Rabies detected in Waterloo Region


A fox located in the Wallenstein area has tested positive for rabies, and local health officials are warning local residents to be vigilant for any signs of the virus.


Rabies is almost always fatal. The virus can be carried in the saliva of infected mammals, such as dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, raccoons and bats. It is normally spread to humans (or other mammals) through a bite, scratch, cut or contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose and eyes. It’s important that residents make sure their dogs and cats, even barn cats, are up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is following up to confirm no other domestic or farm animals were exposed. Public Health is investigating as to whether there has been any potential human exposure. So far, it is believed there was no human contact with the fox.

To protect your family and your pets from rabies:

· Keep pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccination. In Ontario, it’s the law that all cats and dogs over three months of age be vaccinated against rabies

· Teach children to stay away from wild animals, dogs and cats they don’t know or animals that are acting strangely. A strange acting animal could be a sign that it is sick

· Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your livestock against rabies

· Keep pets away from wildlife. Don’t let your pets run free in the neighborhood and keep them indoors at night

· Don’t feed, transport or relocate wildlife.

 If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the area thoroughly with soapy water, seek medical advice immediately, and then contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.

If your pets or livestock have had contact with a wild animal, such as a bat, skunk, fox or raccoon, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Veterinarians seeking assistance with risk assessments or post-exposure management can call the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at 1-877-424-1300.

May 29, 2017 |

Fireworks and Horses


As much fun as fireworks celebrations can be, it can be particularly terrifying for horses.  If you are worried about how your horses will react, there are some precautions you can take to (hopefully) keep everyone safe this May long weekend.

Try to make sure fireworks aren’t set off near your horse’s field or stable. DO a check to see if there are plans for local displays, and tell neighbours and local firework display organisers that there are horses nearby so they can make sure fireworks are set off well away from them. Anyone planning a display in a rural area should let neighbouring farmers know in advance (hopefully your neighbours are either kind enough to do this, or find a different location to set them off!) If it is possible, you may consider moving them to another property away from the fireworks displays for the evening. If you need to leave your horse in another person’s care during the show, leave clear instructions and contact details for yourself and your vet in case of any problems.

Horses do best with familiarity, so try to keep his routine consistent. Although in most cases it is best to keep your horse outdoors where he won’t feel trapped but if your horse isn’t accustomed to being out at night, keep him in his stall . A large turnout area is preferable to a small paddock. If your horse is in a small area, there’s a risk of him running through the fence.

Check your horse’s stall or turnout area for any hazards such as broken boards or holes that could injure him if he does run around and ensure that all doors, latches, gates, etc. close properly . If your horse is in the barn, leave a radio on playing soothing music. The background sounds can help dull the shock of firework noises.  Consider earplugs to help muffle the noise as well.  Make sure there is plenty of hay to keep your horse occupied and that he has a buddy or two for comfort.

If you know fireworks are going to be set off near your horse, make sure you or someone experienced stays with them. This way you can observe your horse’s behaviour and make sure they stay safe and as calm as possible. It also means that you can react quickly if your horse becomes upset. Try to keep calm and positive throughout any displays, as horses can sense unease in people and if you are worried your horse’s fear may worsen. Even if your horse seems relaxed, don’t forget to check on them throughout the evening.

Be careful yourself. If your horse is inside, do not stay in the stall with him and try not to get in the way if your horse becomes panicked as you might get hurt or run over. Do not tie your horse to anything as he may panic and rear, possibly causing himself to flip over and get injured. It also goes without saying, but do not run the risk of riding when you think fireworks may be set off.

As a last resort, you can ask your veterinarian to administer a sedative/tranquilizer beforehand.  Note that these are not 100% foolproof and horses can still get agitated and panicky.

Once the fireworks show is complete, do a walk around of the property to check for bits and pieces of fireworks or anything that could be dangerous if your horse was to come across it.

The best piece of advice I can give is start planning for next year.  Even though horses will always be flight animals, there are a number of ways to desensitize your horse to unexpected sights and sounds using positive reinforcement.


May 18, 2017 |

Here’s to the Horse Show Mom

horse show mom

My Horse Show Mom

Without my mom, I would have probably never gotten bit by the horse bug.  As a child, I was terrified of animals. Hearing that horses had a therapeutic quality about them, my mother shipped me off to horse camp for a week to “get over it”.  Little did she know!!  I came home at the end of the week with a pet bunny and immediately signed up for another week.  Here I am 22 years later, still riding and involved in the horse world more than ever.


Thank you mom for putting me in horse camp and sparking my interest in horses.  Thank you for supporting me in the first steps of horse ownership when I was a teenager. Thank you for coming to every show and video taping every barrel race and drill team event. Thank you for agreeing to come help me and my horse as we ride 400 km across the state of Michigan this summer at the Shore to Shore event.  Thank you for being the best horse show mom!


horse show mom

Photo credit: Susan Partridge



Ode To the Horse Show Mom

By: Jorna Taylor


This is an ode to the horse show mom.

She’s not just any Dick, Harry or Tom.

Horse show moms are a special breed

Always around when you’re in need

Of some water, your spurs, or perhaps a crop.

With her help, you always come out on top.

She has made you and your horse her top priorities

(Mostly to keep you from the hands of the authorities!)

She’s dedicated to inhaling pounds of arena dust

And driving an aged truck covered with rust

So that it can pull your two horse trailer

Which she curses at like a drunken sailor.

Throughout the summer on any Friday night

She hooks up that rig, considering with foresight

She should have encouraged stamp collecting or chess

At least that would be far less of a mess.

You arrive back home woefully late

As your horse hated that blue and green gate

During a lengthy schooling session with your trainer

Who suggested, perhaps, he’d be better as a reiner.

On the night before a show she packs

A cooler full of drinks and snacks.

She knows you won’t take time eat or drink

Which will hinder your ability to clearly think

While on course guiding a thousand pound beast.

And that makes her worry, to say the least!

Then she has a choice to make,

Even though her bones quite ache,

Between a shower and some rest

Or to help you in your mighty quest

To remove the stain from your shad belly coat,

A remnant of last weekend’s root beer float.

You’ll lay your head to catch some zzz’s

Knowing she’s up scrubbing your custom Dees.

The alarm goes off at a quarter to four.

Before you know it, you’re out the door

And on your way to longe him down

As he’s out to win the Triple Crown.

She’s the best at “hurry up and wait”

While cajoling poor souls guarding in-gates.

She stands and watches, seemingly tense

Until you’ve cleared every last fence.

Because she rode every stride with you,

Especially when you put a one in the two!

She claps the loudest, and without pause

Even when you don’t deserve applause.

She’s just glad you are safe and sound

Cuz he took that last oxer rather round.

She knows just where you left your tack

As they wait on you to start the hack.

Then she’ll wipe your boots three times for luck,

Admonishing you for walking in the muck

After she spent the hour that she had for sleep

Polishing, without a peep.

Your trainer says, “She needs a bat,

Do not let her go into the flat.”

But horse show mom’s been around a while,

And she tells you sweetly, with a smile,

“I’d like to leave before midnight

So get in that ring, let’s not fight.

If you can’t hack your horse by now

Perhaps it should be pulling a plow!”

Finally, she sits down for a moment of rest

Just as you’re called back for the medal test.

Quickly she produces your blue coat, not green,

Knowing that you’d make quite the scene.

Those times it doesn’t go your way

She won’t let you pack up and call it a day.

Instead she listens to you rant and rave

About how your competitor was given a “save.”

She congratulates you on a really nice trip

But will not tolerate your poor sportsmanship.

You’ll begin to complain how exhausted you are

And horse show mom is dreaming of hitting the bar.

Yet you have to get your pony put properly to bed

(or else your trainer will be seeing red!)

So once again she gets in the truck

To hook up the trailer – first time, what luck!

She packs your things and tells you to skedaddle

While you chat with friends, lazily cleaning your saddle.

Then of course your horse won’t load

Finally two hours later you’re on the road.

Horse show mom glances over at you

As you’ve nodded off, clutching that blue

Ribbon you got for a job well done.

And she has to admit, maybe today was indeed fun!

You crack open one eye and you catch her glowing

Then you’ll know she enjoyed your day of showing.

But it isn’t about the ribbons or glasses

Or how many people rode in all your classes.

Horse show mom is proud to be a part of your life,

Committed to all the struggle and strife

It takes to make your dreams come true.

So horse show moms, please know how much we love you!

May 12, 2017 |

Waterloo region represented in Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby

If you’re looking for a horse to cheer for this Saturday in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, why not cheer for the local entry!

State of Honour, owned by Penny and Manfred Conrad of Wellesley, Ontario, will be running in the “fastest two minutes in sports.”  Although he is a long shot to win, the couple is delighted that their horse is ranked 11th out of the 20 horses in the field.

kentucky derby

Photo source:

Jockey Jose Lezcano will be taking the reins on State of Honour, who has 30-1 odds of winning the Derby, according to Horse Racing Nation.

The Kentucky Derby runs Saturday, May 6th  at 6:46pm.

May 5, 2017 |

University of Guelph Equine Industry Symposium

guelph equine industry symposium

Tri-City Horse Sports was honoured to be a participant in the inaugural University of Guelph Equine Industry Symposium on November 19, 2016. The University of Guelph hosted local and national equine professionals for open panel discussions, plenary speakers and workshops. The event highlighted commonalities within all equine sectors and opportunities to advance and improve the industry as a whole.

The results of the symposium have now been posted and details regarding the 2017 symposium will be released in the coming months.


A talk by Ian Millar on the horse industry was the highlight of the evening, which you can hear in its entirety here:

May 2, 2017 |

GUEST POST – 6 Reasons to Get Out and Try Distance Riding

distance riding

If you’ve ever considered trying out distance riding, there is no better time than now. In her blog post, Eat Sleep Ride Repeat’s Ashley Tomaszewski gives 6 reasons why you should give it a go.

6 Reasons to Get Out and Try Distance Riding

  1. More bang for your buck!
  2. Any horse can do it!
  3. You can compete against yourself or others
  4. Excellent cross training
  5. Boost your horsemanship skills


distance riding


In addition, OCTRA (the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association) is offering a FREE entry to new riders (yes, you heard that right!) Some conditions apply so find full details here:

Aprilfest, OCTRA’s first event of the season, is being held this weekend in the Dufferin Forest just north of Mansfield. Anyone is welcome to come spectate (it’s free!)

April 26, 2017 |

How Facebook’s Animal Selling Ban Affects Horse Sales


Facebook’s Marketplace has long prohibited animal sales (you can see the policies here),  but for many years, there has been little regulation of the rule. However, Facebook has now added an option which allows people to report animal sales listed on the Marketplace. Marketplace allows users to post items for sale in a group with a listed price and interested buyers can contact the seller directly through the ad.

Advertising horses on Facebook has been one of the most effective ways to advertise to the largest possible audience and sellers are able to screen potential buyers to help ensure the proper home.

How will the new enforcement of the rules affect the horse industry? While social media has made it easy to have many horses for sale at your fingertips, there were still many ways people bought and sold horses before these apps came out. While it hasn’t been in place long enough to really tell, we may see a resurgence in popularity of other buy and sell sites that took a hit when Facebook introduced its Marketplace.

We would love to hear from you! How has the horse sale ad ban affected your business?



The joys of selling horses….

Posted by Will Murray on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Will the horse sale ad ban result in more or less of these messages?



April 19, 2017 |

Cara Whitham Receives 2016 Equestrian Canada Lifetime Achievement Award

cara whitham

Cara Whitham is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement award, which was handed out at the Equestrian Canada Awards Reception during their annual convention in Vancouver, Canada, on 8 April 2017.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose contributions to the Canadian equestrian community are considered exceptional by their peers and whose long-term service and dedication have contributed directly to the ongoing growth and development of Canadian equestrian sport and industry.

Whitham is a very accomplished horsewomen. Some of her various achievements include:

  • Being named a short and long-listed rider for the Canadian Dressage Team numerous times
  • Earning Canadian Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Championship titles
  • Being appointed Chef d’Equipe for Canada’s Dressage team during a four-year European tour leading into the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Lending input into a high performance plan that produced Canada’s only Olympic Team Medal in Dressage to date at the 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • Holding a record as the FEI’s only official with FEI 5* judging credentials for both Dressage and Eventing
  • Receiving FEI Dressage Technical Delegate status
  • Being appointed to the Dressage Ground Jury for the 2003 and 2011 Pan American Games, 2005 European Dressage Championships and the 2010 World Equestrian Games
  • Being appointed to the Eventing Ground Jury for the 1998 and 2002 World Equestrian Games, as well as the 2004 Athens Olympics
  • Being hired as a television commentator for the 2007 World Equestrian Games, and 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games
  • Being appointed as the Chef d’Equipe for the Costa Rican Gold Medal Team at the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica.

She also founded Equivents Inc., which organizes CDI-Ws/CDI3* dressage events yearly.

Here our interview with Cara Whitham here:

April 12, 2017 |

Nick Skelton and Big Star Retire

nick skelton

It was just announced that at the age of 59, show jumping superstar Nick Skelton will be retiring after more than four decades at the top of the sport.  His horse, Big Star, a two time Olympic gold medal mount, will also be retiring.

Nick’s list of achievements:

  • Olympic Games
    • 2012: London. Team Gold medal with Big Star
    • 2016: Rio. Individual Gold medal with Big Star
  • Alternative Olympic Games
    • 1980: Rotterdam. Team Silver medal with Maybe
  • World championships
    • 1982: Dublin. Team Bronze medal with If Ever
    • 1986: Aachen. Team Silver medal and individual Bronze medal with Apollo
    • 1990: Stockholm. Team Bronze medal with Grand Slam
    • 1998: Rome. Team Bronze medal with Hopes are High
  • European Championships
    • 1985: Dinard. Team Gold medal and individual 4th with St. James
    • 1987: St. Gallen. Team Gold medal and Individual Bronze medal with Apollo
    • 1989: Rotterdam. Team Gold medal with Apollo
    • 1991: La Baule. Team Silver medal with Phoenix Park
    • 1993: Gijon. Team Silver medal with Dollar Girl
    • 1995: St. Gallen. Team Silver medal with Dollar Girl
    • 2011: Madrid. Team Bronze and individual Bronze medal with Carlo 273
  • Junior European Championships
    • 1974: Lucerne. Team Silver medal with Maybe
    • 1975: Dornbirn. Team Silver medal and individual Gold medal with O.K.
  • Volvo World Cup Final
  • Hickstead Derby
    • 1987: Winner with J Nick
    • 1988: Winner with Apollo
    • 1989: Winner with Apollo
  • King George V Gold Cup
    • 1984: Winner with St. James
    • 1993: Winner with Limited Edition
    • 1996: Winner with Cathleen III
    • 1999: Winner with Hopes are High

Skelton currently holds the British Show Jumping High Jump record, at 7 ft 7in 5/16th (2.32m) set at Olympia in 1978 with Lastic.


Last time Nick was in Canada was at the Royal Winter Fair Horse Show where he came in a close second to Kent Farrington in the Big Ben Challenge.  See the interview with him after the event here:

April 5, 2017 |
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