Tuesday, June 30, 2009

House Funding Bill Excludes Animal Identification System

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Pat Raia
June 16 2009

The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will receive no new funding under a 2010 spending bill proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA appropriations subcommittee. Chairwoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Ct.) announced bill details on June 11.

The NAIS is a nationwide livestock database designed to help federal and state agencies locate and track the movement of animals in the event of disease outbreaks or natural disasters.

The program uses data provided by livestock producers and property owners to assign identification numbers to individual animals and to properties where animals are born or reside. Registry participation is voluntary. But the program has failed to attract substantial support among livestock producers.

"There is overwhelming concern about NAIS registration becoming mandatory. There is also opposition to the whole concept by some (who fear) that they will have to ID their animals to move them through commerce," said Nancy Robinson, vice president of government and industry affairs for the Livestock Marketing Association.


Monday, June 29, 2009

National Distance Championships Combine and Coincide

For the first time ever, the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) will combine the National Endurance Ride and National Competitive Trail Ride into one week of exciting competition, which will include American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) sanctioned rides, October 27-31 at Lake Carl Blackwell in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Competition begins Tuesday, October 27 with the AHA National Championship 100-Mile Endurance Ride, coupled with three coinciding AERC endurance rides; 100-mile, 50-mile and 25-mile. The AHA National Championship competitive trail ride (CTR) spans two days, October 28-29. The last days of national competition will feature the AHA National 50-Mile Endurance Ride, along with a 50-mile and 25-mile AERC sanctioned ride on October 30. The Ozark Country Endurance Riders (OCER) will host a Halloween special, Witch Way Ride, on October 31 as well.

Also new to the Distance National Championships is the opportunity to win Allocated Sweepstakes prize money. If a horse is competing in the National 100-Mile Endurance Ride or the National Competitive Trail Ride, a horse can earn Allocated Money. Allocated Sweepstakes prize money is in addition to the Sweepstakes Points Program money, which requires annual enrollment prior to the event.

The dates of the National Distance Championships coincide with that of the U.S. Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about an hour and half away, giving horse lovers in Oklahoma plenty to watch in October. Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians, known for their versatility and athleticism will be on display at the National Distance Championships and U.S. Nationals for the public to enjoy everything from the grueling 100 mile endurance ride to the glitz and glamour of English pleasure and the excitement of working cow classes.

For more information visit ArabianHorses.org/competitions or call (303) 696-4500.

AHA is a major equine association serving 35,000 members across North America. It registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses and administers approximately $3 million in annual prize money. AHA produces championship events, recognizes close to 600 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail info@ArabianHorses.org or visit ArabianHorses.org

Hilary Nixon
Communications Coordinator
Arabian Horse Association
10805 East Bethany Drive
Aurora, CO 80014

Bishopville equestrian wins race


Item Staff Writer

The winners of the prestigious Pyramid Challenge 25-mile endurance ride held earlier this month at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., represent a partnership between Lee and Darlington counties.

Becky Hayden of Bishopville rode Nuke, an 8-year-old Egyptian stallion, owned by Marie and Mark Sobiski of Windward Farm of Darlington, to first place in the record time of 1 hour, 44 minutes.

"A good time for that race is two hours," Marie said. "He crossed the finish line 20 minutes ahead of the next horse."

In addition to winning the first place trophy, Nuke received an authentic Middle Eastern saddle for being the highest placing straight Egyptian horse.

The Sobiskis gave the authentic Moroccan saddle to Hayden.

"The saddle is like a trophy," Hayden said. "I'd really like to show off Arab horses in native costume and customize the saddle a little to use for that."

For now, visitors to Hayden's home have no trouble taking a look at the saddle.

"It's still in my living room," she said. "It's a nice trophy. People just want to come in to look at it."

Nuke became the first straight (full-blooded) Egyptian to win the race since Desert Sword, a gelding owned by David and Martha Lucas of Whitehaven Plantation in Lee County, won in 2002, Mark said.

"He received the ceremonial saddle given by the King of Morocco to the first Egyptian horse to cross the finish line," Mark said. The race is held in conjunction with the Egyptian Event, a celebration of the Egyptian horse.

Hayden and Nuke are no strangers. Hayden has ridden Nuke in all of his seven previous races, Mark said.

"They have finished top five in all of his races and won the Best Conditioned award at the Lee County Lizard Run held at Lee State Park in March 2009," he said. "He was also named the 2008 Institute for the Desert Horse National Top 10 in performance."

Marie said Hayden told them of the Pyramid Challenge and the Moroccan saddle four years ago, when Hayden was working at Whitehaven Plantation in Lee County.

"We were boarding Nuke there and Becky told us she'd love to ride him in endurance races," Marie said. "She believed we could make an endurance horse out of him while other people said he was too small and too wild."

Nuke is the only stallion to win the 25-mile race in its nine-year history, Mark said.

Hayden said she knew Nuke was a special horse. She also acknowledged that riding a stallion is a challenge.

"It's a little hard to keep a stallion's mind on racing," she said. "He knows he can run, but he also knows he can do other things."

Contact Staff Writer Randy Burns at rburns@theitem.com or (803) 491-4533.

AHA Registration Discount

Arabian Horse Association

June 17, 2009

Help the Breed. Help Yourself. Register.

A special, short-time offer allows owners of Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians a discounted rate on registration for horses two years of age and older from July 1, through December 31, 2009. Members with purebred Arabians registered during this period will receive a $100 discount, paying only $250, while members with a Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian will receive a $40 discount, paying only $75.

"Registering your Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians connects them to their breed's legacy—a very long-lasting, full and rich legacy. Every horse has a right to that connection," says Lance Walters, AHA President. "The discounted registration price allows owners to register their older horses and give them a connection to their lineage, raising the horse's value and desirability."

Horses eligible for this short-time discount must be 2 years of age or older and fully parentage-qualified through blood or DNA typing. Applications postmarked July 1 through December 31, 2009, will qualify for the reduced registration fee. For more information, including registration forms, click here or call (303) 696-4500.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nevada: Local Doctor featured in Documentary

KOLOTV.com - newscast, Arabian Silk documentary

The name of the film is based in part on the horses featured in this documentary. Arabians are the horse of choice when it comes to endurance riding.

Dr. Jerry Zebrack whistles for his ten arab horses to come and visit us. They are the only kind of horses he owns. That's because Dr. Zebrack competes in endurance riding-- 24-hour races that can cover up to 100 miles.

“I think the reason I still do it is I still don't know if I can do the next ride,” says Dr. Zebrack

He's been doing it for the last 27 years which is remarkable in itself when you consider his very first endurance ride.

“It was the worst horriblist, hardest thing I've ever done in my life,” says Dr. Zebrack.
Asked if he’d describe himself as tenacious?
“Oh that's a great word,” replies Dr. Zebrack

Dr. Zebrack's journey, along with his horses, and the event of endurance riding itself grabbed the attention of local documentary film makers Christine Lazzaini.

“The first time I cam down this dirt road I had no idea that it was going to change my life. This is actually the fastest growing equestrian discipline in the world,” says Lazzaini

“I hurt a lot. I'm getting old,” says Dr. Zebrack during the course of the film

Two and a half years later Lazzaini's film "Arabian Silk" is being featured at the Reno Film Festival.

A cardiologist by profession Dr. Zebrack says he never imagined he'd be highlighted in a documentary on endurance riding. He says he's nothing special., and that's the message he hopes the audience take with it after viewing the film.

“I can do that, because I think people can,” says Dr. Zebrack

“Arabian Silk” will be judged Saturday afternoon at KNPB studios.
Lazziani hopes to win the audience choice award, Nevada category Saturday night.

watch video clip KOLOTV.com - newscast, Arabian Silk documentary

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Forum: Groups in Tune With Equine Welfare

Bloodhorse.com - Full Article

By Tom LaMarra
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Representatives of various equine breeds and disciplines found out June 16 they have a lot in common when it comes to the welfare and safety of horses.

The "Welfare of the Horse," called the most inclusive program of its kind, was the sole topic for this year's American Horse Council National Issues Forum in Washington, D.C. It offered participants a chance to learn what others are doing as the welfare of horses—or any animal for that matter—comes under closer public scrutiny.

The forum covered everything from horse racing to the carriage horse industry which, in Charleston, S.C., at least, is highly regulated. And the horses, according to Tommy Doyle, are well maintained.

"We're at the forefront of animal welfare," said Doyle, president of the Carriage Operators of North America. "We're out there 365 days a year."

Doyle is a second generation carriage operator whose family has about 40 horses and 90 employees in Charleston, where carriage rides per year number about 250,000. The city has an equine welfare policy that requires regular veterinarian checks and use of microchips, Doyle said.

Horses can't work more than eight hours per day, and their temperatures are taken after every tour. If it's hotter than 98 degrees, the carriage rides are suspended. The horses are turned out every four months.

"The system we have in place is 100% effective," Doyle said.

Doyle indicated that caring for horses is second nature in his family. Still, public perception and potential attacks by animal-rights activists call for a plan and documentation.

Doyle used the breakdowns of Barbaro and Eight Belles as examples of what can happen in the public arena. He said those two incidents were no more indicative of the Thoroughbred industry than the US Airways flight landing in the Hudson River was indicative of the airline industry.

Laura Hayes of the American Endurance Ride Conference said endurance horses must meet certain heart-rate parameters, undergo complete vet exams and soundness checks, and can't compete if it is determined they are lame. The discipline even has a drug-testing program with a zero-tolerance policy, she said.

Equine fatalities are reported voluntarily, but of 40 cases, only one horse owner chose not to participate. All fatalities are investigated, and the results made public, Hayes said.

"The AERC believes in transparency," she said.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Zealand: Mixed feelings for Dougan over possible sale


By Gary Caffell

Eketahuna horseman Shane Dougan has mixed feelings over the possibility of his promising endurance horse Taralea Sheer Illusion being sold.

The grey 9-year-old combined with Dougan to top the national Horse and Rider of the Year endurance riding rankings for 2008-09 with 118 points, 25 points clear of their nearest rivals.

But whether they will continue their association will depend on current negotiations to sell Taralea Sheer Illusion to Arabian interests coming to fruition or, conversely, coming to nothing.

Either way Dougan believes he is on a winner such is the potential he sees in his star charge who he has owned for about three years.

"He's very promising, he could go right to the top," Dougan said of Taralea Sheer Illusion who is himself of Arab descent.

"He's strong and he's athletic, he's got all the qualities you want."

The national endurance championships at Whareama at Easter saw Taralea Sheer Illusion compete over 100km for the first time and his effort to place 10th, and win the heavyweight (rider weighing over 90kg) title at the same time, delighted Dougan.

"For us it was just a matter of completing the course without putting too much stress on the horse and he took everything in his stride," Dougan said.

"He'll get the longer distances no problem, and that's probably where his future lies now."

Dougan's partner Jenny Champion and Freckles were seventh on the national Horse and Rider rankings while in the junior section Wairarapa's Natalie Bickerton and Moroccan Fyre were sixth and Tessa Deuss and AH Starlight Express eighth.

Early next month will see Champion heading to South Africa as part of a six-strong Kiwi contingent who will take part in that country's endurance riding championships. They will ride South African horses over 200km in a race scheduled to start on July 7 and finish on July 9.

Representing her country is nothing new for Champion who has competed internationally in Italy and Australia and she has won the national 160km title with Freckles on two occasions, plus finishing runner-up at Whareama.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Great Britain: Hooves win hands down in Man versus Horse race

Walesonline.co.uk - Full Article

Jun 13 2009 WalesOnline

Hooves proved better than feet for completing today's annual Man versus Horse Marathon on soggy ground.

More than 600 competitors raced across the 22-mile course in Llanwrtyd Wells, mid Wales, but it was one of the 49 horses that was first past the finishing line.

Duke's Touch of Fun, ridden by Geoff Allen, from Budeleigh, Worcestershire, completed the marathon in two hours and nine minutes.

The fastest human competitor, who was eight minutes behind, was Mark Cox, a running club member from Salford.

Lindsay Ketteringham, chairman of Green Events which organises the endurance event, said: "It's been a brilliant day, but the rain over the last couple of weeks meant the ground was soft underfoot and the horses were able to get quite a speed up. It was ideal going for the horses.

"There was a fantastic turn-out with over 600 competitors, including over 100 relay teams of three people.

"We had to limit the number of horses because it would get too unsafe."

Mr Ketteringham added: "It seems the event is still growing, we keep thinking the town can't take any more but more turn up!

"There were very long queues at the registration desks with people wanting to enter on the day."

The first race took place in June 1980 after the idea was born during a chat over a pint at the Neuadd Arms Hotel.

The course was changed in 1982 to provide a more even match between the man and the horse resulting year on year in very close finishes - sometimes with the horse winning by only a few seconds.

It took 25 years before a man finally beat a horse. Huw Lobb won in two hours and five minutes, beating the fastest horse by two minutes.

Today's winner was awarded 1,000 guineas.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cleveland woman begins six-month journey on horseback

Whitecountynewstelegraph.com - Full Article

Friday, June 12, 2009

Janice Raddatz of Cleveland is riding the entire Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in one season. Starting at the Mexican border and riding the 2,656 miles of the PCT to the Canadian border in Washington State, her years of horse experience and long-distance riding will be put to the test to conquer the rigors of six months in the saddle. Ralph Raddatz, her husband, is driving the supply truck and trailer. He meets up with Janice every five days, on average.

This is not just about riding. Janice is riding to support the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness program. The White County News will be bringing you dispatches from the trail periodically throughout the summer. The following is a snapshot of Janice's world in her own words.

Although Janice is currently more than a month into her trip, we are going to bring you the first installment from the trip's beginning upon arrival at the Mexican border. Below, Janice will mention a second woman who is with her. The rider, Susan Bates, is no longer riding with Janice due to an injury to her horse. She may meet up with Janice at a later time. For now, Janice is riding alone, but this installment takes us back in time to the beginning.

We are on the Mexican border, touching the fence and seeing the monument. I am amazed at all that went into preparing for this trip.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rare Canadian horses heading south

Dailygazette.com - Full Article

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ROTTERDAM JUNCTION - One of the rarest horse breeds in the world is traveling through much of the Capital Region this week.

Galopin and Hannah are considered pure-blood Canadian horses, two of about 2,000 left in the world. The threat of the breed's extinction is listed as critical by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy.

Richard Blackburn and his wife, Louise Leroux, are traveling from their hometown of Morin Heights, Quebec, to Texas as a way to generate awareness and showcase the rare breed of horse. Blackburn rides the horses, while Leroux travels behind in their camper.

Their goal is to bring 50 DNA samples to Gus Cothran, the director of the Equine Genetics Research Facility at Texas A&M University. Cothran has been genetically mapping each known horse breed throughout history, Blackburn said, but he has never had DNA from a Canadian horse. Cothran thinks the 50 DNA samples from some of the purest Canadian horses will prove the contribution the Canadian horse made in North America, Blackburn said.

They plan to make a stop in Lexington, Ky., the home of all things horses, where Blackburn plans to leave one of his Canadians at the International Museum of the Horse. Each day at 2 p.m., there is a parade that showcases each horse breed. However, there has never been a Canadian horse in the parade because pure-blooded Canadians are too rare, Blackburn said.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

First Foal Sired by Cloned Stallion Born


The first foal sired by a cloned stallion is now nearly a month old. The filly, named Pierazade du Vialaret, is the first get of stallion Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion, a clone of two-time World Champion endurance horse Pieraz.

The original Pieraz is an Arabian gelding. He was cloned so that his exact genes could be perpetuated. Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion was born in February 2005 at the Laboratorio di Tecnologie della Riproduzione-Consorzio per l'Incremento Zootecnico (LTR-CIZ), a research facility on the outskirts of Cremona, Italy.

The new filly was born May 5. She is out of a mare named Dziupla, a foundation broodmare mare owned by Christian Genieys of Elevage du Vialaret, an endurance breeding program in Campagnac, France.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Twenty-Year-Old Horse First to Go 20,000 Endurance Miles

and Is Still Going Strong!

Troy Smith

Tulip, a Morab gelding who will turn 21 on June 21, is endurance riding’s most enduring equine, with 20,805 miles to his credit. He is the first horse in American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) history to surpass the 20,000 mile mark.

Tulip’s name? The rumor, according to Dr. Les Carr, Tulip’s owner, is that a bed of lovely tulips was nearby during Tulip’s birth. The 15.2-hand Tulip, registered as a half-Arabian by the Arabian Horse Association, is by the Morgan stallion Calamity’s Pizzaz, whose sire is from the Kingston line. His dam, Belif, is a granddaughter of Bu-Zahar, a son of Ferzon-Hall of Fame sire of National Champions.

Carr, of Somerset, CA, has amassed 46,460 miles of his own during his 24 years of AERC competitions. Both Carr and Tulip exemplify AERC’s commitment to valuing equine longevity.

Although he has completed four 100-mile rides, Tulip’s specialty is the 50-mile endurance ride, especially when combined into AERC Pioneer Rides, which include at least three consecutive days of 50- to 55-mile rides. And the grey gelding’s not burning up the trail; he and Carr tend to finish towards the back of the pack in most competitions.

“The AERC motto is ‘to finish is to win’,” noted Carr. “However, winning can be accomplished in different ways. One way to win is for the rider to make the decision to ride the same horse over a long period of time and place at the middle or tail end of the ride. This approach has been my choice.”

Carr’s horse philosophy has evolved over the years, and Tulip is his third horse to go over 10,000 miles. Carr credits starting slowly and carrying a lightweight rider—in Tulip’s case, junior Lainey Porter rode Tulip for his first few thousand miles of competition. “I sponsored and accompanied Lainey, who rode Tulip slowly and followed my strategies and lead,” said Carr.

A pace of 5.5 miles per hour is another of Carr’s tenets. By not galloping or cantering, Carr plans to take nine to 10 hours to complete a 50-mile ride. To make that trail time easier on Tulip, Carr spends most of his riding time standing up in the stirrups. He allows Tulip to eat and drink pretty much continually along the trail, and carefully watches both Tulip’s intake and outgo which, Carr says, “provide significant clinical signs as to the condition of Tulip along the endurance trail.”

Carr isn’t willing to take risks with his high-mileage horse. “If Tulip is even slightly off in his gait—even if the judges say Tulip could continue in the ride—Tulip and I load up and go home. Any sign of colic results in my immediately pulling Tulip from the ride and requesting immediate vet treatment,” said Carr. “My operating philosophy is that there is always another endurance ride to do, but not another Tulip.”

Most years, Carr and Tulip would complete around 1,000 miles of competition a year. Their highest mileage year was 2006, when they completed 1,970 miles. Along the way, the pair have picked up numerous awards from AERC, including regional mileage championships and Pioneer Awards, even a couple of national mileage championships when he was ridden by Porter back in the mid-1990s.

At age 74, Carr keeps himself in shape with bodybuilding and weightlifting when he’s not riding. At 5’8”, he keeps his weight at a trim 148 pounds. A practicing clinical psychologist, Carr considers riding “a mystical and spiritual experience.”

A stairway fall back in 1999 looked like it was the end of Carr’s riding, according to his team of doctors. But after a full year of recovery, he’s been back standing in the saddle for miles and miles every month, although his left leg remains slightly weakened. “I’m appreciative of Brent and Cheryl Johnson, who pitched in and rode Tulip for nearly 1,400 miles during my year off,” said Carr.

Carr has no plans to retire Tulip. The pair have already completed 670 miles in the current ride season. But Carr said that he and Tulip will no longer be doing as many five-day Pioneer Rides (250 miles over five days), instead focusing on one-day 50s and the three-day 155-mile Pioneer Rides.

“Life along the endurance trail is unpredictable, in line with our universe that is inherently chaotic and unpredictable,” said Carr. But the septuagenarian, who rides along with his wife, Jill, and her trustworthy mule, Walker, at his side, Carr hopes to ride Tulip as long as possible along the endurance trails.

For more information about AERC or endurance riding, please contact the AERC office, located in Auburn, CA, at (866) 271-2372, email aerc@foothill.net, or visit www.aerc.org.