Schenectady, NY – Harness Racing’s top guns descended upon the New York State Gaming Commission public hearing to advance concerns over proposed drug levels for racehorses. U. S. Trotting Association President, Phil Langley, and Standardbred Owners Association of New York President, Joe Faraldo, led a group of distinguished veterinarians and research experts to counter the “one size fits all” approach being forwarded by the Thoroughbred-based Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) proposals. The appearance of the Standardbred leaders at the public hearing, called by the agency formerly known as the NYS Racing and Wagering board, was to hear “testimony about adoption of per se regulatory thresholds for 24 approved equine medications and amending pre-race restricted time periods for various drugs.” One particular therapeutic substance, respiratory aid Clenbuterol, has been at the forefront of a debate over uniform medication rules approved by the RMTC. Although there is widespread Thoroughbred support for the measures, the Standardbred industry has argued that the two breeds have very distinct differences and therefore should be treated differently. The proposed rule would prohibit the bronchial dilator from being administered within 14 days of racing, effectively eliminating its potential benefit to Standardbreds that generally race every week. Langley noted that, “Our horses are so durable, they do not even look [like Thoroughbreds.] Many of our horses race 30 to 40 times each year. In fact, the leading money-winning horse of all time started 198 times. We are not trying to get the standards lowered. We just want to conduct [racing] the way we are.” Dr. Kanter, an expert in equine medicine and pharmacology, with over 40 years of experience as the track vet at Buffalo and Batavia. “This measure could be denying horses the benefit of years of research of these useful therapeutic drugs, while the efficacy of known substitutes is yet unproven.” Dr. Janet Durso of Goshen, NY, reiterated those concerns. “Clenbuterol is one of the best drugs for treating blood and discharge from a horse’s lungs. Remedies would be problematic without it!” One of the contributing factors toward this proposal is the concern that some Thoroughbred trainers are abusing Clenbuterol by overdosing in order to achieve a repartitioning effect, or to build muscle mass. That appears to be a non-issue in Standardbreds as they race too often for long-term dosages to be administered effectively. Dr. Tobin, a renowned expert from the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, stated, “Clenbuterol did have a repartitioning effect and increased muscle mass, but this did not translate into an increase in performance. In fact, it decreased performance.” Although the prospect of catastrophic injury of racehorses was discussed, Dr. Tobin noted that “Harness Racing was one of the safest sports in North America. Only 1 in 15,000 fatal injuries occurred in Standardbreds, where 1 in 2,000 occurred in Thoroughbreds over the same time period.” Several other items were addressed, such as the list of 24 drugs that would provide for the basis of drugs that would have established levels for testing. All others would be considered “off-limits” for use and result in positive tests if found in race-day blood or urine testing. In addition, the proposal of special corticosteroid regulations sparked added debate. Of the nine speakers, eight of the experts gave convincing testimony toward the need for separate rules for each breed. Dr. Dionne Benson, the executive director of the RMTC (Racing Medication and Testing Consortium), was the last speaker and lone dissenter. She noted that the ad hoc committee for all breeds felt that the thresholds are appropriate, and that the state of Pennsylvania was “on-board” with her groups recommendations. Nonetheless, Joe Faraldo is not convinced that the RMTC proposals are suitable for Harness Racing. “We heard today that not all of the scientific bases have been covered. I believe that the [NYS Gaming Board] is cognizant of that fact. Because this board took the time to listen to all of these points of view, and the science behind them, it is a good indication that Harness Racing will be treated fairly.” by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com
Equine Guelph has launched a new two and a half minute video to help horse owners with parasite management. When a growing resistance to dewormers is cited as a major issue concerning horse owners today, a fecal exam to see if your parasite control program is working makes sense. Collecting a manure sample is easy, but it must be done properly to ensure accurate test results. How to Collect Manure for a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) 1) Write the date and horse's name on the front part of this zip-lock bag. 2) Take another zip-lock bag and turn it inside-out over your hand. 3) With your hand inside the bag, pick up a fresh fecal mass. 4) Use your other hand to pull the zip-lock bag over your hand, turning the bag right side out. Squeeze out as much air as possible. The feces are now in the bag. 5) Zip up the bag. Place the bag into the labelled bag. 6) Store in a cool place, such as a refrigerator but not in the freezer. 7) Deliver your fecal sample to the vet within 48 hours! WARNING! Do not place the sample in the freezer or leave it in your car. Extreme cold or heat can kill parasites, defeating the purpose of collecting a sample. Be sure to request feces are examined for a strongyle egg count in horses aged 2 years and up. Rotate or rest? That is a very good question when it comes to the use of deworming products. After peaking with parasitic disease expert and Ontario Veterinary College researcher Dr. Andrew Peregrine, I am not only eager to pick up more poop but I am keen to have it analyzed. Ontario Veterinary College researcher Dr. Andrew Peregrine says, "Less than three percent of horse owners perform fecal exams and to date this is the only way to find out if your horse is carrying an unhealthy parasite burden." He recommends all horse owners get in the habit of performing a fecal at least once a year. Peregrine advises horse owners to discuss the right parasite control program with their vet to be sure they are following an individual program that is right for their horse. Rotation of deworming products (not just switching brands but switching drug classes) should not be the only point of conversation. Environment and stage of life plays a key role in determining what measures can be taken to keep the parasite population in check. And of course, the starting point is a fecal exam to learn if the egg count warrants action. If the fecal egg count is high - another exam two weeks after deworming will let the horse owner know if what they are doing is working. For more information on parasite control programs read the full article at: http://equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=364 and check out the video outlining how to collect a fecal sample attached. Jackie Bellamy
LATHAM, N.Y.—The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine will present a seminar on advances in equine health practices and procedures for horse breeders, owners and trainers on Sunday, Aug. 25th, at Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. The event is sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State The seminar will cover how to protect your horse from infectious diseases, platelets and Equine Herpes Virus Type-1 infection, Alternative sources of equine mesenchymal stem cells, Equine Hepatitis Virus discoveries and their importance to equine health and diagnosis of poor performance in racehorses. It begins at 2:00 p.m., with registration at 1:30 p.m., and includes a buffet dinner. Beverages will be available at registration. The seminar is free and includes learning materials. This equine seminar requires advance registration. For more information or to register, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail email@example.com. For anyone interested in staying for the races on Aug. 25th, the Zweig Memorial Trot Open and Filly division will take place on the evening card with a post time of 6:45pm. by Betty Holt
Guelph, Ontario - After declaring 2013 the 'Year of Colic Prevention,' Equine Guelph has announced the release of its latest online health care tool - the Colic Risk Rater. This free, customized tool is designed for the individual horseperson to rate his/her horse's risk of colic. The Colic Risk Rater assesses and calculates colic risk while providing useful feedback on management practices through a series of questions in 10 categories, requiring less than 10 minutes to complete. The goal of the Colic Risk Rater tool is to provide horse owners a simple way to determine if their horse is at a high risk for colic, given the horse's personal scenario. After each question, the risk rater dial will fluctuate back or forth, revealing the constantly changing risk - and in the end, providing an overall colic risk rating calculation for each horse. Historically, colic became the horse's arch nemesis thousands of years ago when humans started taking horses out of their natural environment. The use and management of modern horses are a huge departure from their wild counterparts, placing them at a higher risk of colic. Logically, it follows in Dr. Christine King's writings from "Preventing Colic in Horses" that 80% of colic cases are management-related. Dr. Crossan, guest speaker in Equine Guelph's colic prevention eWorkshop, concurs with Dr. King's staggering statistic. "Experts agree that the majority of colic's are a result of management practices," says Dr. Crossan. "Prevention through management is the best course of action when it comes to colic." Thus, horse owners can play a major role in reducing colic risk through management. Owners must be aware of the risk factors, especially the ones we can manage such as feeding, housing, parasite control and stress. The Colic Risk Rater is one more crucial tool in the horse caregiver's arsenal, designed to identify the risk factors and provide prevention tips, aiming to minimize needless pain and suffering of our equine companion. Given that colic is the number one killer of horses (other than old age), the ten minute investment in this free tool is invaluable. In addition to funding from Standardbred Canada, investment in this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, the Agricultural Adaptation Council delivers this program. Partners include: Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Society of Ontario, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association and the Ontario Veterinary College. To check out the Colic Risk Rater or to find out more about Equine Guelph's Colic Prevention Programs including the upcoming fall eWorkshop, scheduled for September 9 -22, visit http://EquineGuelph.ca/eworkshops/colic/php by Kayla Dorricott 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.
LATHAM, N.Y.-The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine will present a seminar on advances in equine health practices and procedures for horse breeders, owners and trainers on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 at Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. The event is sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. The seminar will cover infectious diseases at home and on the track, platelets and equine herpes virus type-1 infections, alternative sources of equine stem cells, diagnosis of poor performance in racehorses, and a hepatitis virus discover and its potential importance to equine health. There will be open question and answer opportunities available. The seminar begins at 2:00 p.m. with registration at 1:30 p.m. Beverages and snacks will be available at registration. The seminar is free and includes materials and a meal. This equine seminar requires advance registration. For more information or to register, please call Harness Horse Breeders of NYS at 518-785-5858 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For anyone interested in staying for the races on Aug. 25th, the Zweig Memorial Trot race will take place at the harness track with post time at 6:45 pm. by Betty Holt
Finding out just why horses do the things they do is the focus of Advanced Equine Behaviour, a 12-week course being offered by Equine Guelph that has been designed to increase your knowledge through evidence-based research as it relates to horse behaviour, learning theory, and related welfare issues.
Have you thought about making your farm more environmentally friendly?
Master Horse Trainer David Lichman is coming to town to perform with his three personally trained horses for the first time in his 25 year career of helping people achieve extraordinary results with their horses.
With reference to Equine Guelph's report of a case of Equine Herpes Virus 1 in a horse in Ontario, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has determined that this case does not involve a racehorse.
Equine Guelph's interactive youth education attraction wrapped up 2012 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair this past November with a record number of volunteers.
Rotate or rest? That is a very good question when it comes to the use of deworming products. After speaking with parasitic disease expert and Ontario Veterinary College researcher Dr. Andrew Peregrine, I am not only eager to pick up more poop but I am keen to have it analyzed.
April 6th, 2013 Equine Guelph presented an exciting full day of seminars at the University of Guelph, featuring Ontario Veterinary College researchers who have starred in the popular 'Report on Research' video series.
Due to an overwhelming positive response, Equine Guelph has opened registration for a second offering of their eWorkshop on colic prevention. Over 80 students from local and international background gained valuable knowledge over the course of 2 weeks in March to combat the number one killer of horses (other than old age!) with Equine Guelph's new eWorkshop on colic prevention.
Equine Guelph is pleased to announce that Intercity Insurance has become an 'Education Patron' of Equine Guelph. Mike King of Intercity Insurance has been a loyal supporter of Equine Guelph and its educational programs for many years as an instructor and sponsor of the Hoofprints tribute program. Now King has made the commitment to support Equine Guelph's education program at the next level.
Horse-people are remarkable problem solvers; when a horse colics, we are quick to call the vet and begin the appropriate treatment.
Equine Guelph's Lameness Lab online tool, sponsored by Pfizer Equine Division, will help you learn about lameness through a variety of interactive activities. Learn what has intrigued over 5,000 Lameness Lab visitors since its initial launch just over a year ago.