This is shaping up to be one of the biggest dressage show weeks of the year with dozens of competitions scheduled across the country. Canada tightens rules for horses crossing the border after a case of VS in Arizona. Southern Michigan is on course for getting a huge new equestrian expo center. An English vet gets trapped under a sleeping horse. Southern California’s horse industry feels the pain of the recession. And New Jersey kicks off a month-long celebration of the horse.
This weekend is shaping up to be one of the busiest in the dressage show world with dozens of shows scattered across the U.S. And while the winter show season has come to an end in Florida, the summer season is just beginning. Kicking things off is White Fences, which will host White Fences Summer Fun in Loxahatchee (www.whitefencesflorida.com). Further north, but still in the deep south, will be the second edition of the Good Horseman Foundation/Collecting Gaits Farm show series (www.goodhorseman.org). The prairie and mountain states will also be getting into the action this weekend. Riders surrounding the South Dakota region will be making their way to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota for Black Hills Dressage in Rapid City (605-390-2696). And owners of young dressage horses will be heading to Pepperell, Mass. for the Ten Broeck Breed Sporthorse Show (www.tenbroeckfarm.net). Check out the complete show calendar for this weekend at www.usef.org.
For those crossing over the border to compete in Canada, be aware that the American Horse Council sent out notice that Canada has tightened the rules for horses entering from the U.S. due to a case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) reported in Arizona. Other states are also restricting the movement of horses from Arizona. VS causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats that swell and break, leaving raw tissue. This can cause horses to be unable to eat or drink and some show signs of lameness. What follows is often severe weight loss. Other animals, and people, can also be infected by coming into contact with infected animals.
If you haven’t seen the rules, here they are and be aware that the first rule is that horses from Arizona are not allowed into Canada at the moment. Horses shipping into Canada from any other state must include the following certifications on the import permit and Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) in addition to those already required:
- That the horse was inspected by a veterinarian within fifteen (15) days preceding the date of importation;
- That the horse has not been in Arizona during the previous twenty-one (21) days;
- That the horse has not been on a premise where VS occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada, nor on a premise adjoining such a premise; and
- That the horse tested negative to VS using a cELISA test during the fifteen (15) days prior to importation.
Michigan’s Herald-Palladium newspaper reported this past week that the way is clear for a new equestrian expo center in Southern Michigan. The $6.1 million Concord Ridge Equestrian Center will be in Royalton Township. Town officials gave the go ahead for the preliminary plan and a rezoning request. The center, which will be linked to the Berrien County Youth Fair, will have small pastures, a 4,000-seat indoor arena with sky boxes, tack rooms, stalls for horses to be kept during events, a viewing area on the second floor and an activity area for children. Developers expect the existence of the expo center will lead to increased development of boarding stables around the area, because the center will draw more equestrian events and the expo center itself won’t board horses. The long-term goal is to add single-family homes to the project complete with stall and paddock in the backyard. A final addition in the plans is a tack store and possibly a veterinary center. Read more
Well, this story is too good to pass on. The BBC in England reported this week on a vet who had to be rescued after being trapped under a sedated horse. Seems a horse got stuck in a fence so veterinarians were called out to the rescue. Two vets arrived on the scene and sedated the horse and while one of them attempted to free the young mare, it fell asleep and fell on the vet, pinning her underneath. Firefighters then came to the rescue and freed both vet and horse. It seems that in the end the injuries of both horse and vet appeared to be minor. Read the BBC version of the story
Kentucky is really in the homestretch to the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games and visitors are already arriving – sort of. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s latest guest was a Saudi Arabian prince and officials from the International Equestrian Olympic Committee who helped open a new art exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park. Called “A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse,” the exhibit chronicles the history of the Arabian horse. It will run through the next five months and will be open during the WEG.
If you are still hunting for housing during the WEG, be prepared for sticker shock. Reports are that hotels are seeking to cash in with super high room rates. Rates have skyrocketed to over $500 a night for even a mediocre hotel.
Just how hard is the horse industry being hit by the recession? It depends much on the type of equestrian business and location. The performance horse portion of the industry seems to be holding its own, but the “bread-and-butter” part of industry does seem to be taking a hit according to a recent report from Southern California’s Riverside County Press-Enterprise newspaper. An article this past week chronicled the struggle of the region’s equestrian businesses to stay afloat. The opening paragraph says it all:
“The economic crash came at the same time that feed costs were doubling. Horse prices plummeted. Stables shut their doors. Attendance at equestrian competitions evaporated. And owners abandoned their horses, often leaving it to the stables where they were boarded to deal with the animals or, in some cases, turning them loose to fend for themselves. Those involved in training, boarding and competition worry that the industry and equestrian sports may suffer from the fallout for years to come.”
Read the whole story.
And to end on a more positive note, the horse industry may be down, but it’s certainly not out and all this month, the state of New Jersey will be honoring the horse as it celebrates the Month of the Horse. The horse was named New Jersey’s state animal in 1977 and events scheduled this month will pay tribute to the many contributions the horse has made, not only to the lives of New Jersey residents but also to the state’s economy. The state estimates that the horse industry is valued at about $4 billion dollars and contributes $1.1 billion annually to the economy. A Rutgers Equine Science Center study says there are 7,200 equine facilities in the state taking up 176,000 acres and housing 42,500 horses.