by John Etcell, AAA President
As you would be aware, the entire Australian Equine Industry has been severely affected by an outbreak of Equine Influenza (E.I.). There have been major ramifications on the Australian Appaloosa Association as a result of this.
The outbreak first occurred in August 2007, right at the beginning of the Australian Breeding Season. The impact has been enormous with a vast number of our members unable to show their horses, breed their horses or transport their horses.
Some areas in Australia remain unaffected, however the major impact has been felt in the States of New South Wales and Queensland. It is in these two States that the majority of members reside so the impact is enormous. These two States have been locked down since August 2007.
This has impacted on the scheduling of the Australian Appaloosa National Championship Show. Originally scheduled for April 2008, it will now be held in Dubbo, New South Wales from the 22nd June 2008 to 2nd July 2008.
Following our visit to Oklahoma City last year, our level of enthusiasm and expectation relating to the relationship between the ApHC and the AAA was very high. The exciting proposals that were discussed indicated a wonderful year in 2008 for the Australian Appaloosa Association. Unfortunately, The Equine Influenza Virus has almost brought the Australian Appaloosa Association to its knees and has altered these arrangements dramatically.
Having said that, I am hopeful that 2009 will be our ( The ApHC and The AAA ) new beginning. It is hoped that the international proposals can be implemented throughout that year. It is also hoped that other international delegates and guests who expressed a wish to visit the Australian National Show in 2008 may transfer that wish to 2009.
At the moment there is also talk that a member or a number of members of the AAA Board may visit the USA coinciding with the Appaloosa World Show later in 2008. Should this eventuate, then it would be the perfect opportunity to reestablish the relationships and proposals began in 2007.