Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big Thanks to Linda Jean: Dispelling the Myths

For the Love of Horses

by Linda Jean

I've always admired the beauty and strength of horses and long ago realized our own human survival has been dependent on horses throughout the history of our species. Horses have no doubt increased our quality of life by providing our ancestors with transportation, labor and even food. Even in less developed countries it is not unusual to see a horse pulling a plow in a field.

Therefore, when I read the following article in my local paper that the Nebraksa state legislature is discussing the need for a horse slaughterhouse, the hairs on my neck began to rise. Currently, slaughterhouses for horses are illegal when used for human consumption. Although Americans don't eat horses, they are a popular food stuff in Europe and Japan. The last US horse slaughterhouse closed down a few years ago, so now many horses are being "shipped" to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. In this article there is a claim made that more horses are neglected and abandoned because of a lack of slaughterhouses in our country. The facts counter this argument as a letter to the editor that I wrote states. Here is the original article (published October 3) and my comments that were published on October 10 of this year:

Lawmakers hear of need for horse disposal

LINCOLN— State lawmakers were told Friday of the growing need for low- cost disposal of unwanted horses in Nebraska, given federal and state restric- tions against horse slaughter. Debby Brehm, director of the American Quarter Horse Association’s Nebraska chapter, said more horses face abandonment or neglect now that slaughter is less of an option. “Slaughter is not pretty, but it does provide a humane, economical way to euthanize a horse,” she told the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee during a hearing on the issue. Brehm said neither she nor her group support slaughter, but they recognize that horse owners need more options for unwanted or ailing horses, particu- larly in the current economic climate. She said it can cost $1,900 to feed, water and shelter a horse for one year — not including veterinary care. The nation’s last three horse slaugh- terhouses closed in 2007. Some states — but not Nebraska — have banned the slaughter of horses. Congress, which is considering a federal ban on horse slaughter and transporta- tion of horses to slaughterhouses, has eliminated funding for inspections of horses to be used for human consump- tion. Horses are exported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. A record 78,000 horses were sent out of the country in 2007, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. Much of the meat is exported to countries in Europe and Asia for human consumption. Critics say slaughtering is inhumane. Don Wesley of the Humane Society of the United States said Friday that he sees a need for disposal services, but that slaughter should not be an option. He didn’t present alternatives. But supporters of the practice say that without slaughterhouses, more older or otherwise marginalized horses are neg- lected or abandoned. Ross Garwood of the Nebraska Farm Bureau said he supports horse slaugh- ter to help supply horse meat overseas. He said he would like to see a slaugh- terhouse built on tribal land, which would be exempt from federal inspec- tions. Several cases of horse neglect have come up in Nebraska over the past sev- eral months, including one involving more than 200 horses at a ranch south of Alliance. Scores of horses and burros were found ill and emaciated in April; about 74 horses and burros were found dead. The owner of 3-Strikes Ranch faces a January trial on 149 felony counts of cruel neglect of an animal. Gretna veterinarian Larry Henning said Friday that he’s been asked to corral abandoned horses that have made their way into traffic. “Death is not inhumane,” he said, tes- tifying on behalf of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association. “Starvation and neglect are, and that’s what we’re starting to see.” State Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber said legislation will be introduced in January that would allow authorities to act faster in confiscating neglected horses. A legislative study of horse slaughter alternatives has been proposed by state Sen. Cap Dierks of Ewing, who owns several horses. He said Friday that without slaughter- houses, the only option for an owner of an unwanted or ailing horse is to “dig a hole and cover it up.”

My Letter:

Dear Editor,

A recent article in the Tribune titled “Lawmakers hear of need for horse disposal” left out some pertinent and factual information about horse slaughtering. It mentioned in the article that Don Wesley of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who opposes horse slaughter, presented no other alternatives to the problem of over population of sick, injured or abandoned horses. I cannot speak for Mr. Wesley, but I was surprised by that statement because on the Humane Society’s website there is a thorough and factual discussion of alternative and viable options to horse slaughter (Google: "HSUS horse slaughter myths").

For example, horse sanctuaries and rescues, contraception and as a last result, lethal injection, are more humane options to horse slaughtering. The HSUS states that there are over 400 sanctuaries and rescue operations in the US that participate in helping to care for unwanted horses.

The Tribune article suggests that a ban on slaughtering horses causes more horses to be neglected and abandoned. This is a myth and there is no evidence to support it. California has had a horse slaughter ban for over 10 years and there has been no increase in neglect and abandoned horses. There has been, however, a 34% decrease in the number of horse thefts.

In the case of the 300 neglected horses in Alliance, there is no evidence the horses were neglected because of a ban on slaughtering. Generally speaking, horses are neglected because of a lack of responsibility on behalf of the owners due to a variety of reasons including economic hardships, lack of education about caring for horses, drought and even the price of hay. People who own horses have a legal responsibility to take care of them and there are state laws prohibiting abuse and neglect of horses. As the HSUS states, “horse abandonment and abuse is a sad reality whether or not slaughter is an available option—there is no causal connection between the two issues.”

It is also a myth that slaughter is a humane way to put down a horse since the website has videos from undercover investigations showing horses who are still alive as their throats are slit and they are dismembered. According to surveys on public opinion, an overwhelming majority of Americans (69%) support bans on horse slaughter.

The article stated that a proposal for a legislative study of horse slaughter alternatives has been recommended. It is important that our state lawmakers separate fact from fiction regarding horse slaughter and educate themselves on the effective alternatives available.

For more information about the cruelties of horse slaughtering read the House Judiciary Subcommittee's animal cruelty testimony at:
Posted by Linda Jean at 5:56 PM

Be sure to thank Linda Jean for her wonderful advocacy and encourage her to go on exposing the Myths...

Click on title above to go to her blog;

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AQHA Official Celebrates Pending Slaughter of Quarter Horses

AQHA Official Celebrates Pending Slaughter of Quarter Horses

CHICAGO, (EWA) – In the aftermath of Montana Governor Schweitzer’s non-action, HB 418, a bill that bars Montana’s citizens from taking court action against the building of a horse slaughter plant, became law. This action has left many Montana legislators and citizens shocked that their state might soon be known as the new “home of horse slaughter”. Montana has enacted a probably unconstitutional statute that denies due process under the United States Constitution.

Horse slaughter will tarnish the “Big Sky” brand and everything it stands for from cattle to tourism. History has shown that such plants bring nothing but pollution and controversy. Montana law makers failed to ask themselves why Texas and Illinois, and now Saskatchewan Canada, have rid themselves of the industry. Who is to gain?

The Equine Welfare Alliance has obtained a document that answers this question. The mass e-mail was from Stan Weaver, president of the Montana Quarter Horse Association (MQHA) and is titled “HB 418 Final Comments – Success!!!!. Rejoicing in the news that Montana may be home to a horse killing plant, the MQHA president boasts that the MQHA was the driving force behind the passage of the law.

Weaver praises members for pushing the legislation while bragging about the haste with which it was put together. Weaver describes how the MQHA and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Ed Butcher, had come up with the idea for the bill just weeks before it was introduced. After that introduction, the bill was ridiculed widely as the “Montana Butcher Bill.”

Indeed, this is cause to rejoice for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the organization leading the effort to continue the slaughter of American horses for foreign firm’s profit. This magnificent breed, touted as the most versatile of all horses, is being sent to slaughter in record numbers. In fact, half of all horses sent to slaughter each year are American Quarter Horses.

Meanwhile, the AQHA continues to promote indiscriminate breeding.

Weaver is apparently so enamored at the prospect of a slaughter plant to butcher Montana’s Quarter Horses that he ponders writing a book that will contain all the emails and letters in support of horse killing.

Last year, when other businesses were reducing production, AQHA management and its member breeders continued their mad quest to grow revenues by registering 140,000 new foals, an increase of 5,000 more horses over 2007.

In his speech before the 2008 annual convention, Bill Brewer, the AQHA’s then executive vice-president said, “Our challenge becomes looking at ways to introduce an equine economic stimulus package that will boost registration numbers.” Apparently, that package includes killing off existing Quarter Horses to make room for more.

The AQHA and its allies have promoted unfounded stories that the nation is being flooded with tens of thousands of abandoned horses. It was a salient point made by supporters of “The Butcher Bill” and was picked up by the Montana media and repeated without question, even though county officials reported a total of only fourteen abandoned horses in 2008.

Yet the group and its apologists fail to mention the indiscriminate breeding encouraged by the AQHA and ranchers such as Weaver. Weaver’s ranch alone produces and registers 100 horses per year and helps fill the AQHA treasury with registration fees.

According to Weaver, the next major AQHA effort will be to try to defeat the federal legislation that will end the slaughter of American horses; HR 503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009.

In their zealous quest to defeat HR 503, EWA expects more of the elaborate disinformation campaign from the AQHA and its lobbyists.

EWA wholeheartedly supports humane and responsible animal agriculture and is prepared to respond.

here is also a copy of the email/letter the President of the MQHA sent around:

From: Stan Weaver []
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 2:03 PM
To: (names removed to protect the recipients)
Subject: HB 418 Final Comments - Success!!!
I am sure you are all aware that HB 418 has become law. Although Governor
Schweitzer did not sign the bill, he still had a hand in it becoming law. The Montana
Horse Industry owes him a big “Thank You.”
I think each one of you can take credit in the fact that we got this bill passed. It is
because of all of your phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails that you took the time to do
in order to show your passion for this cause that produced such a positive outcome.
Being involved made all the difference. This was a true grass roots effort and
Representative Ed Butcher told me that at the end of our campaign, calls from just
Montanans were 80% in favor of the bill. That is outstanding - and really shows what a
grass roots effort can do.
I would like to personally thank all of you that sent me e-mails and made phone
calls to me in support. Many of you copied me letters that you had sent to the Governor,
and each showed your passion and truth for this subject. Maybe one of these days I will
write a book of all those e-mails and letters – there are some pretty interesting ones to say
the least.
I also would like to thank the Montana Quarter Horse Association and its Board of
Directors for letting me represent them in this endeavor. It was at a meeting of these
folks on Sunday, February 8th that the whole idea was born. At that meeting it was
decided unanimously that we would support the Horse Processing bill, and I agreed to
write a letter and Cali would send it to our members. The effort and e-mail list just grew
from there.
This whole process just shows how important it is for us to get involved and do
what we can. It is a different world than it was in our grandparent’s day or even our
parents. Now days there are people who sit in an office in Washington, D.C. or New
York City, or Los Angeles and they have never calved a wild heifer or had to suckle a
chilled down calf. They never had a colt buck every time they jumped him out , and knew
they had to be hand enough to ride him or end up walking back to the house since there
was not a horse trailer and pickup close by. Yet, these people feel that we have been
doing this wrong for generations and they are sure that if they legislate their ideas it will
force us to abide by them. We must be aware of what goes on around us and we must
become active in preserving our way of life. I was contacted by several animal owners
that have different issues with the legislature this year. I feel that before the next
legislation there will be some sort of animal owners or animal/agriculture coalition to
help fight and support bills in the 2011 legislation. The tide is turning.
Our next big push will be HR 503 before the U.S. House of Representatives. This
is the bill to criminalize the transport of horses that will be sold for human consumption.
It is scheduled to be heard this fall. The AQHA and several of its affiliates (including
Montana) will work hard to defeat this bill. I will keep you all informed as to its process
and when we need to make our move and become involved.
Again, thanks for all your support and your commitment to getting HB 418
passed. You all take care and may God bless each of you until we talk again.
Best Regards,
Stan Weaver, President
Montana Quarter Horse Association


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The TRUTH Behind the PUSH for Horse-Slaughter

I thoroughy enjoyed this article.
Excellent TRUTH in reporting!
"Telling it like it is,"...and wonderfully!
Originally appeared in:
posted by RTF
(is that you, Jerry?)

Apr '09

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer: the Ag Lobby’s Dirty Little Plan, Revealed

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cattle Grower Network

“It has been shown that horsemeat is low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein- overall a better quality of meat than beef. If horse meat were readily available in the U.S., would you be inclined to try it?”

It pays to be on enemy email lists: I received the above link this afternoon, to a website promoting horse slaughter. A faux poll, and several misled people who are contemplating dining on "lowfat" horsemeat. The Ag lobbyists have convinced cattle "growers" that, hmmm, horsemeat might be a yummy thing--I'm thinking that it's a significant part of Ag lobby's push for horse slaughter plants--that if horse slaughter is brought back into the United States, cattle "growers" can get into the biz of "growing" horses specifically for slaughter.

This disgusts me. But I'd rather know what they're up to than not. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Ah, every now and then, the Good Guys catch a break.

Just when you thought that the battle to keep equines safe from slaughter was a losing effort—an email drops into your Inbox that qualifies as a gift from Heaven. A miracle. Hundred-dollar bills dropping from the sky.

Today was just such a day.

Allow me to elucidate. I am a member of American Horse Publications, a terrific organization that brings together every equine publication, website and freelancer in the country. I cannot stress strongly enough how much I enjoy being a member of AHP.

But today I appreciate it perhaps more than ever before, for I got an email from a website that turned the horse slaughter thing around for me. Refreshed me. Renewed my resolve.

[AHP regularly sends out press releases for its members: some days I get upward of 20 press releases. This is a great service that the organization provides to members. Most days I hear from Missy Wryn, or The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times—the ones I’d expect.]

But, ah, today. Today I was frustrated. Today I had a headache, from beating my brains against a post. I’ve been trying for several days to write a follow-up to Montana’s Big, Bloody Sky, but have been stumped. Not that I’ve run out of words—I’ll be yammering on my way to the grave. I’ve run out of patience with the system, a system that allows Governors to play footsie with Ag lobbyists and to disguise death sentences for horses as concern for their welfare.

You see, Friday was a day of jubilation for we anti-slaughter people. Well, it was a minute of jubilation.
We’d heard, first, that Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer had vetoed the horse slaughter bill.

Friends and colleagues emailed me to send up the first flares. Start the bonfire, we’re havin’ a weenie roast!

That ecstasy lasted about three seconds. I read Schweitzer’s letter to The Butcher (Ed Butcher, that is: the most appropriately-named politician in America.) The letter of “veto” was really a letter filled with amendments. IF the bill is amended in ways that Governor Schweitzer find to be appropriate—he will sign the bill into law.

And the reasons for his amendments are to write in protections for those who would build the slaughterhouses—NOT because he’s concerned about the horses’ welfare. Sure, his letter of amendment is filled with language that sounds like he’s concerned for equine welfare—all the “unwanted horses” ya-ya.

But the bottom line of it is that he’ll be delighted to sign the bill into law, as long as the amendments are written in—and those magnanimous Belgians are protected. Schweitzer wants to make sure that, once the slaughterhouse is built in Montana—no one can step up to the plate (or courthouse) and close it down.

So I’ve spent several days trying to write about something that is on the surface so vague that anti-slaughter folks were tempted to think we’d won. But knowing that we’ve not won, the battle continues, and—if anything—is more frustrating than ever. At this point, it’s out of our hands. Phone calls to Schweitzer’s office will not change a thing. Now we sit and wait to see if/when the Montana State Legislature tosses it back to him.

If they do, he’ll sign it.

If he signs it, Montana license plates can read, “The Slaughter State.”

So today I felt stumped. Defeated. Not sure what to write.

Now I know. Today we were given a gift, that of insider knowledge. This is a valuable tool—knowledge. The Truth shall set you free. The light of Truth, shining in the darkness—can turn it all around for the horses.

We have the ammo we need now: the email I received via AHP today carried the subject line, “Would You Eat Horse Meat?”

I turned on my mental heel. They had my attention. I had to peek inside, and see behind the curtain.

This email was from a website that identified itself

I’d never heard of them before. I thought it might be a group of cowboys, perhaps a newsletter of cowboy poets.

Not quite. Cheyenne Outlaw Ranch is—you guessed it—a cattle ranch in Wyoming.

Their mission is to “grow” and sell—beef, (as shown in the pic below of a Canadian "Horse Meat Farm. Notice they pick the larger, draft style horses to "grow" as they bear more meat.)

Why, you might ask yourself, would they wish to contact those of us who work in publishing in equine industries? Hmmmmm…tap yourself on the chin. Think about this a minute.

It all became wildly clear the minute I read the email: supposedly, The Cattle Grower Network had conducted a poll. Uh, yeah. And in that poll, they asked if readers would eat horsemeat if it were available to them.

Uh-huh. A rigged poll. People who are members of Cattle Grower Network, answering a question that, on its surface, seems simple.

Disgusting, but simple.

The underlying implication is enormous.

Finally--the Truth behind the push for horse slaughter plants.

The Truth, that those who are proponents are no more concerned about “unwanted horses” than a bald man is about unwanted hair.

The Truth is that the Ag lobby is working with the “cattle growers” not only to re-introduce horse slaughter into the United States—the underlying reason for doing so is that the next step after reintroduction is to create a market for horsemeat IN the United States.

The beef industry has been hurting lately. Too many people actually concerned about silly things like, oh, I don’t know—cholesterol. Fat. Colon cancer.

What, oh, what, can a “cattle grower” whose profit margin is flagging do? Hmmm…got land. Got grass. Got fields fenced in. Beef, fatty. HORSE…not so fat.

Horsemeat = a marketing strategy that could save the necks of the ranchers who’ve invested millions of dollars into an industry that is threatened by a growing American concern for health.

Read the link above, to the “poll” and those who agree with the results of the poll—that, supposedly, horsemeat just may be an acceptable addition to the American diet. Read the words, then let them set in.

Realize that this is a well-calculated campaign. This is NOT random people who happen to think that horse slaughter is a good thing.

This, my friends, is every bit as insidious a campaign as the tobacco industry creating chocolate cigarettes for children.

This campaign was hatched in the boardrooms of The Beef Council. This plan is being executed by the Ag lobbyists and the ranchers. This, they believe, will be the plan that saves the ranchers.

All this time, we anti-slaughter people thought they were merely executing the “slippery slope” argument, that, if horse slaughter is taboo in America—they’ll come for the beef industry next.

That passive-aggressive approach—that’s what we thought they were up to.

But today’s email revealed the Truth—Hallelujah, the Truth will set the horses free.

The real motivation of the Ag lobby and the Beef People is not to prevent beef slaughter from being outlawed—for that would never happen. The real motivation is to open wide the door to horse slaughter so that RANCHING HORSES for meat will not only become acceptable—it will become an exciting, viable new market for the cattle ranchers. “Branching out,” as it were. Creating a new market, and giving it the old hard-sell.

Once horse slaughter plants are put in Montana and the Dakotas—it’s all downhill from there. They think that we anti-slaughter people will just give up, and go away with a whimper. That we’ll shrug our withers, and give in.

No doubt they even aspire to converting Willie Nelson: their clever marketing wonks envision Willie as a potential ally, the face of The American Horsemeat Council. Once that door to slaughter is flung wide-open—the possibilities are endless.

I am not arguing in slippery slope here, friends. All you need do is read this nonsense from the cattle “growers,” this email they sent to their allies, to see through their transparent motive.

If we open that door—if we let Governor Schweitzer amend so vile a bill as to make it palatable, and pass it into law—then the Ag lobby and beef “growers” can institute Phase II: the cultural and governmental acceptance of horse ranches.

If you don’t want to see billboards for “Secretariat: the Other Red Meat”—you must work with us. You don’t need my vivid imagination to see that this is the real motivation for the push for slaughter: all you need is eyes to read; a brain to comprehend and a heart to give a damn.

Ag lobby—we are finally on to you. We’ve got you in our scopes. You’re goin’ down. No Alydar Alpo for me—and no Filly Filet at Peter Luger’s.

Not now. Not ever.

Click on title above to vist the authors blogspot;
I am putting her in my favs.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nutrena "in bed" with AQHA, AHC

Nutrena Feed Supports Horse Slaughter

We must not suppot any companies that support horse slaughter. Do not buy from them.

Hello Patricia,

Thank you very much for sharing your concern with us, and I do apologize for the delay in responding to you.

We stand behind our partnership with the AQHA. We at Nutrena, alongside the AQHA, are partnering with the American Horse Council, the governing body of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, to help solve the bigger issue of educating horse owners to be responsible so that someday we can achieve a point where slaughter does not even need to be considered as an option. If you are not familiar with the UHC, I encourage you to visit their website at to learn more about what they are doing to help with this issue.

Thank you,

Gina Thesing


My email to them:



Just so you know I do not support horse slaughter for human consumption. I will not buy anything from Nutrena because you have AQHA on your feed bags. AQHA is a major supporter of horses being slaughtered and American quarter horses are the largest breed on the trucks going to slaughter in Canada and Mexico. If you want anyone to buy your feed then I suggest you not be pro slaughter.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

They Dont Love Horses, Do They?

Or,..."My Beef with the Pro-Slaughter Folk"

Last revised April 23, 2009 9:02 p.m.EST

It never fails to rile me when I hear people from the so-called horse-loving community argue in favor of slaughtering them. They scream about all the “unwanted” horses and claim that slaughter is a necessary “evil” to control their populations. However, they confuse slaughter with actual “humane euthanasia.” Slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia in any way. Slaughter is a horror we reserve for food chain animals only, and the slaughter is never humane. It is violent and traumatic by its very nature. They argue that there is no difference between a horse or a cow, a pig, a sheep, a chicken or any other traditional food-chain animal. What they ignore and/or “skirt over” is the fact that the horse is not and has never been considered a food animal in the United States. Yes it is true that throughout history at certain times and under certain circumstances, Americans have turned to consuming horsemeat, but those were hardship cases where other kinds of meat were not available. Today, Americans are not starving and there is no shortage of other kinds of meat. Meanwhile, the USDA keeps a list of “officially approved” animals for us to eat, and the horse is not on that list. That is what makes the horse different or special from any other food animal, and people who really love or care for Americas horses want to keep it that way.

Can these so-called horse-loving people actually believe that slaughter is humane? Are they that out of touch with reality? Apparently so, cause they are standing up in Congress and lobbying for their “individual rights” to send their horses to slaughter, and are crying that a prohibition against horse slaughter will go against the concept of “free enterprise.“ The really interesting part is that those who are doing the loudest yelling for horse slaughter are the very ones responsible for producing or promoting the breeding of all the so-called “unwanted” horses. Breed registries like the American Quarter-Horse Association (AQHA) and the racing industry are responsible for over half of all horses being sent to slaughter. No wonder they are crying a need for horse-slaughter. If they didnt have the slaughter option they would have to get their breeding under control and take more responsibility for the lives of the animals they bring into this world. They would have to pay to humanely euthanise them. So why do they so strongly support slaughter over real humane euthanasia? The truth of the matter is this. Slaughter PAYS while real humane euthanasia costs.

Anybody who claims to love something and would intentionally cause it harm for any reason, is a hypocrite in my book. If you love something or even remotely have a care for it, do not wish it harm in any way, nor contribute to its infliction. If you love or care for something, you protect it and wish it well, always.

Actually, its not about “loving horses” so much above all other animals. Its not even about "caring deeply" for them or any other animal. What it all boils down to is this: Having a healthy respect for all living things and a good sense of right and wrong, and a determination to DO NO HARM if and when possible. This is Basic Human Understanding 101, something I guess they didnt teach in their schools.

Oh, the pro-slaughter folk may “love” their horses alright, as far as they are capable of in their pea-pickin narrow-minded compassionateless little brains, ... its just that they dont “love” them as much as they do the blood-money to be made off of the peddling of their flesh when they are no longer profitable or useful to them.

These people need to evolve out of their moral primitiveness, use their brain to educate themselves,..grow a heart and JUST SAY NO to un-necessary evils like horse-slaughter.

Christine A. Jubic

Monday, April 20, 2009

PRCA Elects Animal Abuser to Executive Council

Friday, April 17th, 2009

This is sad news. In January of 2006, David Morehead pled guilty to 36 counts of horse cruelty. Last week the PRCA elected Morehead to its 2009 PRCA Executive Council. Further proof of exactly how much (or how little) rodeo folks love and respect their animals.

Click on title above to go to Sharks page where you can read the story about Morehead’s convictions and to see the videotape and election results, or cut and paste the link below into your web-browser;

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WAR HERO to Promote AQHAs Quarterfest Extravaganza

Gee, I wonder if he knows "the darker side of the AQHA," and if he did would he still help to promote them? Maybe we should petition him and give him an education about the AQHA Pro-slaughter position?


The CNN report read like this: "Seventeen U.S. soldiers were killed, five were injured and one was missing after two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters crashed Saturday in a residential neighborhood in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Military officials believe one helicopter may have climbed to avoid gunfire and collided with a second Black Hawk, causing them both to crash."

Army Staff Sgt. Josh Forbess, a then-27-year-old Decatur, Illinois, native didn’t wake up from the November 16, 2003, incident until eight weeks later, and he still tears up when he discusses the 17 of his fellow 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers who died in the crash, many of them his friends. Forbess lost an ear and half of his nose and suffered broken bones, extensive burns and smoke inhalation injuries.

While he continues to recover from his injuries, a process that, including reconstruction surgery, could take two or three years, he’s back working at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and committed to returning to full duty with his unit, the 320th Field Artillery Regiment’s 1st Battalion.

“As long as you have heart, there’s nothing to stop you,” he said in an October 2004 American Forces Press Service article. The driving force behind his efforts to recover fully from his injuries and to return to full duty in the military is “all in here,” Forbess said, tapping his chest.

“I love my job. I love training soldiers,” said Forbess. “There’s nothing else I could do that I would enjoy as much as that.”

Forbess said he barely notices the curious looks he receives when he goes out in public, revealing his facial injuries to the world. “I don't notice people staring,” he said. “There’s no shame. I'm still the same person inside.”

During Forbess’ recovery, his wife lived at the Brooke Army Medical Center Fisher House, which is part of a program that provides special housing at each of the Army's major medical centers for the families of soldiers who are receiving medical treatment, often from being wounded on duty.

Staff Sgt. Forbess now works as a volunteer at the Fisher House, serving as a mentor to combat-injured veterans and leading Wounded Warrior meetings. He is also the current noncommissioned officer in charge of the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Campbell and volunteers with numerous veteran organizations and children's charities. Forbess also heads the Fort Campbell Fisher House Equine Therapy Program.

In November 2008, Forbess was recognized by President George W. Bush for his volunteer efforts. Bush presented the President’s Volunteer Service award to Forbess, praising him for serving his nation in uniform, and going the extra measure to serve others in need.

The American Quarter Horse Association is proud to announce that Staff Sgt. Forbess will take part in the QuarterFest Extravaganza the evenings of May 1 and 2 in the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This two-hour riveting production is designed to reinforce your bond with the world’s favorite horse – the American Quarter Horse. We’ll cap the event with an all-American tribute to the nation’s wounded warriors and those who have given their lives for our country.

Purchase your tickets for QuarterFest and the Extravaganza at

QuarterFest is a three-day, education-packed celebration of the American Quarter Horse Association’s 68th anniversary where AQHA members and horse enthusiasts from around the world will gather in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, May 1-3 for fun, entertainment and festivities to honor the world’s most versatile horse – the American Quarter Horse. Our sponsors – Tractor Supply, B&W Trailer Hitches, John Deere, Justin Boots, Merial, Nutrena, Professional’s Choice, Bank of America, Montana Silversmiths, Farnam, Breyer and Wrangler – share our passion for horses and are an integral part of QuarterFest.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Cloned Horses for Oklahoma?

Clones Will Be Left at the Gate in Oklahoma if Governor Signs Legislation

by Fran Jurga | 9 April 2009 | The Jurga Report

Thanks to our friends at the Quarter Horse Racing Journal and American Quarter Horse Association for the "ears up" about horse-related legislation in Oklahoma that is headed for the Governor's office to be signed.

No, it's not equine dentists this time: The AQHA announced yesterday that Oklahoma has banned clones and (if I am reading this article correctly) their offspring from racing in the state.

Click here to read the Racing Journal's article.

An article in the Oklahoman newspaper has some quotes but some of the points aren't quite clear, since it is unlikely that clones themselves would be racing anyway.

It seems to me that the whole point of commercial cloning (vs sentimental cloning of a pet) is for breeding. Legislation like this would take a lot of wind out of cloning's sails. And sales. It's interesting that the clones would be banned from racing but not showing or commercial breeding or sales.

The story gets even murkier when you get down to realizing that if the AQHA doesn't even register clones, this is a "just in case" piece of legislation--in effect, closing the barn door before the clone gets out.

Will clones have a big C branded into their foreheads for all to see? They look just like other horses, after all, and their offspring will too. And a clone's DNA test will not look like something from a mountaintop in Transylvania.

The cloning story continues to write itself, right in front of our eyes. I urge you all to read more about this fascinating subject. Sooner or later, no matter where you live or no matter what breed of horse you may show or race or breed or own, or what equestrian sport discipline you choose, you'll be hearing about cloning.

This subject has rekindled my interest in equine reproduction, which had been eclipsed by my total obsession with lameness for many years. When the first clone goes lame, it will be my story.

Click here for a one-stop archive of recent articles here on the Jurga Report about the AQHA's struggle with finding a reasonable resolution to this issue.

And stay tuned, both to this blog and AQHA sources for more cloning news as it happens.
Labels: AQHA, clone, clones, cloning, legislation, Oklahoma, Quarter, racing, reproduction

Criminal Horse Abuse At Oklahoma Prison:

Criminals take part in Rodeo's causing pain and horrendous suffering to Horses, backed by the current Warden & the Director of Department of Corrections. It's Criminal Abuse & needs to end now! Please help by signing & sharing. Sadly you can view video's on youtube by entering ''Rodeo Horse Abuse At Oklahoma Penitentiary'' Although heartbreaking to watch, it may help you realise the full extent of abuse these animals suffer just for mans pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition.

Click on title above to sign petition;

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Whoops! There is it: The REAL Reason Behind Horse-Slaughter

"(Horse breeding) certainly is a challange as there are limited outlets to allow the industry to control excess inventory effectively" - K. Ringwall, NDSU

Horses and beef, they still go together

Source: AgWeek; By: Kris Ringwall, NDSU for Dickinson Press

The other day was difficult. The discussion centered on the horse industry as the Dickinson Research Extension Center was reviewing program costs. As the horse program was discussed, the updated costs were noted. Based on a five-year average, the annual cost (direct and overhead expenses) for maintaining a producing mare and nursing foal was $764.68 per year, with $570.16 attributed to direct costs (feed, breeding fees, veterinary, livestock supplies, marketing, equipment repairs and fuel, etc.). The remaining $194.52 was overhead costs that are calculated and allocated based on a typical percentage of use for each enterprise within the ranch.

The same five-year average was used to calculate raising a young horse. The annual cost averaged $893.75 per horse. The annual direct costs for the growing young horse averaged $745.92 and the overhead costs were $147.83. These horses are weaned colts all the way up to those in the early training phase. For the horses that remain in service to the ranch (working ranch horse), the annual costs have averaged $829.43, with the direct expenses averaging $681.42 per year and the overhead expenses averaging $148.01 per year. So what was difficult about the discussion?

In a nutshell, the costs are very typical and certainly could be noted as a function of the times. Inputs are expensive, but most people understand that. The difficulty rests in the value of the horse compared with the maintenance cost. Ranch costs do keep going up. The cost of raising beef cattle continues to go up, as does the cost of maintaining a working ranch horse, which affects the bottom line of the beef business. That simply means producers need beef prices to keep pace with increased costs. Keep the working horses and look for better beef markets.

The question about brood mares is much more difficult because these costs need to be covered by the value of their offspring. The value of a young colt not only carries with it the cost of production for the mare, but also for the production costs of the young horse until the time of sale. Right now, the market is not supporting those costs. For the Dickinson Research Extension Center, that means fewer horses, particularly the stud. However, the real answer is in finding and maintaining better markets, more opportunities and competition for each year’s foal crop. Unfortunately, not unlike the center, many producers also are faced with short-term decisions that affect cash flow. Many producers have indicated they have and will breed fewer mares and that the increasing costs and low values of the foals was the deciding factor.

Ultimately, supply and demand will catch up. However, as one producer said, “What may happen as a result of this current market is the number of foals/horses hitting the sales market. Sales should be down as many informed people will breed fewer mares. However, there doesn’t seem to be any decrease in the number of beginner and novice breeders! They see all of these cheap horses, such as bred mares and studs, that they can pick up and add to their herds. Many of these herds are ‘grade horses’ (meaning cute or had neat color) and may be crossbred to create more grade horses.”

That certainly is a challenge given the current limitations on marketing horses for slaughter. There are limited outlets to allow the industry to control excess inventory effectively and allow demand and supply to match up. More and stronger markets are needed. In the meantime, as many producers noted, breeding horses should be for those who have a history and desire to execute a well-written business plan that justifies breeding a mare

May you find all your ear tags.

Comments are welcome at BeefTalk.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Supporters Donate $14K for Abandoned Horse's Care

The AQHA Could Take a Lesson Here, on How to REALLY Care for a Horse!


Liz Brown
March 31 2009,

The foster owner of a horse that was abandoned in Mesa, Ariz., says the outpouring of support for the gelding's recovery has been "tremendous."

The Thoroughbred, named Solo Vino by rescuers, was brought to Gwen Cleary's farm on March 3, after her neighbors found the abandoned horse, who was emaciated and had a large open wound in his head.

Solo Vino on March 3.
Cleary contacted Equine Voices Rescue's Karen Pomroy about Solo Vino, and together they have been working to help him make a full recovery.
Pomroy has been accepting donations for Solo Vino's care. So far people have donated about $14,000. Cleary said Solo Vino's veterinary care alone has already cost $8,000.

"He had an infected wound on his head, his legs were swollen, and his front right foot has severe ringbone," Cleary explained.

The gash in Solo Vino's head was three inches long, his skull was fractured, and the right side of his nuchal ligament was also detached from the skull.

In March, the gelding underwent surgery to remove bone fragments from the wound and to repair his nuchal ligament. Solo Vino is on antibiotics to fight infection while his head heals. He is also receiving treatment for his arthritis.

The Maricopa County Sheriff is currently investigating and is offering a $1,000 reward in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call 602/876-1681.

"We still need help for him," Cleary said, adding that even a donation of a couple of bales of hay, or a bag of feed, is a great help.

Donations to the Solo Vino fund can be made on the Equine Voices and Rescue Sanctuary Web site.

Click on title above to read more;

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

AQHA Camps It Up with Kids and Horses!

I wonder, when they are teaching the kids about quarter-horses, will they tell them about the slaughter issue and responsible breeding? Will they tell them that over half of all horses going to slaughter are registered american quarter-horses?

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum is gearing up for summer camp for kids.
America’s Horse, March 24, 2009 – The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum invites all kids who love horses to be a part of Camp It Up! This year’s Camp It Up will feature three different learning opportunities.

In Horseology 101, campers focus on American Quarter Horse safety issues, learn stalling information and investigate careers with horses. The campers spend one week learning about horses and get to saddle up and ride on Friday. Horseology 101 will be held June 22-26 at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo. The cost for Horseology 101 is $50.

To participate in Horseology 102, campers must complete Horseology 101. The second camp in the lineup, Horseology 102, is a deeper study into owning a horse including the financial responsibilities of horse ownership and showing an American Quarter Horse. Campers also learn about careers in the equine industry, hear guest speakers, create art projects and take a field trip to a horse facility. Two sessions of Horseology 102 will be presented. The first session will be July 13-17, and the second session will be July 27-31. The cost of Horseology 102 is $80.

Horseology 101 and 102 are for campers 8-11.

Career Camp, for campers 11 to 15, explores what it’s like to take care of a horse for a living or be involved in the equine industry. Ever wonder what it’s like to be a jockey, a horse trainer, or a horse museum curator? You’ll find out more about these jobs at Career Camp, August 3-7. Career Camp costs $160.

Scholarships are available through the generosity of Amarillo National Bank for qualifying applicants.

Since Camp It Up’s inception in 1999, hundreds of young people have learned about the American Quarter Horse.

Sign up your kids for this week-long camp that is full of fun and interactive learning. Let your child spend summer days playing games, making friends and learning all about American Quarter Horses! Please call (806) 376-5181 to make reservations or visit for more information.

If you can’t make it to Amarillo and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum for camp, you can host your own American Quarter Horse educational event. Visit for suggestions on hosting a Horseology 101 camp in your area.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal, The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal or America’s Horse, visit


Friday, March 27, 2009

Oldest Quarter Horse In History to Race Sunday at Remington Park

OKLAHOMA CITY - When Silent Cash Dasher, age 16, leaves the starting gate in the 11th race on Sunday night, March 29, he’ll become the oldest Quarter Horse to ever race in the USA and obviously, the oldest horse to ever run at Remington Park.

Owned and trained by Gary Earp of Jay, Okla., jockey Denise Lambeth has been named to ride in the race, an allowance at 250 yards with a purse of $24,000. He has been assigned odds at 15-1 in the morning line for Sunday.

Silent Cash Dasher won here at age 13, in May 2006, becoming the oldest horse to ever win at Remington Park.

The Oklahoma-bred gelding won 3 races at Oklahoma tracks last year at age 15, becoming the oldest quarter horse to ever win a race in the USA. The gelded son of Dash Easy from the Silent Devil mare Barrbom Babe was bred by Carl Kirby.

Silent Cash Dasher boasts career earnings of $155,277 and has won 18 of his 81 career attempts. His racing career began in 1997 and he first competed at Remington Park as a 5-year-old in 1998.

Post time for the first of 11 races on Sunday night at Remington Park is 6:25pm

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

AQHA Debuts Greener Pastures Program

This is a good start. Its about time the AQHA did something for the horses,......of course, it is a voluntary program that wont cost the asociation anything. It will be interesting to see how many owners actually participate in this program. Meanwhile, more needs to be done in the way of funding for equine rehab and retirement.

America's Horse: Is there an American Quarter Horse in your past or present for whom you'd like to provide a forever home?

With the American Quarter Horse Associations new Greener Pastures program, you'll be able to indicate on a horse's registration certificate that should that horse ever become unwanted, unusable or simply ready for retirement, you will if possible assist in finding him or her a suitable home.

The program is free, completely voluntary, does not imply that a buy back or exchange of money will occur, or that a horse is guaranteed a home, because sometimes situations can and do change. It simply allows members who can and want to an opportunity to provide for the long-term care of horses they've bred or owned. You must be an AQHA member to sign up for or enroll a horse in the program.

AQHA wants to help responsible horse owners, says Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of marketing. We believe we can better serve the equine industry and help ensure the long-term care of horses we register with this program. By implementing Greener Pastures, we begin to fill a void.

AQHA believes that being green means more than reducing one's carbon footprint; it's actually a much a larger issue of social responsibility to the earth and all of its creatures.

Essentially, the Association will act as a clearinghouse by tracking Greener Pastures-enrolled horses and AQHA members who have indicated the desire to help.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal, The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal or Americas Horse, visit


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quarter horse breeding continues apace
March 1, 2009

The number of new quarter horse registrations in North America dropped by 30,000 horses last year from 2005 figures, but the breed still accounts for more foals on the ground than all other breeds recorded by the US Jockey Club put together.
The Jockey Club's figures, released this week in the organisation's Fact Book, shows that 135,924 quarter horse foals were registered in 2008. This is a drop from the 2005 figures of 165,057, the highest noted in the factbook since the 1960s. The figures show quarter horse registrations decreasing 6.9% since 2000.

The American Quarter Horse Association has received criticism in recent years for its registrtation policies which welfare groups say fuel the slaughter industry, which exports horse meat to Europe.

The second most prolific breed was the thoroughbred, with an estimated 36,600 registrations on the ground in 2008. This represents a drop of about 1500 foals from the 2005 figure of 38,191.

Registrations of paint horses, which nearly quadrupled between 1990 and 2000, have since declined 52.8% through 2008, with 29,534 registrations, down from 42,557 in 2005. The breed is a derivative of the quarter horse.

Appaloosa and arabian registrations fell 46.6% and 36.6%, respectively.

Other breeds shown in the Jockey Club's figures include miniatures, morgans, paso fino, saddlebreds, and standardbreds.

The Jockey Club Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 19th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.

Pari-mutuel handle on thoroughbred racing in North America declined 7.2% to $14,331,781,748 in 2008, as the worsening economy and continued discord concerning rights fees for advance deposit wagering contributed to the decrease. A more modest decline of 1.3% in North American gross purses to $1,310,838,852 is indicative of the positive impact of alternative gaming recently implemented at racetracks in several states. Pennsylvania, for example, offered nearly $34 million more in purse money in 2008 than in 2007.

In the sales section, total auction receipts in 2008 fell 21.2% to $972,889,922 as turmoil in credit and equity markets in the fall particularly affected gross sales of broodmares and weanlings, which were down 40.1% and 34.1%, respectively.

In the breeding section, the decline in mares bred in recent years is expected to result in moderate decreases in the annual registered thoroughbred foal crop in 2008 and 2009. Among the top 10 foal-producing states in 2007, New Mexico and Louisiana have more than doubled the size of their annual registered foal crop since 1997. Four others - Kentucky, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania - also experienced gains.

Click on title above to see breed registration figures with graphs and charts.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

AQHA to Register Clones?

...Sure they will. Why not? It would mean Mo' Money for the ASSociation,....and it wont be long before cloned AQHA registered horses start showing up at foreign-slaughter houses to be consumed as a delicacy by wealthy europeans.

Send in the Clones: Forum on American Quarter Horse Clone Registration Rule Change Will Be Available via Webcast

One of the biggest changes in the history of American horse breeding has been set in motion, but you don't have to travel to San Antonio, Texas on March 6 to be part of it.

American Quarter Horse Association members who can’t make it to the equine cloning forum at the 2009 AQHA Annual Convention will be able to watch the event online in the members section of The forum Webcast will begin at 2 p.m. March 6.

You must be an AQHA member and have a Personal Identification Number to log in at the site and access the Webcast.

Under Rule 227(a) of the AQHA official handbook, a rule that became effective in 2004, American Quarter Horses produced by any cloning process are not eligible for registration. Clones are currently not being bred for performance use, but rather for breeding, so the offspring of a clone would not be able to registered.

All that may change in March.

The AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee (SBRC) first considered a proposed change to Rule 227(a) at the 2008 AQHA Convention. That proposed change would allow a live foal produced via a particular type of cloning to be registered if its DNA matches that of a registered American Quarter Horse. Voting on that rule change was postponed to 2009 while more information was gathered.

The proposed change to Rule 227(a) will again be on the SBRC agenda at the 2009 AQHA Convention but only after a public forum where members will be able to learn more about cloning and to express their opinions. This forum is open to all interested AQHA members.

Confirmed forum panelists include Katrin Hinrichs, a veterinarian involved in equine cloning at Texas A&M University; Sharon Spier, an epidemiologist at the University of California-Davis; George Seidel, a professor specializing in biomedical sciences at Colorado State University; and Blake Russell of ViaGen, a commercial cloning lab.

Following the forum, AQHA members watching the webcast will have the opportunity to leave online comments on the information presented. Comments will be limited to 100 words and need to be related to the topics presented during the forum.

For more information on cloning, see the February issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal, the March issue of The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal and the March-April issue of America’s Horse.

Blogger's Note: My copy of the Journal came in the mail today and contained an eight-page article called "Pure Genetics", which covers many aspects of the cloning issue.

In 2008, the National Cutting Horse Association passed a rule allowing clones to compete. Champion cutting horse Smart Little Lena was cloned five times in 2006 by Texas A&M University, according to the AQHA article. Offspring sired by any of the five would currently not be eligible for registration with the AQHA, but would be able to compete in NCHA events. Might clones become part of a distinct new breed association?

After the AQHA convention in March, they might be welcome in the AQHA for the first time. Other breed associations would then need to decide whether to follow the AQHA's lead; currenty no breed associations register clones.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Horse Slaughter: Not the Answer to Overbreeding

Equestrian News Release

February 3, 2009 -- Loxahatchee, FL -- It hasn't even been two weeks since the inauguration of President Obama, and it seems as if some of our elected representatives have missed the forward movement of transparency and accountability regarding lobbyists and ethics. Maybe that is where the rub is: it's not a lobbyist who is attempting to steer taxpayers' dollars for a personal agenda, it is a state representative who touts an elected seat.

North Dakota State Representative Rod Froelich and State Senator Joe Miller have introduced a bill to the state's legislative assembly proposing to spend $100,000 on a study to determine the feasibility of a horse slaughter house in North Dakota. There are some startling coincidences worthy of mention. Representative Froelich's family are longtime quarterhorse breeders, and according to their website at they specialize in breeding horses of outstanding color and disposition.

Quote from the site: "Welcome to our 38th annual production sale. The five Froelich brothers, along with our mother, Barbara, and our nephew, Lance, are excited to again bring you a consistent group of foals with 'disposition, color, & conformation ranch-raised in big country'."

Whether Representative Froelich has sent horses to slaughter is a question only he can answer. Unfortunately, in our country, breeders send horses to slaughter because of their color; yes, this does exist. For example, two QH babies named Abercrombie and Fitch arrived at Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue. They came with AQHA papers so we called the previous owner, a breeder in Minnesota who selects for color: "palomino to be exact." According to the breeder, the two babies were sold to Simon Horse Company in Minnesota owned by Joe and Ryon Simon who are known killbuyers for horse slaughter. Both horses were sold because they were red in color, and Fitch's mother was sent to slaughter because that was her third red baby. This almost takes us back many years ago to a situation which was referred to as "cleansing."

How many times are we going to look into the pro-slaughter bowl of cherries and see that the pit is usually someone who stands to gain personally or financially, whether on the sale of horsemeat or the act of slaughter itself?

Here is an idea for Rep. Froelich: rather than ask the taxpayers to pay for a study on the feasibility of opening a slaughterhouse in North Dakota (creating a dumping ground for quarterhorses that do not have the most perfect conformation, sought after color or greatest disposition), ask the AQHA to designate funds for genetic studies and education. Even the horse novice understands the homozygous genes and the possibilities of perfecting color choices. Another thought would be to take that $100,000 and donate it to a rescue that saves slaughter-bound horses, and we will take all your not-so-perfect babies and mares that do not produce foals of the "right" color and place them in loving homes. It is so redundant to have yet another attempt at promoting horse slaughter stem from the AQHA arena.

How unfortunate that the AQHA is one of the wealthiest equine organizations in the US and yet continues to support horse slaughter. Even while the thoroughbred associations are stepping up to develop solutions to help our equine athletes retire safely and with dignity, the AQHA (with four times the annual foal registration of the TB industry) refuses to present and incorporate a plan for their horses. In addition, the AQHA allows for artificial insemination, embryo transplant and cloning (their latest endeavor) while the thoroughbred industry requires live cover. As stated earlier, a major consideration should be researching methods of successfully producing the most sought-after foals.

Consider these numbers related to the AQHA (2007 US data):

-Quarter horse population: 2,859,851 (Estimated 2007 all-breed population: 9.2 million)
-AQHA new foals/registrations: 117,830
-AQHA membership: 305,000
-Total owners: 902,453
-AQHA total assets: $111,154,925
-Revenues from registrations, transfers, membership, breeding fees: $19,288,000
-AQHA 2008 new foals/registrations: 140,000 (this should be 140,000, right?)

These revenues and assets are not comparable with any other breed association, The AQHA charges owners for foal registrations and annual dues. The majority of QH owners do register their horses as it adds market value to the horse, and it's required in order to enter the horse in AQHA-sanctioned racing, shows and events. More foals equal more revenue for the AQHA.

These figures show that annual breeding means huge financial gain for the AQHA. Excess stock would negatively impact market values, so unsalable quarter horses go to slaughter to make room on farms for next year's foals. The AQHA also contributed $9,000 to Senator Larry Craig, who filed a notice of intent to object on a federal bill aimed towards ending horse slaughter; subsequently, the bill saw no action in the Senate.

No other breed of horse is sent more frequently to slaughter than the American Quarterhorse, the real victims of greed in the American horse industry.

If we trace the historical path of this issue in the political arena, the continuation of horse slaughter has always stemmed from personal agendas or personal gain. This year, let's try to have humanity as the agenda, do what is right, and represent the voice of the people.

Pure Thoughts Inc.
National Horse Welfare Organization
Jennifer Swanson
Cheryl Hanna

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

AQHA "Welfare Group" Studies Everything Horse Welfare Related but Horse Slaughter

Important to remember here that over half of all horses going to slaughter are REGISTERED AMERICAN QUARTER HORSES....

AQHA Welfare Group Releases Plans for Racing, Breeding, Shows by: Edited Press Release

January 19 2009, Article # 13475

The American Quarter Horse Association's Executive Committee has
approved recommendations from the Animal Welfare Assurance Task
Force, and the association is moving forward to implement the

The association's main objectives are to educate members and the
general public on animal welfare issues and identify and eliminate
any inhumane training practices that might currently be perceived as
acceptable, while strengthening sanctions for noncompliance.

AQHA's Animal Welfare Assurance Task Force met in the fall in
Amarillo to discuss issues facing the industry and ways to continue
protecting the American Quarter Horse and other equines. Gathering
members from all aspects of the industry brought a wealth of
knowledge and experience together to ensure many views were
represented. See below for a list of members.

"The welfare of American Quarter Horses has always been of paramount
importance to AQHA," said Bill Brewer, AQHA executive vice
president. "In 2009, we are renewing our commitment to American
Quarter Horses and all other animal welfare issues as they relate to
American Quarter Horses. Our horses deserve our best. The
responsibility of caring for the American Quarter Horse should always
be a top priority."

Educational efforts on animal welfare have already begun and include
the following:

A link to AQHA's animal welfare policy statement is featured on the home page.
An article on AQHA's animal welfare efforts, task force
recommendations and a request for a concerted effort from AQHA
Professional Horsemen to ensure the humane treatment of horses and
acceptable training practices will be in the January 2009
Professional Horsemen's newsletter.
A rules committee met in conjunction with the December Judges'
Conference in Irving, Texas, to review and make recommendations on
roping, working cow horse, and reining rules in relation to
acceptable training and class procedures. The group also made
recommendations on excessive or abusive treatment rules related to
other disciplines, which will be sent to the Show Committee for
consideration at the annual Convention.
New judging cards have been printed to include space for the judge to
indicate any disqualifications for abusive practices in the show


The following has been approved by the AQHA Executive Committee:

Action Plan for Racing:

1. Maintain existing relationships with National Thoroughbred Racing
Association, Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, Jockey Club
Welfare and Safety Summit, Association of Racing Commissioners
International Model Rules Program, etc., providing AQHA has a seat at
the table to ensure consistency in animal welfare policies and

2. Communicate via AQHA publications, e-newsletters, racetrack daily
programs, in-house TV and Web sites about racing's continued efforts
to ensure the welfare of horses is paramount. Work through AQHA
Public Policy Committee, state affiliates, state legislative
initiatives, and specialists to influence public opinion.

3. Correspond with state racing commissions and NTRA communicating
the objectives listed below with regard to animal welfare:

Advocate the use of safe equipment;
Conduct American Quarter Horse-specific research on toe grabs;
Conduct further American Quarter Horse-specific research on track
surfaces regarding type of surface vs. type of injuries;
Develop a certification program for starters, assistant starters,
jockeys, grooms, security personnel and other necessary designees as
deemed necessary;
Support implementing an equine injury database at all racetracks for
all breeds;
Endorse out-of-competition testing and support the continued testing
for anabolic steroids at sale companies as a condition of
Endorse mandatory testing of claimed horses for anabolic steroids;
Endorse and consolidate testing at accredited laboratories.

Action Plan for Breeding/Genetic Defects:

1. Have a breeders' summit and videotape to develop an educational
DVD and/or power point presentation that could be used at Affiliate
Workshop, World Show, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, alliance
partner conventions, and other locations by AQHA members.

2. A "Welfare Link" for "America's Horse" weekly newsletter and the
AQHA Web site has been created. It includes an animal welfare
statement and links to welfare information in the AQHA rulebook and
will also provide access to welfare articles covering different
topics involving racing, showing, breeding, etc., as they become

3. Conduct breeders' seminar during AQHA Annual Convention

4. Expand current breeder referral program by establishing a "premium
level" for those breeders who agree to test for genetic and
infectious diseases (where applicable).

Action Plan for Shows:

1. Change Professional Horsemen's application for both race and show
professionals to add a section to include an agreement to monitor
humane treatment. Change the current policy for Professional Horsemen
to have two members (increased from one) to discuss unacceptable
training or inhumane treatment with offenders on site.

2. Judges must report disqualifications for inhumane treatment in
show arena and list reason for disqualification on judge's card
returned to AQHA.

3. Track horse injuries that occur at AQHA-approved shows, and create
a form for a veterinary statement detailing injury.


Members of the task force included veterinarians, industry leaders,
trainers, representatives from equine organizations, and individuals
representing racing, showing, and recreational riding. They include:

Clark Bradley;
Dave Brian;
Joe Carter;
Doug Corey, DVM;
Eleanor Green, DVM, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ABVP;
Jim Helzer;
Connie Hill;
Bill Horton;
Paul Jones;
Nancy Goodman McIlwraith, DVM.;
Scott Myers, DVM.;
Tammy Pate;
Carol Rose;
Bennie Sargent;
Dorvan Solberg;
Johnny Trotter;
Sandy Vaughn; and
Rick Weaver.