Alberta Horse Industry

Thursday December 8, 2011

Edmonton, Alberta – Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) announced today the appointment of Mr. Rick LeLacheur as Chairman of the Board for a term of three years.

Rick LeLacheur comes to HRA with extensive business experience and community involvement. He brings to the industry many years of senior management experience in economic development, and tourism/sports management.


By: Heather Mitchell-Matheson

In any area of the equine world and in any region of the globe, there are gadgets and gismos used for countless applications when it comes to handling or training horses. Some are of the gentlest nature, others stem from a long history of proper horsemanship and even some still exist that maybe never served much purpose other than to inflict pain. Regardless of how someone personally feels about a certain training tool, there is one constant piece of equipment that can be seen used in manyachain different areas of the horse world: the chain.

The exact origin of the chain or “shank” is unclear but for as long as there has been workable metal and horses: there have been bits, spurs, chains and horse shoes. Prior to having workable metal readily available, most horsemen used leather or fibrous materials, like woven rope, as tools for equine related work. In essence the chain has been used for hundreds of years and in general it was used to further control or restrain livestock for any particular reason. A shank is defined as “a chain attached to a lead rope.”[1] According to Wikipedia, “a lead shank or lead chain refers to a lead line with a chain attached that is used in a variety of ways to safely control possibly difficult or dangerous horses if they will not respond to a regular lead.”[2]


From April 18-22, HIAA and ASI were involved with Aggie Days in Calgary teaching urban school students all about horses with our popular equine welfare and care education5photo centre. From Wednesday to Friday, around 10 000 students were on the grounds being educated about agriculture. They were accompanied by 3500 teachers and 4000 volunteers. Thanks to Linda Jesse and Kathy Marston for teaching these students with us.


By: Jennifer Woods

Stress: A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health.

Most people do not realize how stressful transportation can be for even the most seasoned traveling equine. The possible affects of stress on horses during transport include colic, diarrhea, laminitis, shipping fever, injury, performance impediment, weight loss, dehydration, disease or even death. Through awareness of the key transport stressors, horse owners and caregivers can alleviate stress levels and the adverse affects.

Transport stressors include:
Changes in temperature, humidity, air qualityatrailer_ventilationMixing with unfamiliar animals
Confinement in unfamiliar places
Unfamiliar movement underfoot
Climbing and descending
Physical demands
Disrupted feed patterns
Restricted movement


Canadian Food Inspection Agency  Animal Products
Animal Health and Production Division

Vesicular Stomatitis

What is it?
Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease affecting horses, ruminants such as cattle, sheep and members of the deer and llama families, and swine. While VS causes discomfort to affected animals, and may result in loss of markets for live animals, meat and animal genetics, it is most significant because it closely resembles foot and mouth disease (FMD). Foot and mouth disease affects ruminants and swine, and is a devastating disease for producers.

How is it transmitted?
Animals are infected with the virus by eating or coming into contact with substances contaminated with saliva or fluid from the lesions of infected animals. Spread in dairy herds may also occur as a result of milking procedures. In some regions insects play a significant role in the spread of the disease.
The disease may also be transmitted to humans who come into contact with infected animals. It causes influenza-like symptoms.

What are the signs of VS?
Vesicular stomatitis causes a mild fever, and the formation of blister-like lesions on the inside of the mouth, and on the lips, nose, hooves and udder. The blisters break, leaving raw, sore areas. Affected animals often salivate profusely, and are unwilling to eat or drink. Some animals, particularly swine, may become lame. Milking cows show a marked decrease in milk production. The incubation period (the time between infection with the virus and clinical signs) may range from two to eight days, and animals generally recover completely in three to four days.



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