank J. Milne Award.

Another headliner, Dr. John C. Godbold, Jr., will expound upon his expertise in laser therapy in equine patients, and how Equine Photobiomodulation Therapy has helped treat and prevent injury as well as reduce pain, inflammation, and accelerate healing.

Since 1999, Dr. Godbold has pursued a special interest in the use of light‐based modalities in small animal practice. He has extensive experience with surgical and therapeutic lasers, has developed new surgical and therapeutic techniques, and assists equipment manufacturers with the development of new laser and light-based technologies. In 2016 Dr. Godbold expanded his interest to include digital thermal imaging and has worked in depth in the development and delivery of educational content about thermal imaging and its application in veterinary practice.

Dr. Godbold has published numerous papers, articles, and chapters about the use of lasers in small animal practice. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Clinician’s Brief, Laserpoints, The Feline Patient, The Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, and the Newsletter of the Veterinary Surgical Laser Society. He also published the internationally distributed Atlas of CO2 Laser Surgery Procedures in 2002, with a new edition each year since. In 2009, Dr. Godbold published the Atlas of Class IV Laser Therapy – Small Animal, also updated with a new edition each year. He is co‐editor and a chapter contributor of the textbook Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine ‐ Photobiomodulation, 2017, Wiley.

In high demand as a continuing education speaker, Dr. Godbold has led over 600 laser workshops, wet‐labs, and continuing education meetings throughout North America and in over 25 countries around the world.

Meet our other speakers and register now at https://go.eque.st/.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Old Friends Welcomes Tom’s Ready

GEORGETOWN, KY – November 23, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, is proud to welcome multiple graded stakes winner Tom’s Ready.

The 7-year-old son of More Than Ready — Goodbye Stranger, by Broad Brush, stood initially at Spendthrift Farm and then at Red River Farms in Louisiana.

Bred in Pennsylvania and campaigned by the late Tom Benson’s GMB Racing and trainer Dallas Stewart, Tom’s Ready broke his maiden in his third start as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, and followed that win with a close 2nd in the Street Sense Stakes.

A second-place finish to Gun Runner in the Louisiana Derby (G2) qualified Tom’s Ready for the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 12th behind winner Nyquist.

But his career apex came the following year when he captured the 2016 $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.  He went on to defeat older horses, including champion sprinter Runhappy, in the Ack Ack Stakes (G3), again at Churchill. He ended the season with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

At 4, he captured the Leemat Stakes at Presque Isle Downs and the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park.

Tom’s Ready retires with earnings of $1,036,267.

“I truly respect and appreciate the great work of the staff at Old Friends as we have come to know Michael Blowen and his great work,” said GMB Racing’s Gayle Benson. “We have had St. Aloysius there for a number of years, and it gives us great pleasure to have our wonderful Tom’s Ready retire to Old Friends. He was our first purchase, he is a Grade II winner, and he raced in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeder’s Cup, so we are very proud of him and he is deserving of the great care that Old Friends will provide.”

“We’re honored to add Tom’s Ready to our other old friends,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “I’m certain that his many fans will be very excited to see him when we, hopefully, open for tours post-virus. Meanwhile, he already has his head in the carrot bucket.”

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

Gleneayre Equestrian Program Reflects on 2020

Lumberton, New Jersey – Nov. 16, 2020 – Since the late 1990s, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program’s (GEP) mission has centered around “bringing horses and people together for the betterment of each other’s lives.” As with many other non-profits, 2020 has been a difficult year to not only continue their mission but also to connect with their current donors and participants. Based out of Lumberton, New Jersey, founders Bob and Ellen Healey have dedicated their lives to growing the program into the success that it has become today. With the GEP now in its 31st year, the Healeys were determined to continue the program’s growth despite of the many challenges that the community has faced.

The GEP is centered on three main programs – the Working Student program, the Equine Facilitated Learning program, and the Mental Health program. The GEP serves a wide range of individuals, including veterans, juvenile first-offenders, and those who are in need of additional support. All of the horses within the GEP are donated, including many former show horses, that have years of purpose left to give.

Due to social distancing regulations and the on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GEP made the decision to cancel the Gleneayre Horse Show and Hunter Derby in the best interest of their staff and exhibitors. The annual event is the program’s largest fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for GEP to interact with friends and the community.

“Although we were saddened to have to cancel our 2020 Horse Show and Hunter Derby, ultimately we know that it was the right thing to do for the greater good,” remarked Ellen Healey. “We are looking forward to having our event again with renewed energy in 2021!”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equine Facilitated Learning Program has been put on hold. Fortunately, the Working Student Program is running and currently has openings for qualified children ages 10 to 18. This special program pairs children with their own horses, allowing students to gain knowledge in horsemanship, responsibility, self-confidence, and more.

“The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has a positive impact on its students by providing a place of structure, consistency, and normality during these uncertain times,” said Alison Johnson, Managing Director and Trainer. Jeannie Mattioni, Program Assistant and Trainer, echoed her thoughts by stating, “The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has given our kids a safe sanctuary where they can relieve stress and be outdoors. I think, especially now, we can all understand and appreciate the power that a little bit of normality can have in bringing a smile to our face.”

GEP takes great pride in the fact that all horses entering their programs have a forever home and are able to live out the remainder of their lives with comfort and love. Despite cancellations and program suspensions that were caused by 2020 events, the Gleneayre horses still need care. The programs encourage friends and supporters to consider sponsoring one of their special horses in order to support the unique connection between horses and humans. A charitable contribution $750 will sponsor a horse for 6 months; $1,500 will sponsor a horse for 1 year.

“All horses that enter our programs have a forever home at Gleneayre,” said Executive Director Bill Rube. “Since the cancellation of the 2020 Hunter Derby, we rolled out a Sponsor a Horse Program to help supplement the cost of care for our program horses. If you feel a special connection with one of our horses, consider sponsoring them to show your support! Your generous donation will make a difference in our horses’ lives.”

For more information regarding this opportunity, please click here.

To learn more about GEP’s important mission and current happenings, click here.

The Horse: Commodity or Partner?

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its new educational platform, the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative, designed to cultivate advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulate volunteerism and inspire a lifelong commitment to horse welfare.

The first module is The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — a free online learning experience to give readers a deeper understanding of the positive impact of the horse-human bond in the past and present — and facts to become an effective advocate to protect America’s horses now and in the future.

The human-equine relationship is threaded throughout the fabric of our history. Humanity has been able to spread far and wide on the backs of horses — but the carnage of horses at the hands of humans is also well documented. Sadly, horses are still faced with the same challenges, continuing to put their future welfare in jeopardy.

Also, public access and involvement with horses, especially among young people, is declining. The expense and time required for competition is becoming unrealistic for most people. Equine Assisted Services (EAS), based on different collaborative relationships between horses and humans, may offer a more realistic way for people, unable to experience the magic of horses through the traditional means of ownership and competition, to benefit from horses.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our author, Dr. Terri Champney, who helps us better understand how we can be most successful in addressing the issues impacting America’s horses by learning about the past,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Dr. Terri Champney spearheaded the establishment of the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative along with the Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant. Five $1,000 grants will be awarded in 2021.

The Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant will recognize an EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity offering Equine Assisted Services (EAS) that demonstrates its commitment to cultivating advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulating volunteerism, and inspiring a lifelong commitment to horse welfare through an internship program involving virtual learning and hands-on interactions with horses.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to embrace a fundamental shift in our attitude towards horses — from the horse as a commodity to the horse as an athlete, companion, teacher, and healer.

The EQUUS Foundation welcomes all horse lovers to sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — no matter your prior horse experience!

Take the next step to gain an even greater awareness and appreciation for these gifted and amazing animals — and a vision to ensure a sustainable environment for horses now and in the future.

Learn more about the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative here.

Sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? here.

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Old Friends Welcomes Awesome Again, Milwaukee Brew

Awesome Again (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – OCTOBER 30, 2020 — Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, announced the arrival of two new stallions: Multiple graded stakes winners Awesome Again and Milwaukee Brew.

Both were pensioned from stud duty in 2019 at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs, near Paris, KY, and have now been donated to the non-profit organization.

Awesome Again, now 27, boasts an exemplary resume as both a racehorse and a stallion. He broke his maiden at Hollywood Park in just his second start as a 3-year-old in 1997. He returned a few weeks later to capture that year’s Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine. Back in the U.S. that summer the son of Deputy Minister went on to win the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and was third to Deputy Commander in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

At 4, he completed an undefeated season that included five graded stakes victories, among them The Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), The Whitney Handicap (G1), and one of the most memorable editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where, looking defeated, he rallied in the stretch to defeat grade 1 winners Coronado’s Quest and Swain and that year’s Kentucky Derby-Preakness hero, Silver Charm.

As significant in the breeding shed as he was on the track, Awesome again sired three champions: Ghostzapper, 2004 Horse of the Year and champion older horse; Ginger Punch, 2007 champion older mare; and Nominee, a multiple champion in Trinidad and Tobago. His other elite runners include: Old Friends retirees Game On Dude — who captured 14 graded stakes and is the only three-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap in history — and Awesome Gem, who captured the Hollywood Gold Cup at age 7; Breeder’s Cup Distaff winner Round Pond; Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Wilko; and 2019 year Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston.

He has sired 13 millionaires and five multi-millionaires as well as four Breeders’ Cup Champions. Awesome Again is also the first Breeders’ Cup Classic winner to sire a BC Classic winner (Ghostzapper).

Milwaukee Brew, 23, earned eight wins in his 24 starts and is best known for his back-to-back victories in the 2002 and 2003 Santa Anita Handicap (G1). Other wins include the 2002 California Stakes (G2) and the 2000 Ohio Derby (G2). The son of Wild Again retired in 2003 with earnings of well over $2.8 million. Also a prominent stallion standing at Adena Springs North, near Ontario, his top runners include Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Milwaukee Appeal, Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Ginger Brew, and Panamanian champion Coltimus Prime

The new stallions will join Adena’s Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, who were retired to Old Friends in 2015.

“We’re very grateful to Frank and Belinda and everyone at The Stronach Group for trusting us with these two great Thoroughbreds,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “The Stronachs have always been extremely generous when it comes to supporting their retirees. When Alphabet Soup’s cancer needed special attention, Frank made sure all of his medical bills were taken care of. And I adore Awesome Again’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic even though he beat Silver Charm.”

“When it comes to Awesome Again and Milwaukee Brew, they are two of the best-natured stallions I’ve been blessed to work with,” said Adena Springs Stallion Manager Bill Drury. “When it came time to consider retirement settlements, if not my own backyard, there was no place I would rather they be than with Michael at Old Friends. His has a reputation of exemplary care, and the fan access is exactly what these champions deserve in their twilight years.”

In addition, in the coming weeks, a third Adena stallion, Silver Max, will be pensioned with Old Friends. Silver Max, is perhaps best known for ending reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan’s nine-race win streak with his upset win in the 2013 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. In 2012 Silver Max had earned his first graded stakes over the same oval with a score in the Transylvania Stakes (G3T). He retired in 2014 with 12 wins from 27 starts and over $1.9 million in earnings.

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

Five-Time Grade 1 Winner Einstein Euthanized

GEORGETOWN, KY – OCTOBER 28, 2020 – Five-time Grade 1 winner Einstein has died.

The 18-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck had been pensioned at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY since 2019. He was euthanized this morning at Park Equine Hospital due to complications of cancer.

Trained by Helen Pitts, Einstein (Spend a Buck–Gay Charm, by Ghadeer) captured the 2009 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and four grade I stakes on turf, including back-to-back triumphs in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.

Other wins included the 2008 Clark Handicap (gr. II), also at Churchill, and the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds. Einstein was among the first to have victories on all three track surfaces: dirt, turf, and synthetic.

In all Einstein made 27 starts, winning 11 races. He won or placed in 13 stakes, all of which were graded, and his career earnings totaled $2,703,324.

Einstein retired from racing in 2010 to stand at The Stronach Group’s Adena Springs near Paris, KY. He later stood at Adena Springs North in Ontario, Canada and at Magali Farms near Santa Ynez, CA.

His top runners include grade III winner Rankhasprivileges and multiple-stakes-placed E Equalsmcsquared. In 2019 Einstein was retired by Adena Springs to the non-profit organization.

“When we first retired Einstein, he was diagnosed with a tumor,” noted Old Friends’ Michael Blowen. “Dr. Rhodes Bell of Park Equine performed a delicate operation and removed the tumor. The procedure allowed Einstein to enjoy more than a year of happy life with Old Friends before the fast-growing tumors re-occurred over the weekend.

“Einstein was as classy and smart as he was handsome,” Blowen added. “He was a farm favorite, and he was especially fond of John Bradley. I wished we could have taken care of him for another decade.”

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

Equine Governing Bodies Seek to Secure Industry Future in EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement

Proposed solutions that would secure the future of the European equine industry through safe and expedited horse movement between EU Member States and Britain following the UK’s departure from the EU have been sent to Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF), and to Lord Frost, the British Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and Chief Negotiator of Task Force Europe.

The proposals, which cover equilibrium in equine health status between the EU and Britain, digital passports to facilitate seamless international transport of guaranteed high-health status horses, and zero tariffs for cross-border movement, are outlined in a comprehensive 14-page dossier produced by the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) Task Force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law, a collaboration of the key European Sport Horse and Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding industries.

The six-member task force was formed earlier this year by the IHSC, constituted jointly by the global governing bodies for equestrian sport and racing, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) in 2013.

The IHSC, together with the International Thoroughbred Breeders’ Federation, European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Associations, and the European Equestrian Federation, has proposed simple and workable solutions that will ensure horse welfare and safeguard both European and British interests.

High health horses in Britain have the same health status as those in EU Member States and the task force is requesting that a trade agreement between the EU and Britain should reflect this fact.

Zero tariffs are already in place, and the task force is requesting that they be maintained, with the scheme being extended to geldings. Currently only stallions and mares are eligible for tariff-free cross-border transport.

Digital passports would provide EU Competent Authorities with full traceability and sanitary guarantees, offering immediate, 24/7 access to secure fail-safe identification and ownership information, as well as real-time monitoring of a horse’s movements.

The high health status of each horse can be instantly validated through access to up-to-date vaccination and medical records, allowing for a higher level of monitoring and prevention of potential disease outbreaks in line with the biosecurity requirements of the EU Animal Health Law, thus facilitating speedy transit for these horses. The digital equine passports can also be adopted for use between EU Member States and A-listed 3rd countries.

If approved, the e-Passport would have no financial implications for the EU as costs around final development, implementation and running of the system will be met by the equine industry.

Using a two-pronged approach, the task force is seeking to have its proposals captured in the text of both the Trade Agreement and in the EU Animal Health Law, which comes into force on 21 April 2021.

Should a trade agreement with Britain not be reached, the task force is asking the EU to declare an equilibrium of health status for A-listed 3rd countries. The proposals also include regional agreements on the bio-secure traceable movement of high health horses signed between neighbouring EU Member States. A Tripartite Agreement previously existed between France, Britain, and Ireland, and there is currently an agreement between France and the Benelux countries.

“The equine industry is of crucial importance to the economic, social, sporting, and cultural fabric of both the European Union and the United Kingdom, and as representatives from all sectors of that industry, we believe that there are simple solutions that can guarantee a secure future for the European equine industry,” IHSC President Ingmar De Vos said.

“It is one of the most important animal breeding and production sectors in Europe, larger and with greater economic impact and employment than a number of other European agricultural sectors, with a net worth of over €52 billion per annum, providing 210,000 direct and more than 500,000 indirect jobs.

“Our goal is to reach an agreement that will allow for a continuation of the historical expedited movement of horses for breeding, sale, and competition between EU Member States and Britain. While there are some sectors currently under discussion that seem to remain difficult in the negotiations, we believe that there are simple solutions within the equine industry that can be readily included in a Free Trade Agreement. Indeed, they are also workable even in a no deal scenario.

“We are asking the negotiators on both sides of the table to take our proposals on board and incorporate them into the texts of the Trade Agreement, if there is one, and the EU to include them in the incoming EU Animal Health Law, which comes into effect next April.

“Without agreement on this, we estimate that the industry in Europe could shrink by as much as a third, with a potential €17 billion reduction in economic contribution, and the potential loss of 250,000 jobs in a marketplace already threatened with critical unemployment levels and a significant reduction in foreign direct investment in the European Union as the economic focus shifts to North America and Asia. So failure is not an option!”

European Task Force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law

Chaired by FEI Veterinary Director, Dr Göran Akerström, the European Task Force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law also includes Simon Cooper, Vice Chairman International Stud Book Committee and Director of the General Stud Book (Weatherbys); Paul-Marie Gadot, Veterinary Advisor to France Galop and the IFHA; Des Leadon, European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Associations Veterinary Committee Chairman; Brian Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive, IFHA Vice Chairman and European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation Chairman; and Ronan Murphy, European Equestrian Federation EU Committee member.

International Horse Sports Confederation

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), world governing body for horse sport, and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), joined forces in 2013 to create the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC), the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport. The key mission of the IHSC is to encourage cooperation and the exchange of information on all matters of mutual interest between the IFHA and the FEI, as well as representing the collective interests of the horse industry with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and other international bodies.

Media contact:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42