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RWWA Stewards yesterday concluded an inquiry conducted into reports received from RWWA Stewards Compliance officer Ms Freya Norman and RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd into the condition of horses under the care of licenced harness racing trainer Ms Tammy Horn-Walker. Ms Horn-Walker pleaded guilty to a charge under Harness Rule of Racing 218 in that she as the person having responsibility for the welfare of the Standardbreds ALL AMERICAN BEAUTY, ZZZAFFERANO and HARD TO FORGET had failed to care for those horses properly which resulted in ALL AMERICAN BEAUTY found to be in a very poor condition with a Body Score of 1/5 and ZZZAFFERANO and HARD TO FORGET found to be in poor condition, both horses having a Body Score of 1.5/5, when inspected on 29 August 2017 by RWWA Racing Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd. After considering all factors in relation to the matter Stewards today determined to disqualify Ms Horn-Walker for a period of nine (9) months, backdated to 21 September 2017, the date Ms Horn-Walker was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards took into account: Previous penalties issued for related matters. The seriousness of the matter and the need for deterrence to reinforce and maintain the high standards of animal welfare that apply within the industry as a whole. The acknowledgment of the offence by Ms Horn-Walker Harness Stewards Inquiry – Trainer Tammy Horn-Walker Barbara Scott – Chief Steward Harness Ph: 9445 5176 barbara.scott@rwwa.com.au

Millstone Township, NJ- 10/24/17 - During the week of August 26th, 2017, the harness racing twelve-year son of Mach Three, Killean Cut Kid, was found in a Louisiana pen where horses are held before shipping for slaughter to Canada or Mexico. The volunteers of Save Our Standardbreds From Slaughter (SOSS), present on Face Book, stepped in to offer help with the assistance of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF).   Kid has been the controversial focus in the racing community and also received a great deal of attention from horse lovers everywhere, as it was posted on Face Book that he had been euthanized about one month earlier in Ohio.   Kid presented in thin weight when removed from his appalling situation. He had Decubitis ulcers on all four legs, and a fracture. Decubitus ulcers are pressure sores causing the tissue to die and slough off. Kid had also chewed or gnawed through the flesh exposing his extensor tendon on one of his legs. There is no confirmation of how he sustained his injuries, but veterinarians suspect that they are from bandage on for too long a period of time or they were too tight, or both.   This week, now that kid is in good weight, had time to heal and recover from his heinous ordeal; he will ship to Cream Ridge, NJ to Dr. Hogan who will perform grafts on his legs to reduce the scarring. The procedure, and recovery care are a gift to Kid. The same generous offer was also received from Dr. Barry Carter, located in Ohio. All who care are anxious to see him get to his last stage of this ordeal, a loving home. A few wonderful offers have been received to give him a soft place to land for life. Click here to see a current video of Killean Cut Kid.    Donations are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible, SRF, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Ste. 101, Millstone Township, NJ 08535, through the website AdoptaHorse.org/donate, through PayPal to @SRFHorsesandKids@gmail.com, or by calling SRF at 732-446-4422.                   SRF is different as it helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused; is feeding and caring for more than 280 trotters and pacers; is providing lifetime homes for more than 150 who are aged or injured and passed over by adopters; provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again. SRF is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. with over 3,000 adoptions since 1989.                                  

Columbus, OH --- In early September, the United States Trotting Association (USTA) learned of social media reports concerning the condition of a Standardbred named Killean Cut Kid, which, it was reported, had been acquired by a horse rescue group from a sales pen in Bastrop, Louisiana. Photos showing wounds to Killean Cut Kid's ankles accompanied several of the Facebook and Twitter postings.  On Sept. 3, the USTA engaged the Association's contracted investigator, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, to conduct an inquiry into this matter to determine if any USTA rules on animal welfare had been violated. Thursday, the USTA issued the following statement regarding the investigation. Details of the investigation and the USTA’s rules on animal welfare follow below the statement. “The USTA is dismayed and disturbed by the chain of events revealed by its investigation, and by the actions that contributed to Killean Cut Kid’s plight. All of us who share a passion for horses find the images concerning and difficult to view, and we approached this investigation vigorously and seriously. “It is important to understand that State racing commissions, and not the USTA, determine who can and who cannot participate in racing in their respective jurisdictions. USTA’s scope of authority is clear -- we may only suspend memberships when specific rules are broken. While this situation is emotionally troubling, the investigation affirms that neither of the specific conditions for disqualification from the Association has been met. “The USTA has relayed its findings to the Ohio State Racing Commission and has been in contact with law enforcement in Union Parish, Louisiana. Should additional information pertinent to the investigation be made known, the Association will act accordingly.” ### Investigation Background: • The investigation indicates that Killean Cut Kid changed hands several times in the days following the initial social media postings regarding the need to euthanize the horse. • His trainer stated that Killean Cut Kid was given to an acquaintance in western Ohio.  • That acquaintance stated that he then gave custody of the horse to a local horse broker. The broker stated that he transported the horse with others to the sale in Louisiana.  • Those involved in the transfers and transport of Killean Cut Kid provided disparate and incomplete descriptions of Killean Cut Kid's ankles, and of the origin of their condition.  • Absent additional, corroborating information, the investigation was unable to ascertain definitively the timing and progression of Killean Cut Kid’s injuries, nor could it determine possession of the horse at the time they were incurred.  • The investigation found no evidence that the horse was insured. • Unannounced visits to the trainer’s farm and stable were conducted. All horses appeared to be in good condition, stalls were clean with sufficient shavings, and all had clean water. There were ample bales of hay and bags of horse feed available at both locations. • The investigation has determined that no charges have been filed by any law enforcement or animal welfare agency possessing the power to act upon them, and none are anticipated at this time. USTA rules governing animal welfare: In the area of animal welfare, the USTA rule book specifies the following: 1) Any person who has admitted to or been adjudicated guilty of participating in causing the intentional killing, maiming or injuring of a horse for the purpose of perpetuating insurance fraud or obtaining other illegal financial gain shall be barred from membership in this association for life. 2) Any person who has been the subject of an adverse finding in a final order in a prosecution arising out of treatment of a horse under any state animal welfare statute shall be disqualified from membership in this association for a minimum period of one (1) year with the length of disqualification beyond one (1) year to be determined by the gravity of the offense. USTA Communications Department 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV), a statutory body, is responsible for the control, development and promotion of the Victorian harness racing industry. With strong links to rural and regional communities, we are committed to developing a vibrant and sustainable harness racing industry which promotes participation, integrity and racing excellence.  With over 400 race meetings per year at 28 tracks throughout Victoria, harness racing contributes $422m p.a. to the Victorian economy and employs approximately 4000 people. Wanted a Senior Veterinarian Key Corporate Leadership role Rare opportunity to drive Equine Welfare & Compliance at industry level Career Change The Opportunity We are looking for an experienced Veterinarian to head the newly established Equine Welfare and Compliance unit within the HRV Integrity department.  You will take responsibility for managing all aspects equine compliance and welfare programs to ensure the reputation and integrity of harness racing is continually enhanced.  Reporting to the General Manager Integrity, key focus areas include: Ensuring that horse welfare practices are conducted within the Australian Harness Racing Rules Oversee the drug control program at race meetings including out of competition drug testing Educate and promote equine welfare best practice Manage implementation and roll out of microchipping in Victoria This is a full-time position.  Given the nature of the racing industry, regular travel throughout regional Victoria is essential and you will be required to work flexible hours, including weeknights and weekends. About you You will possess: Tertiary Qualifications in Veterinary Science eligible for registration in Victoria Prior experience in equine practices and welfare Able to build and maintain collaborative relationships with stakeholders Strong leadership and people management capabilities In this role, you will be able to further your management career and play a pivotal role in protecting the integrity and animal welfare in the racing industry. Benefits An opportunity to lead a new and dynamic team and be on the forefront of equine welfare practices in the racing industry Remuneration includes a fully maintained motor vehicle Ongoing training and professional development For a confidential discussion please call HRV on 03 8378 0200. Applications close 5.00pm 20 September 2017. The successful applicant will be required to satisfactorily complete background screening checks in accordance with company policy. To Apply

(TRENTON) – A 5-year-old Cumberland County mare is the first reported case in 2017 of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a serious, mosquito-borne illness in horses.  The horse had not been vaccinated against EEE and died on August 28, 2017.  “Horse owners need to be vigilant in vaccinating their animals against diseases spread by mosquitoes,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Vaccinated animals are much less likely to contract deadly diseases such as EEE and West Nile Virus.” EEE causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection.  West Nile virus is a viral disease that affects horses’ neurological system.  The disease is transmitted by mosquito bite.  The virus cycles between birds and mosquitoes with horses and humans being incidental hosts. EEE infections in horses are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses (like humans) are considered to be "dead-end" hosts for the virus. In 2016, New Jersey had four cases of EEE and no cases of West Nile Virus (WNV). Effective equine vaccines for EEE and WNV are available commercially. Horse owners should contact their veterinarians if their horses are not already up-to-date on their vaccinations against both EEE and WNV. Click here for more information about EEE in horses. EEE and West Nile virus, like other viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological system, must be reported to the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 within 48 hours of diagnosis. The New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory is available to assist with EEE and WNV testing and can be reached at 609-406-6999 or via email – jerseyvetlab@ag.state.nj.us. ### To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.

Grand Circuit pacing harness racing superstar Hectorjayjay is likely to be ruled out of the Allied Express Victoria Cup and Perth Inter Dominion after a lesion was discovered. Part-owner Mick Harvey said the syndicate was shattered their David Aiken-trained superstar would likely be sidelined for an extended period, having suffered what they believed was a small tear in his front off-side leg. "Everyone involved with the horse is devastated," Mr Harvey said. "I am also sad for the public, because in my eyes he is the most exciting pacer in Australia and had it all in front of him. "This hurts big time, but we just hope the further scans come up pretty good early next week and he comes through." Winner of July's $200,540 2017 Ubet Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship, the son of Dream Away, Hectorjayjay has amassed more than $1.1 million in stakes and owners hoped the six-year-old would go one better in December's Inter Dominion, having placed second last year. "He's never looked better or been better and was working toward the Victoria Cup," Mr Harvey said. "But in the third phase of his trackwork he didn't pull up well and scans revealed a lesion." Yesterday's grim discovery will be verified with further scans likely to take place early next week. "He will have a more detailed scan when the swelling goes down. The early prognosis is he will be out for six to 12 months. It's one of those things that takes time for it to rehab." Harness Racing Victoria

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

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards advise that Petacular has successfully trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards tonight at Geelong. Petacular was stood down in accordance with the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2) after it was determined that the filly bled from one nostril subsequent to her winning performance in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3Y0 Fillies Semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton on 30 June 2017. AHRR 101B(2) states: “If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards.” Veterinary examinations conducted prior and subsequent to tonight’s trial by HRV Veterinary Consultant Dr Richard Cust have failed to reveal any abnormalities.  Accordingly Petacular is now cleared to take her place in this Saturday nights Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final for the 3Y0 Fillies to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide the below information regarding Soho Tribeca and Petacular, which are engaged to compete in next Saturday night’s (08/07) Vicbred Super Series Finals, in light of the veterinary findings identified subsequent to their Semi-final performances. SOHO TRIBECA - EMPIRE STALLIONS VICBRED SUPER SERIES (4YO ENTIRES & GELDINGS) (FINAL) A post-race veterinary examination of Soho Tribeca revealed the horse to be lame in the off foreleg and as a result Soho Tribeca has been stood down from racing pending a veterinary clearance being tendered. The HRV Stewards will monitor this situation and if necessary Soho Tribeca will be examined by an independent HRV Veterinary Consultant prior to competing next Saturday night. PETACULAR - EMPIRE STALLIONS VICBRED SUPER SERIES (3YO FILLIES) (FINAL) A post-race veterinary examination of Petacular revealed the filly to have bled from the offside nostril. In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2) Petacular will not be permitted to start in the final until trialling to the satisfaction of the Stewards on one occasion.   AHRR 101B(2) states: If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards. Michael Stanley, trainer of Petacular, has advised the filly will trial at Geelong on Tuesday night (04/07). Petacular will be examined by a HRV Veterinary Consultant at the completion of the trial to determine whether the filly has successfully passed the embargo. Harness Racing Victoria

"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  

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued charges against licensed trainer Michael Doltoff under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 196B (1) and 187(2) (two charges).    The allegations being that Mr Doltoff as the trainer of the horse Valtona, which was engaged to compete in Race 3 at the Yarra Valley harness racing meeting on 9 December, 2016, administered an injection to Valtona on 8 December 2016, without the permission of the Stewards. The other allegations relate to Mr Doltoff providing false and misleading evidence to HRV Stewards during the course of their investigation. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be determined.  

Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards advise that two runners from the Mark Purdon stable will undergo a veterinary examination at the Menangle Park Training facility tomorrow morning. OUR DREAM ABOUT ME: "HRNSW Stewards advise that on Tuesday afternoon at Tabcorp Park Menangle they spoke to a representative of the Purdon stable and information was provided in relation to the horse's condition and recent treatment," reported HRNSW Chairman of Stewards Graham Loch. "Following review of the two recent trials of Our Dream About Me at Menangle, having noted that the mare last raced on 31 December, 2016, and having regard to comments made this morning by Mr Purdon on Perth radio, we have advised the trainer that we require our HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian to examine the horse tomorrow morning." HAVE FAITH IN ME: HRNSW Stewards have received information from a number of New Zealand-based Veterinary Surgeons regarding a kidney condition sustained by Have Faith In Me. It appears that the condition was identified and treated prior to the horse racing successfully in Australia last season. "It is our position that we possibly should have been provided with the information in the past but in light of recent performances and public speculation HRNSW Stewards are attempting to gain an understanding of the condition and what, if any, issues may affect performance," said Loch. Loch added that Mr Purdon has been advised to present the horse tomorrow. ULTIMATE MACHETTE: HRNSW Stewards have also received the results of pathology tests undertaken from Ultimate Machete after racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night. Following the race Mr Purdon had expressed disappointment in the performance. Wollondilly Equine Clinic Veterinary Surgeon Dr Andrew Argyle has advised the pathology results were normal other than indicating that Ultimate Machete was exhibiting signs of post virus recovery. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY OFFICER (02) 9722 6600 GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600                AMANDA RANDO   MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER       HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   PO Box 1034 Bankstown NSW 1885   T: 02 9722 6600 E: arando@hrnsw.com.au T: @Amanda_Rando   W: www.harnessmediacentre.com.au | T: twitter.com/hrnsw_harness | F: facebook.com/hrnsw              

Early diagnosis of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is an important area of study especially considering one of the first signs can be laminitis, a serious and sometimes life-ending condition. Catching EMS in its initial stages can facilitate early intervention with an appropriate exercise and diet plan to reduce the chances of laminitis developing.   In a first of its kind study, researchers at Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky and the University of Guelph have been collaborating to find out if there are changes in the intestinal microbiota of horses afflicted with EMS. It is known that humans with metabolic disorders have these changes so the researchers set out to compare ten horses with EMS to ten horses in a control group by analyzing fecal microbiota with next generation sequencing of DNA.   Dr. Scott Weese, researcher at the Ontario Veterinary College says, "The study revealed a decrease in the fecal microbial diversity for the EMS horses as well as differences in the overall community structure when compared to the metabolically normal control group of horses." Both groups of horses were of comparable age and fed a similar all-forage diet for at least two months before sampling. Links have been made between obesity and lower microbial diversity in human, dog and horse studies but there is still much to learn about optimal values for diversity. With more research toward understanding the changes in microbiota and what influences these changes, it is possible this technology will be used in the future to help in management of syndromes such as EMS.   For more information on the signs of metabolic syndromes including EMS, visit Equine Guelph's Senior Horse Challenge healthcare tool. Click this Link.   "Every horse owner wants their horse to enjoy the best quality of life through all their years," says Dr. Robert Tremblay, Bovine/Equine Specialist at Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. "For more ways to spot the early signs of diseases and illnesses use Equine Guelph's Senior Horse Challenge online tool. This interactive quiz will help horse owners to learn more about health challenges facing senior horses and gives ways to recognize signs of metabolic syndromes."   by:  Jackie Bellamy-Zions     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.   Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada  

The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the temptation is to launch full-on into your horse-training endeavours. You may have kept fit throughout the winter on the ski slopes or at the gym but what about your horse? Unless you had access to an indoor arena or migrated south for a few months with your four legged friends, chances are your horse’s fitness level is not quite sufficient for competition or strenuous outings yet. While there is no fool-proof way to avoid all circumstances that could necessitate a lameness exam, there are precautions every horse owner can take to reduce the risk of injury. As with every great fitness program, the key to success is a logical progression and controlling the factors you can control such as footing, stable management and horse health care. Logical Progression Many training programs have a pinnacle event in mind. In this case, a work back plan is created based on when you want the horse to be in peak fitness. The journey leading up to the main event consists of weeks and months of conditioning including a lead up with smaller events to ensure the horse is ready for the more strenuous task ahead. It only takes one month off for a horse to start loosing fitness. If you are coming back from a winter of inactivity, it is wise to start slow with 20 minutes of walking and to build up from there. Increase the length of conditioning sessions first, before increasing intensity. It is not realistic for a horse to be in peak physical condition at all times. Good fitness programs do not ask a horse for maximum exertion on an ongoing basis but allow for peaking and tapering, muscle building and down time for repair. Increasing cardiovascular fitness, strength training and flexibility in a progressive way will increase fitness and make the horse stronger and more resilient when the time comes for a maximal performance. A horse that has been fit previously will return to fitness faster than one that has never been fit before. Each horse’s training program needs to be tailored to the individual with consideration given to: age, breed, conformation, discipline requirements and previous injuries. One of the learning objectives in the Equine Guelph, 12-week online course, Equine Exercise Physiology, is to design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans). Also addressed are topics such as: base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. No Footing, No Horse Back to that sunshine again. Oh boy, is it tempting to go ride outside now! Before you step out consider all the footing factors. If you have been lucky enough to train in an indoor ring all winter, chances are your horse has been enjoying consistent, even, well-maintained footing. The outdoor options will not be exactly the same. Even if you are simply moving to an outdoor arena, there will be changes in depth, surface material, drainage and so on. While riding on different surfaces can be hugely beneficial, it takes time for horses to adapt, both to the new surface and possibly to the new training intensity. Dr. Brianne Henderson explains in her archived article on legs, “Bone is always changing and responding to stress. Microdamage can occur within the bone as a consequence of repetitive strain. Overtraining causes this “microdamage” to occur at a faster rate than the body can fix and so the repair is never as strong as the original bone. A similar ‘micro-damage-repair’ cycle occurs within the tendons and ligaments.” The chance of repetitive strain injuries can be significantly reduced with judicious training and the incorporation of lighter work days and rest days. Training in deeper footing and muddy conditions can predispose horses to soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Those taking to the roads need to be aware of the impact on joints and bones, which can occur when training on harder surfaces. Training on hills is a great work out for both balance and strength training, but again logical progression of duration and intensity of workouts are all important to avoid fatigue and lameness issues. It pays to be choosy about the footing you ride upon. Not all surfaces are a good match for all disciplines. Dr. Jeff Thomason of the Ontario Veterinary College has done intensive research studying surfaces and how the horse interacts with a variety of footing. More information on this research can be found on the Equine Guelph website in archived news article: “From the Ground Up” . Shape Shifting Everyone knows about the importance of deworming and vaccination but no spring checklist would be complete without due diligence on the stable management aspects of dental care and saddle fitting. A painful mouth due to sharp points can manifest as reluctance to be ridden. There are many changes constantly occurring in a horses mouth and having a dental exam performed by a veterinarian once or twice a year is recommended for both digestive health and to avoid set backs in training. The saddle fitter is another important member of your healthcare team. Horses change shape over time and at different stages of training. Ensuring proper fit is important not only for the horse’s comfort but also for correct muscular development. Several appointments throughout a year are not uncommon and the spring check up is one of the saddle fitter’s busiest times of year. Know your Horse Health Knowing your horses’ normal heart rate, temperature and breathing rate before you begin a training program is important. “A work back plan falls into place once you have an understanding of your horses’ current fitness level and set an end goal,” says Equine Guelph’s director and former advisor for Canada’s endurance team, Gayle Ecker. A free 16-point horse health check is available with Equine Guelph’s Horse Health Tracker App as well as body condition scoring and a weight estimator. Knowing your starting point and what is normal for your horse is vital information for moving forward and monitoring your horses health through every stage of its training. Tracking how quickly vitals return to normal after exercise gives the horse owner a measurable indicator of fitness level. As a horses exercise routine ramps up, nutrition and electrolyte balance will also need to be adjusted accordingly. Early Detection Flexibility is of course a component of any training program. No matter how well we plan, setbacks can and will occur and it is of paramount importance to detect and address any health concerns early on. Early detection and treatment generally result in a more favorable prognosis. Archived article by Dr. Brianne Henderson, “Legs, Common Injuries, and how we can Treat Them” can be found on Equine Guelph’s news page. To practice your early detection skills for lameness, visit Equine Guelph’s free online healthcare tool, Lameness Lab, kindly sponsored by Zoetis. Lameness Lab reviews causes of lameness, goes over checklists, looks at when to call the veterinarian and what to expect in an exam. Finally, take the video challenge to see if you can spot the lame leg! To gain a wealth of information on conditioning programs, sign up for the Equine Guelph 12-week Exercise Physiology course beginning May 9. Equine Guelph would like to wish you all the best with your horse training programs. More resources promoting horse health and welfare can be found atEquineGuelph.ca.  

The number one killer of horses other than old age is colic.  If you search "equine colic" on the World Wide Web, over 400,000 results will appear!  Many of them explain colic as a common yet potentially deadly disorder of the digestive system with a wide array of causes.   To understand why the domesticated horse is prone to colic, it is important to compare how different the life of a modern horse is compared to its wild counterparts − one of the first lessons learned by participants of Equine Guelph's Colic Prevention two-week eWorkshop.   Horses in the wild graze for 16-20 hours and travel 8km/day or more whereas modern horses are often confined to stables or smaller turnout areas, fed concentrate diets and undergo more intensive exercise activity. It is no surprise that the modern use and management of the horse is a huge departure from its natural feeding and activity pattern which can place them at higher risk of digestive issues that can lead to colic. Being aware of these differences and taking preventative measures can minimize their effects and help reduce the risk of colic.    Equine Guelph has two resources available to aid you in caring for your horse and its approximate 85 feet of digestive tract.  The two-week online short course will help you identify risk factors and assess your management in order to implement preventative measures.  It is "cheap insurance" at only $75 + hst.  Equine Guelph also has a handy healthcare tool which helps you assess your personal risk with the "Colic Risk Rater".  After answering a series of questions, a customized rating for your horse is provided.    Intercity insurance is the generous sponsor of this tool.  "Given our decades of experience in insuring horses from coast to coast, we know that colic is one of the highest risk factors in the Canadian herd," says Mike King of Intercity.  "We can think of no better risk management tool to prevent colic than education."   Knowledge is the best defense when more than 80% of colic cases are management-related.  Learn how to reduce your risk in practical ways that you can easily implement.   "This course is a must for all horse owners as knowledge is the first and best defense against colic!" says Natalie Price, Ontario, Canada, Student.   Visit EquineGuelph.ca to sign up for the next Colic Prevention eWorkshop April 11 and take 15 minutes to assess your risk with the Colic Risk Rater healthcare tool.   by  Jackie Bellamy-Zions  

The 14th Annual Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, the regions premier animal nutrition conference, will be held March 23-24, 2016 at the Hunt Valley Wyndam Grand in Hunt Valley, Maryland.  Two days of expert speakers have been lined up with the second day featuring a session devoted solely to feeding horses engaged in elite equestrian competition.   Veterinarians, students, horse trainers, horse breeders, and horse owners should not miss this opportunity to learn about exciting new discoveries related to their equine athletes.  All attendees will receive conference proceedings, lunch, and the opportunity to ask questions of all of the experts.  Pre-registrations are encouraged and can be done online at: https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid-atlantic-nutrition-conference 14th Annual Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference - Equine Session Schedule Thursday, March 24th, 2016 8:00am A Look Back at the Feeding of Performance Horses Dr. David Marlin, Science Supplements 8:50am Protein Nutrition for Exercise Demand Dr. Kristine Urshel, University of Kentucky 10:20am Mineral Nutrition of the Equine Athlete Dr. Brian Nielsen, Michigan State University 11:10am New Advances for Supplement Use in Performance Horses Dr. David Marlin, Science Supplements 1:30pm Feeding the Elite Show Jumper Dr. Shannon Pratt-Phillips, North Carolina State University 2:20pm New Advances in Treating Gastric Ulcers in Performance Horses Dr. Frank M. Andrews, Louisiana State University The conference is hosted by the Maryland Feed Industry Council, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, University of Delaware, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Rutgers University, American Feed Industry Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the entire conference, please visit our website at https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid-atlantic-nutrition-conference.  For information on sponsoring this event, please contact Jennifer Reynolds at 301-405-1547. Equine Extension Specialist Rutgers, the State University 84 Lipman Dr., 213E Bartlett Hall New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Please send replies to CAREY.WILLIAMS@RUTGERS.EDU   PH: 848-932-5529 FX: 732-932-6996 esc.rutgers.edu

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