The American Horse Council’s (AHC) Annual Meeting wrapped up last month with the National Issues Forum, with several relevant presentations and discussions on major issues and projects currently at the forefront of the council and the horse industry in general.
Christie Schulte, Marketing Manager for the AHC Time to Ride Campaign, provided attendees with the campaign’s 2016 progress report, as well as the new programs and sweepstakes that have been introduced this year, including the campaign’s involvement with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) on the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to engage youth in as many Olympic sports as possible.
“I was delighted to share the success of Time to Ride over the last two years, which has introduced over 60,000 new people to horses,” said Christie Schulte. “With the support of the AHC Marketing Alliance, Time to Ride’s strategy continues to focus on growing the horse industry through programs that help horse professionals convert non-riding moms and families into equestrians, and eventually horse owners and participants in the industry. To meet and collaborate with the equine industry leaders present at the AHC Issues Forum was extremely valuable to the growth and success of Time to Ride.”
A panel on the benefits of microchipping was also held during the forum, featuring Matt Iuliano, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of The Jockey Club, Mary Babick, Vice President of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), and Summer Stoffel, who serves on the USEF Horse Recording & ID Task Force Committee.
“The future of any industry is data,” said Summer Stoffel. “Microchipping for horses has been used successfully in Europe since 2006 to monitor horse welfare, protect against theft, prevent fraud, track competition eligibility, and for tracing in the event of a disease outbreak. It is a safe, reliable, less painful way to provide permanent, unchangeable positive identification.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts(R-KS) closed out the Forum by addressing the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, one of AHC’s recent priorities.
“The Agriculture Committee intends to take action on forestry related legislation, such as the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, which utilizes volunteers to help maintain access to priority trails on National Forest land,” he said. “I understand that the American Horse Council supports this legislation along with a broad coalition of stakeholders. As you can see, we clearly have our work cut out for us over the next several months, and I look forward to continuing to work with our agriculture sector constituents to find resolution on these outstanding issues.”