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INTERNATIONAL EQUINE JUDGING ACADEMY

INTERNATIONAL EQUINE JUDGING ACADEMY
January 27-29, 2017
“Through the Judges Eyes”
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Tulsa, OK

Knowledge is power; become a more successful exhibitor. Learn what the judges are looking for, what makes one run stand out from another, and how to “think like a judge.” The Academy is also an educational opportunity for those who are thinking about becoming a judge. The program is also a great resource for apprentice judges and collegiate judging teams. And, it’s an excellent place to learn how to scribe scored classes.

Early registration deadline is January 3

For more information and registration forms, visit www.colorbreedcouncil.com.

EQUINE GENETICS SHORT COURSE 2016

Understanding genetics – using them for better breeding decisions

November 12th and 13th 2016
Animal Sciences Building at Colorado State University
Registration limited to 15 participants – Cost $175/person

Planned topics include:
– Review of basic equine genetics
– Building the horse gene map
– Gene-based physiology and disease
– Inheritance, selection and genetic improvement
– Current and future research @ CSU

For more information or registration details contact:
Stephen Coleman
(970) 491-2681 or stephen.coleman@colostate.edu
or
Jason Bruemmer
(970) 491-8373 or jason.bruemmer@colostate.edu

National Forest Trail Bill Approved by House Agriculture Committee

Update from the American Horse Council

Last week, the House Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R.845). The bill, introduced by Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN), would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many national forests, including equestrians. The American Horse Council, Backcountry Horsemen of America, and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation of this bill.

A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.

The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act would direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails. It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees. Additionally, the bill would address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and would direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.

In the current fiscal environment it is unlikely Congress will appropriate additional funds to directly address the trail maintenance backlog. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding.

The AHC is pleased the House Committee on Agriculture has approved this important legislation.

The bill must now be considered by the full House.

APPALOOSA JOURNAL RECEIVES 2016 APEX AWARD FOR PUBLICATION EXCELLENCE

small web bannerThe Appaloosa Journal team announced this week that it has been honored with a 2016 APEX Award for Publication Excellence for its large-format 2016 Stallion Calendar. Now in its 28th year, the APEX competition is sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc., which advises publishing, PR and marketing professionals on best practices in print, web and publishing. Winning among 164 Design & Illustration submissions, the 2016 Stallion Calendar showcases 14 gorgeous Appaloosa stallions in a luxurious, over-sized layout. The elegant design of the calendar captures the beauty and diversity of the breed.

Fellow winning entrants in the 2016 competition include: Ford Motor Co. Product Team, NASA, Bank of America & Time Inc., Walt Disney World, Charles Schwab, Delta Air Lines, HanesBrands Inc., Lockheed Martin and T.Rowe Price, to name a few. The 11 major categories attracted 1,634 entries and the competition was stated to be of “extraordinary quality.”

“This is the fifth year in a row our Journal team has achieved APEX recognition,” said Steve Taylor, ApHC CEO. “ApHC members should be especially proud of the outstanding talent and the commitment to excellence displayed by our AJ team. Congratulations to the gang for this well-deserved recognition.”

Senate Committee Approves USDA Appropriations Bill

American Horse Council Update

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2017 fiscal year (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017). The bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including the so-called “horse slaughter defunding provision,” funding for USDA equine health activities and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.

FY 2016 House USDA Appropriations

Horse Slaughter
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities that was adopted by a voice vote. This prohibition will prevent horse slaughter facilities from operating in the U.S. if this bill is signed into law.

Currently, No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S and a prohibition on funding for inspectors at such facilities from last year’s FY 2016 USDA bill is in effect until September 30, 2016. If that prohibition expires, USDA will be required to provide inspectors and horse slaughter facilities if any were to open.

A similar defunding amendment was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee when it approved the House version of the USDA appropriations bill.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Equine Health
The bill would provide $939 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS is the USDA agency responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, including responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks. Funding for Equine, Cervid, and Small Ruminant health would be set at $19.7 million, this is a $200,000 increase over FY 2015.

Horse Protection Act
The bill provides $706,000 for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act a $9,000 increase over FY 2016 funding.

The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.

USDA Revises Export Regulations

American Horse Council Update

The USDA has revised the regulations pertaining to the exportation of livestock, including horses, from the United States. The rule changes go into effect February 19, 2016.

Three key changes have been made that can potentially impact how horses are exported from the United States. These changes are;
•The new revisions allow for the pre-export inspection of horses at facilities other than an export inspection facility associated with the port of embarkation. As few facilities specifically built for horses are available to the export industry, this change should have a positive impact on both horse and handler safety.
•Several requirements for export health certifications, tests, and treatments have been removed from the regulations, and instead direct exporters to follow the requirements of the importing country regarding processes and procedures. While few issues arose due to the previous regulations, this change should prevent conflicts from developing between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and authorities in the importing country in the future.
•Under certain circumstances, the revisions replace the specific standards for export inspection facilities and ocean vessels with new performance standards. The adoption of these performance standards should allow for approval of more specialized facilities and vessels, increasing the options available to the industry at large.

In addition to the changes, a Program Handbook was created to provide guidance and specific information regarding regulations for export facilities, transport vessels and lists of approved laboratories and ports of embarkation. The Program Handbook is intended to assist owners and operators by describing acceptable ways to meet the requirements as described in the updated regulations.

Western Dressage Seminar

The Western Dressage Association® of America is hosting another Judge’s Seminar as part of the International Equine Judging Seminar (IEJS) at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, OK on February 1st and 2nd, 2016. This seminar is an integral part of the Judge’s Education program offered by the WDAA and is considered the first step in the process to attain USEF Western Dressage judge’s licensing.

During the Judge’s seminar, participants will learn about a judge’s perception of gaits, impulsion, submission, rider position and seat in western tack, the rider’s correct and effective use of aids and harmony between rider and horses of different styles. The seminar will focus on the evaluation of horse and rider combinations, scoring tests and providing comments. Working with Debbie Riehl-Rodriquez, Joyce Swanson and Cliff Swanson, participants will have the opportunity to practice scoring several levels of tests on video.

The program is a full two days and will include a Rules Exam, learning terminology, methodology and judging mechanics. Judge Candidates should complete this seminar prior to working on the online evaluations (Step Two), during which each candidate is asked to review, score and comment on videoed Western Dressage rides with professional feedback. Step Three requires each candidate to complete learner judge opportunity, sanctioned by the
USEF guidelines found at: https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/LicensedOfficials/Default.aspx The WDAA also offers an Advanced Training Program (ATP) designed for those with history in judging for Dressage, Western and/or Breed events.

For Registration and more information on the Judge’s seminar and Judge’s Education programs offered through the WDAA, please visit http://www.westerndressageassociation.org/western-dressage-judges-education-program/ or see
the CBC information pages at: http://www.pinto.org/cbc_site/cbcforms/cbc_seminar16.pdf or http://www.colorbreedcouncil.com/
Please note that all Judge’s seminar participants must be a WDAA member.

Favorable Horse Provisions in Tax Extender Bill Passed by Congress

Congress has passed a tax extender bill called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 that includes several provisions important to the horse industry and supported by the American Horse Council.

At the end of 2014, a number of favorable tax provisions for horse owners, breeders and businesses expired. In all, over sixty tax provisions expired; some applied to all businesses, including the horse industry, and one was specifically applicable to owners of race horses. All of the provisions extended are retroactive for all of 2015.

Importantly, the bill would reinstate 3-year-depreciation for all race horses for two more years. From 2009 through 2014, race horses could be depreciated over three years, regardless of when they were placed in service. This change, which eliminated the 7-year depreciation period for race horses and made all race horses eligible for three-year depreciation, expired at the end of 2014. The just passed extender bill would reinstate 3-year-depreciation for race horses placed in service after December 31, 2014 through 2016.

The bill would also increase the so-called Section 179 business expense deduction back to $500,000 and make this provision permanent. It is currently set at $25,000. This would allow anyone in the horse business to immediately depreciate up to $500,000 of the cost of any investment in business assets, including horses, purchased and placed in service. The deduction would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once investment in all one’s business activities hit $2 million.

The bill would restore bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business, such as horses and other equipment, purchased and placed in service during 2015 through 2019. The bonus depreciation percentage is 50 percent for property placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and phases down to 40 percent in 2018, and 30 percent in 2019. The first use of the horse or equipment must begin with the taxpayer.

The extender bill would also restore and make permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers.

The AHC supported the tax extender bill and originally achieved the 3-year-depreciation of race horses provision in the 2008 Farm Bill and supported its inclusion in subsequent tax extension bills, including this one.

Ashley Furst
American Horse Council
202-296-4031

COST SHARE FUNDING PROGRAM TO PROMOTE US LIVESTOCK EXPORTS

US Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) has received funds which will be available to private breeders, companies, or cooperatives interested in promoting livestock, semen, or embryo sales in international markets through December 31, 2016. These funds are available through the Market Access Program (MAP) of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

USLGE sponsors and administers the branded program with the goal of helping the US Livestock Industry increase the international demand for US livestock and genetics.

MAP funding is used to supplement but not supplant private funds that would be used for promotional activities.

The MAP branded program provides for partial reimbursement (up to 50 percent) of approved activities such as international advertising, the development, translation and distribution of promotional materials, and participation in foreign trade shows and exhibitions. Funds cannot be used for travel or personnel reimbursement. An administrative fee is charged to participate in the program.

The allocation of these funds will be made to eligible participants on a fair and equitable basis as set by FAS and consistent with the goals and objectives of the MAP program as outlined by Congress. Funding criteria is based upon available funding, anticipated economic impact and the completeness of the application.

Applications will be considered throughout the year pending availability of funding.

Interested parties should request a FY16 MAP Branded Application and Program Guidelines booklet from US Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., 413 N. Broadway, Suite C, Salem, IL 62881, Phone: (618) 548-9154, Fax: (618) 548-9709, email: uslge@uslge.org.

Take Action to Support H-2B Program Now

Congress will need to take action on all fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills before current funding expires December 11, 2016. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) appropriations bills, include important and helpful language that will make the H-2B program easier for employers to use. However, there is no guarantee this language will be included in the 2016 appropriations package or “Omnibus bill” that is being negotiated now and action is need immediately.

The H-2B program is used by members of the horse industry, principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs as grooms, exercise riders, and stable attendants at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.

If you, your business or members of your organization rely on H-2B workers, please contact your Senators to express support for the H-2B appropriations language that is included in the DOL and DHS appropriations bills. Urge them to sign the H-2B letter being circulated by Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Boustany (R-LA) that asks the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include all of the beneficial H-2B provisions from both the House and Senate DHS and DOL bills in any final appropriations bill.

You can reach your members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to your Senators’ or Representative’s office, ask to speak to the staff person who handles Department of Labor and Department Homeland Security appropriations.
Call them today and tell them;
• You support and rely on the H-2B Program.
• You support the H-2B language in the DOL and DHS appropriations bill.
• Please sign the H-2B letter that is being circulated by Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Boustany (R-LA).
• THE DEADLINE FOR SIGNING IS NOON ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6. This letter asks the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include all of the beneficial H-2B provisions from the House and Senate Departments of Homeland Security and Labor Appropriations bills.
• Horse farms, trainers, horseshows, and others in the horse industry are often unable able to find Americans who are willing and able to take jobs as grooms, and stable attendants.
• Despite substantial efforts to recruit American workers the industry has been forced to rely on foreign workers and the H-2B temporary worker program to meet their labor needs.
• The H-2B language in the DOL and DHS appropriations bills will help ensure the H-2B program is available to the horse industry and other small and seasonal businesses.
If you have any questions please contact the American Horse Council.

Appaloosas Breed Class at Dressage at Devon

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ted Zajac and Saucon, Inc. as sponsors, Appaloosa horses will have an individual breed class at this year’s Dressage at Devon – next week (Tuesday September 1st). The link below is to a nice article in the Equine Chronicle.

http://www.equinechronicle.com/appaloosa-becomes-only-stock-breed-to-have-individual-class-at-prestigious-dressage-at-devon/

Startling Number

53.5M BY THE NUMBERS
The number of millennials in the U.S. workforce as of the first quarter of 2015—higher than any other generational category.
Source: PEW RESEARCH CENTER

The number may or may not translate directly to conditions in the equine industry, but I suspect it does.

Horse ownership and involvement has stabilized and is likely to rise, according to key findings from survey sponsored by Zoetis

AHP-New-site-logo-1970The equine industry has found stability and shows positive signs of growth, especially among young adult horse owners and event participants, according to results of a survey by American Horse Publications (AHP) sponsored by Zoetis. The survey included responses from over 10,662 horse owners.

Among the highlights, the third online nationwide equine industry survey shows:
• For 2016, 88.6% of respondents expect to own or manage the same number of horses or more horses.
• This year, 93% of respondents plan to enter the same or more competitions than last year, and 95.1% expect to compete in the same or more events in 2016.
• A high number of respondents (84.7%) rely on their veterinarians for vaccination advice, and respondents are increasingly relying on veterinarians for deworming advice.

“It appears the industry is beginning to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, as indicated by the percentage of respondents participating in the industry, either through owning/managing horses or competing with them, at the same or greater levels than three years ago,” said Jill Stowe, Ph.D., associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky, who analyzed the data and consulted on the results.

Read the entire media release at this link:
http://www.americanhorsepubs.org/newsgroup/13200/

American Horse Council Action Alert

Help spread the word! To share this Action Alert please copy and use the following link: http://bit.ly/1gxqsxv

Support National Forest Trails Bill Today!
On Thursday, July 16, the Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110). 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 on many national forests, including equestrians. This bill is strongly supported by the American Horse Council.

AHC urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Senators and ask them to support the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) and to please co-sponsor this legislation.

You can reach your Senator through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to the Senator’s office, ask to speak to the staff person who handles public lands issues.

Call them today and tell them;
•You support the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) and it is important to trail riders and all recreational trail users in your state.
•The Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.
•S. 1110 will direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails and identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.
•This bill will help improve trail maintenance without adding to the federal budget deficit.
•The bill is bi-partisan and supported by a wide range of recreational users of public land.
•Please support and co-sponsor this important legislation.

If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

Members are the “New Breed”

small nplc logo revamp-v2-p1Thought I’d share an excerpt from the latest “Gazette” published for the National Pedigreed Livestock Council. This is a 100 year-old-plus organization of livestock registry organizations representing horses, beef cattle, dairy, swine, goats, etc. The NPLC Annual Meeting was held earlier this month in Lafayette, Indiana, home of our hosts the National Swine Registry and American Berkshire Association.

A long-time acquaintance, Phil Anderson, presented a session called “Shifting Gears,” in which he described the variety of challenges in today’s membership/association world.

Members are, and have always been, the heart and soul of most nonprofit organizations. The challenge facing today’s organizations range from the differing perspectives of multiple generations, technology and its effect on communications and relationships, and the shifting landscape of agriculture, food and leisure. As we move beyond 2015, we must “shift gears” to embrace and respond to these changes (and opportunities). We have to work faster, smarter, and maximize each and every resource. As a membership organization it comes down to this simple perspective: “It’s not who we are TO each other, it’s who we are FOR each other.”


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