Regional

Late winter is a time of looking forward, looking back. Horse people, especially those on the prairies, are looking forward to spring. The days are getting longer and we are all waiting impatiently for signs of change. Did you REALLY see some hair giving way on that horse’s rear end? Maybe not.

Recreational riding and driving is important to many thousands of Canadians, and these Canadians rely on public lands and trails to pursue the outdoor activities they love. Here in British Columbia, from day outings to multi-week pack trips, horsemen are making full use of our spectacular open spaces. Horse Council BC’s Recreation Department exists to support those riders and drivers, with funding for trail improvement projects, current information and education, resource materials for loan or purchase, and promoting recreational rider’s issues with government and other decision makers.

The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (CTRA) based in Duncan, BC, on Vancouver Island, provides equine-based therapeutic interventions, para-equestrian sport, and adapted recreational opportunities for persons with special needs in the Cowichan Valley. Over its 30 year history, CTRA has delivered life-enriching services to countless individuals and families in the region – providing community members with a vital space of inclusion, belonging, and personal growth. CTRA’s work is made possible thanks to unflagging community support that ranges from donated horses to thousands of volunteer hours contributed each year.

The ongoing wildfires in British Columbia this summer have destroyed the largest area in recorded history, burning through nearly 900,000 hectares, much of that in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. There are estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 wild or free-roaming horses in the Chilcotin.

Two horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ontario this week. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) was notified of two positive cases on August 21, 2017. One of the horses, a 10-year-old gelding in Simcoe County, had to be euthanized, but the other, a 25-year-old mare in Bruce County, is recovering under a veterinarian's care.

The Animal Disaster Relief Fund (ADRF) is helping to look after displaced horses and animals during and long after the wildfires in the interior of British Columbia.

The 14th annual Canadian National Andalusian and Lusitano Show and Fiesta will be held August 11 to 13, 2017, at the Westerner Park, Red Deer, AB. The three-day show will offer classes in all disciplines, including halter and flat for purebred and part-bred Andalusians and Lusitanos, as well as a variety of all-breed classes.

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