Looking for funds……

Inspired by Commedia Dell Arte (Italian Renaissance “Art of Comedy”), Shakespeare, and all things “horsing around”, Equine Dell Arte’s 1st full length production ‘O! For a Horse with Wings’ will take you on a whimsical wild ride! Galloping through a montage of music, magic and mayhem actors and horses team up to bring you a performance like you’ve never seen before!

Equine Dell Arte is an ensemble company comprised of professional actors, students, people with disabilities and/or under-served populations, and horses (of course!) working together to empower, enlighten, and entertain in an outdoor theatrical setting. EDA is a for profit company that donates to non-profit therapeutic entities.

EDA was conceived by Susan Kelejian and came into being in 2013. In the past year we’ve held acting workshops and performed at 2 fundraiser events for the Shadow Hills Riding Club (www.ShadowHillsRidingClub.org). The reception and popularity of those performances and workshops have lead to the demand for a full length, stand alone performance, “O, For a Horse With Wings!”

Since Equine Dell Arte began with SHRC, and we continue to work closely with them and their horses, a portion of all proceeds from the performances will go back to supporting their amazing therapeutic programs, including:
-Saddles and Serenity (People in recovery from addictions)
-Saddles for Soldiers (US veterans)
-Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (Children and adults with special needs)

All funds raised by this IndieGoGo will go towards the production of “O, For a Horse With Wings.” 30% of the proceeds from performances in September will go towards Shadow Hills Riding Club Therapy programs, while 70% goes back into Equine Dell Arte for further productions.

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.

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In this video, reining and cutting horse trainer, Larry Trocha shows emergency techniques to keep you out of the hospital emergency room.

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Thanks to Stacy Westfall for finding this.

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imgr1234esCraig Cameron, a life-long rancher, working cowboy and horse trainer, has just about done it all from cow-calf, stocker operations, custom hay-baling, or capturing wild cattle for fellow ranchers. After years of bull riding on the professional rodeo circuit and successfully operating his cattle business, Craig began conducting western horsemanship clinics and demonstrations to help beginning and seasoned riders increase their knowledge and understanding of their horse and to keep the cowboy tradition alive.

In the spirit of the cowboy tradition with a personal connection to the military, Craig has partnered with this special group of Special Operations Veterans and friends and seasoned riders for a unique Guts & Glory 100 Mile Trail Ride to raise awareness and funds for the SOWF.

– Bryan “Doug” Brown – General, USA, Retired 7th Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
– Joseph Maguire – Vice Admiral, USN, Retired Former Commander Naval Special Warfare Command
– Larry Mahan World Rodeo Champion
– Walt Garrison former American football fullback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys
– these are just a few of the legendary and heroic gentlemen joining, “The Cowboy’s Clinician,” Craig Cameron for his 2nd annual Guts & Glory 100 Mile Trail Ride!

This 3-day ride for the seasoned rider, scheduled on November 6-7-8, 2014 will begin in Goldthwaite, Texas, with a dinner and auction party on Friday evening at the N at Hardway Ranch and continue on Saturday to Bluff Dale; riders arrange their own overnight plans. If you are interested in riding all 3 days OR just the Sunday final leg (open to all riders), please email doublehornd@lipan.net to receive a Guts & Glory Horse Ride registration packet.

Proceeds Benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF)

In 1980, when eight special ops warriors lost their lives during a hostage rescue attempt in Iran, a promise was made to provide a college education to each of the surviving 17 children. Today, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation continues this solemn pledge to educate every child whose special operations parent loses their life in the line of duty. Currently supporting over

145 surviving children in college, there are another 570 children who will require college funding in the future, AND that number grows steadily as special ops warriors continue to sustain casualties in the line of duty. These funds are generously donated by friends and corporations all over the United States!

You can get more information at their website by clicking HERE.


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The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Inspection Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register today to allow the importation of beef from a region in Argentina. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan, cattleman from Victoria, Texas, issued the following statement:

“The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is deeply concerned by today’s announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to add the Patagonia areas of Argentina to the list of regions considered free of Foot-and-Mouth disease and to subsequently allow the importation of live cattle and fresh or frozen beef into the United States from this region. Our extreme concern is only further magnified by the associated proposed rule to allow chilled or frozen beef to be imported from the region of Northern Argentina. Northern Argentina is a region that is not recognized as being free of Foot-and-Mouth Disease by APHIS. We strongly believe that these recent actions by APHIS present a significant risk to the health and well-being of the nation’s cattle herd through the possible introduction of FMD virus.

“FMD is an extremely contagious viral disease of cloven-hooved animals and many wildlife species. This disease is considered to be one of the most economically devastating livestock diseases in the world and an outbreak of FMD could ultimately threaten the entire U.S. economy as well jeopardize our national food security.

“APHIS conducted their risk analysis based on a series of site visits to Argentina to determine the FMD risk status of these regions. NCBA’s repeated requests for written reports for these APHIS site visits to Argentina have gone unanswered. Finally, we were informed by APHIS that written reports are not required for APHIS site reviews. This lack of documentation and an obvious lack of management controls for the site review process calls into question the integrity and quality assurance for the entire risk analysis. Valid science-based decisions are not possible in this flawed system.

“It is evident that APHIS has charged blindly forward in making this announcement, ignoring the findings of a third-party scientific review identifying major weaknesses in the methodology of the risk analysis that formed the foundation for the APHIS decision-making process. The third-party scientific review uncovered deficiencies in the APHIS hazard analysis and the exposure assessment, as well as an overly subjective qualitative format for the risk analysis.

“NCBA remains committed to supporting open trade markets, level playing fields, and utilizing science-based standards to facilitate international trade. At the same time, no amount of trade is worth sacrificing the health and safety of the United States cattle herd. Strict transparency for the adherence to sound science must be the basis for all animal health decisions of this magnitude.”


The idea of the cowboy and the American West is set firmly in the American psyche. Countless films have portrayed the West as a place of freedom and danger, but, above all, a place of boundless possibility. Though we may think they are a thing of the past, cowboys still exist, and the professional bull riding circuit is the one place you’re guaranteed to find them. The cowboys’ earnest reflections on personal liberty, family struggle and the country’s changing identity paint a vivid portrait of an America both at odds and in love with itself. Through the film’s epic cinematography we come to understand that The Cowboy continues to embody the mythology of the American hero, though in an entirely modern way.

The Professional Bull Riders’ circuit is a tour of the top 45 bull riders in the world, consisting of roughly 32 stops a year around the US. The winner of the world title in Vegas also wins a million dollars, so it’s safe to say this is not some little backyard rodeo. Bull riding has entered the mainstream. Droves of fans flock to the sold out arenas toting signs and banners in frenzied support of their favorite riders, making this the fastest growing sport in America. All the while the cowboys are hustling, trying to stay on their bulls, trying to make ends meet and raising hell… good ‘ol boy style!

Beginning and ending with explosive event footage and packed with daredevil bull riding, pyrotechnics and big arena rock and roll fanfare, The Ride goes full circle as it takes through the complex lives of one compelling character to the next. The characters surprise with their gritty cowboy personas and genuine wit.

The Ride features professional bull riders JB Mauney, Amish hopeful Willy Ropp, PBR entertainer Flint Rassmussen, bull fighter Shorty Gorham, talented singer songwriter Leann Hart, millionaire bucking bull breeder Tom Teague and an original score by Brooklyn band The Weight.

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By David Wiegand
From the San Francisco Chronicle

BoJack Horseman: Animated sitcom. 12 episodes releasing Friday on Netflix.

Watching the new animated Netflix sitcom, “BoJack Horseman,” is not unlike being invited to a party at a well-appointed home by people you don’t really want to spend time with.

The 12-episode series, dropping Friday on Netflix, has wonderful background details, but never really lives up to the potential of its premise or, worse, its terrific voice cast, which includes Will Arnett (“The Millers”), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Amy Sedaris (“Strangers With Candy”), Alison Brie (“Community”) and Paul F. Tompkins (“Bob’s Burgers”).

Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (“The Exquisite Corpse Project”), “BoJack” is about a has-been ’90s sitcom star who is, in fact, a horse named BoJack Horseman. The faded star of “Horsin’ Around” lives in a big house in the Hollywood Hills, has a semipermanent houseguest named Todd (Paul) and an agent and frequent overnight bed partner named Princess Carolyn (Sedaris), who is a cat. He has promised a memoir to Penguin, whose editor is an actual penguin, desperate for BoJack to turn in a manuscript since publishing isn’t the most lucrative business these days.

The show’s episodes include BoJack getting caught on camera insulting a Navy SEAL who is, of course, a seal of the flippered variety, and trying to keep his former co-star, a once-gifted child actress, from self-destructing in a haze of cocaine, booze and sex.

All of the setups are promising, and there’s nothing really wrong with the idea of repurposing the has-been-sitcom-star template by making the lead character a horse. What’s wrong is that it’s not well written. You get the sense that Bob-Waksberg figured just taking a well-worn premise and populating it with animated animals is somehow funny enough to sustain us for 12 episodes. In addition to an A-list voice case, he also figured guest voices such as Wendie Malick, Patton Oswalt, Melissa Leo, Stanley Tucci and Keith Olbermann would seal the deal. He was wrong on all counts.

Oddly enough, although the dialogue is rarely funny, the show is rife with background details suggesting how much potential is wasted here. Callers to Princess Carolyn’s office, for example, are subjected to “Jellicle Cats” from “Cats” on an endless loop when they are put on hold. Look closely at the painting behind BoJack’s desk and you’ll recognize David Hockney’s “Portrait of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures),” recast with a horse standing at the end of the pool. BoJack heads East with his new ghostwriter (Brie) by taking a plane from Air Bud Airport. And what’s that floating in the sky over BoJack’s home? Why, it’s Winnie the Pooh, suspended by balloons. That’s exactly the kind of loopy creativity that’s missing from the writing. But because it’s there in those little details, you can’t help wondering why it isn’t in the script as well.

Netflix deserves most of the credit for the recent inclusion of the term “binge-watching” in the Oxford English Dictionary, but not every show can be “House of Cards” or “Orange Is the New Black.” Truth is, some of the Netflix shows are just going to be “Hemlock Grove” or “BoJack Horseman.”

David Wiegand is The San Francisco Chronicle’s executive features editor and TV critic.


Mesa Pate talks about getting into the bucking bull business.

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From the PBR Website

ONESVILLE, La. – Chris Shivers’ career could be defined by the two world titles he won.

His toughness could be illustrated by the time a bull reared up in the chute and slammed his face into a metal rail. He broke his jaw, cracked a facial bone, and shattered his eye socket, but missed only three months of competition. He would have been back sooner but for an eye infection.

His ability might be best proven by the ninety-two 90-point rides he’s earned in a career in which he became the first PBR rider to earn $1 million, $2 million and $3 million.

But what truly set the Louisiana native apart was an unyielding desire to win.

‘The PBR is way better off because Chris Shivers was part of it and is part of it.’

Ending months of speculation, Shivers recently said, “As far as being done, this is it for me. It’s my last year.”

In October, when his illustrious career comes to a close at the Thomas & Mack Center in what will be a PBR-record 15th World Finals appearance, Shivers is as much a shoo-in for the PBR Ring of Honor as any rider in history.

“He’s the most hot-[stuff] thing the PBR has ever seen,” said fellow two-time World Champion Justin McBride.

“I’m proud of him and for him,” said PBR co-founder Cody Lambert. “The PBR is way better off because Chris Shivers was part of it and is part of it.

Chris Shivers won his first World Championship in 2000.

“He’s done a lot for the PBR just from leading by example – by being a great bull rider and not being a diva and crybaby athlete. He’s a great bull rider, a quiet cowboy, treats people with respect, and he will kick your [butt] if you mess with him. That is Chris Shivers. That’s not something you see on the big screen. Those guys who are heroes in movies – quiet, nice, shy people, who if you mess with them they’ll kick your [butt] – Chris Shivers is really that guy.”


Shivers was born and raised in Jonesville, La. He lives there today.

At 13, he got on his first bull at one of several local practice pens, and a year later he “made a pretty decent living.” Unlike other teens who traveled together, he drove to events with his parents, and returned home at night.

“I went for one reason, and one reason only,” he recalled. “I didn’t go to play and go out at night. I was there to win, and I won more than a lot of people at a young age.”

At 15, he won a brand-new truck. By the time he was 16, he was winning money at every event he entered. “I was riding against the big boys,” Shivers said. “I was young, but I went to all the bigger bull ridings and I was paying my own way.”

‘He did his entire career as a professional bull rider in the PBR. What that means is his entire career was going up against the best bulls in the world – getting on the rank ones.’

Since turning pro at age 18, every event he’s ridden in has been a PBR-sanctioned event. Not once has he ever competed for any other association, organization or league.

“I’ll always be involved with the PBR as long as they’ll allow me to,” he said. “I’m one of the guys that have been faithful to the PBR the entire time that I’ve been here. For how many ever years I’ve been riding, that’s all I’ve ever done.”

“In a way, he is a pioneer,” Lambert said. “He did his entire career as a professional bull rider in the PBR. What that means is his entire career was going up against the best bulls in the world – getting on the rank ones.”


“Everyone who remembers Chris coming around as an 18-year-old remembers knowing that he was going to be the World Champion,” Lambert recalled. “I know for me personally, I didn’t have to watch him ride five bulls or 10 bulls or half the season before I decided this kid is good. I had to see him ride one bull.”

His fundamentals were nearly flawless.

Whatever the reason – skill, size, strength – Chris Shivers can dress up a bull ride like no one else.

He’s small and strong, a winning combination.

“He’s so tiny, and he rides like he’s huge,” McBride said. “He went at them.”

It didn’t take long for Shivers to prove just how fearless he was. Lambert said the newcomer was 18 or 19 years old when a bull hit him in the head. “It just hammered him,” Lambert said. “He came back and rode just as good. He was fearless.”

Early in his career he traveled with Bubba Dunn and Norman Curry. Lambert said both are great riders who aren’t remembered nearly as much as they should be, and that Shivers learned how to ride, compete and become a champion by traveling with them.

Shivers, Lambert said, took the best parts from each of them “and then raised that to a better level than they were.”

Later in his career he traveled with PRCA World Champion Mike White.

In 1997, he was the Touring Pro Division Champion. In 1999, he won the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award for the first time (he would do it again in 2001). In 2000, he claimed the TPD title for a second time, and won his first PBR World Championship.

In 2003, he became the second two-time World Champion in PBR history.

“Chris Shivers never had to learn how to take defeat,” Lambert explained. “He showed up and he could win.”

‘Chris Shivers never had to learn how to take defeat. He showed up and he could win.’

In three of his first five years in the PBR, he set single-season earnings records. He was the first rider to reach $1 million, $2 million and $3 million. He currently ranks second in all-time career earnings with $3.8 million, and he’s third on the all-time list of event wins with 21. He’s won as many as five in a single season; three times he won three.


Shivers has always been known for being flashy and quick, and even today he’s still able to get the most out of every bull.

He not only has nearly double the total number of 90-point rides (92) than any other rider (Guilherme Marchi comes closest with 52), but he also has more than 60 rides marked between 88 and 89.75 points.

It’s unknown how many of those 150-plus rides resulted in round wins, or, as Lambert asked, how many times he might have bucked off at 7.8 or 7.9 “when he was fixing to be 90 points.”

“That’s one judge being a point different on a bull,” said McBride. “Chris Shivers was built to be 90. I think he really thrived on it.

“There’s no telling how long if ever somebody will beat that. That’s not one or two good years to get to that, that’s a career of greatness.”

Chris Shivers collected his second World Championship buckle in 2003.

He has five scores among the 50 highest in PBR history, including two of the four highest scores of all time at 96.5 points.

In 2000, Shivers was in Tampa, Fla., when he rode Jim Jam for 96.5 points to tie Dunn’s mark, which was set a year earlier. A year later, he matched it when he covered Dillinger at the World Finals.

“Everything that I do, I go to the extreme with it,” Shivers said.

“He got the most out of every bull,” Lambert said.


Speculation about Shivers’ retirement began in earnest at the end of the 2008 season, when McBride retired. It reached a high point in 2010 with the retirement of Shivers’ best friend White.

“People can speculate,” said McBride, whose own decision to retire at the age of 30 was second-guessed, “but nobody can make that decision for him. He has to make it for himself, and he knows that better than anybody.”

Shivers admitted it’s been hard listening to others talk about his future.

“It’s kind of like getting your teeth knocked out,” he explained. “You get reminded of that one thing every day. That’s just what they’re going to talk about. They’re not going to talk about the time you were 90 and you this or that. They’re going to talk about all the wrecks or all the negative things. That bothers me.

“I’m going out the way I want to. Nobody is forcing me to do anything. I have too many doubts now that this isn’t where I need to be. … I still think I can beat these guys if I dedicate my heart and soul into it, but I don’t think I can.”

While sitting on planes, he thinks about the things he could be doing at home. In the locker room, he thinks about things he would rather be doing.

Speaking only from his own experience, McBride said it’s a strange feeling to no longer want to do something one has done for so many years. “It was also a huge relief that I didn’t have to do it anymore,” McBride said.

‘You knew there was a chance of something monumental and exciting about to happen every time he came out of the chute.’

Lambert said while others might be sad to see Shivers walk away from the sport, he’s happy for him. “He gets to go on to the next phase of his life with something,” Lambert said. “He earned everything he has.”

Shivers and his wife Kylie, who married following the 2001 season, have two sons, Brand and Blayne.

Lambert remembers a BFTS event shortly after Brand was born, when a profile of Shivers was shown on a big screen in the arena.

Shivers was in the chute.

“It showed a picture of his son on the screen, at the back of the arena, and you could see Chris look up to watch it and smiling,” Lambert said. “He was so focused on watching that baby, but then he went back to business and you just knew he was going to ride that bull, because he was riding for a different reason than just himself.”

Lambert later added, “What’s so cool about it is that we got to see Chris Shivers grow up. He was a kid when he came, and then he was a champion, and then he got married and started a family.”

The Shivers family lives on a ranch where they raise cattle, and hunt and fish together. He built a covered arena and has hosted bull riding schools, calf roping events and, most recently, a junior bull riding event featuring mini bulls.

Shivers said he’s happy to have created so many opportunities at home with his family, and that he no longer thinks about bull riding nonstop.

Even late in his career, Chris Shivers’ rides are positively electric.

“If you’re not willing to do that, then winning a World Championship is pretty farfetched,” said Shivers, who only sees one reason to ride bulls-winning.

“It’s going to suck that he’s not there to bring you that level of excitement,” said McBride, who credits Shivers with pushing him throughout his own 10-year career.

“It’s that way in any sport. Before Brett Favre went crazy that’s the way he was. He made it so exciting to watch, and you knew that something special could happen any time the ball was snapped. That’s the way Chris Shivers’ whole career has been. You knew there was a chance of something monumental and exciting about to happen every time he came out of the chute.

“I think there’s going to be a void there right now,” McBride continued. “Maybe someday, 50 years from now, somebody like him will come along, but it’ll be a long time.”



It’s amazing the places you can go and the things you can do when you’re a total horse nut.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 9.08.33 AMThis memoir by equestrian writer and endurance rider Merri Melde is an entertaining trot around the world – from the back of a horse.

She’s been everywhere, man, and lived the equestrian dream: riding and grooming racehorses in the US and in Ireland, galloping through the “Middle Earth” of New Zealand on a Lord of the Rings Horse, seen Egypt’s pyramids from the back of a mighty stallion, and much more.

Soul Deep is a collection of stories, of one woman’s travel through the horse world in its many, many facets. Her insider’s view with an outsider’s take on the world of Irish racing is brilliant. And the nerve-wracking fall of Zak the pack horse on a packing trip with the Forest Service is nothing short of petrifying.

Her journey continues into the world of endurance riding, and recounts her first win and other adventures in the sport, which will strike a chord with many.

As she says: “Endurance riding is the Great Equalizer. It makes all people Normal. In real life, you can be rich or poor, old or young, short or tall, snooty or timid, a CEO , the king of a country, or a poop-shoveler, but you’re all equal for one day when you’re riding on the back of a horse for fifty or a hundred miles.”

And “walking like a cripple after an endurance ride is rather like wearing a badge of honor. ‘Can’t walk, but I just rode a hundred miles‘!”

Merri may have hit the nail on the head when she says: “Try riding an endurance horse for therapy for physical and mental injuries. The more troubles, the sweeter the trail is.”

Already the author of several horse books, Merri’s latest work is an inspiring and entertaining ride through the horse world. We hope there is more to come.

You can order the book by clicking HERE.


Merri Melde, a.k.a. The Equestrian Vagabond, is a horse photographer, writer, author, photojournalist, artist, horse packer, carriage driver, racetrack groom, spotted owl hooter, wildlife technician, Raven fanatic, trail builder, sound engineer, theatre techie, world traveler, owner of The Most Beautiful Horse On The Planet (Stormy), rabid obsessed endurance rider, and Tevis Cup finisher. But not all at the same time.

Merri has written for over a dozen magazines, and photographed for over two dozen magazines around the world, and traveled in over three dozen countries, sometimes seeking adventure and enlightenment, and often chasing horses. Visit www.TheEquestrianVagabond.com to contact Merri and see her published works.


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In this training series, Warwick Schiller shows you how to use the mantra Make The Wrong Thing Hard And The Right Thing Easy to solve common horse problems.In this first episode, he shows you a surprisingly simple way to have your horse lower its head while you hose it.

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A cowboy tries to help his lawman friend, who will lose his job if he doesn’t bring in a bandit known as the Juarez Kid. Director Robert F Hill, Writer Robert F Hill story, Stars Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, Janet Chandler, Julian Rivero. Guinn Big Boy Williams character BUCK offers to help his friend the Sheriff capture The Juarez Kid but the kid kills a Rancher and Buck gets blamed and has to run and try and prove who the real killer is to clear his own name Saboteurs are blowing up government warehouses during World War II Roy and his pals work undercover to put an end to their operations. Director Joseph Kane, Writers Olive Cooper screenplay, J Benton Cheney screenplay, Stars Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Bob Nolan

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From TheHorse.com

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) have announced enhanced security protocols for horses running in the four $1 million-plus stakes races on Belmont Stakes day, June 7.

All horses potentially participating in the Knob Creek Manhattan, the Ogden Phipps, the Metropolitan Handicap, and the Belmont Stakes must be on the Belmont Park grounds, in Elmont, New York, by noon on June 4 and will be subject to out-of-competition testing.

According to a May 21 release, trainers of horses participating in those races must provide complete veterinary records for three days leading up to the race. Additionally, horses will be monitored at all times from their arrival at the track leading up to the races.

The NYSGC and NYRA have mandated the following protocols and steps for horses participating in the June 7 stakes races, including the Belmont Stakes:

The commission will take out-of-competition blood samples of horses competing in the races and send them to the New York State Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Morrisville State College for immediate testing. The commission will coordinate with other jurisdictions to obtain out-of-competition samples from horses not stabled in New York. • Horses participating in the races must be on the grounds by noon on June 4 before the race. Any exceptions will be at the discretion of the stewards.

Horses will stay in their trainers’ current barns and stalls on the grounds, which will be monitored at all times by additional security personnel.

Security personnel will monitor all treatments performed by veterinarians. All containers for medications administered will be retained by the commission for possible testing.

A full daily veterinarian’s record of all medications and treatments given to horses participating in these races from noon on June 4 until the June 7 race will be provided to the commission. Any changes to treatment must be disclosed to the commission. If medications and treatment records are not provided to the commission prior to treatment, veterinarians will not be permitted to treat the horse until the issue is resolved. The commission will post these records on its website each day leading up to the races.

Entry-exit logs will be maintained by additional security from NYRA and the commission. All persons—including veterinarians, trainers, assistant trainers, farriers, owners, or other connections—on entering the stall or engaging in contact with the horse or performing any service for the horse, must have a valid commission license on their person. Such persons will be logged in by security personnel with the reason for their visit. Routine stall and horse maintenance by identified grooms and staff will be monitored but will be exempt from logging.

All equipment, feed, hay bales, etc. are subject to administrative searches and checks.

As is current policy, furosemide (Salix or Lasix) administration will take place in the horses’ own stalls by a NYRA veterinarian. Syringes will be preserved by the commission for possible testing. • On June 6, no veterinarians will treat horses without first making an appointment with commission investigators.

The commission, in conjunction with NYRA, will appoint a single 24-hour point person each day for trainers and connections to contact in case of an emergency.

No treatment will be permitted (beyond Lasix for specifically designated horses) June 7 unless it is for an emergency or as approved by the stewards.

On June 7, horses participating will be required to be in the assembly barn between 45 minutes to 1 hour before post time for TC02 (total carbon dioxide) testing. They will then be escorted with security to the paddock.

Horses in the races will receive priority for paddock schooling with security present.

The NYSGC and NYRA will provide educational materials on the protocols to horsepersons, connections, veterinarians, security and all appropriate parties prior to and upon arrival at the track.

“The commission’s commitment to equine health and safety is underscored by these measures, which are consistent, comprehensive, and fair,” said NYSGC acting executive director Robert Williams. “These races, which will feature some of the top Thoroughbred horses in the world, will be run with the utmost security and integrity.”

Scott Palmer, VMD, Dipl. AVBP, New York equine medical director, added, “These measures highlight best practices and adherence to New York’s rules and regulations. Combined with comprehensive out-of-competition testing, these measures preserve the integrity of the sport in New York and the safety and well-being of the horses running in these prominent races.”

NYRA president Chris Kay said, “In addition to the Belmont Stakes day enhanced protocols, NYRA and the gaming commission have made additional significant investments in integrity and safety programs. These include the hiring of the first ever NYRA safety steward and New York state equine medical director, the hiring and training of security personnel to monitor backstretch activities, and the establishment of an Equine Safety Committee of the NYRA Board of Directors.”

Jockey Club president Jim Gagliano noted, “The Jockey Club applauds the New York State Gaming Commission and The New York Racing Association for all of the security protocols that have been put in place for Belmont Stakes day. We are continuously and aggressively advocating for medication reform, and it’s extremely reassuring to know that out-of-competition testing will be conducted and that trainers will be submitting three days’ worth of veterinary records for their horses on one of our sport’s most visible days.”

Finally, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association president Rick Violette Jr. said, “New York’s horsemen readily embrace measures that ensure a level playing field and an equal standard of supervision. We are committed to preserving the integrity of racing and protecting the horses and the riders.”

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.


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You may have read about the controversy involving California Chrome, recent winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

By By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
From the website TheHorse.com

For athletic horses sporting increasingly popular nasal strips, the phrase “winning by a nose” carries new meaning. Research studies evaluating these accessories’ efficacy, however, have produced mixed results.

“The proprietary FLAIR nasal strip has been extensively studied and has several distinct benefits for exercising horses,” said Howard H. Erickson, DVM, PhD, emeritus professor of physiology and history of veterinary medicine at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Manhattan. “At least eight studies have been conducted over the past decade to show exactly how nasal strips work, and there are more than a dozen publications that support the effectiveness of (nasal strips) in reducing exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.”

TH-LEGACY-IMAGE-ID-593-horse-with-nasal-stripEquine nasal strips are designed to prevent the soft tissues of the respiratory tract from “caving in” and decreasing airway diameter as the horse inhales.

“The premise of the nasal strip is that the three plastic support members apply a springlike force to gently support the soft tissue overlying the nasal passages during inspiration, particularly where the nasal passages are not supported by bone,” Erickson explained.

Some of the key findings of the aforementioned studies supporting the use of nasal strips for athletic horses include:

The strip has been shown to significantly decrease the “work” of breathing (as evidenced by decreased oxygen consumption);

Horses wearing a nasal strip have been found to have significantly decreased bleeding into the lungs (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH), compared to when they did not wear the strip; and

The improvement in EIPH when wearing strips was found to be equivalent to that noted when the same horses were treated with the diuretic furosemide (Salix), the current treatment of choice for EIPH.

Despite evidence indicating nasal strips can be beneficial to equine athletes, other studies have yielded conflicting results. One such study, for example, found that nasal strips had no impact on either gas exchange or EIPH in Thoroughbreds.

Additionally, nasal strips are not yet universally endorsed or supported by all states and/or equestrian organizations. This fact was brought to light during the weeks leading up to the 2012 Belmont Stakes when New York racing stewards made it clear that then-Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another would not be allowed to wear the nasal strip he wore while winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, per rules set forth by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board in 2001.

Nonetheless, the nasal strip has recently become a popular accessory for horses in the wide variety of equestrian disciplines that permit use, such as barrel racing and three-day eventing.

“The equine nasal strip is approved by most U.S. and international sport horse and regulatory bodies, including the Fédération Equestre Internationale,” noted Howard H. Erickson, DVM, PhD, emeritus professor of physiology and history of veterinary medicine at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Although certain European countries, Hong Kong, and Japan do not permit the strip, the nasal strip was made available at the request of the United States Equestrian Federation to all three-day event competitors at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.”

As is suggested for many “alternative therapies,” it’s advisable to only select nasal strips produced by reliable manufacturers who have scientific studies supporting their particular strip and who do not rely on testimonials to promote their product.


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