Fiasco in the making | TSLN.com

Fiasco in the making

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns

For the July 11, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

America isn’t the only place struggling with poor treatment of equines. The international horse community is up in arms over what’s been billed as the world’s longest horse race, a fiasco-in-the-making which has been denounced by an unprecedented alliance of equestrian, endurance and exploration leaders.

According to a press release from The Long Riders’ Guild, “At a thousand kilometers, the Mongol Derby would be the largest non-sanctioned endurance race ever attempted. Set to be run this summer in Mongolia, nearly a thousand semi-wild under-sized native horses have been drafted into an effort which deliberately flaunts international endurance racing rules. The horse race is being promoted by Tom Morgan, a native of Great Britain whose company, The Adventurists, previously specialized in enticing adventure-hungry tourists into signing up to race junk cars to distant national capitals.”

The promoters seem to be highlighting the dangers to lure adrenaline junkies, stating, “Bleeding kidneys, broken limbs, open sores, moon stroke and a list of dangers longer than your arm stand between you and victory.”

Connie Caudill, President of the American Endurance Ride Conference, is one of the many equestrian leaders who have warned that Morgan’s Mongol Derby will severely damage the sport and may well lead to horses being ridden to death. “This will set endurance racing back 50 years,” Caudill said, then added, “This isn’t an endurance race, it’s entertainment that will undermine endurance racing all over the world.”

Morgan’s company sought advice from The Long Riders’ Guild, the world’s first international association of equestrian explorers. The Guild warned the tour company against encouraging the twenty-five foreign competitors, all of whom had paid nearly $5,000 for a chance to ride, to attempt the journey, as the Guild’s mounted explorers had recently encountered wolf attacks, bubonic plague, rabies, flash floods, foul water, poisoned food, horse theft and personal assault.

“The Adventurists is preparing to embark on an ill-advised equestrian misadventure, one in which your company does not appreciate the many equestrian hardships and dangers being presented to the horses and riders,” The Guild informed the tour company. Regardless of the danger, Morgan is busy promoting what he calls “biggest, baddest equine affair on the planet.”

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During an eight month investigation into the race, Long Riders in New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, Mongolia and the United States confirmed that neither the Mongolian government, nor the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international body assigned to protect endurance racing from exploitation, was involved in organizing the race.

The Long Riders’s Guild says, “When it was learned that Morgan’s race appears to violate the three primary principles of endurance racing, namely no commercial exploitation of the horse, a marked route and confirmed sources of water, the world’s largest coalition of riders, explorers and editors launched an international petition asking the Mongolian president to halt the race and urging Princess Haya, President of the FEI, to ban the competitors for life… Regardless of what happens out on the steppe in August, it is already plain to see that thousands of horse riders, equestrian explorers and endurance riders have banded together in an unprecedented act of solidarity designed to halt Morgan’s spectacle.”

For more information about the race, and to sign the petition, please visit the Long Riders’ Guild Mongol Investigation & Petition – http://www.thelongridersguild.com/mongolia.htm.

Here in Tri-State Country, the rodeo world is saddened by a recent tragedy in Little Britches Rodeo. Twelve year old Wayde Hamar from Yuma, CO was killed in a bullriding accident during a Little Britches event in Longmont, CO.

Friends of the family who are establishing a memorial fund for the young cowboy say, “The press has hit the issue hard and it’s now drawing tons of criticism about youth in rodeo. Comments are even going so far to say that the parents should be charged with child endangerment for putting their son on a bull at such a young age. The PBR and other groups are trying to pull together to support the family… please keep his family in your thoughts.”

Wayde’s parents are Mitch and Angie Hamar of Yuma, and a memorial fund for Wayde has been set up at the Yuma County Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 271, Yuma, CO 80759, or you can call (970) 848-3823. To learn more go to http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/19885701/detail.html or http://www.pbrnow.com.

Our sympathy goes to the Hamar family. We know their grief is only amplified by the overreaction of activists who can’t understand how important rodeo is to people who have been involved in it for generations… and how truly safe it is alongside most of the things young people do on a daily basis, including riding a bus back and forth to school on winter roads through rush hour traffic…

Summer always brings out the bugs… both the kind that fly and buzz and sting and the kind that bring infection and illness. Vesicular Stomatitis is one of the latter, and it has struck in New Mexico, with a horse in De Baca county testing positive for the New Jersey strain of the malady.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) says, “New Mexico has a long history of this disease. Veterinarians around the state are well versed in reporting the disease and will follow USDA guidelines. Every effort will be made to assure that no animals exhibiting symptoms will be allowed to move.”

The AAEP further warns, “A number of states have enhanced entry requirements or restrictions to prevent the introduction of the disease. (The vesicular stomatitis requirements or restrictions are an ADDITION to entry requirements and do not replace other documentation or testing requirements routinely required.)” For instance, Texas now requires a statement on certificates of veterinary inspection for all livestock entering from New Mexico, due to VS infection there. The statement is: “The animals represented on this health certificate have not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis.” (The accredited veterinarian also is to state that the animals have been examined and exhibit no clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis.)

It is crucial to contact the country or state of destination prior to shipping or transporting livestock, if you live in Texas or New Mexico. If you live outside of these states but plan to transport livestock into Texas or New Mexico and RETURN the animals to the state of origin, you will need to know the requirements to re-enter your state. Check with your state prior to traveling to Texas or New Mexico to ensure compliance with entry requirements in place during the vesicular stomatitis outbreak.

With our Junior High and High School rodeo cowboys and cowgirls journeying back and forth into and out of New Mexico this month for their respective National Finals Rodeos this could really create a situation. Hopefully VS will not be carried away from those events into more than 40 states and 9 Canadian provinces and even Australia. You need to be aware your horses could be quarantined and kept in New Mexico if this thing spreads to the areas hosting the rodeos. If I was hauling horses down there I’d sure isolate them for a spell upon return, keeping them away from the horses at home.

No doubt both the USDA and New Mexico animal health officials are on red alert about the issue, and hopefully VS will not spread.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope for this time…

America isn’t the only place struggling with poor treatment of equines. The international horse community is up in arms over what’s been billed as the world’s longest horse race, a fiasco-in-the-making which has been denounced by an unprecedented alliance of equestrian, endurance and exploration leaders.

According to a press release from The Long Riders’ Guild, “At a thousand kilometers, the Mongol Derby would be the largest non-sanctioned endurance race ever attempted. Set to be run this summer in Mongolia, nearly a thousand semi-wild under-sized native horses have been drafted into an effort which deliberately flaunts international endurance racing rules. The horse race is being promoted by Tom Morgan, a native of Great Britain whose company, The Adventurists, previously specialized in enticing adventure-hungry tourists into signing up to race junk cars to distant national capitals.”

The promoters seem to be highlighting the dangers to lure adrenaline junkies, stating, “Bleeding kidneys, broken limbs, open sores, moon stroke and a list of dangers longer than your arm stand between you and victory.”

Connie Caudill, President of the American Endurance Ride Conference, is one of the many equestrian leaders who have warned that Morgan’s Mongol Derby will severely damage the sport and may well lead to horses being ridden to death. “This will set endurance racing back 50 years,” Caudill said, then added, “This isn’t an endurance race, it’s entertainment that will undermine endurance racing all over the world.”

Morgan’s company sought advice from The Long Riders’ Guild, the world’s first international association of equestrian explorers. The Guild warned the tour company against encouraging the twenty-five foreign competitors, all of whom had paid nearly $5,000 for a chance to ride, to attempt the journey, as the Guild’s mounted explorers had recently encountered wolf attacks, bubonic plague, rabies, flash floods, foul water, poisoned food, horse theft and personal assault.

“The Adventurists is preparing to embark on an ill-advised equestrian misadventure, one in which your company does not appreciate the many equestrian hardships and dangers being presented to the horses and riders,” The Guild informed the tour company. Regardless of the danger, Morgan is busy promoting what he calls “biggest, baddest equine affair on the planet.”

During an eight month investigation into the race, Long Riders in New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, Mongolia and the United States confirmed that neither the Mongolian government, nor the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international body assigned to protect endurance racing from exploitation, was involved in organizing the race.

The Long Riders’s Guild says, “When it was learned that Morgan’s race appears to violate the three primary principles of endurance racing, namely no commercial exploitation of the horse, a marked route and confirmed sources of water, the world’s largest coalition of riders, explorers and editors launched an international petition asking the Mongolian president to halt the race and urging Princess Haya, President of the FEI, to ban the competitors for life… Regardless of what happens out on the steppe in August, it is already plain to see that thousands of horse riders, equestrian explorers and endurance riders have banded together in an unprecedented act of solidarity designed to halt Morgan’s spectacle.”

For more information about the race, and to sign the petition, please visit the Long Riders’ Guild Mongol Investigation & Petition – http://www.thelongridersguild.com/mongolia.htm.

Here in Tri-State Country, the rodeo world is saddened by a recent tragedy in Little Britches Rodeo. Twelve year old Wayde Hamar from Yuma, CO was killed in a bullriding accident during a Little Britches event in Longmont, CO.

Friends of the family who are establishing a memorial fund for the young cowboy say, “The press has hit the issue hard and it’s now drawing tons of criticism about youth in rodeo. Comments are even going so far to say that the parents should be charged with child endangerment for putting their son on a bull at such a young age. The PBR and other groups are trying to pull together to support the family… please keep his family in your thoughts.”

Wayde’s parents are Mitch and Angie Hamar of Yuma, and a memorial fund for Wayde has been set up at the Yuma County Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 271, Yuma, CO 80759, or you can call (970) 848-3823. To learn more go to http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/19885701/detail.html or http://www.pbrnow.com.

Our sympathy goes to the Hamar family. We know their grief is only amplified by the overreaction of activists who can’t understand how important rodeo is to people who have been involved in it for generations… and how truly safe it is alongside most of the things young people do on a daily basis, including riding a bus back and forth to school on winter roads through rush hour traffic…

Summer always brings out the bugs… both the kind that fly and buzz and sting and the kind that bring infection and illness. Vesicular Stomatitis is one of the latter, and it has struck in New Mexico, with a horse in De Baca county testing positive for the New Jersey strain of the malady.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) says, “New Mexico has a long history of this disease. Veterinarians around the state are well versed in reporting the disease and will follow USDA guidelines. Every effort will be made to assure that no animals exhibiting symptoms will be allowed to move.”

The AAEP further warns, “A number of states have enhanced entry requirements or restrictions to prevent the introduction of the disease. (The vesicular stomatitis requirements or restrictions are an ADDITION to entry requirements and do not replace other documentation or testing requirements routinely required.)” For instance, Texas now requires a statement on certificates of veterinary inspection for all livestock entering from New Mexico, due to VS infection there. The statement is: “The animals represented on this health certificate have not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis.” (The accredited veterinarian also is to state that the animals have been examined and exhibit no clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis.)

It is crucial to contact the country or state of destination prior to shipping or transporting livestock, if you live in Texas or New Mexico. If you live outside of these states but plan to transport livestock into Texas or New Mexico and RETURN the animals to the state of origin, you will need to know the requirements to re-enter your state. Check with your state prior to traveling to Texas or New Mexico to ensure compliance with entry requirements in place during the vesicular stomatitis outbreak.

With our Junior High and High School rodeo cowboys and cowgirls journeying back and forth into and out of New Mexico this month for their respective National Finals Rodeos this could really create a situation. Hopefully VS will not be carried away from those events into more than 40 states and 9 Canadian provinces and even Australia. You need to be aware your horses could be quarantined and kept in New Mexico if this thing spreads to the areas hosting the rodeos. If I was hauling horses down there I’d sure isolate them for a spell upon return, keeping them away from the horses at home.

No doubt both the USDA and New Mexico animal health officials are on red alert about the issue, and hopefully VS will not spread.

Looks like that’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope for this time…

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