Tag Archives: Horse Care

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

Hampton Classic & EQUUS Foundation Present a Day Devoted to Equine Adoption

Thanks to the Hampton Classic and the sponsor of this event, our EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, this joyful, annual Hampton Classic tradition of celebrating and showcasing horses in need of their next chapter continues.

Because all horses are champions to us, and because all horses deserve safe and loving homes, we are excited to present just some wonderful equines that are waiting for their chance to go home.

The virtual format of our event this year gives us the opportunity to showcase adoptable horses from our Guardian charities both locally and across the country.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t see you in person again this year to meet adoptable horses at the beautiful Hampton Classic Horse Show,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, “our virtual equine adoption event on September 14th will showcase horses of all breeds, ages, sizes and disciplines throughout the country with one thing in common — they are all waiting for a loving forever home.”

The EQUUUS Foundation Next Chapters platform featuring adoptable equines of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities located throughout the nation will serve as the backdrop. Please save the date and join us to learn about adoptable horses and our Guardian charities that rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home America’s horses to keep them safe and loved. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter last year. Tens of thousands more abused and neglected horses are in need of rescue and re-homing each year. Even more horses are in need of transition once their sporting career is over. Most are young, healthy, and have untapped potential like Xin Xu Lin.

Meet Xin Xu Lin

Godolphin Racing had really high hopes for Xin Xu Lin when he was purchased in 2011, having been recognized as Brazil’s Horse of the Year in 2010.

Sadly, the racing career for the 2007 Thoroughbred did not work out, but misfortune turned to fortune when Xin Xu Lin was donated to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Secretariat Center, in 2013 to be retrained and re-homed.

Xin Xu Lin found his forever home in Maryland where he competes in dressage and show jumping.

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 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.

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.

America’s Horses Will Benefit from the COVID-19 Matching Campaign Underway

Horses across the country need us now more than ever and many are in dire need of a lifeline. Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate between now and June 30 becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new innovative ways.

Many more horses now are at risk of losing their homes – and their lives – due to this global crisis. The EQUUS Foundation helps America’s at-risk horses and we are asking for your help so that, together, we can offer a safety net for horses that now have no place to go.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation’s mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

Our rescues are reporting an increase in requests from owners who can no longer care for their horses — and our charities providing therapeutic services are finding it difficult to foresee when they will needing their full herds for a long time.

There’s no better way to give with confidence than to give to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities — and there’s no better time to give than RIGHT NOW because every dollar you give will double between now and June 30th.

Will you lend a hand to America’s horses and help us reach our goal by June 30? Please make your gift 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.

A Brighter Tomorrow at Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Though it has been a challenging few months for all of us, we’re so grateful to our many supporters who continue to help Days End Farm Horse Rescue. During May 5th’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign, we were thrilled to reach our goal of raising $25,000 for the horses. Once again, our amazing community of supporters came together in a time of crisis to show that there is hope for tomorrow. Because of your outpouring of support, you can trust that we are better prepared for the months ahead and will be ready to respond in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every dollar counts, and we’re incredibly grateful. If you missed that opportunity to donate, please consider making a gift today.

Prepared for Emergencies

Back in March, we closed our facility to the general public and regular volunteers, and the office personnel worked from home. We made this decision to protect the health of our animal care staff, while following the State of Maryland’s guidelines. Because we had protocols in place for such emergency situations, we were able to quickly create a highly functional, efficient system to keep things running smoothly and safely at the farm.

News from the Farm

Our amazing animal care team at DEFHR have gone above and beyond to keep our horses healthy and happy, even under challenging circumstances. Our trainers, Sara Nyman-Strauss and Leigha Schrader, have been sharing weekly video updates in their “Life on the Farm” series giving behind-the-scenes look into the care and training of the horses. Click here to watch this week’s episode. What a talented group we have right now!

Volunteer Program Updates

Currently, our regular volunteer program remains closed as Maryland enters Phase 1 of the slow reopening process. We are using Maryland’s Road Map to Recovery to aid in determining when and how we can safely reopen the volunteer program. We will keep you posted as we make more decisions on this process. Thank you all for your support and understanding. We miss you and can’t wait for the day we welcome you back. Stay healthy, everyone!

Days End Farm Horse Rescue – www.DEFHR.org

COVID-19 Matching Campaign: Help Us Help Them

Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate now becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horses bring joy to young and old alike – and make those with the deepest of wounds whole again. However, America’s horses are also confronted with a disturbing reality. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter in 2019. Tens of thousands more are abused and neglected and in need of rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing each year.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new innovative ways.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation’s mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

There’s no better way to give with confidence than to give to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities — and there’s no better time to give than RIGHT NOW because every dollar you give will double between now and June 30th.

Act Now to Help Us Reach Our Goal by June 30.
Please make your gift 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.