The AEF Says Vote 'NO'

Alberta Equestrian Federation

The and vote on the purposed Equine Canada Constitution and Bylaw changes.

The AEF states that by voting “NO” on all purposed bylaw changes, it will benefit the AEF and their members. If a majority “NO” vote is the result, Equine Canada will be required to redesign their Constitution and Bylaw Article.

The purpose of these bylaws relate to the general conduct of the affairs of Equine Canada. The proposed changes are outlined in the above link to the article. Check it out if you are interested in participating in the voting for or against these changes.

If you are having difficulties with EC’s voting system please contact Crystal Labelle [email protected] directly.

Equine Canada Honours Top Sponsor

Alpha Omega Pharmaceuticals Inc

At the Equine Canada Annual Awards Gala, on Friday, February 3, 2012, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Tina Bodfield accepted the Equine Canada Sponsor of the Year Award on behalf of Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. Equine Canada president Michael Gallager and Tina Bodfield. Photo Credit— Robert Young

Equine Canada proudly announces that the 2011 recipient of the Equine Canada Sponsor of the Year is Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc.

A Canadian owned company established in 1992, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been a longtime supporter of Canada’s equestrian athletes through individual sponsorships and a partnership with the Canadian Eventing Team.

Early in 2011, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. expanded partnership with Equine Canada and extended its financial and supply sponsorship support to include the disciplines of dressage and show jumping. Each month, horses from these three disciplines are considered for the ‘Omega Alpha Horse of the Month’ award, which recognizes a performance of exceptional merit, and provides the selected horse/rider combination with Omega Alpha product of their choice, up to a value of $1,000.

Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. continued to be the “Official Supplement Supplier to the Canadian Eventing Team,” but also became the official supplement supplier of Equine Canada and to the Canadian Equestrian Team. Equine Canada is very pleased to have Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals’ generous support of the horse recognition program and thrilled to have an expanded partnership with Omega Alpha.

“Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals is proud to be recognized as the sponsor of the Year by Equine Canada,” said Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. president, Dr. Gordon Chang. “We are proud to have played a part in the successes both at home and internationally of the Canadian Equestrian Athletes, both the riders and their equine partners. We look forward in the coming years to be a part of all future successes.”

At the Equine Canada Annual Awards Gala, on Friday, February 3, 2012, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Tina Bodfield, national sales director for Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc., accepted the Equine Canada Sponsor of the Year Award.

Horse Owners & Breeders Conference Recap

Alberta Horse Breeders Conference

A busy trade fair is always a highlight of the annual conference. Photo Credit: Victoria Klimp

It may have been Friday the 13th, but superstition did not deter horse enthusiasts from all over the country to attend the 30th Annual Horse Breeders and Owners Conference, held again this year at the Sheraton Capri Hotel, in Red Deer, Alberta. A total of over 520 people were onsite from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan and the exhibit hall hosted over 60 booths sponsored by equine businesses and organizations.

The weekend kicked off with the Stable Owners Seminar on Friday afternoon. The four sessions were specifically designed for the stable industry. Topics on biosecurity, bits, positive networking and social media were presented by Dr. Darrell Dalton, Ron Anderson, Nettie Barr and Andrew Campbell.

On Friday night, the “Open Barn” Welcome Reception was hosted by Pfizer Animal Health’s Equine Division. Delegates had their first opportunity to see the sponsor booths set up in the exhibition hall, shop, mingle, and enjoy drinks and cheese. Early bird draw prizes were distributed to the lucky winners and delegates entered into 15 additional bucket draw prizes, generously donated by sponsors.

Alberta Horse Breeders Conference Terry Grant Mantracker

Western Horse Review Managing Editor, Dainya Sapergia (center) kibitzing with delegates and volunteers. Photo Credit: Victoria Klimp

Saturday began with Terry Grant, famous for appearing on the popular reality TV show Mantracker, who spoke about his life experiences in an interactive session sponsored by Alberta Equestrian Federation. After the coffee break, generously sponsored by Western Horse Review, delegates had the choice of attending a trailer loading session given by Dr. Andy Anderson, Susan Harris speaking about athletic movement in horses and Dr. Frank Andrews educating people about preventing the risk of colic. Thank you to break-out session sponsor Canadian Horse Journal.

The hour and a half lunch break gave delegates more time to visit the sponsor booths after grabbing some food, and then returning to the educational sessions. Ron Anderson shared his knowledge about bits, Dr. Connie Larson spoke about feeding the equine foot and Dr. Charles Briggs examined the use of medications in the competition horse. Sergeant Derrick McGougan presented to a full audience about how the Calgary Police Service selects and trains their horses, Dr. Vern Baron presented common sense information about the fructans in Alberta’s grasses, and Katie Tims, editor of Quarter Horse News, spoke about the evolution horse market in recent years.

The News Hour session is the last session of the day, offering information on current issues in the horse industry. Dr. Duane Landals from the ABVMA updated the audience on biosecurity initiatives and antimicrobial resistance, Dr. Greg Andrews from Moore Equine Veterinarian Centre spoke about the outbreak of nEHV-1 that occurred earlier in 2011, and Jody Wacowich from AFAC spoke about the ALERT Line.

Alberta Horse Breeders Conference

Educational Session. Photo Credit: Victoria Klimp

Saturday night, sponsored by Horse Racing Alberta, offered live music by Randi Boulton, a host wine bar and cheese and dessert, and an equine sporting event. This year, teams were organized and competed at pole bending on a scooter, which was provided by Sparks Innovations. Team mates had to exchange funny costumes before the next team mate could start on this timed event. Competitors were organized into different teams including, a breed group, speaker, veterinarian, newbies, long-time conference attendees, and an all-star team. Ron Anderson announced the relay race and Pete Fraser had the difficult job of judging. However, the speaker team won with the fastest time, and likely got the most laughs as Terry Grant, Mantracker, ran the race in a red sequin gown. All participants received prizes provided by Horse Racing Alberta.

Dr. Andy Anderson took the stage again on Sunday morning; his session was sponsored by Farmfair. Running concurrent to Dr. Anderson’s session was Dr. Lori Warren speaking about conditioning principles and Andrew Campbell educating about the world of social media. Following the final coffee break, Dr. Lori Warren presented again, this time on nutrition, Dr. Jason Bruemmer spoke about stallion breeding options and technologies and Dr. James Carmalt updated delegates about new diagnostic technologies.

The final session of the conference is always the very important SPCA Fred Pearce Memorial Lecture dedicated to the welfare of the horse; this year, it was presented by Dr. Ed Pajor from the University of Calgary who spoke about the changing social ethic in regards to animal welfare not only equine welfare, but of production animals as well.

The Horse Industry Association of Alberta thanks everyone who attended and sponsored the event as well as the 20 presenters who brought their expertise and experience to Red Deer, Alberta.

Eyes On International Equine Welfare

International Horse Issues

Photo by Deanna Buschert

Following a series of meetings and discussions which began at the Summit of the Horse in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January, 2011, and culminated with a very productive live demonstration and documentation of technological systems at the Lindsay Livestock Auction in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada,- organizers are looking forward to forming an “International Equine Business Association” (IEBA).The Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada and United Horsemen of the United States share a common goal to mutually protect the welfare of the horse, strengthen the international horse industry, and to promote the use of horses and equine products in commercial enterprises.

The goal is to form an international and independent association that will be a separate and distinct “business” entity to deliver benefits to the entire equine industry. The mission will complement the ongoing nonprofit educational and charitable purposes of the respective existing organizations in both countries.

Initial services provided by the Association to all segments of the horse industry may include agnostic technological solutions that integrate with existing legacy systems to seamlessly provide enhanced capabilities such as DNA and other forms of permanent identification and traceability, veterinary records, show and performance records, and optional enrollment in the IEBA Do Not Slaughter Registry (DNS).

To provide these services the IEBA has contracted with Animal ID Solutions Inc., a Canadian company with operations in the United States. The Association will utilize Animal ID Solution’s Global Animal Identification Network (G.A.I.N.) with data centres in Illinois, USA, and Ontario, Canada, to house, manage and maintain IEBA databases.

The Do Not Slaughter Registry is an important initiative that will be developed as a safeguard to ensure that no horse is mistakenly or illegally slaughtered against an owner or registrant’s wishes. In simplest terms, IEBA will have agreements with horse meat processors to scan every horse for permanent identification before purchasing, and if the horse is in the DNS registry, the registrant is notified that the horse has been presented for sale to slaughter. If a horse already enrolled in the DNS registry is stolen, an alert “Do Not Slaughter – STOLEN – contact law enforcement” alert will appear on any scanning device used by horse buyers, sale barns, plant personnel, or anyone else with reason to scan the horse for ID and traceability.

Initial services provided to the horse harvesting industry may include the comprehensive Equine Quality Assurance Program (EQAP)–an industry driven and policed humane handling and food safety and quality control program–that builds on efforts such as the Recommended Handling Guidelines and Animal Welfare Assessment Tool for Horses, in developing certification programs for horse purchasing protocols, equine transportation, management and audit tools and systems for monitoring both the humane handling of horses at processing, and food safety concerns. The system uses permanent identification of live horses, and traceability of carcasses that include scientifically sound and rigorously enforced third party laboratory testing protocols to ensure the highest quality, verified safe, and pure products to the end consumer.

IEBA could also be in a position to provide comprehensive facilitation services to businesses seeking to start, or improve equine enterprises, particularly those businesses seeking to operate in any aspect of the horse harvesting chain such as feed lots.

In addition, the IEBA could facilitate industry services such as government relations and public relations; market development, market analysis and reporting; research and development; equine enterprise consulting including facility and equipment design; and more.

The first annual meeting of the IEBA will occur on May 29, 2012 in conjunction with the Second International Summit of the Horse in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 26-29, 2012.

For more information, to get on a list to receive updates as the IEBA moves through the formation process, or to become a charter member of the Association contact the initial co-chairs at the email addresses and phone numbers listed.
Bill desBarres (CA) [email protected] 403 529 7237 or 888 303 1070
Sue Wallis (U.S.) [email protected] 307 685 8248 or 307 680 8515

Marketing Mondays – Print and Online

This morning we’re diving into the magazine versus online advertising debate. When I use the term “versus” in that sentence, it tweaks me as inappropriate. It’s not the word I want to use, as I have come to view online advertising, less as competition to the magazine, and more so as a welcome friend to the print message.

You may have already viewed the advertisement below; it’s part of a print campaign designed to differentiate magazine advertising from online advertising.

I like the analogy and visual the above headline gives me, particularly in regards to the magazine. We do “swim” in magazines, don’t we? We envelope them, cuddle up with them, and spend a great chunk of time with them.

Similar to the horse world, the world of print media is changing radically. Magazine publishers such as myself have had to learn to embrace all genres of media from internet to social media, to expand our brand and stay in touch with our audiences. Today, social media is an important communications tool and engagement venue, as well as an element of our marketing strategy. Our print publication plays an important role in bringing our audience to our online presence. A print ad is a physical thing. It will bring readers to your website, or your online presence again and again.

Still, a magazine is a magazine and it offers a completely different experience from that of online.

In a previous Marketing Monday column, I touched upon “know” media and “flow” media, explaining magazines as the “know” and online as the “flow.” It’s a little like the “swim” and “surf” above. And, these are important points to keep in mind when planning your marketing strategy. It’s one of the key elements you would choose magazine advertising as the cornerstone of your marketing campaign.

But that’s not all. Print advertising continues to offer some great benefits not shared by its online counterparts:

It’s a keeper. Newspapers are flipped through and tossed out. Web pages are quickly read and moved on from. Magazines stay in homes for months, consumers often return to their pages multiple times, or pass them on to friends.

It is highly targeted: Print advertising offers you the chance to capture the attention of your target market. This gives you very cost-effective advertising.

Magazines are credible: Many studies have proven consumers trust and believe magazine advertising more than any other media out there. Readers who see your ad in a magazine they care enough about to subscribe to, assume that you subscribe to the same philosophy as the magazine represents, and readers will be more likely to patronize your business because of it.

If you’ve dropped magazine buys out of your advertising budget because of all the hype of online and social media, I hope I’ve made a compelling enough case to have you rethink that decision. Even in this age of online, magazines are as compelling as ever.



Quarter Horse Industry Breeding Seminar

Deanna Buschert Photography

Breeding the Fastest Horse, an industry seminar to be hosted by the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program (QHRIDP) has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 26th at the Ajax Convention Centre.

“The Program has received very positive feedback on the seminar agenda and the guest speakers who will be presenting,” said Program Coordinator Sandy Anthony. “We are very pleased to have as a speaker Dan Lucas, the leading Quarter Horse breeder in North America.” The date and location of the seminar has been changed in order to maximize attendance, both from breeders within the Quarter Horse racing industry and from breeders new to, or curious about, breeding for the Quarter Horse programs.

Seminar will be held at: Ajax Convention Centre
550 Beck Cres Ajax, ON L1Z 1C9

Date: Saturday, November 26th, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Topics will include:

· Planned breeding, herd improvement and crosses that work for racing;
· Herd management practices to improve conception and increase the chances of full-term pregnancy;
· Factors affecting fertility and early conception in the broodmare;
· Herd management practices to improve the chance of full-term pregnancy
· Marketing stallions
· Breeding racehorses for the Ontario racing programs.

The Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program is administered by the Ontario Racing Commission. For information on other initiatives supported by the Program, please visit the Quarter Horse section of the Ontario Racing Commission website at

A full agenda for the seminar is available upon request. Registration for the seminar is required. The cost to attend is $39.00. To register please contact:
Sandy Anthony
Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Equine Canada Reaches Settlement

Deanna Buschert Photography

Photo by Deanna Buschert.

Ottawa, ON—The Joint Steering Committee (JSC), comprised of representatives of Equine Canada, provinces/territories participating in Equine Canada programs, and non-participating provinces and territories, has concluded negotiations and has reached agreement on roles, governance structure and finance. This agreement will enable Equine Canada and its provincial/territorial partners to reunite and collaborate more effectively in the future.

These negotiations were a culmination of a mediation process that began in earnest in March 2011, when the Canadian equestrian community established the JSC and authorized it to explore options for the future governance and management of Equine Canada. Over the period of May and June, three volunteer sub-committees addressing governance, roles and responsibilities, and financial models worked tirelessly to prepare recommendations and options for the JSC’s consideration.

“This journey has been a long one, and credit must go to the two dozen volunteers who invested incredible time and energy to make this project a success. Our result represents significant changes for the organizational structure and business model of Equine Canada, and we all know such change does not come easily and without sacrifice,” says Mike Gallagher, President of Equine Canada and member of the JSC.

Adds Dominique Chagnon, Chair of the JSC and President of the Fédération équestre du Québec, “Our sport has been divided for a very long time. I believe we have prepared the road map to re-establish trust and to guide all of us forward into a new era of national and provincial collaboration. I congratulate all participants in this process for the effort they have made.”

Noted Gary Yaghdjian, Past-President of the Ontario Equestrian Federation, “We look forward to non-participating provinces rejoining us in Equine Canada as full members.”

The JSC has prepared a full report of its findings, which will be available in both official languages on the Equine Canada web site on August 8, 2011 ( The report describes numerous changes that will be made to governance and membership structures, competition management, coaching and officials development, member dues and national/provincial/territorial relations. Some changes will take effect immediately while others will be phased in gradually. The voting membership of Equine Canada must also endorse any necessary bylaw changes. Over this transition period, Equine Canada and its provincial/territorial partners will also be making the necessary governance adjustments to ensure full compliance with the forthcoming federal Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.


About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism.  A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry.  Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit

Marketing Mondays: Horse Business Website

I’ve missed posting Marketing Mondays for the last two weeks. Time gets away from me. Our incredibly patient printer was standing at the door, arms crossed, tapping his foot, waiting for me to deliver the May issue to him. You understand.

Today, we’re back and I’m going to give you three important marketing items to be sure to include on your horse farm website.

1) A Mailing List Sign-Up Form

Maintaining and using an e-mail list is a great way to communicate with your clients and friend. Send out the word when a vet or farrier is scheduled, a new boarder, or horse comes into the barn, a client or horse has a successful show, and other news you’d like to share.

2) Your Story

A little personality is never a bad thing for a site. People who are visiting your website should be able to get a feel for who you are. What your business represents, and how you like to conduct business. Be sure your website gives a bit of insight into your history, and your individual connection to the western horse world.

3) A Google Map to Your Location

This is really very easy to do. You can do it through Google Maps, or choose a free service to take you through the process. One of my favorites is Pin In The Map. Check it out and create a map pinpointing the location of your horse stable, ranch or shop in minutes. Then, embed it on your site.

Happy Easter Marketing Monday, everyone!

Marketing Mondays: Rating Your Website

We began Marketing Mondays a few weeks ago with a post on Social Media. Next followed the profile of a marketing genius, then a look at the Equestrian Social Media Awards, and last week we looked at the components of a good print ad.

This week, I'm going to share a cool online tool I learned about last week, which allows you to have your website graded against over three million others. You can find this tool online at Website Grader. To proceed with the grading, you key in your website url, several competition url's and within minutes a website grade is produced and sent to your e-mail.

We tried it with

The first stat it produced was a rating of where our site fell within the three million or more Website Grader has ranked. We fell in at just over the 74,000 mark.

The algorithm Website Grader uses is a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others. Great information if you're interested in this sort of material. Website Grader determined a grade of 97% for our website, meaning, that of the millions of websites that have previously been evaluated, the algorithm calculated that this site scores higher than 97% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness.

That intrigued me!

Among the details of the comprehensive report it detailed for us:

A blog report: first it determined has a blog, and then ranked the blog component at 94%, likely due to the fact, it is current, original and we blog often. In fact, it determined the rank of our blog section at 33,165 out of the approximately 677,811 other blogs that Website Grader has ranked. It also stated our blog section is estimated to have a rank of 2,685,333, out of approximately 4 million tracked blogs, for highest unique website visitors.

Best of all it gave suggestions for improving our blogs, like adding a “retweet” button on each post, something we currently don't have, and including more hyperlinks within our posts.

Indexed pages: This number is the approximate number of pages on that are stored by search engines. Web crawlers for the major search engines will visit the website periodically and look for new content to index. Generally, the more pages found on your site by search engines, the better. The report showed we have just under 3,000 indexed pages.

Readability Level: This score measures the approximate level of education necessary to read and understand the web page content. In most cases, the content should be made to be simple so that a majority of the target audience can understand it. In our case, our level checked in at primary/elementary school, which I'm told is a good thing; it means our website is an understandable read!

I won't repeat the entire report here, but it went on with sections on optimization, promotion and conversion.

Finally, it took the competing website urls I had suggested and ranked www.westernhorsereview against them. It gave us a great view of where we fit in.

Overall, I received some insight on how to improve our site and also a great inside view into a few other sites I consider either as competitive, or “mentor” sites.

Check it out sometime and have your site ranked.

Special thanks to Kim Machado, a digital media consultant, whom we had the great opportunity to have a one-on-one with last week.

Thanks for tuning in and so hope you enjoy your week.

P.S. – if you haven't already be sure to get your name in our Cavalia ticket-giveaway contest.