The American Horse Council’s upcoming National Issues Forum will focus on the decline in breeding registration numbers.
The program for the June 24 forum in Washington DC has been finalized and will feature panels from across the horse industry. The theme is: “Where have all the horses gone?”
The council said while this topic had been addressed at various organization’s meetings, it would be the first time it had been discussed so broadly with representatives from breed registries, racing, showing, trainers, disciplines, veterinarians and other stakeholders.
“We believe that anyone in the horse community will be interested in this topic,” council president Jay Hickey said.
“With the precipitous fall-off in the number of registered horses over the last 10 years, we thought it would be important to get the perspectives of various organizations, breeds, disciplines, and stakeholders on why this is happening and what the ramifications will be.
“It may affect various parts of the horse industry differently, but it will affect us all.
“Indeed, since we announced the forum, we have been surprised at how many thought the downturn was only affecting their breed or activity. Not so. It affects the entire horse community.”
Tim Capps, the director of the Equine Industry Program at the University of Louisville, will be the keynote speaker and will try to put the situation in context.
Capps has been involved with various sectors of the horse industry throughout his professional life and brings his experience and academic background to the issue.
The forum will also feature three panels featuring a cross-section of leaders of breed registries, trainers and other stakeholders offering their thoughts on the drop.
Hickey continued: “We have lined-up top-notch panels of racing leaders, showing leaders, breed registries and other sectors that support the industry and rely on a healthy industry for growth.
Scheduled to speak are: Jeff Blea, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Debbie Fuentes, Registrar/Sr. Director of Registry and Member Services, Arabian Horse Association: Jim Gagliano, President & COO, The Jockey Club; Jim McGarvey, Chairman, Back Country Horsemen of America; Josh Pons, Maryland Horse Breeders Association; Lori Rawls, Executive Director, U.S. Equestrian Federation; Robin Richards, President, National HBPA; Cynthia Richardson, President, Arabian Horse Association; Don Treadway, Executive Vice President, American Quarter Horse Association; Rick Violette, President, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; and Scott Wells, President & General Manager, Remington Park Racing Casino.
“This is a very diverse group and should offer some interesting observations and advice,” said Hickey.
The forum will be held on June 24 during the council’s annual convention, which runs from June 22-25 at the Washington Court Hotel.
Attendees will also be provided an update on Time to Ride, an ambitious national campaign and contest with a goal of introducing 100,000 new people to a horse experience between May 31 and September 7, 2014.
There will also be an update on the industry’s National Equine Health Plan and the Equine Disease Communication Center by Dr Nat White, past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
White has been spearheading efforts to draft a National Equine Health Plan. Central to that plan is an Equine Disease Communication Center to coordinate and disseminate timely and accurate information about diseases in general and outbreaks when they occur.
Plans have moved forward for such a communications center and Dr. White will update attendees on those efforts.
Complete information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information, can be found on the AHC’s website, or by contacting the council.