New “OE Member Equine Research Fund”

The Ontario Equestrian Federation and Equine Guelph are pleased to announce yet another level of partnership in order to help address the needs of the horse industry. The “OE Member Equine Research Fund” is a revolution in helping horses for life by funding ground-breaking research. The unique annual program brings members into the fold in a program that stands to further best practices in equine healthcare. $1.50 per OE membership fee is being paid to Equine Guelph to fund research. It is less than a cup of coffee, but collectively the funding adds up and can really make a difference in the lives of horses.

OE executive director Tracey McCague-McElrea with Equine Guelph director Gayle Ecker

Ontario Equestrian is pleased to report over $23,000 has been raised so far in this new initiative. “And that number should be approximately $33,000 by the end of the year, based on our membership targets for 2017,” remarked Tracey McCague-McElrea, OE Executive Director. “When we all work together and maximize the resources we have available, it is amazing what we can do as a community. I applaud our members for embracing this initiative.” OE is committed to horse welfare as well as providing support for over 22,000 members of the equine community in Ontario.

Ontario Veterinary College Dean Jeffrey Wichtel says, “The new OE Member Equine Research Fund will provide stimulus to drive research that stands to improve the overall health and well-being of horses.” Equine Guelph has been disseminating research findings, in the form of lay summaries, and making this information available to all facets of the equine industry since its inception in 2003.

“OE has been a proud supporter in the past of research conducted at the University of Guelph,” says Dr. Jeff Thomason, co-chair of the Equine Guelph research committee. “The OE contribution will be applied to the next round of research funding, but 2 recently funded projects illustrate the range of possible and practical uses for that contribution.”

OVC researcher, Dr. Alex zur Linden is creating 3-D print outs of equine joints for training vets to use ultrasound to safely guide the needle in joint injections. In the Ontario Agricultural College, Dr. Katrina Merkies is investigating the effects of steaming or soaking hay for horses. Merkies will be studying effects including feeding behaviour and impact on nutrient density.

“I commend Ontario Equestrian on their initiative in developing this successful Funding Program to support Equine Guelph’s horse health programs and hope that the example they have set encourages other Provincial Sport Organizations and Breed Associations to take up the challenge and do the same,” says Al Patterson, Equine Guelph Advisory Council co-chair.

“Equine Guelph thanks OE and its members for their contributions,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “The equine community is bound together by common beliefs and aims when it comes to taking the best possible care of our horses. We welcome all horse associations to consider a similar membership program to become involved in the funding equine research which helps horses for life”.

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