Border Crossing News

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that import permits will continue to be required for the importation of semen and embryos from the U.S. into Canada during 2011. These import restrictions are a result of Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) in the U.S.

Canadians seeking timely information regarding import requirements are advised to use the CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) at

http://airs-sari.inspection.gc.ca/Airs_External/Default.aspx.

Instructions for Canadian Importers of Semen and Embryos from the US into Canada:

  1. Notify immediately the companies/agents/owners in the U.S. that you wish to acquire semen or embryos from and inform them that a USDA-endorsed zoosanitary export certificate MUST accompany all shipments from the U.S. to Canada. For more information and to obtain the required certificate, please visit:http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/downloads/ca_eq_se.pdf
  2. Before semen is shipped, importers in Canada must obtain an import permit from the CFIA. To download an Import Permit Application Form for Live Animals, Semen, Embryos, Animal Products and By-Products, visit the CFIA website at the following link: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/for/pdf/c5083perimpe.pdf

A Year in Review

Credit: Infused Studios

I cannot believe it’s 2011! That means I have to train myself to write a new date on the top of my cheques… It’s likely there will be a couple of errors made before I finally get it right.

A new year often means new resolutions, new outlooks and new hopes for the future. And while I am truly looking forward to life’s gifts that this new year will bring, as I look back at 2010 I am very happy with what was accomplished in the last 365 days. That includes the personal goals that were attained both in our barn and in life in general. I hope you all feel the same way too!

I am also very pleased with the vigor, My Stable Life took on since it’s kick-off in March of 2010. Clearly, MSL has garnered some of the most wonderful readers on the world wide web! Together, we’ve traveled from the Canadian prairies, to Custer’s Last Stand, to the Painted Deserts of Arizona:

There were some adventures and mechanical pit stops along the way:

Plus a crash course in Gumbo. (Well, not crashing in the literal sense…) Just a little difficulty getting to the highway:

But we always seemed to make it to our destination, horses in tow.

Then of course, we crossed the plains of New Mexico and found ourselves at the National Reining Breeders Classic In Texas:

There were also some exciting travels to Maui, HI, and Reno, NV:

And all the while, Clay and I learned about new border restrictions and importation regulations as we went along:

Once on home turf, we focused our attention to the breeding and foaling season that had rapidly crept up on us with joy and admiration for the new additions to J. Drummond Farms:

My Stable Life introduced readers to some of the daily tasks faced on an equine breeding farm.

Plus, all the vaccines, bookwork, show entries and record keeping that go along with a +40 head operation.

You were also there when some of our cows decided to meander outside our farm’s fences.

We have visited shows together and learned a thing or two about photography:

We have met some interesting people and had a couple of riding lessons together.

And we have gone through some colt starting sessions.

As the seasons changed, My Stable Life has always aimed to bring you some great equine health info, training advice and equi-business insight every step of the way.

2011 promises more of the same, with a dash of the daily adventures here at J. Drummond Farms of course! Plus a pinch of country life, scenes from the shows and all the regular mumbo jumbo (in a good way!) that you’ve become accustomed to at MSL.

If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, by all means drop me a line in the comments section below. And until then – Happy New Year everybody!

2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity

Clay and I are back from Reno, Nevada, and we had a great time watching the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity! We had a chance to catch up with several of our American friends and surprisingly, we got to visit with many of our Canadian friends too.

Cayley Wilson, second from the left checks out the cattle.

With our friend and Saskatchewan’s own, Dale Clearwater (Hanley, SK), making the Intermediate Open Finals, Clay and I had lots to cheer for at this prestigious cow horse event.

Dale Clearwater & A Bloom in the herd work portion of the Int. Open Finals.

Riding A Bloom (Smooth As A Cat x Aglows Little Peppy) owned by Dave Freeland, Dale finished with a respectable 14th position and was the only Canadian to make the finals.

Dale trades his horse in for a bike and takes his boys for a ride around the grounds.

Clay and I also got a chance to take in a few of the sales that went on in conjunction with the Snaffle Bit Futurity and show. Despite the fact that the US Government has declared the recession over for the United States in June 2009, 2010 sale prices are still reflecting a downed economy. However that being said, there were still a few horses that seemed to shine above the rest.

Hip #192 in the 2-Year-Old sale for example, was Savannahboonsmal. This pretty, sorrel filly sired by Peptoboonsmal and out of Savannah Hickory sold for $125,000 and had a lot of things going for her. For instance, she was well trained and her athletic prowess demonstrated very well in front of the sale audience.

I couldn't get a picture of the horse, but I did manage to snap a shot of the sale price screen for y'all.

Then Hip #205, Su Pretty Shiney a 2008 palomino filly consigned by Carol Rose went through and sold for $63,000. Shortly thereafter, Hip #212, ARC Sparkin Chics, a 2008 buckskin colt walked through the pen with professional trainer, Todd Bergen on his back and brought a price tag of $45,000.

Hip #212, ARC Sparkin Chics.

I personally thought these were great prices, considering the fact I had witnessed several 2-Year-Old prospects come through the sale pen earlier that day and go for prices that wouldn’t have even covered the cost of their training to date.

Another interesting thing we noticed were several blue tails that graced the finals arena. A number of horses came through with dyed pieces of horse hair intertwined into their tails, in shades of a pretty azur blue. At first I thought this was simply a cow horse trend we had not yet witnessed in Canada, but then I learned that the horses and riders (with matching blue shirts) were donning the dyed locks in memory of Layla Adams. Adams was the wife of NRCHA member and former World’s Greatest Horseman Champion, Andy Adams.

All in all, Clay and I had a great time scoping out this event, checking out the sale prices and…

…exploring the sites of Reno. I’ll never forget the first night we got in and we overheard a lady on the street yelling at someone through a window saying, “I’m not leaving until you give me my Tarantula back!”

Yes. We certainly weren’t in Saskatchewan anymore.

Regardless, the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity is definitely on our radar for the future. We look forward to returning next year.

And a big congratulations goes out to Tucker Robinson & Stylish Little Oak, champions of the Open Snaffle Bit Futurity. Robinson went home with the lions share of the purse money, a cheque worth $100,000 for owners San Juan Ranch. Stylish Little Oak is sired by Playin Stylish and out of the mare, Shiners Little Oak. Altogether, Robinson and Stylish Little Oak scored a 658.5 (including a smoking score of 224 in their cow work) for the championship win.

Equi-Pass Winner!!

I can’t believe it’s September 1 – where has this year gone?? The beginning of September means it’s officially futurity season, the leaves will start to turn soon and it’s time to make plans for the winter hay supply. But September 1 also means it’s time to reveal the winner of My Stable Life’s Equi-Pass Contest!

Are you ready for it?

Drum roll please….

The winner of a year’s Equi-Pass membership – Equestrian Roadside service created exclusively for AQHA members and available in the United States and Canada – is…

Daryla Friesen of Wildwood, Alberta

With this membership, Daryla willl never have to leave her horses on the side of the road should she encounter a problem. Daryla will have total peace of mind knowing her horse trailer and vehicle is covered. With a reliable network of more than 40,000 service providers, she’ll always have someone looking for out her!

Her benefits also include:

• 24/7 Unlimited Road Service Coverage
• No Mileage or Dollar Amount Limits- no out-of-pocket costs!
• 24/7 RV & Horse Trailer Technical Assistance
• Equestrian Concierge Services

Equi-Pass is something I’ve personally used several times now and as such, we never leave home with it! With only a phone call, Daryla will be able to count on EquiPass’s technical staff for troubleshooting and help with operational concerns.

Congratulations Daryla and I hope you enjoy your time with Equi-Pass!

Arizona Free and Clear

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has lifted their restrictions for horses from Arizona.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has completed their investigation of the Vesicular Stomatitis outbreak and lifted all quarantines at the beginning of July. Horses of American origin from the state of Arizona will again be allowed to enter Canada under the same import conditions as before the outbreak, and Canadian horses returning from Arizona will no longer have to satisfy any additional requirements related to this outbreak.

Current import requirements for equidae entering Canada may be found using the CFIA Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) at http://airs-sari.inspection.gc.ca. To determine specific import requirements for each horse, specific parameters that refer to each horse’s circumstances will need to be entered and customized import requirements will be provided.

Vesicular stomatitis is a disease that primarily affects cattle, horses and swine, and occasionally sheep and goats. Humans can be exposed to the virus when handling affected animals but rarely become infected. Vesicular stomatitis causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals show signs of lameness and generally refuse to eat and drink which results in severe weight loss. There is risk of secondary infection of the open wounds. Animals usually recover within two weeks. While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly important disease because its outward signs are similar to—although generally less severe than—those of foot-and-mouth disease, which horses are not susceptible to. The only way to distinguish among these diseases in livestock other than horses is through laboratory tests.

The mechanisms by which vesicular stomatitis spreads are not fully known; insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and movement of animals are probably responsible. Once introduced into a herd, the disease apparently moves from animal to animal by contact or exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured lesions. Historically, outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis have occurred in southwestern United States during warm months and particularly along river ways. However, outbreaks are sporadic and unpredictable.   (Source: USDA)

Superb Stall Mats

One of my newest, favorite pieces of equipment for traveling to shows with are EquiMat Stable Matting. And even if our trailer is packed to the max, EquiMats are my Never-Leave-Home-Without-Them item of the year.

In any given year, our horses may spend as many as 10 weeks on the road for various reining and cow horse events throughout Canada and the US. Therefore, maintaining their health and soundness during travel, has become priority #1 for Clay and I. Since we are subject to different types of stabling in each place we go, EquiMats allow us keep a standard comfort level for our show mounts – especially when we are stabled on cement.

Clay pieces the mats together by interlocking the edges.

Each mat is lightweight, making it easier than you think to cart them around for show travel. They offer protection from concrete by supporting horses with cushioned comfort and thermal insulation, plus they reduce the occurrence of capped hocks and other injuries. Equimat’s interlocking non-porous rubber sections are also equipped with a textured surface, to provide a non-slip area for your horse to rest. And if the horse so chooses, this can translate into more time for the animal to lie down which means more vital deep sleep periods.

An entire show stall with mats pieced together.

These characteristically green mats are additionally non-toxic, non-absorbent and not affected by urine or concentrated disinfectants. At the end of a show, sometimes pulling the interlocking edges apart and giving each mat a rinse can be a bit of chore. However, the difference these mats have made to increase the soundness of our horses from the start to finish of a particular event has been incredible. They virtually eliminate body soreness and leg pain caused by extensive standing on cement. And to me, that’s worth any amount of elbow grease!

For more info, check out:

www.equimats.com

A Great Stay in Claresholm, AB

Crisp, clean and quiet. The Bluebird Motel is my kind of place!

Crisp, clean and quiet. This cute little motel is my kind of place, especially when our concentration needs to be focused on showing horses.

Although it’s a good 9 hour drive for us, I always look forward to traveling to Claresholm, Alberta, for the weekend. This past weekend we were there for the July 3-4 Alberta Reined Cow Horse Show. And if you’re looking for a unique place to stay while visiting Claresholm – a frequent host town for equine events – you should consider the Bluebird Motel.

When we first started staying at the Bluebird, I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised! As a person who has stayed in many hotels and motels, I’ve become quite picky when it comes to choosing a place to stay. Staying at the Bluebird is akin to staying in a “friend’s guest room”, as another guest so eloquently wrote on a customer comment page.

Featuring heritage theme rooms, each room in the Bluebird is uniquely decorated with antiques, displaying western heritage and local history.

The 1955 Alberta Inkeepers Act is a framed momento in Gramma Lucy's room.

The rooms are meticulously clean – which is a very important aspect to me. And each has its own charm. Theme rooms from which you can choose to stay in include: Home on the Range, Birdsnest, Calgary Stampede, Gone Fishing and the Gene Autry Room, just to name a few.

The finishing touches in the Bluebird’s rooms include lace curtains, period postcards and patchwork quilts adorning the beds.

The Bluebird Motel has also hosted a few famous guests: Michelle Wright and Patricia Conroy stayed once to support the Claresholm hospital.

Patricia Conroy & Michelle Wright left autographed headshots as notes of thanks.

If you’re looking for a neat place to stay during your travels, or for a quiet overnighter to help you focus on the showing of your horses, the Bluebird Motel is a great stop to rest your head. www.bluebirdmotel.ab.ca

Import Restrictions for Horses from Arizona

Due to the reported finding of horses infected with vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Arizona, US, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to suspend the issuance or endorsement of export certificates for horses and other equines for all end-uses originating from the state of Arizona.

The imposed restrictions on the import of equidae into Canada from Arizona is effective immediately. The CFIA has confirmed that the import restrictions only apply to live horse, donkey or mule imports and not to equine semen or equine embryo imports.

The USDA has also been asked to certify the following for horses and other equines from all other states as follows: “During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the State of Arizona.”

It is strongly recommended that horse owners refrain from travelling to or transiting through Arizona with their horses. For horse owners who still want to export their horses to Arizona, it is important to note that they cannot bring them back to Canada on the original Canadian export certificate. Instead, it will be necessary that they bring their animals back to Canada with an import permit and a US health certificate containing supplementary certification or move their horses to an alternate state and establish residency in that state for at least 21 days prior to export to Canada. In the case of moving the horse(s) to an alternate state, the horse(s) will be returning to Canada on a US health certificate that includes a statement for non-residency in Arizona during the last 21 days prior to export to Canada (i.e. “During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the state of Arizona”).

When supplementary certification is used, it must state that

  • the horse(s) were inspected by a veterinarian within fifteen (15) days preceding the date of importation;
  • The horse(s) have not been on a premises where Vesicular Stomatitis (clinical or serological) has occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada, nor has this disease occurred on any adjoining premises during the same period of time; and
  • The horses must have tested negative to Vesicular Stomatitis using a cELISA test, during the fifteen (15) days prior to the date of importation into Canada.

It is also important to note that various US states may also prohibit movement into state without permit/certification/testing/post-entry testing. The Canadian horse owner should check state requirements before movement.

Equine piroplasmosis related import restrictions for all equine originating from the states of Texas and New Mexico are also still applicable.

Current import requirements for equidae entering Canada may be found using the CFIA Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) at http://airs-sari.inspection.gc.ca. To determine specific import requirements for each horse, specific parameters that refer to each horse’s circumstances will need to be entered and customized import requirements will be provided.

Vesicular stomatitis is a disease that primarily affects cattle, horses and swine, and occasionally sheep and goats. Humans can be exposed to the virus when handling affected animals but rarely become infected. Vesicular stomatitis causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals show signs of lameness and generally refuse to eat and drink which results in severe weight loss. There is risk of secondary infection of the open wounds. Animals usually recover within 2 weeks. While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly important disease because its outward signs are similar to—although generally less severe than—those of foot-and-mouth disease, which horses are not susceptible to. The only way to distinguish among these diseases in livestock other than horses is through laboratory tests.

The mechanisms by which vesicular stomatitis spreads are not fully known: insect vectors, mechanical transmission and movement of animals are probably responsible. Once introduced into a herd, the disease apparently moves from animal to animal by contact or exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured lesions. Historically, outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis have occurred in southwestern United States during warm months and particularly along river ways. However, outbreaks are sporadic and unpredictable.
(Source: USDA)

Gumbo

All this was after we collected 2 stallions and bred a bunch of mares. Then we packed up the trailer, loaded with 5 show horses and left the farm at 3:12 pm.

By 3:16 we were stuck.

We weren’t going fast …because we couldn’t go fast. Gumbo is just tricky stuff. We were lucky to get to the Cardston Agri-dome in time for the 2010 Cardston Derby!

And yes, I know you are wondering so I’ll stop your agonizing suspense. Danielle and I did come up with a song to match the occasion…

Tractor Man, Tractor Man

He’s your neighborhood Tractor Man

He’ll plow your fields

He’ll tow your truck

He comes to save you when you’re in the muck

Look out… Here comes the tractor man!