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Guelph, ON - A high-tech horse model will provide valuable hands-on learning to student veterinarians at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College courtesy of a donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada.   Nancy Kavanagh, secretary of the EFC delivered a cheque for nearly $50,000 to OVC Dean Jeffrey Wichtel and Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, for the purchase of the detailed and life-sized horse model produced by Canada’s Veterinary Simulator Industries.   The model opens to reveal anatomically correct latex organs that can be inflated to mimic colic, the leading cause of premature death in horses, and also certain reproductive challenges.   The detailed model will allow student veterinarians to practice clinical and technical skills, vital to improving confidence and competence. When Foundation President R.J. (Bob) Watson contacted Dean Wichtel for his wish list, the VSI model was at the top.   “The Foundation has been rotating funding proposals annually among the five veterinary colleges in Canada and 2018 is Guelph’s turn,” wrote Watson.   “Great progress has been made in learning technology for veterinary clinical skills development, and this equine model is an excellent example. Our college has committed to the use of high fidelity models and simulations in early clinical training whenever possible. When our students perform their first procedures on a live animal, they will be even better prepared and more confident,” said Wichtel. “We are very grateful to the Equine Foundation of Canada for fostering the health and wellbeing of horses through supporting veterinary medical education in this valuable way.”   The EFC is an outgrowth of the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA), founded in 1960. The purpose of the CMHA was to assist Morgan breeders and owners with promotion and registry services to protect the integrity of their pedigrees.   In 1983, the Association expanded its interest to concern for the welfare of all horse breeds and created the Foundation to assist in safeguarding their future. N.S. businessman George Wade served as its founder and president from its inception until his passing in 1997. The EFC provides for scholarships and other worthy requests. With a factory in Calgary, VSI was once a recipient of startup funding from the EFC. But the primary focus now is on the purchase of teaching equipment for equine veterinary education.     Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. 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   by: Karen Mantel  

Harness Racing Victoria Stewards ordered the scratching of the horse Carload from its scheduled engagement in Race 1 at Melton on 27 January 2018. The scratching followed a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards where Mr Justice’s conduct on this day was consistent with preparing Carload to be stomach tubed.   Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 193(1) reads,  A person shall not attempt to stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event, and AHRR 193(4) follows to read, The Stewards shall order the withdrawal or disqualification of a horse that has been treated or attempted to have been treated in breach of sub-rules (1), (2) and (3). HRV Stewards interviewed John Justice, obtained blood samples from Carload and seized various items with investigations continuing into the matter. Harness Racing Victoria  

Harrisburg, PA - A Standardbred horse at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County tested positive yesterday for equine herpes virus, or EHV-1, making it the second confirmed case in the state this month. Last week, veterinarians with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine confirmed a case at the school's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Chester County. The Washington County horse tested positive after it was moved to the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine for diagnostic tests. Veterinarians report that the horse is responding well to treatment. As a precaution, two barns at the Meadows racetrack have been quarantined to control any potential spread of the virus. Trainers are monitoring two of approximately 60 potentially exposed horses in the quarantined barns that presented with elevated temperatures. No additional horses at the racetrack have shown signs of clinical illness, but the movement of horses into or out of the track has been restricted until all horses receive a clean bill of health. The Meadows Racetrack was closed yesterday due to a power outage and poor track conditions, but reopened today. Clinically healthy horses are being allowed to jog around the track to stay in shape. Pending improvement in track conditions, all non-quarantined horses should be eligible to race again on Saturday. In the New Bolton Center case last week, a 30-year-old horse developed symptoms compatible with equine herpes myeloencephalopathy, or EHM, then tested positive for EHV-1 on January 16. A second horse, housed in an adjacent barn, also developed a fever and later tested positive for EHV-1. The second horse was moved to a state-of-the-art, on-site isolation facility with dedicated staff who are entirely separate from personnel handling other horses. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture contacted owners and quarantined other potentially exposed horses that left the New Bolton Center prior to confirming the EHM diagnosis. To control the spread of the virus, Orders of Special Quarantine were posted at other Pennsylvania premises that had recently received potentially exposed horses. In addition to increased biosecurity, these locations are required to conduct twice daily temperature checks, monitor, and report any horses showing signs of EHV-1 infection. No new cases have been identified since the original diagnosis. EHV-1 is a highly contagious virus that commonly circulates in horse populations. Depending on the specific strain of the virus, the equine herpes virus can cause a variety of clinical signs in infected horses, including respiratory disease or abortion in pregnant mares. The EHM form of the disease can cause horses to suffer varying degrees of paralysis and ataxia; in severe cases, the infected horse may be euthanized. While EHV-1 can cause illness in horses, other equine animals and camelids (llamas and alpacas), it does not pose a health threat to people or other animals. Unless a new case is detected, all horses can be cleared after 28 days without symptoms, or after 21 days with confirmation of negative test results for both blood samples and nasal swab tests. Experts note that many horses carry a latent form of the herpes virus, and symptoms may not appear unless the animal is stressed. Although horses are vaccinated for other strains of the equine herpes virus, there is no existing vaccine for the EHV-1 strain of the virus. For more information about equine herpes, please refer to the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Bonnie McCann - 717.783.0133

Seven years ago, Sue Wellman thought she had secured a retirement home for a harness racing horse named Bob Again. Wellman, from De Soto in southwest Wisconsin, runs the American Standardbred Adoption Program. Bob Again was shipped off to Missouri. But in October, Wellman was sickened to learn that Bob Again had been spotted online at a horse disposal business in Bastrop, La., in grave danger of being shipped to a slaughter plant in Mexico. She had no idea the 18-year-old horse, whose racing career ended in 2003, had been dumped by his owner — a breach of the program’s adoption contract. Immediately, Wellman said, she went about raising $2,350 in “bail money” to get Bob Again out of the kill pen and back to safety at her farm in De Soto.   We are still dealing with the adopter to find out how in the world this happened,” Wellman said. The last horse slaughter plants in the United States closed about a decade ago. But about 100,000 U.S. horses a year are shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, according to government statistics.  Horse meat, which can’t legally be sold as food in the U.S., is available in South America, Europe and Asia where it’s sometimes mixed with ground beef as a filler and even fetches a premium price for leanness and flavor. “What brings the most money is a young horse with lots of flesh because the price is per pound when they go to slaughter,” Wellman said. “They’re young, vital, sound horses. That’s the sad part of it.” Critics say the animals are crammed in trailers, without adequate food and water, for a journey of up to several thousand miles. Rescue operators scour the internet looking for horses, and then try to intervene, or outbid the kill-pen buyers at livestock auctions. ;A little bit of your heart dies every time you go to one of these places,” said Erin Groth, founder of Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary in Elkhart Lake. From 2006 through 2010, U.S. horse exports for slaughter increased 148% to Canada and more than 600% to Mexico, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report noted after the U.S. horse slaughter plants closed.  Frisco, the oldest horse at Amazing Grace Equine Rescue, is boarded with the blind horses. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)   The rescuers say they’d like to see a ban on shipping horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico, and some say the shutdown of U.S. plants made things worse because of the rough travel conditions the horses now have to endure. The battle goes back and forth,” said Scott Bayerl, director of the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, a rescue operation in Pittsville. “But what a crappy way to end an animal’s life.” 'This isn't for the faint of heart' What types of people are putting these animals up for slaughter? Some are individual owners overwhelmed and tired of owning a horse; some are hoarders forced by law enforcement to clean up unhealthy and inhumane livestock operations.  Groth said it’s taken her a while to accept the fact that she can’t save every horse in desperate straits. You get numb to it after a while. This isn’t for the faint of heart,” she said. Several businesses alleged to be kill-pen buyers did not return Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls asking about their practices of acquiring horses, sometimes for $100 each, and reselling them for a profit or sending them out of the country to slaughter.  One of those businesses, in Minnesota, calls itself a rescue operation. But it's really not, according to Wellman.  A sign greets visitors at Amazing Grace Equine Rescue in Elkhart Lake. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)   She said the Minnesota business buys horses at various sales across the U.S. Then, it posts pictures weekly of some of the animals that are slaughter-bound. Those that don't get "bailed out" are put on a truck headed for Mexico.  The Wisconsin State Horse Council, which says its mission is to foster a unified equine industry, says it is neutral on the issue of horse slaughter plants and declined to answer Journal Sentinel questions. The American Horse Council says it “has not taken a position on horse slaughter as the equine industry remains divided” over the issue. The rescue operations, however, say a couple of things are certain: Out-of-control horse breeding has resulted in a surplus of animals, and the problem has been compounded by irresponsible or overwhelmed owners.  Wellman said she's helping a woman in Crawford County who has about 50 Arabian horses but little means of taking care of them properly. The woman, disabled and in her 80s, is living in a camper trailer with no running water. The sheriff's department has been called when the horses have broken out of their pasture, but deputies said there's not much they can do about the situation as long as the horses have adequate feed and water.  Wellman said there are horse skulls all over the property where some of the animals have died, but enough new offspring are being born that the herd continues.  She's started a networking effort to find homes for some of the horses.  "But most of them have never had a halter on, so it's going to be really tricky," she said. Horse rescues have waiting lists of people wanting to surrender their animals to them. They rely on donations and adoption fees to keep going, and some won’t take in another horse unless they’ve adopted one out first. Amazing Grace can handle about 25 horses at a time, including some that may never be placed in another home because they’re blind or have other needs. “We’re not going to take on more than we can handle. In the winter, we have very few volunteers,” Groth said. Expensive animals It costs about $1,500 a year to feed and care for a horse, and that doesn’t include unexpected medical bills. Some years, when the price of feed soars or the economy takes a bad turn, the rescues are flooded with calls from desperate horse owners.  We all get those calls daily,” Bayerl said. Dee Dee Golberg, president of Spirit Horse Equine Rescue Center near Janesville, said unwanted horses should be euthanized if homes can't be found for them.  "The very least you can do is offer a humane ending, and currently there's no method of doing that in a slaughterhouse," she said. Horses are sometimes shipped to feedlots in Oklahoma and Texas where they are fattened up before being sent to slaughter outside of the U.S.  Lisa Barth with N.E.W. Equine Resource Inc., a rescue near Shiocton, said she has taken in horses from kill-pen feedlots. "I personally did not bail them out," she said, but other people did and paid to have the horses shipped to her farm.  A 3-year-old mare and her colt were two of those horses. The colt was born on a feedlot in Oklahoma.  If she hadn't taken them in, Barth said, they were probably headed to Mexico.  Her rescue farm has accepted Belgians, Arabians and many other breeds of horses. Some arrived healthy and fit; others were thin and lame. Some had been well trained; others had never been handled.  "On average, I adopt out five horses a year. I have had as many as 23 in my backyard, but that's too much for one person" to take care of, she said.  Legally, horses are classified as livestock, but in the U.S. they enjoy a higher stature than cattle, pigs and chickens. For many people, horses are more like dogs than hogs.  People quickly become enamored with the idea of owning a horse before they realize the costs, the work that's involved, and the fact that it can live 25 or more years. Sometimes both the horse and its owner are miserable.  Barth said she gets the calls from people who are upset, frustrated and have no idea what to do with their horse. "They just want it gone," she said. By Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reprinted with permission of The Wisconsin State Farmer

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

On 17 October 2017 Our Jimmy Johnstone NZ underwent epiglottic entrapment surgery. Trainer G. Bond has reported the gelding recovered well from the surgery and on 22 November 2017 Veterinarian  Dr T. Lindsay performed an upper respiratory tract endoscopy on Our Jimmy Johnstone NZ and has reported  the wound had healed normally and it is therefore considered suitable to resume racing. Our Jimmy Johnstone NZ is engaged in heat two of the Inter-Dominion at Gloucester Park on Friday 24 November 2017.   Barbara Scott – Chief Steward Harness Ph: 9445 5176

A member of a prominent Tasmanian harness racing family who punched a horse in the head just before a race at Launceston has been stood down by TasRacing. The incident, involving harness racing driver Wade Rattray, was captured on a mobile phone camera while the attendant was handling the Angela Brakey-trained Century Arrow prior to the first race of Wednesday's Newmarket Handicap meeting, with the footage posted to Twitter. Mr Rattray was working as a barrier attendant at the race. He has been described in racing circles as a member of the Rattray "harness racing dynasty". In a statement on Thursday afternoon, TasRacing said Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) stewards had "concluded an inquiry into an incident that occurred at the barrier prior to Race 1 involving barrier attendant Mr Wade Rattray and Century Arrow" at the meeting, finding he had "struck that horse with a clenched fist in the vicinity of the head". "After taking initial evidence at the race meeting, Mr Rattray was stood down from his duties for the remainder of the meeting by the Stewards acting under the provisions of AR 8(r)," TasRacing said. Mr Rattray, who represented Tasmania at the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers' Championship in Perth, was found guilty of "conduct prejudicial to the image of racing". TasRacing said stewards took into account the nature of the offence, the detrimental effects to the image of racing, deterrent factor as well as "Mr Rattray's clean record" and his "personal circumstances". Mr Rattray was fined $1,500. A TasRacing spokesperson said Mr Rattray had been "stood down pending an internal review" which is expected next week and that Mr Rattray "won't be handling horses for TasRacing in the meantime". PHOTO: Wade Rattray's future as an employee with TasRacing is unclear. (Facebook: Wade Rattray) Racing officials 'don't condone cruelty' TasRacing said the ORI would "submit a report relation to this matter" and "work with TasRacing in developing appropriate standards and conduct for barrier staff". Earlier on Thursday, TasRacing CEO Vaughn Lynch said his organisation did not condone animal cruelty. "Animal welfare is a strong focus for TasRacing, and we do not condone what appears to have occurred in the incident in question in any way," he said. Mr Lynch said "training requirements are regularly reviewed and will be considered further following the conclusion of the stewards investigation". With Jason Maskiell aboard Century Arrow, the four-year-old gelding entered the race as favourite, but went on to finish second behind the Mick Burles-trained Clean Acheeva. Mr Rattray has been contacted for comment. Elio Celotto, from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, said the $1,500 penalty was "totally inadequate". "What happened in Tasmania is animal abuse, it's a breach of the prevention of cruelty to animals act and they need to be punished accordingly, perhaps a jail sentence." Mr Celotto said the incident was "just another example of the racing industry abusing their horses and forcing them to compete". Reprinted with permission of ABC News

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 

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: 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 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  

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 by Henrietta Coole   Equine Guelph  

The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) hosted the first of several medication forums on Sept. 26, 2017 at the Riffe Center in Columbus, Ohio. A well-attended crowd listened to testimony from veterinarians and horsemen’s representatives during the near three-hour forum. “We were seeking practical insight into medication issues affecting horses racing in Ohio,” explained Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian. “We also wanted input from experts who have been involved with medication issues affecting racehorses and horsemen on the national level.” A trio of Ohio-based, practicing veterinarians—all with extensive knowledge of equine athletic physiology, including Dr. F. John Reichert, Dr. Scott Shell and Dr. Dan Wilson—provided insight into their daily regimes of caring for the equine athlete, both Standardbred and Thoroughbred.  As well, Dr. Clara Fenger, a central-Kentucky-based equine practitioner and founder of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV); Dr. Tom Tobin, a toxicologist, pharmacologist and veterinarian at the University of Kentucky’s Dept. of Veterinary Science; and Dr. Alicia Bertone, an equine orthopedic surgeon from The Ohio State University’s Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences—presented their views on racetrack medication and practical applications facing veterinarians today. A second medication forum will be held immediately following the OSRC monthly meeting on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 at 10 am in Room 1948 at the Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, Columbus, OH.  All horsemen and the public are invited to attend.  Anyone wishing to speak is asked to contact Bill Crawford at the OSRC by Oct. 20, 2017. Kimberly Rinker OSDF Administrator Ohio State Racing Commission

Brett Sturman is right on target when he opines (Harness Racing Update 9/15/17) that suspending a horse is unfair to the owner, but surely it is also harmful to the industry; an industry that seems to be intent on chasing owners away from the auction rings and claim boxes under the well intended, but misguided popular mantra of much desired "integrity”.   Clearly, as Sturman properly pointed out, any owner found to be complicit with illegal activity, should be severely punished; but to punish an owner for entrusting his or her horse to a trainer who is licensed and fully able to participate by virtue of a license issued by the Commission is just wrong.   If the owner is to be charged with failing to be “more” mindful, diligent and selective about engaging a trainer, should not the regulator be held to the same standard in licensing and re-licensing trainers?   If owners are to be punished for engaging the services of “certain” licensed trainers, perhaps the regulator should consider publishing a list of those licensed trainers they "mindfully, diligently and selectively" issued a license to, and advise owners that in spite of their grant of a license, these licensees are the ones owners should avoid.   This would tremendously help owners in making an informed choice, rather than subjecting owners to such harsh punishment imposed, due to the lack of diligence on the Commission’s part in issuing a “stay away from” trainer a license in the first place.   Punishing owners after the fact for using a trainer who subsequently violates the trainer responsibility rule or for the failure to guard a horse from the administration of an illicit substance is simply not going to produce the desired result, especially when many regulators see fit to adopt the unfounded medication guidelines of RMTC. Enforcement of these guidelines has created false positives already and now could be a further predicate to cause owners to suffer.   Many of the sport’s top trainers have been the subject of permissive medication violations simply because they are the trainer.  Now is this new proposal going to allow regulators or/track track operators to pick and choose, not only which trainers should suffer but now which owners should, or should not, be penalized?    Consider something else, when does the 90 day suspension of the horse commence, when the positive is reported, or at the conclusion of a the trainer’s hearing or the exhaustion of the judicial process?   If from the report of the positive, how does the regulator compensate an owner whose trainer is eventually exonerated?   Can a horse’s ownership be transferred before the process is completed or can the Commission ignore one's right to the "free alienation of property"?   Will the Commission undertake alerting the entire industry that a horse is potentially subject to suspension at the end of the process or does a new and unsuspecting owner now suffer?     We have seen similar pitfalls erupt when Commissions decided to pre-race detain high TCO2 horses and paint them with an industry's "Scarlet Letter".    No doubt the industry needs to champion a level playing field. As usual, its knee-jerk efforts, lauded in so many quarters, make for positive sound bites and a purely negative and mostly counterproductive result.    If no real investment is made in properly policing this sport, no misguided punishment of owners who have done no wrong, will ever be a meaningful substitute for the integrity that we desire, as there may not be owners left.   The only real solution to the problem is, and always has been, the investment in “boots on the ground” investigations by the Commission, valid medication guidelines followed by appropriate testing protocols at experienced labs.   Attempting to clean up the problem via innuendo and the slander of trainers, accomplishes nothing more than a further erosion of the industry by driving out owners whose only foibles were hiring fully licensed conditioners.   Joe Faraldo  

Stewards today have concluded an Inquiry which resulted from criminal convictions being recorded against licenced Harness Racing Trainer/Driver Mr Keith Toulmin in Launceston Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 August 2017. At the inquiry, Stewards considered invoking AHRR 267(1) and AHRR 267(2) which relate to licenced persons being disqualified as a result of criminal convictions. Mr Toulmin attended the Inquiry and after giving consideration to submissions made by him and after considering the very serious nature of the animal welfare offences Stewards determined to invoke AHRR 267(2) in relation to a conviction of aggravated cruelty.  Stewards also invoked AHRR 267(1) in respect of a conviction for animal cruelty and for failing to comply with instructions given to Mr Toulmin by the RSPCA. In determining penalty, Stewards were mindful of the seriousness of the charges which had a significant adverse impact upon the reputation of Harness Racing.  Stewards were also mindful that any penalty imposed act as a significant deterrent for breaches of animal welfare standards which are of paramount importance in Harness Racing. Mr Toulmin’s licence history and personal circumstances were also taken into account. Penalty 1 – AHRR 267(2), In relation to the 1st charge, aggravated cruelty, Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 5 years.  Which was back dated to commence on 29 August 2017 and expire 29 August 2022. Penalty 2 – AHRR 267(1) –Animal cruelty.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served cumulative to penalty 1, commencing on 29 August 2022 and expiring 29 August 2024. Penalty 3 – AHRR 267(1) – Fail to comply with instructions issued by the RSPCA.  Mr Toulmins Harness Racing licences were disqualified for 2 years to be served concurrent to penalty 2. In total Mr Toulmin was disqualified for 7 years. Orders were also made to Mr Toulmin and the registered owners of horses currently in his care that those horses be removed within seven days. Date of issue 11 September 2017 Panel: A Crowther, D Farquharson, R Brown. Keith Toulmin Inquiry – 11 September 2017. Adrian Crowther CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS – Harness

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 – ### To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at and or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.

Life has turned out well for 11 of the harness racing horses that were in an emaciated and weakened state when seized by the RSPCA from a northern property last year. Former trainer Keith William Toulmin, 68, was sentenced to a two-month wholly suspended jail term and fined $5000 after being convicted of animal cruelty, aggravated cruelty and failing to comply with a notice. The animals involved were all former harness racing horses, some of which were from New Zealand and had been worth $30,000-$40,000, the court heard. They belonged to different owners but had been left in the care of Toulmin and his son Craig, who had left the state. RSPCA investigations officer Carrie Palmer visited the 40ha property at Birralee in April last year and found the 15 horses. Over several months the RSPCA sought to force Toulmin to feed and medically treat the horses — eight of which he had been the registered trainer for. However, he claimed he could not afford to do so and that his car had broken down. Toulmin euthanised three horses. For nearly two months the remaining horses deteriorated in condition as winter set in. In June teams from the RSPCA and Department of Primary Industries visited the property. They euthanised a horse called Kinda Taz, which was unable to rise. The 11 remaining were seized by the RSPCA, which looked after them at a cost of $13,042 for the year or so since. “Seven were rehomed and I often get updates from the new owners that they are doing well,” Ms Palmer said. “Some have become trail-riding horses.” The RSPCA retains ownership of four horses, Sybella Brioso, Never Enough, Clyde Maguire and Royal Affair. “Three of them are at our facilities at the Cressy Research Station and they are rolling fat,” Ms Palmer said. “The fourth, Sybella Brioso, is at facilities at Mornington and she is also doing well.” By Nick Clark Reprinted with permission of The Mercury

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