April 18, 2008

The movement organised last year by the American Horse Council to better represent and serve the horse industry before Congress continues to grow, with more breed organisations joining.

All horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, competitors, recreational riders, service providers, and anyone who desires to be involved in grassroots efforts in Washington may join the Congressional Cavalry.

"The most recent organizations to sign on are the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, and the US Equestrian Federation," said AHC President Jay Hickey. "They join the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the US Trotting Association. We'd like to have many more of our member organizations participating by the end of the year."

"If we can involve just one person from a few of our member organizations in each Congressional district with an expressed desire to be involved in the grassroots effort, think of the potential effect that could have when contacting Representatives or Senators about issues important to the horse industry," said Hickey. "That's a lot of 'Horse Power'."

"Just like the real Cavalry, the Congressional Cavalry will be called upon when needed. This will not be a lot of work. Last summer, when the appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture surfaced with a misguided provision that could have shut down the interstate and international movement of horses, we activated the Congressional Cavalry and other organizations and were able to point out the problems the bill would have caused. We got a great response and the provision was changed before the House voted on it," said Hickey.

The AHC will provide participants with whatever information is required to take action. Participants will be contacted as necessary and activated quickly. "We hope the Cavalry will eventually provide the base for additional activities like visits with Members of Congress back home; invitations to Members of Congress to visit a facility or event; and regular reports to Congress about activities back in the district that illustrate the importance of the horse industry to the state and local economy, sport and recreational life," said Hickey.