The theme of this year’s American Horse Council National Issues Forum will be protecting and promoting the horse.
The council said the issues that the horse industry had faced over the last decade had changed, but there were several consistent challenges.
These included federal regulatory challenges, attracting newcomers to horses and equine activities, maintaining equine activities that riders enjoy, and welfare initiatives to protect horses.
But, as with any challenges, they also created opportunities. The forum will focus on how the industry is dealing with them.
Of great importance to the horse industry is its relationship with the US Department of Agriculture. Most horse owners did not understand how and where and why the Department of Agriculture intersected with the horse community, the council said.
Federal authority – and protection and assistance – extended over the horse industry not only on the breeding farms, but also on horses when they race, show and are used for recreation.
The forum will focus on answering such questions. High-ranking representatives from the department responsible for the programs that affect the horse industry will be present to explain how they view the industry, what they do, how federal programs are changing, and what the department’s new five-year plan has in store for the horse industry.
Programs like the council’s Time to Ride and its 2015 $US100,000 Horse Challenge and others are under way. Updates will be provided that can teach attendees how they might institute similar programs to attract people to the horse industry in its various forms.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition is celebrating its 10th anniversary and plans an update on its current activities and initiatives over the last decade.
The forum will be held on June 16, in Washington, DC, during the council’s annual convention, which will run from June 14-17 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill.
More information here.