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Guelph - ON The unfortunate disasters in Alberta, California, and Florida clearly show that many people were willing to go to great lengths to rescue their animals -- many risking serious personal injury or worse. When any disaster strikes, an "incident involving animals" can quickly become an "incident involving people who are trying to save the animals". The public has strong expectations when it comes to animal welfare and proper training for emergency rescue of large animals is a crucial element. First responders in Ontario now have an increased level of knowledge thanks to over 30 keen, hardy participants and an experienced team of trainers.   Presented by Equine Guelph and the Meaford Fire Department, Nov 17 - 19, their large animal rescue course covered many topics including animal behavior in stressful situations and how to keep handlers and first responders safe. Attention was also paid to keeping the people who own and care deeply about their animals out of harm's way. Major topics covered included best practices for large animal technical rescue, fire prevention plus personal safety and related animal behavior and care issues.   "We feel strongly that this training is of benefit for all fire departments to help their communities, and we are very proud of the strong relationship that Equine Guelph has developed with Chief Granahan and the Meaford Fire Department and Training Centre so that this training can be offered and developed, says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "The facility at Meaford is excellent and we had a wonderful team of instructors and support crew."   Classic Towing made $1.25 million worth of equipment available for the course plus very experienced tow operators including the well-known Bubba Semple from the TV show Heavy Rescue 401. McKinnon Transport brought a livestock hauler. Allan McKinnon and Bubba Semple both took part in class presentations explaining the capabilities of their equipment and safety aspects of hauling animals.   "All large animal incidents regardless of cause or scope, present a risk of injury to responders," says course facilitator, Dr. Susan Raymond in her presentation on best practices. "Through proper training and the use of specialized rescue equipment we significantly mitigate these risks and improve the odds of a favorable outcome for both animals and responders. By keeping responders safe, we improve our capacity to keep animals safe."   Knowledge, practice and application was the goal attained over the 3-day course. After learning about the incident command system and the equipment they would be using, participants worked through "real-life" scenarios including a mud rescue and several different ways to perform drags, lifts and assists. The anatomy lessons made it clear that tails, legs and necks are not handles and thinking otherwise can produce dreadful or fatal results. Safe attachment methods for straps and support were explained by lead instructor Victor MacPherson,Adjala-Tosorontio District Fire Chief and the assistant instructors.   "The instructors were knowledgeable in their fields and it truly was one of the best courses I've ever attended," said Kris McCarthy, Toronto Mounted Police.   Participants came from Fire Departments in Chatsworth, Ramara, Burlington, Fort Erie, Rideau Lakes, Meaford, Searchmont as well as Mounted Police from Hamilton and Toronto and Ontario Mounted Special Service Unit. Students also included a veterinarian, veterinary technician and horse owners. The hands-on large animal rescue course certainly delivered realistic conditions that first responders might encounter including rain, snow and wind but the damp muddy conditions did not dampen anyone's enthusiasm to participate in the situations as teams worked together planning and executing safe rescue techniques.   "Equine Guelph has been hosting Large Animal Rescue workshops for four years and this is our second successful course held in Meaford," says Ecker. "We are pleased with the positive feedback and inquiries for more training coming from communities committed to proactive training to support the health and welfare of horses and livestock in Ontario."   Equine Guelph extends its thanks to Scott Granahan, Chief of Meaford Fire Department and the team of knowledgeable instructors for the incredible 3-days of training: Victor MacPherson, Susan Raymond, Beverley Sheremeto, Robert Nagle, Wendy McIsaac-Swackhamer, Katherine Hoffman and Chris Watson.   Stay tuned to EquineGuelph.ca for the next course offering announcement.   Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada  

EquiMania! is sure to be hopping with fun new activities for Royal Agricultural Winter Fair visitors this November 3 - 12!  Equimaniacs can expect to don the ever-popular horse hats while learning all about horses in an interactive way.  New this year, is a hopscotch game encouraging kids to Stop, Think and Act, making good choices when it comes to safety around the farm.   While engrossed in the well-travelled, award-winning display, kids and parents will learn more about horses and safety inside the stable and out, around equipment and when handling them.   Equine Guelph, in partnership with Ontario Equestrian, will be promoting "Ticket to Ride" for a fourth time at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The "Ticket to Ride" program is proving hugely popular offering youth an opportunity for a FREE introductory riding lesson (or introduction to horses) at participating OE member riding facilities.  Visit EquiMania! for more details.   "Equine Guelph is proud to be presenting EquiMania! for its eleventh consecutive year at the Royal," says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.  "We are always educating kids and adults about equines in a fun way, and thanks to the generosity of our loyal partners and volunteers, we are able to keep bringing important safety messages with engaging new activities!"   Equine Guelph would like to thank the Royal Winter Fair for bringing EquiMania to their Education Centre and our sponsors for their continued support:  Esso, Greenhawk, Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian, Shur-Gain, Standardbred Canada, SSG Gloves, System Fencing and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.  Equine Guelph is looking forward to another busy year of touring with EquiMania! in 2018!     To book EquiMania!  for your event in 2018, contact eq4kids@uoguelph.ca  

Guelph, Ontario - Equine Guelph announces the free offering of the new 'Gut Health & Colic Prevention' online course to the first 50 grooms and trainers to register from each racing sector in Ontario: Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. The three-week online course will run this winter from January 22 - February 11, 2018 on Equine Guelph's new online training platform, The Horse Portal.  According to the 2016 Equine Guelph Horse Racing Industry Survey, gut issues were ranked as the number three health issue behind respiratory issues and injuries. Not only is colic the number one killer of horses, but it is a major issue facing the horse racing industry. Excessive amounts of grain in the diet and forage variation are thought to contribute to an increased risk of colic and other gut issues. Changes in stabling, exercise level and stress may also cause an increased risk of colic.  "Educating the horse racing community on how to reduce the risk of colic and gut issues will be extremely valuable to grooms and trainers," says Hugh Mitchell, Chair of Ontario Racing. He adds, "This training will also benefit the health and well-being of the elite equine athletes as well." The three-week online short course will be flexible and practical with content appropriate for the racing industry. The course will be delivered from respected experts from the horse racing community. For the first time, trainers and grooms from the three sectors will come together in discussion groups to share expertise and experience with each other.  "Offering the 'Gut Health & Colic Prevention' course at no charge will be an appealing way to engage the racing community to try out flexible, online learning on The Horse Portal," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. To register, go to www.TheHorsePortal.ca/OntarioRacing and apply the appropriate coupon code for the free course valued at $95. Registration for the 150 free courses will be administered on a first-come-first-served basis to the first 50 trainers and grooms from each sector. This program is an online training partnership between Ontario Racing and Equine Guelph, with funding provided by Grand River Agricultural Society. Project partners include: Central Ontario Standardbred Association, The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. and Standardbred Canada. The online course is sponsored by Intercity Insurance Services Inc. and Capri Insurance Services Ltd. For more information, go to TheHorsePortal.ca/Ontario Racing   Story by:  Henrietta Coole      

Don’t let an emergency situation catch you off guard. Having basic training and the right tools at hand can allow you to handle an emergency with the clarity and logic required. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death for both the large animal in peril and the human intent on saving it. Equine Guelph is pleased to offer a two and a half day Animal Rescue Operational Level Courseheld at the Meaford Fire Department Training Centre in Meaford, ON, November 17 -19, 2017. This Large Animal Rescue course will appeal to a wide audience as it will be offered to hands-on participants for $295 + hst and auditors at $175 + hst. Topics covered will be useful for first responders, pre-service, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, vet. technicians, emergency animal response teams, horse owners, livestock producers and associations. All registrants must be 18 years of age. The course will be subject to registration numbers and the hands-on participants will be limited to 30 students. Topics include: fire and emergency preparedness, trailer safety, containment methods of large animals, introduction to mud and trench rescue, working within the incident command system, medical concerns during emerging situation, and livestock behaviour in stressful situations. What past students are saying: “A successful emergency rescue is about 90 percent preparation and 10% action,” says Ontario SPCA officer Bonnie Bishop. “Pre-incident planning is crucial for any farm owner,” says Deborah Chute, owner and operator of Laurenwood Stables and a volunteer firefighter with the Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department, “Farms by their very nature contain many hazards to humans, animals and the environment, and careful planning before the event of an emergency can save lives and property.   Coverage of a past training course: http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/fire-crews-train-to-rescue-large-animals-during-emergencies-1.3391825 Lead instructor Victor MacPherson looks forward to the training opportunities that will be afforded by running the course in late November, “we will be training in realistic conditions with real life scenarios − both daytime and nighttime operations.” MacPherson has been involved with Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue since 2013 and has completed several training courses in both awareness and operational levels. He has assisted in training and facilitating courses with both Equine Guelph and Dr. Rebecca Gimenez (TLAER Inc.). Victor has been involved in operational rescues. MacPherson has been with the Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department for the past 24 years and District Fire Chief for past 19. This municipality covers 400 kilometers; and runs approximately 250 calls a year, from Community Service to house fires, and car accidents. Victor is also an employee with City of Vaughan Fire as a Master Emergency Vehicle Technician for past 17 years. Victor is Ex-military as a retired Master Corporal, attached to armoured units and acquired his military mechanics license for armoured vehicles. He has serviced with NATO in Europe. If you have questions related to the course please contact Dr. Susan Raymond slraymon@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120 ext 54230. To register for this course or get the Course flyer. This course qualifies for continuing education credits Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit TheHorsePortal.ca.  

Guelph, Ontario – With winter around the corner, now is the time for a dental check-up and nutritional status assessment, especially for older horses. Compared to spring and summer, horses burn significantly more calories through fall and winter simply to stay warm. As a result, they need to eat more – placing increased strain on the teeth and jaw. As well, with the dietary shift from pasture to hay, your horse will have to chew with more force to meet its nutritional requirements. Perhaps it’s time for a routine dental float? Or, maybe it’s the season to think about changing from hay to soaked hay cubes to maximize your aging horse’s feed efficiency during the upcoming winter season. Learn more about dental care for your senior horse on Equine Guelph’s online healthcare tool – the Senior Horse Challenge. Check out The Tale of the Teeth Video and read a new Senior Horse Dental Care fact sheet provided courtesy of Alex Bianco, MS, DVM, University of Minnesota Extension. This resource includes frequently asked questions about sedation, aftercare and recommended diets for horses with many missing teeth. Aside from the natural expiration of teeth, geriatric horses are also prone to dental disease that can result in teeth falling out or being extracted by a veterinarian. Because each set of premolars and molars erupts at a different age, they also expire at different ages. These can lead to gaps between teeth and teeth of varying heights (“wave mouth”) which causes abnormal chewing patterns and uneven wear on the teeth. These variations in dentition, combined with the rough nature of forage and the natural bacterial population of the mouth, can lead to secondary infections of the teeth below the gum line, at the tooth root. Bacterial tooth root infections typically result in loose, and/or fractured teeth. If the tooth is an upper molar, the infection may also spread in to the maxillary sinus and cause a secondary bacterial sinusitis. While dental infections rarely lead to systemic disease, dental abnormalities or tooth root infections often result in ineffective or painful chewing which results in decreased feed intake, weight loss, and increased risk of esophageal obstruction (“choke”). Remember that senior horses often need more frequent dental exams than the routine once a year check-up. Signs of dental issues include:  - dropping feed - bad breath - nasal discharge - weight loss While you’re visiting the Senior Horse Challenge to learn more about dental care for your aging horse, take five minutes to answer 20 questions to test your healthcare IQ for general geriatric care. This online tool will provide you information ranging from metabolic disorders to locomotion related concerns − pain recognition to general management including dental care. Equine Guelph thanks Boehringer Ingelheim for sponsoring the Senior Horse Challenge online healthcare tool. Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit TheHorsePortal.ca. by Henrietta Coole   Equine Guelph  

Guelph - ON   Dr. Janet Beeler Marfisi has always had an interest in equine health, as her father owned Standardbred racehorses giving her plenty of exposure to horses from a young age. Her particular interest in equine lung health was piqued while working for mobile equine vet, Dr. John Hennessey, in the summers prior admission to the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College as a DVM student.   After graduation in 2007, she won a scholarship as an American College of Veterinary Pathologists - Society of Toxicologic Pathology Coalition Fellow which allowed her to pursue a DVSc at OVC. Mentored by Dorothee Bienzle, Pathobiology, and Laurent Viel, Clinical Studies, her thesis work focussed on the development of heaves, or severe asthma, in horses.   Beeler-Marfisi, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in Clinical Pathology, joined OVC's Pathobiology department in early 2017, and teaches DVM and graduate courses. Her current research is focused on finding better ways of diagnosing lung disease in cats, dogs, and horses using cell markers and flow cytometry. An additional area of focus is studying asthma in young horses to see if, similar to people in Ontario, there is a cause and effect relationship between air pollution and asthma in horses. Ultimately the research may help trainers and horse owners to modify how and when they train the horses.   She brings extensive experience in diagnostics and teaching to her role at OVC. Beeler-Marfisi was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology and Clinical Pathologist at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and more recently worked as a Diagnostic Clinical Pathologist in New Zealand.   Being a teacher is helping to guide students, says Beeler-Marfisi, not only teaching them what the laboratory data they will be encountering on a daily basis means, but also "what to do when you don't know the answer."   Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca.    

Guelph, Ontario - On October 2-22, 2017, Equine Guelph will bring together horse enthusiasts from across Canada and beyond with its new Horse Safety & Behaviour course.     The three-week online short course has already caused a stir in the equine industry with adults who have benefitted from this invaluable information for anyone involved with horses.   When hearing this offering was also going out to youth between age 14 and 17, safety crusader Jacqueline Brooks was quick to lend her support promoting education on rider safety.     Canadian Jacqueline Brooks was one of the first Grand Prix dressage riders to routinely wear a helmet in international competition.     Learn more about staying safe around horses in Equine Guelph's Behaviour and Safety 3 week online course. Offerings for Adults and Youth (14 - 17).   Course Topics:    The Horse in the Wild - A Herd and Flight Animal  The Modern Day Horse  How Horses See and Hear  Herd Behaviour - How Horses Interact with Each Other  Horse Handling/Approaching a Horse  Rider/Helmet Safety  Trailer Loading Safety Basics  Safety around the Barn and Paddocks  Fire Safety  Returning from an Injury   The course will be delivered on The Horse Portal - Equine Guelph's new e-training platform designed to provide a practical, common sense community approach to learning for horse enthusiasts of all ages.   "We are proud that our first online course for youth will deliver safety training to this grassroots segment of our industry," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "The Horse Portal will bring together our young people in a safe, online community where they will learn how to 'speak horse' - and, ultimately, stay safe around horses and on the farm!"   Made possible by a grant from the Grand River Agricultural Society, Equine Guelph has developed the course for youth aged 14-17 and will also offer an adult version scheduled to run at the same time, Oct 2 - 22, 2017.   Equine Guelph has partnered with all English-speaking equestrian federations across Canada and a special 10% course discount is available for both adult and junior members. In addition, 50 free courses are on offer to 4-H Horse Club Members and 50 for Ontario Equestrian Federation Junior Members on a first-come-first served basis.   For more information, go to TheHorsePortal.ca  

The registrations are starting to roll in since Equine Guelph announced its popular Horse Behaviour and Safety online course is now available for youth (14 – 17)! This October, the young and keen will have their own special community to learn the language of horses. The adult offering, also available this October, has brought together horse enthusiasts from across Canada and all over the globe in past offerings. “Through learning how horses perceive the world around them, their human handlers can develop safe best practices for working with them,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. A hefty percentage of horse related injuries are due to human error and could be prevented if the handler had basic education in safety. TheHorsePortal.ca community has plenty to say so far about the Horse Behaviour and Safety course: Internationally recognized, past and future guest speaker for the adult offering, Dr. Rebecca Gimenez is no stranger to importance of preparedness and awareness around horses. Bringing her wealth of experience from Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc (TLAER), she has plenty of illuminating stories to share. Gimenez says, “The best part of teaching in these online courses is imagining their faces - you can practically SEE their AH-HA! moments over their participation - they really start getting it when they read all the threads and comment on each other's experiences.   I actually had a student contact me personally about meeting me when I came up to Guelph for the course - he had experienced so many of these situations in his working life at a racetrack and eventing barn then western gymkana / barrel racing situations. It was neat to put a name to a face and discuss these in person!” Omar from Orangeville, ON attests to the quality of instruction and is a firm believer in the continuing learning required in the horse industry. “The Horse Behaviour and Safety online course was a great introduction to equine education. Being able to connect with likeminded equine enthusiasts only made me enjoy my passion more. The instructors were excellent and laid out a lot of very important and enlightening material that could easily be managed while tending to outside work within the few weeks of the course period. They were always on top of any questions the class had and encouraged discussions. The expert guest speaker was wonderfully selected.   Taking part in discussions from day one, she made it her goal to be a part of the class and not just as a guest speaker for the few days she was scheduled for. I've been in and around the equine industry in some way for the past 25 years, and I'm still having myths dispelled and fresh points of view brought to light by a course like this. Clearly, I haven't stopped learning! I definitely made the right choice in taking part in the short course!” Julie from Australia looks forward to more from TheHorsePortal. “I really enjoyed the short course; the course material was insightful and easy to read. The quizzes were a great way to go over learned information and the guest speaker was quite helpful. All in all I am really happy with the course and will be looking at taking more.” Sharron from Ashton, ON, already an Equine Guelph lifetime learning student, found great value in this short course. “I am a graduate of the Equine Science Certificate and also a graduate of the Equine Science Diploma. I gained knowledge from this course which was new and useful...you can never know too much nor do you ever know everything!” Sorrel from Armstrong, BC vouches for the broad audience for this and all Equine Guelph courses. “The courses offered by Equine Guelph are invaluable to anyone who is involved with horses, from beginners to experts. I'd recommend them to anyone.” Thanks to a grant from the Grand River Agricultural Society, the adult and youth offerings of Horse Behaviour and Safety will run October 2–22, 2017 Equine Guelph has partnered with all English-speaking equestrian federations across Canada and a special 10% course discount is available for both adult and junior members. In addition, 50 free courses are on offer to 4-H Ontario Horse Club Members and 50 for Ontario Equestrian Federation Junior Members on a first-come-first served basis. Join the Herd, go to TheHorsePortal.ca. Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit EquineGuelph.ca. By Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Guelph, Ontario - Equine Guelph has announced its new Horse Safety & Behaviour course, marking its first online training offering available to youth in the Canadian equine industry. The three-week online short course will run from October 2-22, 2017 and bring together young horse enthusiasts from across Canada and beyond.   The course will be delivered on The Horse Portal - Equine Guelph's new e-training platform designed to provide a practical, common sense community approach to learning for horse enthusiasts of all ages.   Interacting with horses poses a high risk of injury to people of all ages. In Canada, horses are the #1 cause of animal-related injuries; 67% of animal-related injuries (requiring hospitalization) are caused by horses. All too often, injuries occur due to lack of education or understanding of equine behavior and proper handling practices. In fact, a current study shows that half of equine-related injury patients believe their injuries were preventable and due to human error.   "We are proud that our first online course for youth will deliver safety training to this grassroots segment of our industry," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "The Horse Portal will bring together our young people in a safe, online community where they will learn how to 'speak horse' - and, ultimately, stay safe around horses and on the farm!"   Made possible by a grant from the Grand River Agricultural Society, Equine Guelph will not only be developing the course for youth aged 14-17, but will also offer an adult version scheduled to run at the same time.   Equine Guelph has partnered with all English-speaking equestrian federations across Canada and a special 10% course discount is available for both adult and junior members. In addition, 50 free courses are on offer to 4-H Ontario Horse Club Members and 50 for Ontario Equestrian Federation Junior Members on a first-come-first served basis.   For more information, go to TheHorsePortal.ca   by: Henrietta Coole   Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada  

"One of a horse owner's greatest fears is seeing their 1,000 lb plus companion in peril," says Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc. (TLAER). "Couple that with not having the ability to do anything about it and not knowing who to call for help and the situation can quickly go wrong with panic stricken judgment calls that may result in a disastrous outcome for the equine."    Over thirty firefighters and first responders descended upon the Meaford Fire Department Training Centre in Ontario for intensive training on what to do in emergency situations. The three days of rigorous training, presented by Grey Highlands and Meaford Fire Departments and Equine Guelph, took place Apr 28 - 30 2017.    Chief Rod Leeson and Chief Scott Granahan opened with a safety briefing, followed by Dr. Gimenez raising awareness of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue concepts including how to deal with that panicked owner when arriving upon the scene. Problem solving utilizes the incident command system where cool heads prevail because everyone understands their role. This allows emergency responders, the veterinarian, owner and equipment operators, large animal ambulances etc. on the scene to communicate effectively and work together to find the best possible outcome.    First responders received important training in normal animal behaviour and what to expect when that animal becomes stressed, in order to proceed in a manner that keeps everyone safe from harm. Basic handling included how to approach livestock and where the blind zones and kick zones are located. How to create and secure an emergency halter and then restrain & lead the animal to a safe containment situation were more of the topics covered.    Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker, delivered a demonstration of great impact where equine anatomy and human anatomy was compared using life size skeletons of both. "Just as you would not pull a child out of a well by the arm; you cannot salvage a horse by wrapping a recovery strap to a limb without resulting in catastrophic damage," cautioned Ecker. For example, as easily as a human hand can be degloved, a horses tail can be removed if used to pull a horse out of a mud rescue situation. Limbs and tails are not handles!    Graphic and in-depth examples of What NOT to do were shown in case scenarios followed by hands on exercises included working with Rusti, the Rescue Horse mannequin. Gathering the proper equipment, the group practiced proper technique for drags and lifts to extricate a large animal from situations like a mud rescue, trench rescue or trailer roll over.    "This type of emergency rescue training is essential for first responders, and anyone involved with transporting livestock, to provide them the expertise they need to focus on the welfare and safety of animals and people in these sorts of emergency situations," says Ontario Veterinary College Dean Jeff Wichtel. "This is just one more example of the University of Guelph commitment to equine health and welfare, and the proactive training Equine Guelph provides to the equine industry, from horse owners to racing track personnel."    Special thanks to all the suppliers involved: Tractor/Equipment - Earth Power Equipment Meaford, livestock hauler - Aldcorn Brothers Company, Chapman's Ice Cream, water provided by Ice River Springs and last but not least, Abrams Towing and their recovery operator, John Allen.    Thank you to all the training crew expertly lead by Dr. Gimenez, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc.:    · Victor MacPherson, Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department  · Deborah Chute, Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department  · Chris Watson, Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department  · Mark Whittick,Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department  · Wendy McIsaac-Swackhamer, Erin Fire and Emergency Services  · Beverley Sheremeto, Severn Fire & Emergency Services  · Robert Nagle, Central York Fire Services  · Penny Lawlis, consultant for Professional Livestock Auditing Inc.  · Cathy Furness, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs  · Katherine Hoffman, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,  · Gayle Ecker, Equine Guelph, University of Guelph  · Susan, Raymond, Equine Guelph, University of Guelph    "Many commendations were made by the participants to the fire hall and the municipal offices thanking the instructors for coming to our community," said Chief Scott Granahan, "great things have come from this weekend. Thank you."    A Final Thank you from Equine Guelph goes out to everyone involved in this important training and the participants dedicated to safe and successful rescues of large animals.    By Jackie Bellamy-Zions    Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada  

In 2013, a devastating outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus One caused four confirmed cases in Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses and three confirmed deaths.   The development reinforced Equine Guelph's sense that the Ontario horse racing industry - one filled with high-value animals and frequent movement - was in need of further education on biosecurity and infectious disease prevention.   Accessing funding through the Agricultural Adaptation Council, Equine Guelph developed and delivered 'BIOSECURITY - Spread the word not the germs.' The first-of-its-kind campaign targeted infectious diseases in the Ontario horse racing industry. The initiative changed the equine industry's approach to biosecurity and delivered lasting resources still used today.   In order to reach such a broad community, Equine Guelph used a peer-to-peer educational approach to bring the industry together.   In April 2015, Equine Guelph started by educating horse racing officials. Ontario Racing Commission investigators, judges and stewards received training on biosecurity, arming the officials with the resources needed to visit all 10 Ontario race tracks in the spring and summer of 2015 to spread the word on biosecurity. On their visits, officials discussed how to improve biosecurity and provided an assortment of training materials.   The biosecurity campaign is more than just a communications success story; it created tangible resources for the equine industry, both racing and non-racing. The training content used has been added to Equine Guelph's equine biosecurity two-week online eWorkshop and has been modified and distributed to a general equine audience across Canada.   The project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.   Now available on TheHorsePortal.ca - all horse owners and care givers can learn Canada's biosecurity code for Equines.   You can also access Equine Guelph's free Biosecurity Calculator to evaluate the biosecurity risk on your farm. In 10 minutes you can be on your way to a biosecurity plan utilizing simple ways to protect your horse from infectious disease.      

Researchers in the New South Wales Hunter Valley have developed a new scientific method they say could boost horse breeding around the world. The scientists from the University of Newcastle have developed a new nutrient-rich liquid that is added to deposits of horse semen collected after ejaculation, which keeps the sperm alive for longer at an ambient temperature. Horse sperm have short lifespans, and traditionally to preserve them for longer than a few days, the samples had to be chilled or cryopreserved, which can be damaging to the cells. With the new liquid, the sperm could remain viable for up to two weeks, as opposed to about three days when chilled. This means higher-quality samples could be sent overseas for breeding programs in other countries, and they would have a greater chance of success. New collaboration leads to breeding research PHOTO: The NSW Hunter Valley is a renowned horse breeding location. (ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)   The research came about after a linkage grant collaboration between stakeholders in the national and international equine sector, and included a number of universities. "There's sometimes a bit of a disconnect between what happens in the research world and what's happening out in the real world and in the industry," Aleona Swegen, a scientist working on the project, said. "There are some hurdles they come up against, especially in regards to fertility and how successful breeding programs can be. "Horses have, in a way, fallen behind a lot of the other animal industries. "We're working on a project that is hoping to improve fertility for horses. "This is a world-first in the scale of the project, but it's also really important that the industry are the ones who are initiating this, and they're coming to us with questions." Breakthrough could improve breeding options PHOTO: Horse sperm as seen under a microscope. (ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)   The Hunter Valley is the world's second-largest Thoroughbred breeding area. While the Thoroughbred stud book does not allow the use of artificial insemination, other horse breeders are expected to benefit from the scientific breakthrough. "We're developing new media for the storage of horse semen at room temperature, so that we can potentially transport it around the world [without chilling or freezing the cells]," Zamira Gibb, a post-doctoral research fellow working on the project, said. "Once we collect the semen, we add our new semen extender. In that medium, which is just a liquid, we have components that will support their metabolism. "While they're actively metabolising, they're going to be producing a lot of reactive oxygen species and waste products, so there are other components in that media that will help to clean them up." Cryopreservation technology, where sperm is frozen, has been used for years, but the scientists said it increased the risk of damage to the sample. Storing the sperm at ambient temperature, with appropriate nutrients to support their survival, negated that risk. "The ability to transport sperm around the world has been around for the last 50 years, but it does require cryopreservation," Dr Gibb said. "The process of cryopreservation can be very damaging to the cells, and it can cause them to have an extremely reduced lifespan once you thaw them out, so the fertility is generally quite markedly reduced." New technique could break down international boundaries PHOTO: While the Thoroughbred studs are not allowed to use artificial insemination, other horse breeders are expected to benefit from the scientific breakthrough. (ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)   Jen Clulow, a veterinarian involved in the project, said the ability to transport sperm at ambient temperatures would help studs wanting to breed their horses with animals overseas. "If we were able to use our ambient temperature media to transport [sperm] from America to Australia to breed mares, then we would be able to potentially harness the genetic potential from that stallion and put it into an Australian horse population," she said. The researchers are trying to minimise potential biohazards and eliminate any bacterial contamination by investigating the best device to transport the sperm. Dr Swegen said it was an exciting development for the Hunter's breeding industry. "It is a wonderful advantage for the breeders in the area, and I think it's great they'll be able to get their hands on something that's a world-first," she said. "It's also great for the equine breeding industries around the world." Topics: animal-science, science-and-technology, newcastle-2300, university-of-newcastle-2308, scone-2337 By Robert Virtue Contact Robert Virtue Reprinted with permission of the ABC network

Guelph, ON - Equine Guelph is hosting two upcoming hands-on clinics with internationally recognized instructor Dr. Rebecca Gimenez of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc. (TLAER). The first offering, Tuesday April 25 and Wednesday April 26, 2017, at Mohawk Racetrack will be open to the general public and will be of particular interest to those involved in the racing industry including racetrack personnel. Then on April 28 - 30, a large animal rescue operational level course at Meaford Fire Department will be available for active fire fighters.   For the Horse Racing Industry   Participants in "Fire Prevention and Emergency Rescue Training for the Horse Racing Industry" will be making an investment in safety to help protect both horses and industry workers. Thanks to generous funding from Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and support from Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) Equine Guelph has been able to organize this workshop for all three sectors of racing: Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse.   Dr. Gimenez has travelled from the U.S. to Ontario in the past to teach highly successful TLAER workshops, resulting in lives saved just months later. In this special offering, the program will include emergency rescue training specific to risks associated with racing including; incidents involving starting gates, loose horses and on-track injuries. Best practice responses appropriate to trailer and stall incidents will be covered. In addition, a strong emphasis on fire prevention and evacuation procedures will also be included.   The horse racing industry from all over Ontario are encouraged to participate, including: racetrack personnel (especially security, facility managers and track maintenance staff), training facility managers, trainers, grooms, veterinarians, veterinarian technicians and first responders. Thanks to the kind funding from GRAS and OMAFRA and support from WEG, the tuition is available for only $125 + hst.   WHERE AND WHEN: Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, ON Tuesday, April 25 to Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Registration is now open online and will be limited.    For more information contact Susan Raymond 519-824-4120 ext. 54230 slraymon@uoguelph.ca   For Fire Fighters   Dr. Gimenez is making her fourth return visit since 2014, working with Equine Guelph to bring Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue training to first responders in Ontario. Together with Meaford fire department, this specialized 3-day hands-on "Large Animal Rescue Operational Level Course" will be offered to active fire fighters, April 28 - 30, 2017.   Internationally renowned for Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) training, Gimenez says, "Many organizations that participate in TLAER programs do not realize how far reaching this program is - that it concerns situations from loose horses on the highway, to cattle truck rollovers, to animals trapped and needing professional extrication. The most important feature of the program is safety for the people on the scene first."   This intensive course sets up scenarios where safety knowledge and techniques are practiced, including vital positioning to stay clear of the head and kick zone of the legs. Understanding the behavioural instincts of fight or flight and learning how to utilize rescue straps so as not to injure the animal while maneuvering are just a few of the topics covered.   Dr. Gimenez emphasizes the importance of participants taking the knowledge and techniques learned from the TLAER workshop back to their industry in order to improve upon the emergency rescue success rate. "It is really not about the animal in these situations," says Gimenez, "It's about people and how we interact on scene, how we prepare, train, and equip ourselves and our organizations, and how we network at levels above and below us beforehand that will ultimately make the difference to the animal."   Presented by Grey Highlands and Meaford Fire Departments and Equine Guelph, this upcoming workshop is available for active fire fighters only for $275 + hst.      

Guelph, Ontario - Give your horse the best Valentine's Day gift by being the greatest champion for equine welfare that you can be. A full herd of online learners signed up in less than 20 minutes after Equine Guelph announced the official launch of TheHorsePortal.ca. The feedback has been extremely positive for the new online learning community resulting from an innovative industry partnership including ten provincial equestrian federations across Canada. The inaugural courses offered are: 'Equine Welfare - Canada's Code' and 'Equine Biosecurity - Canada's standard'.   Students so far say TheHorsePortal.ca is easy to navigate and rave about the wonderful content and interactivity. Horse enthusiasts are coming together from all backgrounds: from just starting out in the industry to facility owners and operators of large and small stables, new horse owners, boarders and professionals committed to life-long learning and staying up to date on the latest advances.   Content in the first two short courses has already been reported as very helpful to those considering facility renovations and management practices to optimize their horse's well-being. Learning the basics on Canada's two new national standards imparts important knowledge to make the best informed decisions for the health and welfare of horses. Many of the students who had not heard of the new Equine Code of Practice are quickly realizing its value in evaluating whether changes need to be made or not pertaining to their horse's management.   Students of the biosecurity course are finding many simple changes they can make to help protect their horses from infectious disease on and off their property. The course guest speaker, Dr. Alison Moore, Lead Veterinarian, Animal Health & Welfare at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was also a contributor to the new National Farm-Level Biosecurity standard for the Equine Sector. Moore is well versed in articulating the reality of biosecurity being more about diligence than difficulty. Moore stresses the importance of having a biosecurity plan and being able to communicate it clearly with every member of the barn community.   The herd dynamics are fantastic at TheHorsePortal.ca as "aha" moments are shared, connecting evidenced-based course content to student experience and resulting in practical applications. The discussion forums are full of statements such as, "I didn't know what I didn't know" or "I learned that lesson the hard way" and "I've always done that but I didn't really know why."   "This is an online community where science, practical application and discussion come together to facilitate learning," says, Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker. "Students from Equine Guelph have been making a difference − the knowledgeable horse owner or caregiver is well equipped to have meaningful proactive discussions with their horse healthcare providers. Equine Guelph looks forward to partnering with the equine industry around the world to bring horse people together to learn about equine welfare and care as a community."   Join the herd for the next offerings:   'Equine Welfare - Canada's Code' March 6 - 24 'Equine Biosecurity - Canada's standard' April 10 -28   For more information, go to TheHorsePortal.ca   Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions  

Guelph, ON - Equine Guelph has partnered with internationally renowned blanket manufacturer, Bucas of Ireland and is pleased to announce the launch of the ThermoRegulator Healthcare Tool. The new interactive online tool explores thermoregulation in all seasons to help horse owners avoid over-heating and dehydration along with a variety of sicknesses caused as a result of chilling and other preventable health concerns. Nature has provided horses with a coat for all seasons, as every horse owner can attest during the hairy days of shedding season. Long hairs rise up creating an insulating layer in the cold months. Sleek shorter hairs part in the hot season to help the horse stay cool, but there is much more to thermoregulation than the length of hair coat.   “There are health factors to consider when deciding whether to blanket or not, including a horse’s age, health and body condition score,” says Equine Guelph director Gayle Ecker. Exercise will also be a consideration if the equine is asked to perform higher level athletics in a cold climate. Once a horse is clipped, you are committed to making blanketing choices.   The ThermoRegulator Tool will lead horse owners through an interactive body condition score module. A horse classified as thin will have a hard time staying warm in winter. Turnout environment will also play a role in deciding if you should blanket. Take into consideration how windy or cold the forecast is and if there is access to shelter or windbreaks.   Frequently asked questions are addressed such as: how to measure for a blanket, choosing the right type of blanket, routine maintenance, preventing rub marks and fitting the challenging horse with prominent withers or large shoulders.   Bucas managing director, Ulf Casselbrant complimented Equine Guelph saying, ”Bucas is pleased to partner with Equine Guelph in the development of the ThermoRegulator Healthcare Tool, as it is an excellent resource for the horse owner in understanding the principles of thermoregulation in horses and helpful in the proper use of blanket protection for their horse.”   To learn more about thermoregulation and to decide if your horse is a candidate to be covered by a blanket ? go to the ThermoRegulator Healthcare Tool.   Jackie Bellamy-Zions   Weblink: http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=496   Tool Link: http://equineguelph.ca/Tools/thermoregulator.php   Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada

Equine Guelph announces the official launch of TheHorsePortal.ca - a new portal for industry training in an easily-accessible online format for the equine industry. From the Rockies to the eastern islands, the portal will bring together horse people like never before to stay current on best health and welfare practices. The new program, resulting from an innovative industry partnership, provides horse people with short, practical online training to stay up-to-date with the latest information on equine care. The inaugural short courses are: 'Equine Welfare - Canada's Code' March 6-24 'Equine Biosecurity - Canada's standard' April 10-28 For any person responsible for a horse, it is essential to learn the national standards. These first two short courses on The Horse Portal are important offerings for caregivers and horses alike. Each day, new scientific knowledge emerges on how to better care for horses and deal with emerging issues. It is everyone's responsibility to stay current on best health and welfare practices and industry standards. "Through The Horse Portal, horse caregivers can access common sense, practical training that can be used on a daily basis," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "Equine Guelph looks forward to partnering with the equine industry across the nation to bring Canadians together to learn about equine welfare and care as a community." Equine Guelph has partnered with ten English-speaking provincial equestrian federations across Canada to offer their members equine training and education through The Horse Portal. The portal is also available to non-federation members. From racing to performance to the backyard pony, this portal was developed to cater to and benefit all segments of the equine industry. This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Other partners include: Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, Equestrian Canada, Farm & Food Care Ontario, Greenhawk, Omega Alpha Equine, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Standardbred Canada. Participating Federations include: Alberta Equestrian Federation, Equine Association of Yukon, Horse Council British Columbia, Island Horse Council, Manitoba Horse Council, New Brunswick Equestrian Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Equestrian Association, Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation, Ontario Equestrian Federation and Saskatchewan Horse Federation. National training partner is Equestrian Canada. For more information, go to TheHorsePortal.ca      

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