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(Washington, DC)- On January 20th, the transfer of power in Washington, DC officially begins with the traditional Inaugural Parade. Over 3,000 organizations applied to march in the parade, with only 40 being selected. Of those 40, nine of them are equine organizations,

“We are pleased to see the equine community being well represented during the Inaugural Parade,” said American Horse Council President Julie Broadway. “Equines were an integral part of the foundation of the United States, and Presidents throughout history have appreciated and admired the grandeur of the horse.”

The most recognized equines in the parade will be the Caisson Platoon from Fort Myer, VA. In addition to their well-known, solemn duty of military funerals, the Caisson Platoon also participates in numerous historic processions performed by the Old Guard, as well as the notable honor of being included in Presidential Inaugural Parades.

The Michigan Multi-Jurisdiction Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard, from Ann Arbor, MI, will be participating in the Inaugural Parade for the third time. The Michigan Horse Council (MHC) will also be well represented, as MHC President Col. Don Packard, US Army Retired, will carry the MHC flag in the parade. This is also the first time a person not a member of mounted law enforcement has ridden with the group. “We are excited to be coming to Washington, DC,” said Col. Packard. “There are 23 riders in this group, and they are bringing along a support staff of another 20 people who are also honored to be a part of such a historic event.”

The 1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard of Ft. Riley, KS will also be participating in this year’s Inaugural Parade. Established in 1992, the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard (CMCG) provides a link to Fort Riley's historic past. Troopers and horses of this unit are outfitted in the uniforms, accessories and equipment of the Civil War period. From privates to officers, these men and women recreate American Horse Soldier at community events, parades, and official ceremonies. At the AHC’s recent Coalition of State Horse Council’s Fall meeting in October, the CMCG did a demonstration for meeting attendees at Kansas State University and then a short meet/greet with Q&A about their program.

The AHC looks forward to seeing all of the equestrian organizations with the distinct honor of participating in the parade. For more information on the Inaugural Parade, please visit the informational website here.

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American Horse Council President Julie Broadway will provide keynote address

The Kentucky Equine Education Project will convene a gathering of horse industry leaders and policy makers from across the state to discuss ways to protect and promote the Commonwealth’s signature industry. The Equine Industry Conference will take place on October 17-18 at the Embassy Suites on Newtown Pike in Lexington, KY.

“KEEP is proud to bring leaders from across the state together to discuss the challenges we face as an industry and how best to build on recent success,” said Joe Clabes, KEEP Executive Director. This will be a great opportunity to hear diverse perspectives on all aspects of Kentucky’s equine economy.

The conference will begin Monday afternoon with partner organization meetings and other breakout sessions, followed by an evening welcome reception providing casual networking opportunities. During Tuesday’s sessions, equine industry leaders and experts will participate in panel discussions regarding the current state of the equine economy and how to improve the outlook for the future. Presentations will include a review of economic data, legislative and regulatory discussion by key policy experts and information about innovative programs to support the equine economy through improved business marketing, tourism opportunities and new industry-based initiatives.

The lunch program on Tuesday will feature an address by Julie Broadway, who was named President of the American Horse Council (AHC) earlier this year. Ms. Broadway will discuss AHC initiatives, including the effort to update the National Economic Impact Study. She will also provide insight into what the horse industry can expect from Washington in the coming months.

“The 1996 and 2005 Economic Impact Studies gave incredible insight to an industry that operates in every corner of the country, and contributes greatly to the American culture and economy. We are looking forward to seeing how the 2017 study will be able to further illustrate the importance of our diverse industry,” said Julie Broadway. “With a new Congress coming into Washington in November, it’s more important than ever that the AHC continue to play a critical role in the long term success of the industry, and ensure a favorable legislative environment for the industry to come.”

Tuesday's luncheon will also include an awards presentation honoring an individual and organization that have distinguished themselves through their leadership in Kentucky’s horse industry.

Online registration and information about sponsorship opportunities are available online at: www.horseswork.com

ABOUT KEEP

The Kentucky Equine Education Project is a grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky's signature horse industry. Support for KEEP’s activity comes directly from the horse industry and horse industry supporters that we represent. To learn more about how you can become a member or make a contribution, please visit www.horseswork.com.

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The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 (S. 1121/H.R. 3268) (PAST Act) garnered a significant amount of bi-partisan support in 2015 and now has 240 co-sponsors in the House and 50 co-sponsors in the Senate.  The PAST Act is supported by the American Horse Council (AHC) and almost all major national horse show organizations and many state and local horse organizations. The bill was introduced by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) in the Senate and Representatives Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) in the House of Representatives. 

The PAST Act would strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. Despite the existence of a federal ban on soring for over forty years, this cruel practice continues in the “performance” or “big lick” segments of the Walking Horse industry. “Ending soring is not only important in those segments of the Walking Horse industry,” said AHC president Jay Hickey, “it is also important for the well-being and economic health of the horse industry because, while soring happens only in a small segment of the Walking Horse industry, such abuse damages the image of the entire horse industry.”

Every major national horse show organizations support the PAST Act, including the American Horse Council, the American Quarter Horse Association, the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Paint Horse Association, 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, as well as many state and local horse organizations.

“Very few bills in Congress ever achieve this level of bi-partisan support,” said Hickey.  “The magnitude of support for this bill is clear, but there is still a lot of work that will need to be done to make sure it is brought to a vote. The AHC will be continuing its efforts to see that this happens when Congress reconvenes in January.”

 “All members of the horse community should contact their Senators and Representative in the New Year and tell them ‘they should co-sponsor the PAST Act and it should be given a vote as soon as possible and they should vote for it, when that happens’,” said Hickey.

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On October 14, the American Recreation Coalition hosted a Recreation Issues Forum on Capitol Hill.   The Recreation Forum brought together leaders from the recreation community and outdoor industry as well as Congressional staff to highlight a number of recreation issues and legislative priorities of the outdoor community.  American Horse Council vice president of government affairs Ben Pendergrass was one of the invited speakers. 

Pendergrass focused on the  National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act  (NFSTS Act) (H.R. 845/S.1110), introduced by Representatives  Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). The bill would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users in many National Forests, including equestrians.

“The Recreation Issues Forum was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act to the horse industry and how the bill will improve National Forest trail maintenance and increase access for all American without adding to the federal deficit,” said Pendergrass.  “It was also an important chance for leaders in the outdoor community and congressional staff to discuss the best path forward to achieving recreational priorities this Congress.”  

In addition to the NFSTS Act, many issues important to all members of the outdoor recreational community were discussed, including the Recreational Trails Program that provides funding for recreational trails and trail-related facilities; the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that provides funds to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources; as well as the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) that provides the authority for the federal land management agencies to charge fees.

“Since the Forum both the RTP  and LWCF  have been re-authorized delivering big wins for all recreational users of public land, including equestrians,” continued Pendergrass. “Hopefully we can build on this momentum in 2016 and pass the NFSTS Act.”

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On Friday, August 1, President Obama signed into law an American Horse Council (AHC) supported bill, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, making it legal for veterinarians to provide the care necessary to horses away from their licensed place of practice and across state lines.

Previously, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believed that veterinarians were in violation of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and prohibited them from transporting, administering or dispensing any controlled substances which are necessary for the veterinarian when attempting to care for the safety and well-being of the horse beyond their licensed locations.

The new language reads, “a registrant who is a veterinarian shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

The AHC is unaware of how the DEA will react to this or whether they will issue new guidance or change their registration process in any way to reflect this new provision.

The AHC would like to thank Congress and the President for this important legislation that allows veterinarians to continue caring for the well-being of horses without any fear of being in violation of the CSA.

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On December 18, 2015, an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government was passed by Congress and signed by the President.  This bill is a package of all 12 annual appropriations bills and will fund all government agencies and programs until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016.

The omnibus bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including reforms to the H-2B temporary guest worker program, the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) FY 2016 appropriations bill, defunding of horse slaughter, and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“Notably, the bill includes several beneficial provisions relating to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program and would roll back some of the most onerous provisions of a 2015 H-2B rule,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.   “The AHC has been working to ensure these provisions were included in the omnibus bill and on reforms to the program for years.    These provisions will make the H-2B program less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry.”

“The bill contains vital funding for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS,) which is responsible for protecting and responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks.  The bill also includes funding for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). Adequate funding for APHIS, equine health, and the HPA are important for the welfare of U.S. horses and the economic health of the horse industry,” said Hickey.

The bill includes language that prohibits USDA from using any funds to provide inspectors at meat processing facilities that slaughter horses, continuing a block that begin in 2005, except for a brief period in 2012 and 2013.

No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S. and this bill would effectively prevent any such facility from opening before September 30, 2016.

The language was included in the omnibus bill because the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that prohibited funding for inspectors at horse slaughter facilities when they debated and approved their version of the FY 2016 USDA appropriations bill.  The Senate amendment was offered in committee by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and passed by a voice vote.

The bill will also reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for three years with funding of $450 million for the coming FY 2016, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous level.  LWCF provides funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources. 

“The LWCF program had expired this year and there was some concern it might not get reauthorized in a timely fashion,” said AHC vice president of government affairs. “The program is responsible for adding millions of acres to the national parks system, national recreation areas, and state and local parks that include many trails for equestrians.”

More details about the bill can be found here:  https://www.horsecouncil.org/press-release/congress-approves-omnibus-bill-to-fund-government/

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(Washington, DC)- On January 20th, the transfer of power in Washington, DC officially begins with the traditional Inaugural Parade. Over 3,000 organizations applied to march in the parade, with only 40 being selected. Of those 40, nine of them are equine organizations,

“We are pleased to see the equine community being well represented during the Inaugural Parade,” said American Horse Council President Julie Broadway. “Equines were an integral part of the foundation of the United States, and Presidents throughout history have appreciated and admired the grandeur of the horse.”

The most recognized equines in the parade will be the Caisson Platoon from Fort Myer, VA. In addition to their well-known, solemn duty of military funerals, the Caisson Platoon also participates in numerous historic processions performed by the Old Guard, as well as the notable honor of being included in Presidential Inaugural Parades.

The Michigan Multi-Jurisdiction Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard, from Ann Arbor, MI, will be participating in the Inaugural Parade for the third time. The Michigan Horse Council (MHC) will also be well represented, as MHC President Col. Don Packard, US Army Retired, will carry the MHC flag in the parade. This is also the first time a person not a member of mounted law enforcement has ridden with the group. “We are excited to be coming to Washington, DC,” said Col. Packard. “There are 23 riders in this group, and they are bringing along a support staff of another 20 people who are also honored to be a part of such a historic event.”

The 1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard of Ft. Riley, KS will also be participating in this year’s Inaugural Parade. Established in 1992, the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard (CMCG) provides a link to Fort Riley's historic past. Troopers and horses of this unit are outfitted in the uniforms, accessories and equipment of the Civil War period. From privates to officers, these men and women recreate American Horse Soldier at community events, parades, and official ceremonies. At the AHC’s recent Coalition of State Horse Council’s Fall meeting in October, the CMCG did a demonstration for meeting attendees at Kansas State University and then a short meet/greet with Q&A about their program.

The AHC looks forward to seeing all of the equestrian organizations with the distinct honor of participating in the parade. For more information on the Inaugural Parade, please visit the informational website here.

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