All posts by Nancy Jaffer

U.S. Equestrian helping horses in need from recent disasters

Horses are in crisis from east to west,  and U.S. Equestrian is riding to the rescue.

As the wildfires continue to spread and cause devastation in California, US Equestrian is working with organizations on the ground providing aid to ensure the support helps as many horses as possible.

In Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, through a joint fundraising effort with Equestrian Canada, the Pan American Equestrian Confederation, and the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, US Equestrian has helped contribute to over $100,000 in aid to horses to ensure they receive feed and care in the wake of the recent disasters.

Tens of thousands of pounds of hay and feed have been sent via shipping containers to the affected islands, helping to address immediate needs, such as lack of forage and nutrition. In addition, supplies sent will allow veterinarians to better assist horses needing medical care.
Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc. (CTA), which helps thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is using funds provided through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund not only to help more than 850 U.S. thoroughbreds stabled at the Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack, but also to provide assistance to smaller organizations in Puerto Rico, including riding programs, Paso Fino stables, and others. “We have been so blessed to have so much support and good people helping the horses,” said Kelley Stobie of the CTA.

On the hard-hit island of St. Maarten, a shipping container with feed will help feed over 80 horses at Lucky Stables, a riding school on the island that provides equine-assisted therapy for at-risk families and youth. Since the hurricanes, the stable has taken in additional horses, and contributions from the equestrian community will ensure they have feed for at least the next month.

Although relief is being provided, the recovery is far from over. One 40-foot container can feed about 40 to 50 horses for two to three weeks, but it costs as much as $15,000 to fill and ship each one. Additionally, many of the horses will need care in the upcoming months as rescue agencies help find new homes for horses that may not be able to return to their owners.

Money donated to the fund is held by US Equestrian in an account dedicated for this purpose and distributed only upon authorization of the US Equestrian CEO. Any donation to the Equine Disaster Relief Fund is a timely and efficient benefit for horses and horse owners in need.

More than $500,000 has been contributed, but much more is needed. Want to make a donation? Here is a link

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The Kentucky 4-star event has a new ID

Land Rover North America has taken over title sponsorship of the country’s only 4-star-rated three-day event in a four-year agreement.

The.competition at the Kentucky Horse Park will now be known as the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. It formerly was the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, a name that was used for more than three decades.

Following eight years as official vehicle and five years as presenting sponsor, Land Rover has increased its support for the Lexington, Ky., competition that draws more than 80,000 spectators annually. Circle April 26-29 on your calendar for the 2018 renewal of the event.

“Land Rover has a long-established connection with equestrian sport and we have partnered with the Kentucky Three-Day Event for eight years now,” said Kim McCullough, vice president of marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC.

“Expanding our partnership with this title sponsorship will further strengthen our relationship with the equestrian community, an important audience for the Land Rover brand”.

Lee Carter, executive director of Equestrian Events Inc. that presents the event, said, ” Land Rover is the perfect brand to step into the title sponsor role of the Kentucky Three-Day Event. The committed support of a sponsor like Land Rover and the loyalty of our fans and the broader eventing community are what make this event the best weekend all year.”

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This is why your horses need to be vaccinated

Mosquito season isn’t over.

A third case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been reported in New Jersey, as a 15-year-old Cumberland County mare came up positive and had to be euthanized. Meanwhile, a 10-year-old Salem County stallion is the second case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2017 and is being treated. Neither horse had been vaccinated against EEE or WNV.

“We urge horse owners to maintain their vaccination schedules to prevent their animals from getting diseases like these,” said state Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher.

Most veterinarians administer the EEE and WNV vaccines as a combo with tetanus and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE). EEE has up to a 90 percent mortality rate for horses that have not been vaccinated.

Immunization involves a two-step process for foals or horses that have never been vaccinated, with a booster shot four to six weeks after the initial vaccination. It also is recommended that horses receive an annual booster shot in the spring before mosquitoes are active or before transporting horses to a part of the country where mosquitoes are active year-round.

The first case of WNV in 2017 was a yearling colt in Gloucester County in late September. The colt was given an initial vaccination, but did not receive a booster shot. The colt is being treated. The other EEE viruses were reported in Atlantic and Cumberland counties.

EEE has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection, with a 90 percent mortality rate for unvaccinated horses. Both viral diseases affect a horse’s neurological system and cause inflammation of the brain tissue. The diseases are transmitted by a mosquito bite. The viruses cycle between birds and mosquitoes with horses and humans being incidental hosts. EEE or WNV infections in horses are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses (like humans) are considered to be “dead-end” hosts for the virus.

Late summer and early fall are the prime seasons for these diseases. In 2016, four cases of equine EEE occurred in New Jersey between mid-August and mid-September.

EEE and West Nile virus, like other viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological system, must be reported to the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 within 48 hours of diagnosis. The New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory is available to assist with EEE and WNV testing and can be reached at 609-406-6999 or via email – jerseyvetlab@ag.state.nj.us.

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It’s time for the Horseshoe Bend ride again in Hunterdon County

The Horseshoe Bend trail ride will be held Oct. 28 in Kingwood Township to benefit Horseshoe Bend Park. You have your choice of four, eight or 12-mile rides. The latter two rides include trails that are off the park and not available the rest of the year.

There will be a raffle and a tack swap/sale. Horse water, continental breakfast and a light lunch are provided.

Please register ahead for planning purposes.Pay on the day, at the park $40 fee / person to benefit park ($35 if member of Friends of Horseshoe Bend Park). Helmets are mandatory.

For information and to pre–register, megsleeper@icloud.com

Directions: From Flemington take Route 12 west, to Kingwood (7.5 miles). At the light, turn left on
Route 519 S. Approximately two miles, just past the school on the left, turn right on Spring Hill Road. At the ‘T’
(Horseshoe Bend Rd) go straight into the park entrance. Signs will be posted. DO NOT turn onto
Horseshoe Bend Road from Route 12 – there is a narrow bridge.

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Far Hills Race Meeting focuses on stopping under-age drinking

Be warned: Under-age drinking, which has plagued the Far Hills Race Meeting for years, will be the focus of a crackdown by authorities at its 97th running Oct. 21.

In a joint effort, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson, the State Police, race organizers, New Jersey Transit and the Borough of Far Hills are working to curb the problem by conducting identification checks of underage individuals suspected of drinking alcoholic beverages on the race grounds.

Those who are not of legal age to consume alcohol will be taken into custody, charged and ultimately released to an adult who is not intoxicated.

The initiative is going to start as soon as racegoers get to Moorland Farm. Any individual entering the event who is visibly intoxicated will be denied entry. Too many people in the past have gotten off the train at Far Hills station already drunk.

All racegoers over the age of 21 will receive a wrist band indicating that they are of legal age to consume alcohol. If an individual is observed consuming alcohol and does not have a wrist band, they will be required to show identification to law enforcement proving they are 21 or over.

If they don’t have it, they will be escorted off the property. Officers will be conducting roving patrols throughout the day to identify those who are highly intoxicated and being disruptive. Anyone found to be causing a disturbance, endangering the safety and welfare of others or otherwise not complying with this initiative, will be escorted from the property.

Noting that law enforcement and the race meeting committee have been concerned about underage drinking, which was highlighted in a newspaper article in 2016, the prosecutor stated, “This year, we are taking a new approach in an effort to curtail the abuse of alcohol by minors and provide a safe atmosphere for all the attendees.”

A crackdown on under-age alcohol consumption at the Far Hills Race Meeting is designed to enforce the law and let people enjoy themselves while watching the horses without  disturbances from intoxicated youths. (Photo by Nancy Jaffer)

Race organizer Guy Torsilieri said the latest initiative is the next step in the committee’s ongoing efforts to curb underage and excessive drinking at the annual race meeting, which draws some 35,000 fans annually. In addition to more efforts aimed at barring underage patrons from drinking, this year the committee has partnered with a ride-sharing company and others as part of an overall goal of making the race safe for all visitors.

“In past years, we have made significant strides in curtailing alcohol abuse at our event,” Guy said. “But with underage drinking on the rise, particularly at events that draw significant numbers of college-aged visitors, we are determined to ensure that our event remains a fun, family event to be enjoyed by all.”

Far Hills Mayor Paul Vallone welcomed the partnership with law enforcement and race organizers, saying the Far Hills Race Meeting is an asset to the borough.

“It is our goal that by working collaboratively with law enforcement and Far Hills Race Meeting Association, each patron who visits will be offered a safe, friendly atmosphere in which to enjoy themselves.”

For more about the race meeting, go to farhillsrace.org.

 

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Essex tries a new type of hunter pace

 

The Essex Foxhounds are trying a new “mock hunt” format for their fall hunter pace Oct. 22. The hounds won’t be involved, as riders follow field masters in three flights. The first flight will go at a forward pace and take all the jumps. Jumping is optional for the second flight, which will go at a steady pace. The third pace will proceed at a gentle pace, but won’t jump.

The competition starts at 11 a.m., but participants who haven’t pre-registered must come at 10 a.m. to register and pay the $50/person fee.

At the post-pace party, ribbons will go to the best horse/rider combos in each flight, with an award for best turned-out overall. “Polite hacking attire” is requested.

The pace will be held at Cedar Lane Farm, 87 Homestead Road, Oldwick (but the GPS is Califon, NJ)
For early entries, go to www.essexfoxnounds.org.

Questions can be answered by Jim Gordon: (908) 337-2546.

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Mylestone Equine Rescue open house postponed to Oct. 15

With the prospect of bad weather on Oct. 8, the original date for the Mylestone Equine Rescue Open House in Warren County, organizers decided to hold the event from noon-4 p.m. Oct.15 instead.

This 23-acre farm is dedicated to taking the horses no one else wants; those with medical issues, the elderly, the long-neglected, the unloved. Few get adopted; most spend the rest of their lives at Mylestone, where Susankelly Thompson, her family, part-time staff and dedicated volunteers do their utmost to make life as good as it can be for these animals in need.

For more information,here’s a link:  http://nancyjaffer.com/previous_columns/2017-09-28/

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Things are buzzing at Mane Stream

Linda Dietz, president of Mane Stream’s board of directors, will be honored during a fundraiser Nov. 4 at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. The party, dubbed A Starlight Soiree, is Equus XXVI, an affair with a long history of helping the Oldwick facility that helps so many people.

Also known for her ownership of Red Tail Farm in Bedminster, Linda is devoted to Mane Stream, which offers adaptive riding and equine-assisted therapies for a wide range of clients . For more about the party, go to this link

 

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Jerseyans qualify for the ASPCA Maclay finals

Four Garden State competitors made the cut for the finals of the ASPCA Maclay hunt seat equitation championship at the Region Two ride-off last weekend.

The competition at Old Salem Farm was won by Madison Goetzmann on San Remo VDL, who led throughout the class. Sophee Steckbeck of Clarksburg finished fourth on Curt Z, with Nina Columbia of Kinnelon fifth on Checkland.

Laura Lindner of Warren came in seventh on Nino Nacho and Millburn’s Devon Thomas finished eighth with Cordino.

The Maclay will be held at the CP National Horse Show in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in November.

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Second New Jersey Horse positive for EEE

A 9-year-old Atlantic County mare is the state’s second reported 2017 case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a serious, mosquito-borne illness in horses. The horse, who had not been vaccinated against EEE for two years, is undergoing treatment.

“Horse owners need to be vigilant in vaccinating their animals against diseases spread by mosquitoes,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher. “Vaccinated animals are much less likely to contract deadly diseases such as EEE and West Nile Virus.”

EEE causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection.  West Nile virus is a viral disease that affects horses’ neurological system.  The diseases are transmitted by mosquito bite.  The viruses cycle between birds and mosquitoes, with horses and humans being incidental hosts. EEE infections in horses are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses (like humans) are considered to be “dead-end” hosts for the virus.

The first EEE case in New Jersey in 2017 was a 5-year-old Cumberland County mare. That horse had not been vaccinated against EEE and died on August 28, 2017

Effective equine vaccines for EEE and WNV are available commercially. Horse owners should contact their veterinarians if their horses are not already up-to-date on their vaccinations against both EEE and WNV.

Late summer and early fall are the prime seasons for these diseases.  In 2016, 4 cases of equine EEE occurred in New Jersey between mid-August and mid-September. There were no cases of equine WNV in 2016.

EEE and West Nile virus, like other viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological system, must be reported to the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 within 48 hours of diagnosis. The New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory is available to assist with EEE and WNV testing and can be reached at 609-406-6999 or via email – jerseyvetlab@ag.state.nj.us.

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