2016 Equine Canada Convention Recap0
In case you were unable to attend the Equine Canada convention in Montreal this past weekend, here is a taste of what you missed:
The theme of the convention was “change”. In her “Year in Review” talk, Equine Canada CEO Eva Havaris used this word many times. The Canadian sport system is changing and if we want equestrian sport in Canada to be seen as something of quality and relevant, change within the organization needs to occur. At the Awards Gala on the Friday evening, the new logo and name, “Equestrian Canada” was unveiled.
Havaris also stated the 5 key priorities that Equine Canada/Equestrian Canada would be striving to work towards in their change are
- Build a best in class federation
- Grow resources
- Offer quality service
- Major games – need to get Canada behind the sport, not just equestrians
- Improve focus and relevance to programs and services
At the Athlete’s Panel, the topic of discussion was “it takes a village”. In order to improve our high performance strategy, we need to pay more attention to the team surrounding the athlete. These high level horses have a whole team behind them, including coaches, veterinarians, massage therapists, nutritionists, etc. but as athletes, we seem to forget to pay the same level of care to ourselves.
The Equine Industry Development Forum touched on two topics. The first topic was pre-purchase examinations with speakers Dr. Mary Bell and Dr. Melanie Barham. The takeaway message from this presentation was that veterinarians cannot legally pass or fail a horse. What the exam is intended to do is help the purchaser make an assumption of risk. There are different requirements of horses that are going to be used for high levels of competition versus a pleasure horse so what may not work for one purchaser may work for another. A horse may have something come up in a pre-purchase exam that may be a career ender for one purchase but another may be able to manage the issue and go on to have many years of success with the horse.
It had been suggested that there be standards and guidelines in place for pre-purchase examinations but standards across the board may not be feasible as the longevity and usefulness of the horse will depend a lot on the management of the horse and how much risk the purchaser is willing to take. Because there are a number of misconceptions about the pre-purchase exam, educating sellers and buyers was seen as a possible solution. Equine Canada will be releasing a buyers guide to be released in the future.
The second topic of the session was biosecurity. Equine Canada has developed a biosecurity standard with a producer guide to come out this fall. The standard is a set of guidelines and recommendations for horse owners and caretakers to protect their horses from dangerous diseases. The producer guide will outline how to implement the guidelines set out in the standard.