- LTR Blog
- About LTRThis is the History page.
- Contact UsThis is the Contact Us page.
The following is from the American Horse Council:
Eliminating soring in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry has broad support in the horse industry and has been a priority of the American Horse Council (AHC) for the last several years. The focus of these efforts for several years has been passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act or PAST Act in Congress. Additionally, last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) also began promulgating new regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), intended to strength regulations against soring. President Trump’s government-wide freeze on all new federal regulations pending review has put an indefinite hold on these new HPA regulations. Now many in the horse industry are wondering what is status of these efforts to eliminate soring.
“The AHC continues to be committed to ending soring in the walking horse industry and believes it will take federal action either by Congress or USDA to end this cruel practice,” said Julie Broadway AHC president. “The ‘big lick’ segment of the walking horse industry has had over 45 years to address this issue and it remains a problem.”
In January of 2017, USDA announced and released a final HPA rule. The AHC believed the final rule would have improved enforcement of the HPA as well as made sure other segments of horse show industry were not unintentionally impacted or burdened by the regulation. However, the final rule was not published in the Federal Register before President Trump issued an order to all federal agencies to withdrawal all regulations that had not yet been published pending review.
“There is no timeline for review of the rule and the new administration could decide to issue a final rule at any time or withdrawal the rule completely. If and when Secretary of Agriculture Nomine Sonny Perdue is confirmed the AHC will be asking him to publish and the final rule,” said Ben Pendergrass AHC, Sr. VP of Policy and Legislative Affairs.
“We do not know yet if the Trump administration will be willing to implement this final rule so it continues to be important for the industry to support the PAST Act, which was recently re-introduced,” continued Pendergrass.
On March 30, 2017, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re-introduced the PAST Act (HR 1847) in the House of Representatives. The bill is identical to the bill introduced last Congress and continues to be supported by the AHC and most national horse show organizations.
“I am honored to join my fellow veterinarian, Rep. Kurt Schrader, a bipartisan list of members, and organizations who support the end of Horse Soring. As a veterinarian and lover of animals, we must continue to keep pressure on a select group of bad actors in the Walking Horse industry. They must comply with existing law and stop this illegal practice for good,” said Rep. Yoho on re-introducing the bill.
“Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books for decades banning this cruel practice,” said Rep. Schrader. “We gave them a chance to self-police but the practice continued. Our bill will strengthen and improve current regulations by improving USDA enforcement, increasing civil and criminal penalties, and banning incentives to sore horses. It’s time for Congress to act and put an end to this abusive practice.”
The PAST act would amend the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an “action device,” or “a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band or other device or material” if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic.
The legislation would also increase fines and penalties for violations, including the potential for a lifetime ban for repeat offenders and create a new licensing process for horse show inspectors, eliminating the current often criticized designated qualified persons (DQPs) program.
The bill already has already gained 220 co-sponsors, a majority of the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) the principle sponsor of the bill in the Senate lost her bid for reelection. Her loss has delayed re-introduction of the bill in the Senate.
“There continues to be strong challenges to passage of the PAST Act or implementation of the new HPA regulations, but the AHC will continue working until soring is eliminated,” said Broadway. “The AHC urges all members of the horse industry to contact their Representative and Senators to ask them to support the PAST Act and the HPA rule.”
The Following is from the American Horse Council:
It is no secret that many of the workers on the backstretch at race tracks, on breeding farms and at horse shows are foreign born. Horse industry employers have for many years found it difficult to recruit American workers to fill these jobs. For this reason, American immigration policy has been a major concern of the horse industry and the American Horse Council has worked to ensure the H-2B non-agricultural and H-2A agricultural temporary foreign worker programs are a viable option for the industry. However, new pressures threaten the ability of the horse industry to hire these vital workers.
“The industry has had long-standing problems recruiting workers to fill jobs helping to raise, train, and care for the industry’s horses. This was the case even during the recent recession when unemployment reached 10%,” said AHC Sr. VP, Policy and Legislative Affairs, Ben Pendergrass. “Now that the economy has recovered and unemployment has fallen to around 4.7% finding workers has become especially challenging, this and other factors have made it more vital than ever for Congress to take action to improve the inadequate current guest worker programs.
President Trump has recently issued several executive orders relating to increased immigration enforcement and border security. While these orders do not directly relate to the H-2B or H-2A programs, generally speaking, increased enforcement, increased competition for legal workers and greater demand for H-2B and H-2A workers will make it more difficult for horse industry employers to fill many positions.
Already, the cap for H-2B visas for the first half of the fiscal year was reached in record time on January 10th. There is a statutory cap on the total number of H-2B visas issued each year. Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).
Because the cap has already been reached, for many employers that means no H-2B workers will be available if they are needed in 2017. There is no cap on the H-2A agricultural visa program, but those workers can only be employed by horse breeding farms and cannot be utilized by trainers at race tracks or horse shows.
“The industry would like to see comprehensive immigration reform eventual, but the most immediate need is for H-2B cap relief,” continued Pendergrass. “We have been urging Congress to reinstate the so-called ‘H-2B returning worker exemption’ in the Continuing Resolution that will need to be passed at the end of April to keep the government from shutting down. Everyone in the racing or showing segments of the industry really should be contacting their elected officials and urging them to take action.”
The “returning worker exemption” exempts from the 66,000 cap on H-2B visas, workers who had complied with past visa requirements and worked in the program during one of the preceding three years. It was in place for part of 2015 and 2016 and helped ensure the horse industry and other seasonal small businesses had access to needed H-2B workers.
Besides taking this immediate action the AHC believes Congress should pass broader reform legislation like the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017 (S. 792), introduced recently by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mark Warner (D-VA). This is a bipartisan proposal and represents the most comprehensive reform measure for the H-2B program.
Additionally, in the House of Representatives the Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act, (HR 2004), has been introduced by Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD), Kevin Yoder (R-KS) Billy Long (R-MO), and Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. The SEASON Act is a fairly broad authorization bill that will reform how the H-2B program would work including addressing regulatory oversight simplification.
“The AHC is continually educating Members of Congress about how this issue is impacting the horse industry, but they also need to hear firsthand from their constituents about their experiences,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We urge all members of the racing and showing segments of the industry to contact their elected officials. The AHC is always here to help facilitate communication and answer any questions have about contacting Congress.”
The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:
I think spring is finally here! The mules are shedding like crazy and I saw a little sparrow with a long piece of mule tail hair in its beak heading into the willow tree. The mud has dried up for the most part and we are in full swing getting things spruced up for our upcoming TENTH! Anniversary Open House on May 13th . I hope you can make it! Details are on the website and SYA’s Face Book page.
It has been a very busy few months here. I have had to take back animals that had been adopted into wonderful, loving homes, due to a variety of reasons. I am very good at sticking to my boundaries regarding how many animals to admit to the rescue. If I burn out there is no more SYALER so I need to adhere to my own rules. But….I guess some rules are made to be broken. I got a very sad email concerning a gentleman with stage 4 cancer having to give up his animals as he was heading into the hospital with no plans being made for him to leave. I am so glad I agreed to take in seven of his animals so he could have the peace of mind of knowing his beloved animals would be safe and well cared for when he was no longer able. He passed away less than a week after we picked up his animals.
While I am grateful that I did take in his seven animals in addition to the other three that had to come back, one of those being a huge, Belgian mule with a big appetite, it has put a huge dent in the ol’ bank account. All of the seven needed to be vaccinated, have blood drawn for Coggins testing, will need to see the farrier soon and all will be seeing the vet for much needed dental work this week. That, in addition to major overhauls being done to the existing fencing of the rescue, which has been in place for over twenty years, we have had a few other big projects on tap trying to spiff things up in time for our open house.
All of these factors lead me to once again do what I hate to do most; ask if you folks can help out a bit with a donation. I’ve never been good at asking for help, although necessity really is the mother of invention or at least the mother of forcing one’s hand! I thank you gratefully in advance for any help you may be able to offer.
I hope you will be able to make it to our open house. In addition, we will be hosting a day long clicker training workshop with clinician Lyndsey Lewis on June 17th. There will be room for 12 attendees. More info will be available on the website soon.
President & Shelter Manager
Roll was a muddy mess when I went to get him today. He had been lying down and decided to roll in the wet dirt and pea gravel. Thank heavens it wasn’t all mud! I did my best to get most of it off of him, but clearly, the vacuum cleaner was not going to work for anything but getting the hair off the floor. I first went over his body with the hairbrush, then the shedding blade and afterwards, the dandy brush. Then I baby-oiled his mane and tail, put on his gear and we were good to go.
Roll seemed happier today than he had been last week. Roll was walking better and appeared to have gained some core strength back.
Instead of being really off behind, he was only slightly off and did not want to bear weight on the right hind in his squaring up…until the last one when he finally weighted the foot entirely.
Roll’s rein back was much better than last week. I had him checked by our resident farrier, LTR Ranch Manager Chad in case he was developing fungus in that foot (after his bout with White Line in his left hind). better to be safe than sorry, but he showed nothing but a packed-up foot, and that very well could have been the culprit since we just had a really good rain and everything was muddy in the arena where we were working.
It is truly amazing how slight, but visible his improvement has been from week to week. His whole body looked much more symmetrical this time. It is awesome to be able to celebrate each of Roll’s “little victories” along the way at 26 years old! However, Roll wasn’t too sure if he wanted to share his rewards with Sir Guy!!!
Roll decided that celebrating with a friend is probably okay and back to the work station we went to untack and then it was time for turnout!
The following is from the American Horse Council:
Horses in all segments of the equine industry are regularly transported both intrastate and interstate for a variety of purposes, both by individuals and businesses. The ability to move horses easily for competition, breeding, sale, and recreation is of vital importance to the economic health of the industry.
In order to ensure the American Horse Council has a better understanding of how enforcement of federal motor carrier safety regulations are impacting the industry, we request all members of the horse industry take the following short survey. The survey is anonymous and the results will be used solely for informational purposes.
If you are an equine organization we ask that you please distribute this survey to your membership.
The survey will remain open until May 20th. If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.
Roll is very happy to be back to his core strength, postural leading exercises and today, he got his tail washed after a long and dirty winter. he seemed to enjoy getting his tail cleaned before his exercises.
Roll’s attitude is always good and he lets me know when he doesn’t want to go back to his pen afterward his lessons. He would prefer to stay with me all day long if he could.
He is beginning to really shed out a lot after this warm, dry spring. He really enjoys the brushing with a regular hairbrush to remove the under-hair, then the shedding blade for loose hair and finally the vacuum cleaner to promote good circulation. This regimen really promotes maximum shedding and a healthy summer hair coat.
He led well to the arena and went through the gate just fine although he wasn’t as flexible through his rib cage as I would have liked to see.
He did square up nicely when I asked on the other side of the gate.
His leading exercises went well and although he is still weak behind and wants to unweight one foot or the other when squaring up like he did after coming through the gate. The weight shifting is more general that specific and I think as he is strengthened, his stance will improve.
I also noticed that he really “sunk” behind before going over the ground rails…
…and then was able to maintain his posture over the rails, but “sunk” again on the approach every time.
The rein back was difficult for him, but he did comply with the slightest of cues as well as he was able.
When I ask him to put weight down evenly on the hind feet, he does comply, so this could just be more from habit than from actual pain, although there is clearly atrophy of the bulk muscle and weakness in the core muscles. He should improve with time and exercise.
Roll knows that I have his best interest at heart, so he is always affectionate, loving and willing to do anything and everything that I ask, but then I always keep my expectations for him realistic and doable.
The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:
Our sweet little one is still moving in the right direction. She has made substantial improvement in her whole 10 days of life. Her first lab results for a muscle enzyme showed her values were off the charts. Normal is 800, and upon intake she was at 120,000, the highest level the equipment could read. As of yesterday, her muscle enzyme levels and other blood levels were within normal range. She is still weak and unable to get up on her own, which is not uncommon, but once she’s helped to stand, her mobility is MUCH improved !! Thanks to her docs at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, her hospitalization is winding down, and she will be home soon, but she has a long rehab/recovery to come and she’s not out of the woods by far. To say her journey has been a rollercoaster ride is an understatement, but we thank you all so much for your support and assistance with this little gal.
Click here to learn more about selenium deficiency?
She still needs your help. Due to her baby steps in recovery, the cost of her care continues to climb, and we exceeded the initial guesstimate for costs of hospitalization by quite a bit. It’s hard for us to ask, but we committed to getting her this far, and we need some help to continue her hospitalization and treatment. Please share and spread the word of this sweet babies fight, and let’s get this gentle girl home!
You can also mail a check to:
All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.
2201 Francisco Drive #140-174
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Make a payment directly to:
Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center
(Please reference our AAE’s Account, ID# 23216 and Little Filly Fund)
2973 Penryn Road
Penryn, CA 95663
The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:
The pain and heart break that is a part of rescue can sometimes be too much to bear, and you feel like your heart will never survive. Once again my heart was shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Matt and I had been called to pick up an orphan foal, but about 120 miles into the trip were turned around as the baby seemed to be improving. She was nursing and her mom was protective and all seemed well.
Two days later we were called on the same foal. Matt was in NV and I was in CA so he picked her up and we met and I started home. We both provided critical care, but when I stopped to treat her I opened the door to my worst heart ache. “Little Girl” had slipped from this world and was gone. I sank to the trailer floor and held her beautiful little body in my arms. Tears slid down my face as I couldn’t help but sob out the pain of losing this little one before I could even start to help her.
I drove the longest and loneliest drive home to our intern Mona and our orphans Diesel and Sapphire. (Matt was on the road delivering horses.)Wrapping my arms around them I thanked God that they at least have a chance.
CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG really needs your help once again. Diesel decided to find a 100 year old nail and step on it, putting it into his frog. Luckily, it missed the bursa sack and coffin bone by a hair, but still required veterinary care. That turned out to almost be the easiest part.
Sapphire’s mom was trying to kill her and Diesel’s mom was no where to be found when these babies were pulled in. We knew these babies had issues, even though Diesel was fever free, played and ate very well. That doesn’t always mean what folks think it does. He has an internal infection, as does Sapphire. The first vet bill was about $1000 between the two of them, with the 2nd visit $350. Diesel has to go back one more time, but of course that is not the end of it.
Last night we got another call and Matt brought me another baby who is barely hanging in there. He is the one in the top photo. Black Jack can barely move, cannot lay down by himself, and was attacked by something prior to being brought in. He was found yesterday alone, no one in sight. This is usually a pretty good indicator that the band realized he would attract predators. I am not sure but the way he moves it is almost like they beat the stuffing out of him before convincing him to not follow the herd. Again, you never really know for sure, but there are indicators to what might possibly have happened. At any rate he is hanging in there as of this post. He is eating, on medication and we are spending 24/7 with him. He is one you have to stay in the stall with. His eyes are as empty as I have ever seen, although there was a tiny spark today.
Black Jack is having severe gut issues in addition to all his other problems, but did manage to poo just enough to spray me and the blankets as I lay in my chair in the stall with him last night.
We have been hit with a lot of expenses with the horses, feed etc. and the vet bills. Matt is on his way Right Now to pick up ANOTHER baby, and possible an additional one who is injured. So we are looking at more expenses and all these kids will most likely need more vet care, hopefully with the exception of Sapphire.
With 5 babies on Foal Lac the milk powder alone will be $1500 + for a month. That is just a drop in the bucket as far as what we use to care for them. Add in Foal Lac Pellets, Kerosene for their heaters, Baby wipes, Vaseline, rubber gloves, shavings, syringes, needles, enemas, BioSponge, ProBiotics, hay, etc. etc. it just keeps adding up. So as always, the orphans are spendy, but I believe when God puts a baby in front of me we are supposed to give it every reasonable chance available.
We also just picked up another stallion (in addition to all of the other kids from the ISPMB rescue) who was ready to be loaded on the slaughter truck. We received a “hail mary call” and God whispered in my ear “say yes”.
So although we have had an amazing year placing horses, more keep coming. THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO SAVE THESE KIDS! Together we have accomplished amazing things, but it seems like the work has just begun.
I was kind of hoping for a break after South Dakota, but God giggled at me again. I hope folks remember, we only ask for the horses so we can take care of them and give them a chance for the lives they deserve.
If you want to help You can go to You Caring – to help us keep saving lives..
You can donate via check at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, P.O. Box 190 Golconda, NV 89414
You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.
NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!
SAVING GOD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME
The following is from the American Horse Council:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is preparing to conduct its 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture. Horses will be included in the Census. Every five years, USDA-NASS conducts an agriculture census to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and gather vital information about U.S agriculture, including the horse community. The census is a valuable tool to help the USDA determine land use and ownership, livestock populations, operator characteristics, production practices, farm income as well as other important information.
The announcement of the USDA-NASS census comes as the American Horse Council has initiated their 2017 Equine Industry Economic Impact Study. The AHC economic study questionnaire will be finalized this month and begin collecting data in the following weeks. These two separate, yet concurrent studies will provide both the industry and the public with a strong image of the state of the industry in 2017. The AHC strongly encourages everyone who is offered the opportunity to participate in either, or both, of these studies to do so. The economic impact and the census are critical to promoting the horse industry.
The AHC continues to promote the USDA-NASS census due to the critical need for the horse community to be properly accounted for in the federal governments agricultural findings. The information collected by the Census will be used to develop federal and state agricultural policy for the next five years. It’s vital all farms and ranches with horses participate in the census so the USDA, and the nation at large, has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the horse community.
Farm or ranch owners who participated in the last Census in 2012 will automatically be mailed a survey that can be filled in and mailed back. If a farm or ranch was not part of the 2012 Census or has not received a form in the mail, the owner can go to the USDA’s census website http://www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June.
According to the USDA guidelines for the Census, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products, including horses, were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.
Further information on the 2017 Census of Agriculture can be found on the USDA’s websitehttp://www.agcensus.usda.gov.
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to authorize a 44,000-acre expansion of an open pit gold mine in Nevada. The massive expansion will negatively impact wild horses in four Herd Management Areas by significantly reducing their habitat and subjecting them to increased vehicle traffic, noise, and human activities in the project area. The mine will also consume massive amounts of water in an area where water is already scarce, and where the BLM often uses lack of water as an excuse to remove wild horses from public lands. The agency is seeking public comments on an Environmental Impact Statement for this project – get your comments in today by clicking below.
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Last month marked the second anniversary of the signing of our cooperative agreement with the State of Nevada for the humane management (via PZP birth control) of the historic and beloved Virginia Range wild horses near Reno. This community-based program has been a success and exceeded our established target goals. The Virginia Range horses are challenged by habitat loss due to encroaching development in this fast-growing area of northern Nevada. The program’s goal is to reduce the removal of horses from the range by humanely slowing population growth rates and reducing population numbers over time. Read more about this exciting public/private partnership that is Keeping Wild Horses Wild in Nevada by clicking below.
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Last week, we scored another major legal victory when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties, the Nevada Farm Bureau and others seeking the removal of thousands of wild horses and burros from Nevada public lands. It was our third appellate court win in less than a year! The battle in federal court goes on, however, as wild horse opponents shift legal strategies in an attempt to force massive wild horse roundups. Read more about the ongoing battle and how you can help below.
The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:
In the hustle and bustle of our busiest time of year, we have a critical case, an orphan filly that was not only rejected by mom, but reeling from the effects of mom’s rejection, malnourishment and selenium deficiency, topped of by stress of transport and dehydration. She needs your help!
We go the call yesterday (4/5), a plea for assistance with an orphaned foal who was just a few hours old. She had been rejected by mom and needed help.
So transport was arranged and off we went. She was about 4.5 hours away, but we met in the middle. Gosh, what a precious lil’ filly we met, but it’s been a really rough start! Unfortunately, she was very weak, and definitely in a fragile state. She plopped down on the ground to rest, so we layed her down in the back seat and hightailed it back to Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center (LBEMC) to check her out.
Turns out she looked better than she was. Her blood values were not good, and she was hospitalized.
Lots of attention and supportive measures were taken. A catheter was placed, blood drawn, and meds administered.
We left her looking fairly good and feeling hopeful.
But with foals, things can change quickly. A call at midnight informed us her blood values moving in wrong direction, and we were being prepared for not so good news by morning. HOWEVER, she was up and drinking milk replacer on her own, so that was good!
This morning, she was holding her own, but still quite sick. She was still getting up on her own and drinking her milk replacer with a good appetite. That offered some optimism to keep pushing forward. This afternoon, she was up, she was eating, and her blood levels were finally trending in the right direction, and the 9p update is things are still moving in the right direction.
She wants to live! She’s a FIGHTER and AAE wants to support her as she continues her battle.
Although she’s not out of the woods, the docs think she’s moving in the right direction. It likely she’s dealing with the results of being rejected by mom, and secondary effects resulting from mom’s malnourishment and selenium deficiency, as well as stressors from long transport and dehydration. It’s a lot for any young, new life to endure. Docs are hopeful that with 5 +/- days of hospitalization and supportive care, she has a good shot at a relatively normal life. However, there is a chance there will be some long lasting effects, but it’s too early to know. We need a few more days to have a better picture, but so far, the trend is good.
A BIG THANK YOU to the docs at LBEMC for their quick actions and the outstanding care provided for this little filly. We are all hoping for continued progress.
Without hospitalization, she has little chance of survival at this point. The unfortunate reality is that we are looking at a big expense for this one little life, well over $5,000 to get there. She needs your help.
If our big community can help in little bits, the hit isn’t so hard to any one, and for those that need, AAE is a 501(c)(3), so donations are tax deductible.
No donation is too small. If everyone that can will help just a little, we can give this precious girl a chance to live a full life.
Some folks may think because of the costs that euthanasia is the better choice. Fair enough, and if you feel that way, you are under no obligation to donate. But if you are like many others and believe every life counts as long as there’s a good chance for a good quality of life, please help if you can. Because this little girl has a good chance for a good quality of life, we think she deserves the opportunity. This girl wants to live!
This little girl thanks YOU for caring enough to help her live.
“By saving the life of one horse, we may not be changing the world, but we are changing the world for that one horse.” – Author Unknown
Please note, should there be excess funds, they will apply to future AAE veterinary needs.
The following is from the Unwanted Horse Coalition:
The UHC welcomes two new members, the Retired Racehorse Project and Palmetto Carriage Works. Each will be featured in future editions of the UHC Roundup. Member organizations help make programmatic decisions in the areas of education, programs, funding, and visibility.
For a full list of members, visit www.unwantedhorsecoalition.
The following is an update from the American Horse Council:
Registration is open for the AHC’s 2017 Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum. Registration information, along with a tentative schedule and link to make room reservations is available on the AHC website Events tab.
New this year, the AHC is offering discounted registration for those who register before April 15th– so be sure to register as soon as possible!
The theme of the National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health, will be “The Power of Unity,” and will feature keynote speaker Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association. The Issues Forum will feature two panels: a Research Panel and a Youth Panel.
The Research Panel will be moderated by Allyn Mann of Luitpold Animal Health and will feature researchers from AQHA, AAEP, Grayson Jockey, Horses & Humans, and Colorado State University. The panel will focus on why research is important to our industry, and some of the research they have recently completed that is transforming the industry.
The Youth Leader Panel will be moderated by Julie Broadway & Dannette McGuire of the American Youth Horse Council and will include youth leaders from Arabian Horse Youth Association, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, US Pony Club, AMHA and AQHA. They will focus on what their respective organizations are doing to engage youth and give attendees some insight as to what the industry should be doing in order to remain relevant to the younger generation.
The AHC will also provide an overview of its new Strategic Plan, and Tom Zitt of the Innovation Group will give attendees an update on the progress of the 2017 Economic Impact Study. Two members of Congress have also been invited to speak on why the horse industry means so much to them and what we can do to ensure it remains successful and thriving. Finally, in a new part to the Issues Forum, breakout group discussions will take place at the end of the presentations with various topics being discussed.
The AHC’s Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum is the only meeting where every single segment of the equine industry meets! We hope you will take advantage of the discounted registration if you register before April 15th.
The following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.
On March 30, 2017, Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) re- introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (HR 1847) (PAST act) in the House of Representatives. The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and prevent the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses. The bill is identical to the bill introduced last Congress and is supported by the American Horse Council and most national horse show organizations.
Soring is an abusive practice used by some to train Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. It usually involves the use of action devices, chemicals, pads, wedges or other practices to cause pain in the horse’s forelegs and produce an accentuated show gait for competition. Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for over forty years, this cruel practice continues in some segments of the walking horse industry.
The PAST act would amend the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an “action device,” or “a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band or other device or material” if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic. These new prohibitions would not apply to other breeds that do not have a history of soring.
The legislation would also increase fines and penalties for violations, including the potential for a lifetime ban for repeat offenders.
The bill would create a new licensing process for horse show inspectors, eliminating the current often criticized designated qualified persons (DQPs) program. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to train, license and appoint new independent inspectors for shows and other HPA-regulated activities that wish to hire an inspector. Licensed or accredited veterinarians would be given preference for these positions. The decision to hire and cost of an inspector would still reside with the management of a show, sale or auction.
Many national horse show organizations have endorsed the PAST Act including;
- The American Horse Council
- The American Quarter Horse Association
- The American Association of Equine Practitioners
- The American Paint Horse Association
- The U.S. Equestrian Federation
- The American Morgan Horse Association
- The Pinto Horse Association of America
- The Arabian Horse Association
- The American Saddlebred Horse Association
- The United Professional Horsemen’s Association
- The Appaloosa Horse Club
Many state and local horse organizations also support the bill. The bill has broad bipartisan support and already has over 208 co-sponsors.
Various efforts have been made since enactment of the HPA forty years ago to stop the soring of horses and they have not worked. This bill is focused on the problem it is intended to solve and does not adversely affect other segments of the show industry that are not soring horses and have no history of soring horses.
The AHC supports the bill and urges all members of the horse industry to contact their Representative and ask them to support the bill and become a co-sponsor.
The following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.
On March 30, 2017 Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) re-introduced the Race Horse Cost Recovery Act (H.R. 1804) and theEquine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 1805) . The Race Horse Cost Recovery Act would permanently place all race horses in the three-year category for tax depreciation purposes. A 2008 provision that temporarily put race horses in the three year category expired at the end of 2016. The Equine Tax Parity Act would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets. The American Horse Council supports both of these bills.
Congressman Barr also introduced the Race Horse Expensing Certainty Act (H.R. 1806), the bill would provide extra clarity that racehorses are eligible for the Section 179 business expense deduction. All horses purchased and placed in service by a business are currently eligible for the Section 179 deduction and the bill would not change this.
Race Horse Cost Recovery Act
The 2008 Farm Bill included language that allowed all race horses to be depreciated over three years, regardless of their age when placed in service. Prior to then, race horses were depreciated over seven years if placed in service before they turned two. Horses placed in service after two (24 months from foaling date), could be depreciated over three years. A horse is generally deemed to be placed in service when it begins training, which is usually at the end of its yearling year. This change to the tax code was extended several times, but expired at the end of 2016. The Race Horse Cost Recovery Act would permanently make all race horses eligible for three year depreciation.
Depreciation is a means of recovering the cost of property, including horses, used in a business through deductions of portions of the horse’s cost over a period of years. Generally, the recovery period approximates the estimated useful life or economic life of the property. The horse industry believes a three year deprecation schedule more accurately reflects the actual time a horse will be raced and a seven year deprecation period unfairly penalizes the horse industry.
Permanently placing all race horses in the three year depreciation category would be of great benefit to the horse industry and is supported by the AHC.
Equine Tax Parity Act
The Equine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 3672) would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets.
Under the current federal tax code, gains from sales by individuals of property used in a trade or business, including horses, qualify for long-term capital gains and are subject to the maximum capital gains tax rate of 15% for taxpayers earning less than $450,000 or 20% for those earning more. Since the individual income tax rate can go as high as 39.6%, the lower rate is a real advantage.
Horses held for breeding, racing, showing or draft purposes qualify for the capital gains rates only if they are held for 24 months. All other business assets (except cattle) qualify if held for 12 months.
The Equine Tax Parity Act would end this discriminatory treatment of horses under the tax code and allow horse owners to enjoy the reduced rate upon sale after holding a horse for 12 months. For most owners and breeders shortening the capital gains holding period to 12 months should be a benefit. Reducing the holding period by half would give many horse owners and breeders more flexibility to sell and market their horses. It would mean that every sale of a horse which is held for at least 12 months will qualify as a capital gain or loss unless that horse is held primarily for sale. The AHC supports this bill.
The Race Horse Expensing Certainty Act
The Section 179 business expense deduction allows any business, including any horse business, to immediately depreciate up to $500,000 of the cost of any investment in business assets, including horses. The deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar once investment in all one’s business activities hit $2 million. The bill would provide extra clarity that racehorses are eligible for the Section 179 business expense deduction.