Regularly posted news and announcements that matter to you.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that no new H-2B visas would be issued in 2020:
On Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an order that extends the federal government’s suspension of new H-2B visas, as well as other work visas, through the end of the year. This order, as with the previous order issued in March, claims to open up new jobs to Americans during a time of record unemployment. However, when it comes to the Kentucky horse industry, this order will put our industry at severe risk.
H-2B visas are critical to Kentucky’s horse industry. During a typical year, the demand for H-2B visas vastly outpaces the supply. To fully suspend the issuance of these visas is a massive blow to the Commonwealth’s signature industry.
KEEP represents and advocates on behalf of the entire horse industry in Kentucky – all horse breeds and disciplines. KEEP’s goal is to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature $4 billion industry. Without a workforce that can meet the demands of the growing industry, it will be difficult for that economic impact to continue at the same level, especially as we are working to recover from the global pandemic.KEEP is contacting Kentucky’s Senators and Representatives in Washington to make them aware of this issue. Additionally, KEEP has joined with other businesses and trade associations across the country who are impacted by this decision to provide a response to the President and to the Congress.
Because the horse industry deals with animals that must be cared for, regardless of the pandemic, it is imperative that the industry can hire the labor force it needs. Additionally, equine operations across the state are working to ensure that their employees have necessary PPE and can work in a safe environment. Fortunately, due to the outdoor nature of the industry, it makes this much easier.
KEEP, through a partnership with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Workforce Center, has spent the last two years building the framework for a talent pipeline that will bring more Kentuckians into the horse industry. While we are confident that this will result in an increase in the homegrown workforce for our industry, this will not happen overnight. With unemployment in Kentucky reaching alarming levels, we are hopeful that Kentuckians will look to the horse industry for employment. However, historically, there has not been an affinity for these types of jobs.
Kentucky is leading the country when it comes to the horse industry and its economic impact. With nearly 80,000 jobs, more than 238,000 equines and 35,000 horse operations in Kentucky today, KEEP feels strongly that the industry will recover from the pandemic. However, without a full workforce, that future is in danger. KEEP will continue advocating to ensure that Kentucky’s horse industry has an adequate labor pool to meet our workforce needs and will continue developing career pathways for Kentuckians to join this industry.
Due to the present Covid-19 restrictions, we are forced to adjust our traditional inspection procedures.
We, therefore, have determined that the best solution, for now, is to accept video submissions sent to us on CDs/DVDs.
Details will be provided at the time of registration of your horses.
The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a complete shift in the daily lifestyle of everyone in the United States, including our horses. Living under quarantine, curfews, and learning how to work from home has reiterated how important barn visits are to mental health. As states across the country relax stay-at-home requirements, we have some tips on how to keep your horses, horse people, and your barn as healthy as possible.
- Limit gatherings to as few people as possible, and continue to maintain the recommended social distancing protocols that include six (6) feet of separation between individuals. Just because the quarantine is being lifted doesn’t mean the threat is over. COVID-19 can be detected in the air for up to 3 hours after being transmitted. Some stables have created a schedule where clients can reserve time slots for their visits, reducing the number of people in the barn by only allowing 3-4 people to be present at once. This may be the most appropriate step forward for those barns in states that were forced to close outright.
- Encourage proper hand-washing and provide as many locations/opportunities for people to do so. Due to the structure of the virus, washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to prevent contamination. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
- Make a daily or hourly cleaning chart to prevent virus transmission. Disinfect common contact areas regularly and avoid sharing equipment and supplies between people, COVID-19 can live on copper for up to four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, and plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days.
- Non-porous materials (leather bridles/saddles/halters, nylon halters/lead ropes, gate latches, door handles, spray nozzle) harbor the virus longer than porous materials (cotton lead ropes, saddle pads)
- Clean communal leather tack daily with tack cleaner. Knowing how to properly disinfect tack is useful for any equestrian, be it for strangles or COVID-19. Aerosol sprays such as Lysol tend to strip the leather of oils, so if you use an aerosol spray to disinfect your tack, be sure to let it dry completely and then recondition the leather to protect it. Soap and water is another effective way to break down the lining of bacteria and viruses and is often safe for most tack. Diluted bleach disinfects well, but leather may dry out and crack from repeated treatments.
- Disinfect gate latches, spray nozzles, cross tie snaps, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and other frequently used items regularly or after contact with personnel.
- Stall door latches, hose ends, light switches, faucets, and feed scoops should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- There may be state requirements to wear gloves or face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Many businesses will be looking to taking the temperature of those present in and will not allow anybody to come if they register temperature or feel sick and this may go a long way to helping clients feel comfortable.
- Long story short, nobody spends 2 months on the couch unscathed, so take it easy getting back into training. Many riding stables are closed to tenants and all equine events have been canceled in an effort to reduce the virus’s spread. Due to these closures, many horses are not receiving regular workout schedules, or maybe no exercise at all. While daily lifestyles are difficult for all during this pandemic, adapting a horse’s schedule to life after quarantine can be equally as challenging. Exercise-related injuries would be a terrible way to end the quarantine.
Making boarders and clients safe and secure will be critical in getting the horse industry back on its feet, and each facility, whether private or public, should have written policies regarding COVID-19 and expect all clients and professionals to adhere to them. Keeping our horses healthy has always been a priority, but without their owners, you can’t keep the lights on. All of these tips, and more, can be found on the AHC COVID-19 Resource Page; please visit it here as we continue to update it during this transition.
Details: Contact Cliff Williamson at [email protected].
American Horse Council
The Dressage Calendar Task Force is one of the eight FEI discipline-specific task forces that were appointed to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar and possible solutions to mitigate its effects. They have been working in close cooperation with organizing committees for a number of events, including the host of the 2020 Dressage World Breeding Championship and the German FN.
The new dates, which were also approved by the WBFSH President Jan Pedersen, mean that the event this year will be held indoors.
The WBFSH was informed last Thursday that the dates were approved pending a final decision of the FEI Board before they could be published. The dates are now on the FEI website.
Studbooks and their national federations are requested by the WBFSH to carry out the selections for the postponed championships, according to the permissions that exist within each of their countries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, in terms of holding equestrian events. The dates for nominations and final entries have not yet been published. The FEI and the host of the WBCYH Dressage will be working on this in the coming weeks and months.
For now, we are pleased that this event, which has become an annual highlight for breeders, riders and dressage lovers, will also take place in 2020. The Championships for Young Horses focus on the connection between breeding and sport and continue to contribute to the development and improvement of top horses for the International sport.
ALL AMERICAN WARMBLOOD HORSES WHO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE
2020 FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championship:
PLEASE CONTACT US SO THAT WE MAY NOMINATE YOUR HORSE/S TO COMPETE IN VERDEN.
The Foundation for the Horse and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) have partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to manage a program offering relief to horse owners unable to afford veterinary care.
The ASPCA awarded The Foundation for the Horse a $50,000 grant to support the Vet Direct Safety Net initiative. This program, originated and piloted by the ASPCA, aligns with The Foundation’s mission of improving the welfare of horses and enables AAEP-member veterinarians in the U.S. to administer compassionate service to horses and the equine community without incurring financial stress to their practice.
“We are thrilled to partner with the AAEP and The Foundation for the Horse to continue bringing the boldest and most creative safety net programs to life,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “Since 2018, the ASPCA Vet Direct Safety Net Program served many horses and we are proud to support The Foundation for the Horse in order to continue empowering equine veterinarians to locate and provide care to at-risk equines in their communities.”
Equine practitioners who apply to participate in Vet Direct Safety Net will be able to provide up to $600 worth of free veterinary services per animal to assist horse owners in need with emergency stabilization procedures, euthanasia, or disposal.
The data collected from horse owners in exchange for veterinary services will also provide opportunities to better understand existing equine welfare issues and, ultimately, better serve America’s horses at risk or in transition.
Our offices are fully staffed during these trying times.
We are here to talk with you to get your paperwork in order and answer all other questions you may have.
Your applications for sporthorse registration, ownership transfer, etc. will be processed without delay as always.
Stay well and please call us at 561-693-5516.
The 2020 series got off to a galloping start with a home victory for Team USA in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of United States of America at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, Florida (USA). But despite fielding a crack four-member side, the hosts were pushed to a third-round jump-off by a relatively rookie British team that consisted of just three riders.
And making competition all the more exceptional was the fact that, in this sport in which men outnumber women by a considerable margin at top level, it came down to a clash between two all-female teams, with America’s Beezie Madden pipping Britain’s Alexandra Thornton in the third-round tie-breaker.
“The British girls were excellent!” said double Olympic gold medallist Madden who piled on the pressure with a brilliant first-to go run with Darry Lou in the jump-off.
There were eight teams in action but only USA, Mexico, and Canada were chasing down qualifying points in the North and Central America and Caribbean League series from which two of those three countries will qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 Final in Barcelona, Spain next October. The American winners claimed the maximum 100 points while Mexico collected 80 when lining up third and Canada picked up 60 points when finishing fourth in a competition filled with plenty of excitement.
The open water was the source of the greatest drama, Israel’s Ashlee Bond having to call it a day with Donatello in the second round when the nine-year-old gelding refused to have anything to do with it after giving himself a fright first time out. And Brazilian pathfinder, Cassio Rivetti, took a real soaking there when his 13-year-old mare, Bacara d’Archonfosse, dumped him in it at their second attempt.
Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Representative Raul Grijalva, is leading the charge along with a group of bipartisan legislators to stop Congress from funding the insidious “Path Forward,” a plan for mass removals of wild horses and burros from our public lands.
Chairman Grijalva’s campaign calls upon Congress to:
- Limit new fiscal appropriations to the $6 million appropriated by the House
- Add language that mandates the $6 million be spent on humane, reversible fertility control
- Add a prohibition against surgical sterilization
Chairman Grijalva rightly states that “Fundamental changes to existing law should not be done in spending bills without hearings, testimony, evidence, and due consideration by the authorizing committee tasked with these responsibilities.” With this statement he strikes back against the lobbyists and private interest groups trying to push this disastrous plan through Congress without going through the appropriate channels.
So what does this mean? It means your hard work, your action, your lending your voice to this cause is working. Chairman Grijalva and 11 other bipartisan members of Congress are standing up and calling BLM to task. We do have champions willing to stand up for our American icons in Congress, and your voices have led the charge for them to do so.
I’m reminded of a favorite quote from Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Don’t ever forget that your efforts helped to spur theirs. If we the people don’t care enough to act, our representatives don’t have any incentive to do so either. Thank YOU for all you’ve done this past year and especially these past few months to stop this hideous plan from moving forward. The battle is not won yet, but we are on the field fighting, and we will never give up.
“We applaud Chairman Grijalva’s tremendous leadership and tireless work to prevent the devastating roundup and incarceration of our iconic American wild horses, whose very backs this country was built upon,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a lifelong horseman. “We must continue to do everything within our power to defend these symbols of our nation from their strategically planned eradication negotiated by the Humane Society, ASPCA, and pro-slaughter crowd.”
Dana Zarrello, Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905