This summer continues to be dry and hot, to the extreme, in Kentucky and other parts of the country. As highs soar to the upper 90s and lower 100s toward the end of June and into the first part of July, the Livestock Heat Stress Index will reach the emergency category. Horse owners and livestock producers should take notice and precautions.
“The combination of hot, muggy weather conditions prompts some real concern for humans, as well as livestock and pets,” said Tom Priddy, meteorologist in the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture. “The livestock heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity. That one-two punch makes it hazardous for people and animals. Dew point temperatures above 65 degrees lead officials to declare conditions dangerous for livestock.”
The Livestock Heat Stress Index helps producers know when heat stress could create a problem for their animals, Priddy added.
Continue reading Livestock Heat-Stress Emergency Issued as High Temps Persist
An increase in the number of fatal racing injuries in May led Kentucky regulatory veterinarians to devise ways to better identify at-risk horses.
According to statistics compiled by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission equine medical director Dr. Mary Scollay, there were six catastrophic breakdowns at Churchill Downs in May. There were only three from January through April at Turfway Park and Keeneland.
The vets had a meeting to strategize and now “provide deeper scrutiny” of horses when they are entered, including studying past performances, Scollay said. Since the protocol was established in early June, there have been no fatal breakdowns, she said.
Overall, Kentucky has seen a decrease in catastrophic breakdowns in racing since 2007, where there were 40, according to KHRC statistics. There were 36 in 2008, 33 in 2009, 26 in 2010, and 27 in 2011.
Continue reading KY Vets Develop Plan for At-Risk Racehorses
Lexington, KY, June 19, 2012 – The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey moves into gear this month, as the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) prepares to send 15,000 surveys to horse owners across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The University of Kentucky (UK) and the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) have partnered on this study, which is partially funded by a grant to KHC from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund (KADF). Both UK and KHC are currently soliciting matching funds from the industry, which are required for a portion of the KADF grant funds.
The purpose of the study, the first thorough one in thirty years, is to get an accurate inventory of all horses in the state by breed and use, and their economic impact of both direct farm impact and local community impact from shows, races and trail rides. Information relating to capital investments in the farm and farm equipment are also requested so that the full economic impact of the horse industry can be assessed.
Continue reading Kentucky’s Equine Study Moves into Gear
Lexington, KY, June 13, 2012 – The historic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky will be the site of a trails conservation workshop associated with the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference (SETC). SETC is a two-day conference established thirteen years ago, and will be held in Lexington, Kentucky on July 13-14, 2012. The Shaker Village workshop will be held on July 12, 2012 as an optional pre-conference offering.
Shaker Village is a National Historic Landmark on 3000 acres of rolling Central Kentucky farmland, located about 25 miles southwest of Lexington. The Village is managed as a private nonprofit.
While horses have been ridden on trails there for years, recently some unique partnerships established with the local Back Country Horsemen groups, as well as fox-hunting and driving organizations. These partnerships have resulted in not only more trail mileage, but an appreciation by the Village management of the value of equestrian tourism, the enhancement of the historic atmosphere when horses are present, and the benefits of trail planning and maintenance when working closely with local horsemen.
Continue reading Historic Shaker Village Site of Equestrian Trails Conservation Workshop
Lexington, KY, June 8 2012 – Having a variety of equine facilities to host both large and small horse shows and event is a key infrastructure requirement of the Kentucky horse industry.
The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) has just completed the first phase of a horse show facility listing database. This database, available on the KHC at www.kentuckyhorse.org/kentucky-horse-show-facilities, lists both public facilities and private facilities which are available for public rental. The listings provide a profile of the facility, including the size and type of the arenas (indoor and outdoor), stabling facilities, cross-country courses, jumps, dressage arenas, barrels and poles, restrooms, concessions, and overnight hook-ups.
“This list will make it much easier for those hosting or managing horse shows and events to locate a variety of facility options,” said Margie Loeser, KHC board member and chair of the KHC Competition Committee. “We hope this encourages more local, grassroots horse shows, as well as facilitates the on-going success of established sanctioned shows.”
Continue reading Kentucky Horse Council Develops Horse Show Facility Database
As many hay producers make their first cutting, they are finding lower-than-normal yields. The lower yields are due to a variety of reasons and depend on the type of hay produced and the producer’s location, said Ray Smith, PhD, professor and forage extension specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
An unseasonably mild winter and a warm March allowed the hay crop to mature quicker than normal. But many areas in Western Kentucky have had very little rain this spring, which could be one explanation for lower yields of grass hay. Yields are also down in areas of Eastern Kentucky that have received more rainfall. Smith said the lower yields in this area could be caused by producers not applying fertilizer because of the high cost of nitrogen. Another explanation might be that significant temperature swings this spring affected the grasses’ growth patterns.
Continue reading Kentucky Hay Yields Down
Lexington, KY, May 22, 2012 – The Kentucky Horse Council, a statewide horse industry support group, announced today that it is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2012.
Organized in 1972, the Kentucky Horse Council has evolved over time. Initially established as part of the state government, it was de-funded during the recession of the 1980s. The Horse Council then re-formed as a private nonprofit association.
Many of today’s horse industry leaders, still active in executive positions in the equine industry, have been part of the Kentucky Horse Council board at one time. 2012 KHC Board President Anna Zinkhon commented, “The Horse Council has benefitted from the experience and wisdom of top notch horsemen over the years. This organization would not be what we are today without all of the direction and leadership from those who work with and love the horse.”
Continue reading Kentucky Horse Council Celebrates 40th Anniversary
July 12-14, 2012
Do any of these fit your description?
- You ride on trails
- You think equestrian trails can help develop your community’s economy
- You believe in the value of outdoor equestrian activities for our kids
- You believe in being stewards of our natural resources
- You’d like to meet trail advocates in other states
- You’d like to understand federal land management policies
- You believe being involved with horses in nature is a special activity that must be protected
If any of these descriptions fit you, then you will want to attend the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference on July 12-14, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Continue reading Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference Coming to Kentucky!
Lexington, KY, April 30, 2012 – Livestock Investigation Training for Kentucky county and state officials returns to Morehead State University on May 16-18, 2012. Developed by the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) in partnership with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) with input from experienced enforcement officers, veterinarians, and livestock producers, the three day course is tailored to the needs of the Commonwealth.
Throughout the Level I training, attendees learn how to handle horses and cattle, access body condition score in both species, identify situations that need intervention, and apply Kentucky statutes to animal cases. Attendees practice handling and evaluating live horses and cattle as well as examining Kentucky statutes and enforcement procedures.
Continue reading KHC and KCA Partner to Teach Livestock Investigation to Kentucky Officials
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.
Continue reading DOL Withdraws Proposed Child Labor Rules on Farms