Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Linda Hazelwood

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.

Looking back, for Manitoba riders, 2017 was an eventful year. On the downside, there was much heartbreak as owners suffered a wave of the EHV-1 (Equine Herpes) virus, followed more disastrously by an outbreak of EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia).  The EIA affected the whole of Manitoba as barns were quarantined, vets worked tirelessly to administer Coggins tests, and shows were cancelled or moved to alternate locations. The EIA outbreak was Canada-wide, as horses tested positive for the disease right from Alberta to Quebec. It is anticipated in Manitoba that for 2018, Coggins testing will be mandated at the majority of places where horses gather. Certainly, every rider at MHC’s Birds Hill Park Equestrian Centre will be asked to prove negativity of their horse. Although a reactive (after infection) test, it is the only one that will pinpoint affected horses, which have the capability of spreading the disease. Bio-security is the name of the game, with a key factor being blood transmission between horses.

On the positive side, the list of competition results from our 26 member clubs is way too lengthy to mention, but we congratulate each and every rider.

Manitoba Horse Council is proud to note the addition of new coaches at all levels. All Manitoba’s NCCP coaches are listed on our website at https://manitobahorsecouncil.ca/Coaches-Directory. Manitoba Horse Council is working hard to ensure that all coaches listed on this directory have achieved and maintained the nationally-mandated requirements to work with young riders.

Going through the rider ranks, we congratulate the 55 riders who achieved their Rider Levels 1 through 8 in 2017, and the coaches and evaluators who have steered their successes.

In the management of Manitoba Horse Council, John Savard was welcomed as Executive Director, and Linda Hazelwood was appointed Business Manager. During the year, Sheri Parkinson was appointed President of the Board, and Geri Sweet continues with MHC as Past President. Thanks go to Carolyn Lintott (now Director-at-Large) who held the office together for nine months as Interim Executive Director. Geri is also representative of the prairies as an Equestrian Canada Voting Member.

The Board and staff at Manitoba Horse Council are looking forward to working with and for our members in 2018.

For more information please visit the Manitoba Horse Council website.

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