Canadian Horse breeders oppose ID plan

I can't blame the breeders for not being happy with this program, but that's the price they're going to have to pay if they want to continue to sell their "culls" off to slaughter. They have been warned for three years.

Check the part where Canadian breeder Arnold McKee wants the government to "keep American slaughter animals out of Canada (YES!) because the horse market is glutted." What does this do to Sue Wallis and her horse-eating buddies' claim that lack of slaughter is why the American horse market is glutted? My god.

The market is glutted because of over breeding and and the worst recession the US has seen since the Great Depression!! Sue, you people have rebuilt the American horse market to DEPEND on slaughter, so now if our horses are banned by either Canada and/or the EU - which will include Mexico too - whatcha gonna do? Call ghost busters?

Just don't say we didn't warn you.
Amplify’d from www.producer.com

Horse breeders oppose ID plan

By Barbara Duckworth, Calgary bureau

June 17, 2010
A national requirement for health records and identification is like a burr under the saddle for some horse owners.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will require horse owners to have an equine identification document by July 31 to record health records when animals go for meat processing.

Alberta horse breeder Arnold McKee said the system is poorly conceived and he does not plan to comply because of the added cost and work. He is leading a petition asking the federal government to drop the program and keep American slaughter animals out of Canada because the horse market is glutted.

McKee said he cannot afford to have a veterinarian certify his horses as drug free or get them microchipped or tattooed.

“We all keep track of our horses,” he said. “We all have health records.”

He said those breeder records should be enough.

He also wants to know who is liable if a horse is condemned at a slaughter plant because drug residues are detected. The original owner is not likely responsible if the horse had multiple owners, he said.

He also questioned the fate of horses that are placed in feedlots for six months waiting for drugs to clear their systems. He said they are more likely to get sick and require more treatment if they are in a confined space.

The industry is working on individual identification as part of a larger traceability program, but Teresa van Bryce of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta said there is little support from horse owners.

“Most of our horses don’t go for processing and they don’t really see the importance of it,” she said.

“It will have to be sold to horse owners in a way that they can see there is a benefit to them. At this point they would see it as a hassle.”

The industry has discussed unique animal identification for a decade. Equine Canada is developing a nine digit unique number in a program called CanEquid.

The ID number will include animal name, pedigree, registration number, a Coggins disease style description of the horse and microchip, tattoo and brand information. It would also be used to track movement and horse health.

A radio frequency tattoo is the most promising identifier.

The technology was developed in the United States by Somark Innovations, which shelved it when the U.S. decided not to proceed with
its national animal identification system.

The Canadian industry wants to pursue it and is looking for funding for further research.

The tattoo would be like a bar code applied anywhere on the horse, through the hair. It is only visible by scanner and the developers promise it can be scanned and read from a distance of more than a metre.

Claude Boissonneault, a non-ruminant species specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, welcomes an easy-to-read identifier for horses.

“In the best of worlds, you would have equine that are identified with a unique number for life, which would allow the full traceability and you would know where the horse has been in its life,” he said.

Until then, horse owners are en-couraged to use the identification document that identifies the horse by markings and photos, and records past illnesses and medications.

“Right now, we are asking for history in the past six months of the life of the animals,” he said.

This is in response to a request from the European Union for full traceability within three years, he added.

“We have made the EU requirements a Canadian requirement.”

The CFIA has developed a list of prohibited drugs in food animals and is working on withdrawal periods for other medications.

“The withdrawal period will be developed as we go,” Boissonneault said. “All over the world horses are not raised as meat, so there are a number of veterinary drugs used that would not be approved in food producing animals.”

Drug residue tests are already conducted at federal meat plants.

CFIA veterinarians who suspect horses have been treated will hold them for testing. If the test is positive, a health risk assessment is done with Health Canada to see if the residue levels are acceptable or if the animal should be condemned.

Buyers at auctions in Canada and the United States have not always known a horse’s origins.

“We are telling them now if they are going to be bought for the Canadian market, they have to have paperwork,” Boissonneault said.

“It would not be a surprise to see the number of horses overall slaughtered going down.”

Read more at www.producer.com
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Call on American Veterinary Medical Aassociation to Oppose Horse Slaughter

Please take just a moment to tell the AVMA that horse slaughter is NOT "humane euthanasia"! Ask them to include all necessary information in their guidelines including this testimony by Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, who told Congress in 2008, "The captive bolt [used to slaughter horses] is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, these animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected," and GAO reports.

The captive-bolt is NOT suitable for horses!
Amplify’d from www.animallawcoalition.com

 Call on AVMA to Oppose Horse Slaughter
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is accepting comments until September 1, 2011 about proposed updates to its Policy on Euthanasia.

The AVMA euphemistically describes the grizzly and outmoded practice of horse slaughter as "humane euthanasia" meaning a humane, good death.

In its 2007 Policy on Euthanasia and the proposed updates, AVMA endorses use of gunshot or the penetrating captive bolt gun to kill horses. In its 2007 Policy, AVMA states that "[a]dequate restraint is important to ensure proper placement of the captive bolt....When an animal can be appropriately restrained, the penetrating captive bolt is preferred to a gunshot."

This caveat about using "adequate" or "appropriate" restraint is echoed on one page of the 2011 proposed guidelines: "Both [gunshot and the captive bolt gun] should only be used by well-trained personnel who are regularly monitored to ensure proficiency, and firearms must be well-maintained. Appropriate restraint is required for application of the penetrating captive bolt".  In the discussion of equids specifically, the captive bolt gun is declared only conditionally acceptable unless all criteria for its use are met. In an article linked to the proposed guidelines, there is a warning that "good restraint" is required "so that the device may be held in close contact with the skull" when fired.  

But on another page in the same proposed guidelines for use of the penetrating captive bolt gun, AVMA declares it not conditionally acceptable, but acceptable as a method of killing horses. The only disadvantages cited here are that the use of the "captive bolt can be aesthetically displeasing" and "[d]eath may not occur if equipment is not maintained and used properly."  

The proposed updates nowhere mention Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, who told Congress in 2008, "The captive bolt [used to slaughter horses] is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, these animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected."

Nor does the proposed AVMA guidelines mention the Food Safety Inspection Service(FSIS) has been grossly ineffective in protecting horses from cruelty during slaughter. In 2004 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the most frequent violation noted by inspectors in slaughter houses was ineffective stunning, meaning "in many cases ...a conscious animal reach[ed] slaughter" in violation of Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, 7 USCS § 1902(a); 9 C.F. R. §313.15, 9 C.F.R. §313.50(c). See GAO-04-247, GAO-08-686T.

GAO also noted there had been no effort made to stop the ineffective stunning and the records kept by inspectors were so poor, it was impossible to tell even by 2008 that there had been any improvement. In 2008, USDA's Office of Inspector General reported that FSIS management controls over preslaughter activities should be strengthened to minimize the possibility of egregious cruelty.  

By 2010 GAO was adamant "[a]ctions are needed to strengthen enforcement" of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. GAO noted despite years of reports and highly publicized incidents of abuse at slaughterhouses, FSIS enforcement remains grossly inconsistent and in many places, non-existent. GAO 10-203

In effect, in recommending the penetrating captive bolt, AVMA does not consider that slaughter of horses occurs in a brutally cruel environment, not a carefully controlled laboratory setting.

Or maybe they do. As John Holland has explained, "In its 2000 report on methods of Euthanasia, the AVMA stated that the captive bolt gun should not be used on equines unless head restraint could be assured. This is because of the relatively narrow forehead of equines, their head shyness and the fact that the brain is set back further than in cattle for which the gun is intended. It is difficult for an operator to assure proper placement of the gun.

"No slaughter house ever found a practical way to restrain the heads of the horses, so by the AVMA's very definition, the process was not acceptable. The result was a very large number of ineffective stuns. These misplaced blows undoubtedly caused severe pain until a stunning or fatal blow was delivered. "

What is particularly disturbing is in its 2007 Policy on Euthanasia, AVMA simply omits any mention that horses' heads should be immobilized during use of the captive bolt gun. The report simply refers to "adequate" or "appropriate" restraint. The type of restraint is not described.

The fact is there was no effort made at the slaughter houses to restrain horses' heads during slaughter; nor is there any way to do so. There was no effort made to place the captive bolt carefully against the horse's forehead to ensure an instant death. Workers at horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. were generally untrained, paid low wages and in many instances undocumented. (In Canada inspectors were ordered to stay off the kill floor during slaughter out of fear for their safety; the government feared the violent workers on the kill floor.)

There is also the issue of danger to the public health. As the Veterinarians for Equine Welfare explain, "[VEW] strongly object[s] to the AVMA ... position in favor of horse slaughter for human consumption. For the AVMA... to condone the human consumption of meat derived from equines that have not been raised or medicated in a manner consistent with food safety regulations is, in our opinion, unethical, disingenuous, and dangerous."

A recent European Union Food and Veterinary Office investigation into the horse slaughter plants in Mexico revealed numerous serious violations including drug residues in the meat. For more on the food safety issue created by horse slaughter......


The AVMA is accepting comments until September 1, 2011 on the 2011 draft of the Euthanasia guidelines. Email comments to animalwelfare@avma.org Urge AVMA to do the following: (1) reject that the penetrating captive bolt or gunshot can be done humanely and safely in a slaughter house setting, (2) find that horse slaughter is inhumane and (3) call on Congress to ban the slaughter of horses.

Read more at www.animallawcoalition.com
 See this Amp at http://bit.ly/qpU0hg
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Wild Horse Round up Day 1 at Triple B Complex in Nevada – July 20, 2011

There is a lot of information here. Please follow and spread the word. Although there is some good news here about the improvements in the way the horses are being treated, it's still true that the DOI/BLM are exterminating our wild horses an ever increasing pace.

Please! Help us stop them before it's too late!
Amplify’d from blog.grassrootshorse.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wild Horse Round up Day 1 at Triple B Complex in Nevada – July 20, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following report and 22 photographs and captions are by Arla M. Ruggles who has been out on the range for us and attended Day 1 of the Triple B wild horse roundup in Nevada. This page will be continually updated. And we are waiting for video and photographs from Day 2.  ~
Triple B round up day 1 pic 2
“In our role as advocates for better treatment of our wild herds, it often seems like only the mistakes and abuses are talked about. The worst aspects of wild horse management operations do need to be brought to light, AND we should be just as quick to recognize improvements as they occur.
Today, it must be said that Sun J and BLM did an excellent job in all aspects of their gather operations, and every part of the process was carried out with professionalism and skill.
Triple B round up day 1 pic 1
Sun J pilot, Josh Hellyer, showed marked improvement from his earlier performances at the Antelope Complex gather, early this past winter.
Throughout the day, Josh held back from the running herds, and at one point, even fell back and allowed them to rest and regroup before continuing into the jute enclosure.

None of the horses entering the trap appeared unduly stressed, and no lather appeared.
Read more at blog.grassrootshorse.com

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Equine Welfare Groups Ask Congress To Save American Horses From Slaughter

We won this round in the House. The full House passed the Budget with the Moran Amendment intact. Still, this must pass in the Senate without alteration for it to become law.

Also in the Senate, American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176) needs all the support we can muster. Let's DO IT THIS TIME! Let's make this baby pass! The points against horse slaughter in this statement to the House will be just as relevant in the Senate. Let your Senators you want horse slaughter banned in the US once and for all!
Amplify’d from rtfitch.wordpress.com
Equine Welfare Groups Ask Congress To Save American Horses From Slaughter
Agricultural Appropriations Bill to defund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption to be voted on June 15th 2011
  Dear Congressman,

We, the undersigned Organizations urge you to consider the following when voting on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill that currently contains Congressman Jim Moran’s Amendment to De-fund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption.

The major market for horse meat from this country is the EU. FDA and EU standards ban Phenylbutazone in all food animals. After 2012 it will require lifetime documentation proving that they have not received a prohibited substance.

Since our American horses are not bred for slaughter, no record is kept of medications they have received and the EU is currently depending on affidavits from their previous owners. Killer buyers come by these horses at auctions where sellers are supposed to fill out the affidavits.

Advocates were able to photograph 23 of these affidavits (called Equine Identification Documents) at the New Holland auction and found none that had been filled out properly. Most had simply been signed and left blank for the kill buyer to fill in. A subsequent report by the EU [Ref.Ares(2011)398056]found that 27 horses had tested positive for prohibited substances and all 27 were carrying falsified affidavits.Horses that are slaughtered include former pets, riding horses, racehorses, performance horses, wild horses and work horses. Most of them have received the toxic substances like phenylbutazone (bute), de-wormers and inoculations that are not approved and illegal for use in animals intended for human consumption. It clearly states this on the labels of these drugs. Bute is so commonly used in the US that it is sometimes referred to as horse Aspirin.

By allowing American horses to be sent to slaughter, we are encouraging illegal activity and sending a possibly harmful product to other countries for human consumption.

If we were to fund USDA inspection of horse meat, we would put the USDA in charge of verifying eligibility and verifying false documentation in order to keep the banned substances out of the food chain. It will be far more costly than 5 million dollars. It will only benefit foreign corporations and consumers; Americans don’t eat horse meat.

By allowing our American horses who are not bred for slaughter, to be slaughtered anyway, we in fact become responsible for compromising the health of unsuspecting consumers in other countries. The future ramifications of this could be extremely serious.

You will hear from those few with a financial interest in slaughter, that ending horse slaughter will destroy the horse Industry. Their arguments are easy to see through. They are NOT speaking for the horse industry (WE are the horse Industry, millions of responsible horse owners), they are speaking for the Horse Slaughter Industry.

It is an outright fabrication that the horse industry has been negatively affected because horse slaughter is not available, it is available at every auction in the country and they know that. The horse industry has taken a fall because of the state of the economy and because it has damaged itself through over-breeding, in the same way the housing market and the banking industries damaged themselves by overcrowding the market.

Horse slaughter promotes over breeding and creates the overpopulation problem we have today.

Home builders have stopped building homes, because there is no market for them. While breeding has slowed some in recent years it is still being supported by the slaughter market. Some breeders are responsible breeders breeding for quality all around. However many are not. They can still breed 100 horses, pick out the million dollar winner discarding the rest to slaughter. It’s like buying 100 lottery tickets, cashing in the 5 winning tickets, and getting your money back for the loosing 95 tickets.

We need to slow down breeding until the market balances out again. We need to bring back the population of horses to a population that America can sustain, so that they all can have good homes.

Dear Representative, an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the many obvious reasons, which we have not even mentioned here.

We stand firmly together as Respect4Horses Organization (R4H), Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), Animal Law Coalition (ALC), Habitat for Horses Advisory Council, (HfHAC), Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS), representing our combined almost one hundred thousand supporters, members and volunteers when we urge you to;

Please vote against any amendment that may be presented on the floor (possibly from Rep.Cynthia Lummis) that would appropriate funds to the USDA to inspect horse meat. Please vote to keep Congressman Moran’s amendment in the language of the bill to keep horse slaughter OUT of the business of the USDA and illegal in the United States of America.


Simone Netherlands, Director, Respect4Horses Organization, (R4H) (928) 308-6718

John Holland, Director, Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA)

R.T. Fitch, Director, Habitat for Horses Advisory Council

Laura Allen, Director, Animal Law Coalition

Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director, The Cloud Foundation

Richard “Kudo” Couto, Founder/Investigator, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM)

Debra Lopez and Shelley Abrams, Directors, Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS)

Read more at rtfitch.wordpress.com


Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis Tips Hand to GAO Report Foreknowledge

How does Sue Wallis - who seems to be losing touch with reality completely - know so much about what is contained in the GAO report on horse welfare since the non-existent loss of the slaughter option in 2007? A report that was nothing but a delaying tactic to stall the passage of the previous anti horse slaughter bill - S277. For the closing of the US slaughter plants to have any effect on the so called "unwanted horse problem" there would have to be a disruption in the slaughter pipeline which DID NOT HAPPEN - not then and not now.

Obviously, this report WAS leaked to pro-slaughter interests as previously reported by HORSEBACK Magazine - and denied by the GAO.

This brings into question not only the motives and truthfulness of Rep. Wallis - as if there were any doubt about her motives and truthfulness - but also the GAO and it's report.

HORSEBACK Magazine has asked the GAO about these issues and so have I as a United States citizen, and neither of us have received an answer.

As a horse owner I HIGHLY resent Wallis' accusations about my motives. I also HIGHLY resent the extreme pro-slaughter lobby getting to see the GAO report months before the general public. Both these things are unacceptable.

PLEASE contact your Congress persons AND the GAO. To give or receive pre-publication information with the intention of using said information to influence legislation is a CRIME. So is lying to Congress.

Personally, I am SICK of Deep Pocketed Lobbyists running our country. If you are too, the write to Congress and the GAO. DO SOMETHING!
Amplify’d from horsebackmagazine.com

In Bid to Congress Wallis Tips Hand to GAO Report Foreknowledge

June 10, 2011

uoh logo
To the Honorable Members of the U. S. Senate and the House of Representatives:Please DO NOT SUPPORT any effort that will impact the welfare of horses or the horse industry without first studying a soon to be released GAO Report!

The GAO Study on the Horse Industry was requested by the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee more than a year and a half ago. GAO has thoroughly studied the effect of the horse processing plants closing in 2007. This study looked at the effect of the plants closing on the welfare of horses themselves, as well as the effect on farm economy.

We respectfully ask that all members of Congress wait for its release before sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or voting on any measure dealing with horses so that your decisions can be made on solid verifiable information.

It is our understanding that the draft report was due to be delivered with the USDA response back to GAO on June 8th. This is the final step in the GAO process and should be delivered to Congress and the public very soon.

Voting on any measure dealing with horses without reviewing the entire report is voting with blinders on.

You and your colleagues need to have all the available information to make any sort of informed decision.

The devastated horse industry continues to be attacked by corporate fundraising animal rights groups led by the Humane Society of the United States and their many minions. They claim to care about horses…but truth be told, they care more about raising money. Selling misinformation, peddling outright lies, and jerking the emotional chains of good-hearted caring Americans is their lucrative stock in trade. When these so-called nonprofits spend less than ½ of 1% of their millions on helping a single dog or cat, let alone a horse, the motivation is pretty clear. They offer no solution to the soaring increase in starving, abandoned, and neglected horses whose owners can’t keep them, can’t sell them, and can’t give them away, nor do they spend any of their dollars to ease the suffering of unwanted horses.

Congressional members who support these destructive bans and prohibitions on the horse industry are stripping a cog in the agricultural wheel in favor of an animal rights industry that does not generate any revenue or jobs. That approach supports only non-contributory, emotionally-charged groups and eliminates a multi-billion dollar, tax-paying and jobs-generating industry. The inevitable end result will be a nation where only the very wealthy and elite few can afford to have a horse in their lives, and the sad demise of our beloved horseback culture.

Because we are the horse industry which has been directly affected by the loss of market for unwanted, unusable, and excess horses, we know that the entire equine industry is liquidating and downsizing. Fewer horses means fewer jobs, fewer horse shows, fewer rodeos, fewer new trucks and horse trailers, fewer training dollars, fewer veterinary services, fewer saddles, bridles, less need for feed – all adding up to a devastating economic contraction.

Efforts like the recent Rep. Moran amendment to the House Ag Appropriations bill , or the apparently soon to be introduced Sen. Landrieu sponsored “American Prevention of Horse Slaughter Act of 2011″ serve only to increase the inevitable suffering of the very animals they claim to protect by removing a moral and humane use of unwanted, unusable, and excess horses. These measures are a direct assault on the private property rights of individual horse owners, and interfere with state’s rights to encourage responsible and regulated businesses to enhance and improve their agricultural economies.

Destroying the U.S. horse industry simply means any ability to provide wholesome products welcomed by a robust worldwide market is denied to our own people, and that any opportunity to profit is exported to other countries. With the ability to ethically produce horse meat under regulated humane conditions in the United States we would create more than 1,000 good paying direct jobs practically overnight, minimize the suffering of horses, and go a long ways towards restoring a devastated U.S. horse market. Without an economically viable secondary market the value of all horses at every level has plummeted, and the entire diverse equine world has been economically devastated. The GAO Report should tell us the true and accurate extent of that damage.

We stand ready with a broad coalition representing horse owners and the horse industry, state and local governments, tribes, animal agriculture, wildlife managers, land and resource management experts, pet animal organizations and sporting dog groups, animal welfare advocates, zoos, circuses, animal research, and literally thousands of individual concerned citizens to offer information and testimony.

We respectfully ask for your support of families who hope to raise their children and grandchildren in our beloved horseback culture. Do not be deceived by the misguided agendas of those who practice “compassion gone wrong.”

sue's sig
Rep. Sue Wallis

United Organizations of the Horse

Wyoming State House of Representatives

Vice Chair – National Conference of State Legislatures Agriculture and Energy Committee
Read more at horsebackmagazine.com
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Drug residues in meat revealed in European report

I feel I must dedicate this post to Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis - better known as Slaughterhouse Sue - and her latest rant because the the House Appropriations Committee voted on an amendment to reinstate formerly existing language in a bill that prohibited wasting tax payer’s hard earned dollars on funding inspections of horse slaughter plants (5 million dollars worth).

That language was voted on and inserted in 2006 representing the opinion of over two thirds of the American public who stand firmly against the inhumane practice of horse slaughter in this country. The only reason that Rep. Moran of Virginia, an enlightened horse supporting state that makes money off from equine development, was forced to add the amendment was due to the back room, special interest finagling of Wyoming Rep. Lummis and her off the wall cohort “Slaughterhouse” Sue.

That's what set off this, Sue's latest screed in which she said - along with many other outrageous statements - that EU inspectors had never found drug residues in any horses. "NEVER," she screeched.

Besides this, EU inspectors recently busted slaughter plants in Mexico for non-compliance. And when they check Canada, they will find the same violations.

Read it and weep, Sue, but don't forget that we told you so.

Amplify’d from www.horsetalk.co.nz

Drug residues in meat revealed in European report

June 7, 2011
A European investigation into drug residues has shown horse meat had a higher percentage of non-compliant samples than beef, pork and sheep and goat meat in key categories
The report by the European Feed Safety Authority Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit is based on data for 2009 provided by the European Union member states to the European Commission.

From the total of collected targeted samples, 40.9 per cent were analysed for substances having anabolic effect and prohibited substances, and 63.1 per cent for veterinary drugs and contaminants (group B).

There were 1406 non-compliant samples (0.32%), or 1493 non-compliant results, out of the 445,968 targeted samples.
This was similar to 2008, when 0.34% of the targeted samples were non-compliant.

For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (B2e) there were non-compliant samples in 0.6% of horse samples, compared with bovines (0.13%), sheep and goats (0.2%), poultry (0.46%), milk (0.03%), and rabbits (1.39%).

In testing for hormones, 0.26% of tested samples were non-compliant. In this category, 1.27 per cent of horse meat samples were found to be non-compliant, compared with bovines (0.34%), pigs (0.3%), sheep and goats (3.65%), poultry 0.05%), and aquaculture (0.46%).
Read more at www.horsetalk.co.nz

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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra