Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2016’

Whips Banned in Australian Harness Racing


The following is an article from the Horse.

standardbred-at-sunriseIn a groundbreaking move, Australian racing authorities have declared a nation-wide ban on the use of whips in harness racing.

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced Dec. 10 that no whip use will be tolerated on any of its tracks as of September 2017, making it the second country worldwide to ban whips in harness racing (Norway was the first to implement a ban).

However, an important distinction is that the Norwegian ban came down from a government decision, where as in Australia, the interdiction results from a decision by the national racing authority itself, a leading equitation scientist said.

“In Norway, the move was triggered by animal welfare legislation, but the HRA announcement represents the first time a racing authority has taken the lead and voluntarily walked away from the whip,” said Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, MACVS (Animal Welfare), professor of animal behavior and animal welfare science at the University of Sydney.

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Lawsuit Challenges Plan to Remove Estray Horses at Fort Polk


This article is featured on the HORSE.

A group of equine advocates in Louisiana have filed a federal lawsuit to halt the Army’s plan to remove estray horses that roam property at Fort Polk, in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, and the Kisatchie National Forest, which spans seven central and northern Louisiana parishes.

Last year, the Army issued a public notice of intend to conduct an environmental assessment in advance of a proposed action to remove the so-called “trespass horses” at Fort Polk. In April the Army released the final assessment, which stated that, due to herd growth, the horses interfered with Army training operations at the base and in the national forest and presented a safety concern to nearby communities.

On Dec. 14, the Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA) filed a lawsuit asking the court to prevent the Army from removing the horses on grounds that the animals had roamed the base and national forest property since the 1600s, and that the removal plan threatens the horses’ long-term survival.

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Brooke Beats the Odds to Help Out Two Million Working Equines


Equine charity Brooke has met its goal of reaching two million working horses, donkeys and mules in a single year.

The ambitious goal to reach this vast number of working horses and donkeys to relieve their suffering and improve welfare through training, research and treatment was set almost six years ago.

It is estimated that at least 100 million equines are supporting more than 600 million people in the developing world. The majority of those animals are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, malnourishment, crippling injuries, lameness, and/or contagious diseases, nearly all of which can be prevented with proper training for their owners.

Measuring the impact of its work is a key focus for Brooke. In 2016, in Nepalese brick kilns where Brooke works the number of animals with eye problems fell by 42%. In Brooke projects in Nicaragua the number of severely underweight animals was reduced by 31% and Brooke Pakistan reduced by 16% the number of animals in their coal mine projects with severe wounds. In the UK, Brooke now has 30 community fundraising groups passionate about raising money for the cause, and almost 10,000 new supporters have jumped on board this year alone.

“Reaching two million horses, donkeys and mules in a year is one of our proudest achievements,” said Chief executive Petra Ingram said.

“We’re so grateful to our donors for enabling us to offer support to so many animals. This success paves the way for the future of Brooke. By 2021 we want to reach even more working horses, donkeys and mules in the greatest need. And we want to ensure that Brooke makes a lasting difference to animals’ lives – so they continue to benefit for generations to come.”


US donors had also contributed to the year’s success, through its American fundraising affiliate Brooke USA.

Brooke USA Chairman Dr David Jones said the organisation would rely on its donors in coming years “as we strive to expand and reach our next goal of five million animals each year by 2021.”

In a huge milestone for Brooke’s global animal welfare and advocacy work, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) announced this year the first set of welfare standards for working horses, donkey and mules. Furthermore contribution of working equines to food security was officially recognised by the UN in livestock recommendations formally endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

“This means that the needs of countless horses, donkeys and mules who have laboured for so long without recognition can no longer be ignored. They’re on the international agenda – giving Brooke a hard-won opportunity to reach more of the world’s 100 million working equines than ever before,” Ingram said.

Heralding this new chapter, Brooke launched its new brand in 2016, including the new strapline “Action for working horses and donkeys” to create instant understanding of the charity’s work and the role of animals in the everyday life in a world where fewer than 20% of people have access to a motor vehicle.

Brooke currently works primarily India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and has pilot projects in several other developing countries.

Brooke appointed five new trustees including three from countries where it works, helping to bring it closer to the communities that rely on working animals.

Brooke’s new overseas trustees are CEO of Change Alliance in India, Belinda Bennett, CEO of Emerge Africa Ed Rege, based in Kenya, and Cheikh Ly, from Senegal, a veterinary school full tenure professor. The UK trustees are Graeme Cooke, the UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and former Veterinary Director of the World Governing body of Horse Sport (FEI) and Sarah Arnold, a specialist trust and estates solicitor.


AWHP UPDATE: Four Days Left to Help These Foals!


logo_2The following is a call for support from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.



Dear Meredith,

These innocent baby mustangs were at their mothers’ sides living wild and free in Nevada just days before these photos were taken. Now they cling together in the BLM’s holding pens near Reno after being captured in the BLM’s Owyheee roundup last month. Like shadows, or partners in a haunting dance, they stay side by side as they circle the feedlot pen, afraid and alone.


We call these youngsters Opal and Sapphire. The BLM robbed them of their freedom and their families. Now agency policy threatens their very lives.

The fate of Opal and Sapphire and 45,000 other wild horses and burros stockpiled in holding facilities literally hangs in the balance. Pressure is mounting to lift the ban on killing these horses and selling them for slaughter. The new Congress and Administration will determine whether they live or die.

We face the fight of our lives in 2017 to stop the slaughter of innocent wild horses like Opal and Sapphire. Please fight with us by making an end-of-year donation today. 

Opal and Sapphire are a reason to give. Their future depends on you.

In Freedom,

Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

P.S. Remember… all end of year donations made by midnight on December 31st will be matched, so please double your impact today!  Thank you!!

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AWHP Update: We Did This Together in 2016!



The following is a special end of the year update from the American Wild Horse Preservation.


Hi Meredith,

I wanted to share our end-of-year video so you can see what we’ve achieved in 2017. I hope you’ll take just a moment to watch it during this busy holiday week. 

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in this year, thanks to all of our dedicated supporters who have stood with us in this fight. Thank you for all your calls, emails and petition signatures. They truly made a difference for wild horses and burros!

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AWHP UPDATE: Trump Nominates Interior Secretary, Future of Wild Horses on the Line!


The following is a call to action from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.


We are at a tipping point in the fight for the future of America’s wild horses and burros. The incoming Trump Administration will either support Americans’ desire to protect these national icons or send them down the slaughter pipeline. If confirmed, Trump’s nominee for Interior Secretary, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) will play a key role in determining the fate of America’s mustangs. Unfortunately, as a State Senator from Montana, Rep. Zinke sponsored legislation to facilitate the opening of horse slaughter plants in his state, stating, “When a horse is too old to breed, too old to ride, or too expensive to feed, a horse is disposed of.”  This is obviously troubling and out of step with the 80 percent of Americans who oppose horse slaughter. More encouraging is Rep. Zinke’s opposition to selling off our public lands, a position that has often been at odds with members of his own party.

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Owners, Trainers Supporting New Vocations


This article is featured on the HORSE.

An increasing number of owners and trainers represented by runners in this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup are pledging a percentage of any winnings to support New Vocations’ mission to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired racehorses. Over the course of the last seven years, the Pledge has raised over $380,000, with all funds going to support the program’s aftercare efforts.

Anna Ford |

Anna Ford |

“WinStar Farm is happy to participate in the pledge again this year,” said Elliott Walden President and CEO of WinStar Farm. “We’ve worked with New Vocations for a while now because they believe in ensuring the top care and opportunities for a racehorse to have a second career. Aftercare is a very important topic, and I hope more owners and trainers will consider making a pledge.”



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chillyThe following is an update from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.


It’s Thursday, and Matt and I are finally headed home for a break. We are hoping to celebrate Christmas with our family. We have precious cargo with us once again, and Circle Bear, Princess and Leeanna are all special needs babies.

Circle Bear, shown above, was severely underweight and barely hanging on. The severe weather is extremely hard on these little ones and he was by himself. We don’t know where Mom is, but it was life and death for him so we brought him in. He has pneumonia, so please send lots of prayers.

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Still here in Blizzard Country, Sorting and Saving More Horses



The following is an update from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.

Where to begin. Matt and I were supposed to head back to NV together to take horses home, but the reality was I needed to stay so we could load out horses as time was running out. I am glad I stayed, as we have been successful in getting horse kids out, and every single one of them is a life saved.

The horses were scheduled to be taken to auction today and tomorrow and at the last minute we were given more time to keep up the adoptions. So I get to go home for Christmas but have been scheduled to be back sorting and loading up horses after the first of the new year.

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Donkeys Help Increase Access to Medicine in Haiti


The following is from ReliefWeb.

How does your doctor get to the clinic in the morning? A safe bet would be to say a car. Perhaps a bicycle for the health conscious doctor or public transit for the urban doctor. In Haiti this past November, a mobile medical team from B.C. with Heart to Heart Haiti used 22 motorcycles and four donkeys to get to their patients. Now that paints a picture of how hard it is to access medicine for some rural populations.

“We did some serious off-roading as we climbed the mountain,” wrote Rebecca, the organizer.

The path had been damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October making it even worse than usual. On the day of the clinic in Tetbef, the donkeys were packed at 4:30 a.m. and ready to take the supplies, including three Humanitarian Medical Kits ( 2 for primary care and one Mother-Child Health Kit) provided by Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC).

When the team arrived later in the morning, there were more people than they expected. In total 150 people were seen on this one day. Malaria, typhoid, respiratory tract infections and joint pain were mostly what brought them. Seven more clinics were held like this one and a total 1,396 patients were seen- more than half were children and the elderly.

“In Canada we can comfort our children and elderly with fever and pain management,” said Lauren Rose, a nurse on the team who submitted a report to HPIC. “This is not an option for 99% of the people we see here in Haiti.”

In each clinic they saw a lot of patients with fever. “We treated these patients and it is probable that death by sepsis, malaria or typhoid was prevented,” she reported to HPIC. The Humanitarian Medical Kits are always “an essential core item” for their trips to Haiti.

Click Here To View Article On ReliefWeb

Healing for Veterans, a Refuge for Racehorses


The following is an article from BloodHorse

Photo: Courtesy Down the Stretch Ranch Richard Monaco, a Vietnam War veteran, rides retired Thoroughbred Gal Has to Like it just outside Down the Stretch Ranch in Creston, Wash.

Photo: Courtesy Down the Stretch Ranch
Richard Monaco, a Vietnam War veteran, rides retired Thoroughbred Gal Has to Like it just outside Down the Stretch Ranch in Creston, Wash.

Mark Moran found himself in the Del Mar paddock for the first time on the second weekend of November—cane, wooden leg, eye patch, and all. It was on his bucket list.

The trip south from his home in Washington state was a gift of sorts from his cousin, Boone McCanna.

Moran, 66, is riddled with cancer—untreatable adenoid cystic carcinoma—but he’s not overly concerned.

“I’m going to live until I die,” Moran says. “I should have died in Vietnam, and I’ve had 47 years since then, had a family—six grandkids—and I’m grateful every day.”

Those 47 years have been bearable, at least in part, because of horses. After an explosion took his leg in Vietnam in 1969, nothing helped quite like grooming and hotwalking Thoroughbreds for his uncle and Boone’s father, trainer Dan McCanna, at Playfair Race Course in Spokane, Wash. There were no more thoughts of the horrors of war, just the horses.

“You build trust with those horses,” Moran says. “They all have their personalities and if you treat them good, they treat you good. It takes a lot of worry out of your mind. It’s hard to put into words. It helped me calm my brain, to just feel like I was connected to something.

“If you’re working, you have dignity in this life. Grooming and mucking stalls—some people might look down on that, but it gave me dignity.”

Moran isn’t just Boone’s cousin.

“He’s always been my inspiration,” Boone says. “He was (6-foot-3)—just a stud—and he gets blown up over there. His whole body is a scar. I got to play college football and he never did, but he never complained about anything. Not one complaint.”

No complaints, but there was pain. Still Boone, now 52, saw it first-hand decades ago—the impact horses had on his cousin.

“The horses were magic to him,” Boone says of Moran’s struggles with post traumatic stress disorder, a plague upon veterans old and young to this day.

That experience, watching his cousin change with equine aura, provided the spark. If it worked for Moran, it could work for others. Years later, that spark has blossomed into a reality—Down the Stretch Ranch.

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Big News: More Horses Coming To Chilly Pepper!


The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang Rescue.

chillychAs I sit here typing, the winds are howling. We have been working in pretty much blizzard conditions, with a wind chill well under 0. It is 3 degrees with the temperature at -20 with the wind chill at this time. More snow is expected in the next few days with even colder temperatures.

At this point Chilly Pepper will have pulled 41 horses, thanks to all the wonderful folks who are helping us save these horses. We are heading out on Friday with the first two trailer loads. With the severity of the weather conditions, we cannot safely sort for the next few days. More snow is expected and it is too icy for sorting. So we will head home and take care of a weather emergency at our own rescue, get the first batch of horses all set up and head back to South Dakota.

While enduring the stress of trying to save as many horses as we possibly can, while fighting through horrific weather, ice underfoot and slipping horses, God sent us another Angel. Because of her generous heart, we are able to bring the above mentioned horses home. Many of them are special needs, with many blind horses in the mix. This is part of what she told us in her email:

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A Very LTR Christmas!


We feel pretty blessed here at Lucky Three Ranch and want to share our good wishes for safe and happy holidays with you and your family. Merry Christmas!

UHC Releases 2017 Operation Gelding Policies


This article is featured on theHORSE.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) released new policies and procedures for organizations wishing to host no- or low-cost gelding clinics through the Operation Gelding program. The new policies take effect Jan. 1, 2017, and applications for 2017 clinics are now being accepted.

The UHC voted in June 2016 to expand the Operation Gelding program by offering up to $100 per horse gelded. Program details are described in two new documents available on the UHC website. The How to Conduct a Clinic handbook is a resource guide to planning, running, and evaluating a clinic. It includes information about setting goals, creating a budget, recruiting veterinarians, marketing, post-event follow up, and tips from previous clinic organizers. The Funding Guidelines and Application Process document includes eligibility requirements, deadlines, and step-by-step application instructions.

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Let’s Roll!


When draft mule, Roll, arrived at Lucky Three Ranch, he needed some special attention and rehabilitation. Watch what happens when Meredith Hodges sets out to help the gentle giant.

Egypt To Export Donkeys to China and Dogs to Korea


The following is an article from Morocco World News.


Casablanca – Egypt has authorized the exportation of 10,000 donkeys to China and is on the verge of authorizing the exportation of dogs to Korea.

The General Authority for Veterinary Services at the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to export 10,000 donkeys to Chinese drug companies.

According to Arabic-language news source, Alarabiya, the head of the General Authority for Veterinary Services, Ibrahim Mahrous, confirmed news of the agreement, adding that the exportation will conform to an Islamic ruling from Alazhar University of Islamic Studies. The ruling requires the donkeys to be exported alive and not slaughtered.

The sale of donkeys has grown profitable for Chinese sellers, with China’s supply of donkeys shrinking from 11 million to 6 million. The internal demand for donkeys has increased, and China is now seeking to import more donkeys from around the world.

Donkey hides are used in China to produce a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) known in China as ‘Ejiao’. This medicine is mainly prescribed for women who suffer from anemia, dry coughs or dizziness.

The same source adds that a Korean company made an offer to Egyptian authorities to import dogs. The Egyptian authorities are currently considering the offer as animal rights organizations have rejected the killing of stray dogs, a practice which has been growing lately.

A Happy Update for Rio the Rescued Mini Horse


The following is an update from HorseChannel

ADOPTION ALERT! This handsome, and spunky mini is going home! Rio came to DEFHR with Quest in August 2015. Rio had spent most of life life isolated in a stall by himself. Upon arriving at DEFHR, he stole Michelle’s heart. She quickly became his unofficial mama and today it is official! Congratulations Michelle and Rio!

Back in August of 2015, we brought you a story on two rescued horses, Quest and Rio, who had been discovered after 15 years of neglect. The pair, along with another horse called Piper, had been locked in their stalls with minimal food and most likely no veterinary care. Most striking was the result of their total lack of hoof care. The horses’ feet were measured at approximately three feet long, so overgrown that they curled back on themselves several times over.

The three horses were rescued by the Humane Society of Washington County, Maryland, and Days End Farm Horse Rescue with the hope that it wasn’t too late for the horses to be rehabilitated with the veterinary and farrier care and nutrition they had lacked for so long. Unfortunately, Piper was euthanized at the farm due to the extent of her injuries and neglect. But Quest and Rio moved to Days End Farm to begin their recovery.

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AHC Update: Three-Year Depreciation of Race Horses Not Extended to 2017


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

In recent years, Congress has typically passed a tax extender bill to renew dozens of temporary or expiring tax provisions for individuals and businesses at the end of the year.  One of these typically extend provisions was three-year depreciation of race horses.  However, Congress has adjourned for the year without taking any action on a tax extender bill, allowing three-year deprecation of race horses and dozens of other tax provisions to expire.

From 2009 through 2016 all race horses could be depreciated over three years, regardless of when they were placed in service.  This provision was passed in 2008 as part of a Farm Bill.  The change, which eliminated the 7-year depreciation period for race horses and made all race horses eligible for three-year depreciation, expires at the end of 2016. Beginning in 2017, the pre-2009 rules will have to be used, meaning owners will have to decide whether to place a race horses in service at the end of its yearling year and depreciate it over 7 years or wait until it is over 2 (24 months and a day after foaling) and depreciate it over three years.

Congress took no action on a tax extenders bill because they hope to enact major tax reform legislation in the next Congress that would eliminate the need for many of the expiring provisions. Failure to pass the tax extender bill was not due to opposition to the three-year depreciation of race horses or any other specific tax provision.

The AHC will be closely monitoring the development of a tax reform bill and analyzing its potential impact on the horse industry.

If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

Click Here To Read the Article on AHC

AHC to Offer Student Internships Starting in 2017!


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

In 2017, the American Horse Council (AHC) will begin offering three different internship programs available to both high school and college students. Students will be eligible to apply to one internship per year in the AHC Internship Program.

Also starting in 2017 is the addition of a Student Membership to the AHC Membership categories.  The AHC felt it was important to continue the trend of being able to educate youth of the importance of the AHC in order to ensure the industry’s long-term sustainability. The internship opportunities being offered in 2017 are another way for students to understand exactly what it is the AHC does here in Washington, DC, and educate the next generation to advocate on behalf of the industry at the local, state or national level.

The three internships available are:

  • 1 or 2 week shadowing program to gain a broader understanding of the AHC with a focus on expanding knowledge of equine industry and policymaking. Transportation and housing not included; stipend of $250 available to offset expenses. Open to high school and college students.
  • 1 or 2 month internship- includes overview of AHC, student would conduct a research project and write a white paper on a specific topic of interest for academic credit. Transportation and housing not included; stipend of $500/month available to offset expenses. Open to college students.
  • Semester internship- includes overview of AHC, research project and white paper for academic credit and attendance at annual AHC meeting. Transportation and housing not included; Stipend of $500/month available to offset expenses. Open to college students.

The AHC’s encourages those that apply for the internships to also join at the Student membership level in order to get a fully rewarding experience.  Students will be able to see the relationship between the work that the AHC does daily, and the ensuing information that gets shared with AHC members.

Please visit the AHC website for more details and to download the application form. If you have any questions, or would like more information about the internship program, please contact the AHC at

Click Here To Visit The AHC Website

Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue Says Thank You!


The following is a thank you from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

Thank you to all who have responded so generously to my previous newsletter request for donations.

Everything seems to happen at once…our tractor is in need of a new clutch, our invaluable “club car” is beginning to have the fall-aparts, and we are desperately in need of a building to house our ever growing supply of merchandise.

This time of year the animals all need more to eat and I am always worried about having enough hay on hand. We want to always be able to provide the veterinary care needed for all the animals here.

We had a very sad case that pointed up why a “cushion” is needed when we took in the sweet mammoth donkey named Daisy back in June.


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