Farm Bill, Take 2! House Lawmakers Pass Ag Legislation, Boost Animal Health Programs

In the wake of a failed vote on the 2018 farm bill on May 18 – largely precipitated by controversy surrounding unrelated immigration policy issues – on June 21, House lawmakers revisited the legislation and finally passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) by a vote of 213 to 211.  Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he plans to pass companion legislation in the upper chamber before July 4, Congress appears to be poised to finalize a bill prior to expiration of Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs on September 30.  During meetings on Capitol Hill the week of June 11, multiple senate offices echoed a commitment to the deadline, reminding members of the horse industry that the chamber is prepared to work into the August recess to complete its legislative business prior to the mid-term elections in the fall.

Fortunately for the horse industry, the $868 billion, five-year package includes provisions addressing some of AHC’s top priorities:  authorization of a new National Animal Disaster Preparedness and Response (NADPR) program; additional support for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network; and creation of the National Animal Health Vaccine Bank that will prioritize risks posed by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), among other threats.

A preliminary review of the bill shows that although lawmakers generally met industry’s full funding request – totaling $250 million for the priority issues outlined above – for FY2019 only, the bill reduces those funds during subsequent fiscal years.  For example, the horse industry and its partners requested $70 million each year to fund the NADPR, but received $30 million for 2020 and beyond.  Fortunately for the horse industry, the final bill authorizes $150 million for a “priority FMD vaccine bank,” opening the door for funding vaccines that will mitigate other diseases.

AHC will continue to advocate for industry priorities as the legislation moves forward.  To view a copy of the legislation, please click here: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr2/BILLS-115hr2rh.pdf.

Supreme Court Opens State Sports Betting Flood Gates, Sen. Hatch Offers Federal Framework

May 14, 2018

Today the Supreme Court released its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, rejecting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal statute which effectively banned sports gambling in most state jurisdictions.  In a six to three opinion, the high court reversed a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which upheld the federal law.  Importantly, the court affirmed Congress’s authority to regulate sports betting directly.  However, the court struck PASPA on the grounds that the statute infringed on a state’s ability to “authorize” gambling within its jurisdiction, thereby violating the constitutional principle of “dual sovereignty.”  The court states that in the event Congress doesn’t place direct regulations on gambling, then states are free to enact betting laws as they see fit.

While today’s decision gives the green light for individual states to move forward with sports gambling schemes, Congress was quick to offer a legislative fix to address the role of the federal government in sports gambling activity.  Not long after the release of the Supreme Court decision, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that he states will remedy a “patchwork” of state laws that won’t adequately protect the “integrity of sports.”  As an original sponsor of PASPA when it was enacted in 1992, Sen. Hatch states that his legislation will “protect consumers, safeguard against underage and problem gambling, and help states who choose not to permit sports betting within their borders.”

“Until today, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing has been the only legal form of sports wagering available throughout most of the United States at both physical locations and online. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled PASPA unconstitutional, states are free to regulate sports betting as they see fit. Horse racing must rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by this expansion of sports betting,” stated Alex Waldrop, Chairman of AHC’s Racing Committee and President of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

AHC will provide a more detailed analysis of the Supreme Court decision and legislative responses during the days ahead.  To view a copy of the Supreme Court decision, please click here:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf.  To view a copy of Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) announcement for a federal framework for sports gambling, please click here: https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/releases?ID=02C2FD7A-6D68-40B9-8002-BA458CF4DD4F

AHC Announces Safe Sport Code of Practice

April 24, 2018

The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to announce the adoption of a Safe Sport Code of Practice.

“The reputation and integrity of equestrian sports and all equine related programs and activities is maintained when all person’s act, and are seen to act, in a way which is of the highest ethical standards,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have further brought to light the importance of maintaining a safe environment for all, and the equine industry is no exception to this.”

This Code of Practice, unanimously endorse by the AHC Board of Trustees reads:

To behave ethically necessitates an awareness of power differentials among all persons involved. This statement is intended to inform ethical judgments as persons consider asymmetric power relations among themselves and others they work with in professional roles. We recognize that this statement’s strength and requisite influence depend on its circulation, discussion, reflection, and use by the equine industry. It is the industry’s expectation that all equine organizations recognize “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” and US Center for Safe Sport, and adopt programs to support these initiatives.

The American Horse Council and its members are:

  • Committed to contributing to an environment, which makes participation a positive and rewarding experience.
  • Committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in equine related programs and activities can work, learn and compete in an atmosphere free of all forms of emotional, physical and sexual harassment and misconduct.
  • Committed to protecting the rights, safety, dignity, and well-being of the persons involved in all aspects of our industry, thus condemning all forms of harassment regardless of whether it is based on age, ethnicity, race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion or marital status.
  • Committed to providing just treatment in cases of disputes and that there are proper and accessible mechanisms that are available in a timely manner to resolve disputed issues through due process.

A PDF of the Code can also be found on the AHC’s website here: http://www.horsecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Safe-Sport-Code-of-Practice.pdf

A tentative presentation by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and a roundtable discussion will be held at the AHC’s National Issues Forum on Tuesday, June 12th in Washington, DC to identify best practices and tools to support this practice. Information about the National Issues Forum can be found on the AHC’s website here: http://www.horsecouncil.org/events/ahc-annual-meeting-national-issues-forum-2/.

AHCF Economic Impact Study results to be announced at Reception with Congressional Horse Caucus

(Washington, DC)- The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce that the results of its 2017 Economic Impact Study will be announced on February 28th at a reception with the Congressional Horse Caucus on Capitol Hill.

“We know that the industry has been eagerly awaiting the results of this study,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We are pleased to be able to hold this event with the Congressional Horse Caucus to continue to demonstrate to members of Congress how important our industry is to the United States economy.”

The reception will be held at Top of the Hill, One Constitution Avenue, NE, in Washington, DC, from 2:30 – 4:00 pm, and will feature two special guests: Congressional Horse Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). Members of the equine community are encouraged to attend the reception as well.

“I look forward to attending the announcement of the American Horse Council’s 2017 Economic Impact Study.  As the Representative of the Horse Capital of the World and as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Horse Caucus, I hope that this event will help demonstrate the economic benefits the equine industry has across our country,” said Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky. 

Congressman Paul Tonko of New York, a state with a robust racing sector, commented, “This report reinforces what we have long known: America’s horseracing heritage is more than just a valuable source of our history and culture, it also thrives as a vibrant industry supporting good jobs and driving significant economic activity. I am pleased to celebrate the release of these economic findings from the American Horse Council Foundation, which show just how important it is that we fight to maintain and grow this sport for enthusiasts and employees across New York and beyond.”

The full report of the National Economic Impact Study will be available for purchase on the AHC’s website starting on March 1st for $80 plus S/H. Additionally, a smaller booklet entitled “The Power of the Horse,” will also be available for purchase on the AHC site for $40 plus S/H. The AHC anticipates the 15 state breakouts to be available by the end of March.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.

 

View on AHC Website

AHC’s 1st Quarter Webinar to Discuss ELD Mandate

(Washington, DC)– The American Horse Council (AHC) will host its 1st Quarter 2018 webinar on Monday, February 12th at 3:00 pm ET and will address the recent Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate that has caused much confusion and a lot of questions throughout the equine industry.

“We have been getting quite a few phone calls and emails with questions about the ELD Mandate and how it is going to not only affect the industry, but individuals as well,” said AHC President, Julie Broadway. “We hope that holding a webinar addressing the mandate would be a compliment to the brochures we have already put together on this issue.”

The webinar will address the details of what the ELD Mandate includes, and who is required to have an electronic logging device.  We will also discuss requirements for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as what the AHC is doing to mitigate the effects of the proposed changes on the equine industry.

Both AHC members and non-members are encouraged to attend the webinar. The webinar will also be recorded and posted on the AHC website for those that could not attend. Please register online here, and you will receive an email with login instructions two days before the webinar date.

 

View on AHC Website

 

 

About the American Horse Council

 

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

Equine organizations offer disaster relief funds to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

(Washington, DC)- In the wake of one of the worst tropical natural disasters to hit the United States, the residents and animals of Texas need your help. A record 49 inches of rain has fallen in the Houston area, and even more is expected. So what can you do?

There are several equine specific disaster relief funds that you can donate to that will support the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding.

  • United States Equestrian Federation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners, and the USEF will be working with the Houston SPCA to help animals that have been displaced. To donate to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund:  https://www.usef.org/donate
  • American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: The AAEP Foundation will work with agencies and veterinary members in Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to identify the needs of the equine community. Supplies are not being accepted currently as the catastrophic storm is still occurring. Once the Foundation receives an assessment of need and distribution protocols from the agencies and veterinary members in the afflicted areas, the Foundation will work to support them with supply needs as well. To support the impending needs of these equine victims, please donate online at:  https://foundation.aaep.org/form/foundation-donation.  If you wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email Keith Kleine at kkleine@aaep.org and you will be contacted with further instructions.
  • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Disaster Relief Fund: The fund helps centers in need due to catastrophic disasters not normally covered by operating insurance. This includes flooding. The fund was started in 2005 to help centers with the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. To donate, click here:  Donate to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund.  Additionally,  if your PATH Intl. Center needs disaster relief,  click here for information and to download the Disaster Relief Fund application.

Additionally, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations and will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Please share with your fellow members of the horse community, and with anyone wanting to help all those in need!

View on AHC Website

Participate in the 2017 Economic Impact Study for the United States Horse Industry

Survey for National Study to be distributed via online link

 

(Washington, DC)– The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce that the survey link for the National Economic Impact Study will be released on June 5th. The survey link will be available until August 1st.

“The National Survey link will initially be distributed through equine organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, United States Equestrian Federation, Certified Horsemanship Association, American Paint Horse Association, and more,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We hope everyone that receives the survey link will participate. This is an opportunity to showcase how important the vast equine industry is to the United States economy, and the more horse owners, breeders, riders, trainers, racetracks, shows, rodeos and other industry suppliers that participate, the better the data will be that is included in the final results.”

The 2017 Economic Impact Study will contain expanded demographics with youth participation and additional segments of the industry, including Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies, Equine Sanctuaries and Rescues, Equine Academic Programs, and Equine Youth Organizations.  Representatives of these institutions and organizations, along with Equine Competition Organizers, will be receiving targeted and individualized surveys.  The main survey is designed to capture the impact of individual horse owners (whether commercial or recreational) and industry suppliers of equine-related goods and services.  A separate data request is being sent directly to Racetracks, OTBs, and Advanced Deposit Wagering businesses.

The surveys were designed by the Innovation Group and a supporting team of equine industry experts.  They were further vetted by key industry stakeholders as well as a Steering Committee composed of AHC staff and five outside experts.

The 2005 Economic Impact Study established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $39 billion effect on the US economy, involved more than 4 million Americans and 9.2 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs.  The study provided invaluable demographic data and insights into professions and other industries that are impacted by equine ownership, as well as proved to be extremely helpful to the industry’s efforts in documenting its size, diversity and economic importance to public officials, the press, and other media. Now more than ever, it’s important for the equine industry to have access to data from all segments to ensure the most comprehensive, impactful portrait possible of our diverse and long-standing industry.

If you are a member of an equine association, please be on the lookout for an email containing the link to the take the National Survey. If you are not a member of an equine association, or did not receive the survey link after June 15th and would like to participate, please email economicimpactstudy@horsecouncil.org to receive the link. Please note, all personal information collected in the survey will be confidential and will not be distributed.

We thank you in advance for participating in this incredibly important update to the Economic Impact Study! If you have any questions, please contact the AHC directly at info@horsecouncil.org.

AHC to Begin Data Collection for 2017 Economic Impact Survey

Survey will be accessible via online link

(Washington,DC)- The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to announce that data collection for the 2017 Economic Impact Study is set to begin on April 1, 2017.

“We are incredibly grateful for the pledges we received from generous equine organizations to fund both the National study as well as several state and segment breakouts,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “Due to the generosity of these organizations, we are able to begin the data collection for the study. However, we are still short of our goal amount, and are hoping to receive pledges to officially put us over our goal amount.”

For Individuals or Organizations wishing to contribute towards the goal amount for the National Study, please visit the AHC website here, or contact the AHC at afurst@horsecouncil.org. “No pledge amount is too small,” said Ms. Broadway, “we know that the industry is eagerly awaiting the results of this study, so we are hoping to find those last few pledges to put us over the edge and get the study completed as soon as possible.”

The survey will be tailored to individual segments and distributed via an online link, and the AHC encourages those in the industry to share the link as much as possible. “We want to be able to ensure we are getting as much of the industry as possible taking this survey,” said Ms. Broadway.  “Especially since we have expanded the study to include participants under 18, and the equine welfare and sanctuary segments.”

In addition to the National Economic Impact Study, twelve states have elected to secure a breakout for their respective states: Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. If any state is still interested in securing a breakout, they MUST contact the AHC by no later than March 22.

“The Innovation Group is looking forward to collecting data from all segments to ensure the most comprehensive, impactful portrait possible of this diverse and long-standing industry,” said Tom Zitt, Executive Director of The Innovation Group. “Just as all pledges are welcome, all segments of the industry are encouraged to submit data.”

If you have any questions about the Study, please contact the AHC directly.

2017 Horse Industry Directory Now Available

For the first time ever, available in interactive, digital format

(Washington, DC)—The American Horse Council’s (AHC) 2017 Horse Industry Directory is available for purchase. NEW for 2017, the Directory can be purchased in two formats—traditional print (subject to availability) and a digital, interactive flipbook.

The AHC’s Horse Industry Directory has thousands of equine listings and resources that will help any user find important information relating to the horse industry including breed registries; racing, rodeo, show, sport, and trails organizations; equine health and welfare organizations; interstate health requirements; statistical information on the horse industry; and an index of all the listings and telephone numbers are provided for easy access. The Directory reaches over 2,000 equine individual and member organizations, and horse enthusiasts across the country.

“This is an incredibly useful resource for any person who is associated with the horse industry.  No other publication provides the depth of national horse industry resources found in the Horse Industry Directory,” said Ashley Furst, AHC’s Director of Communications.

To purchase a copy of the 2017 Directory, please visit the AHC website here. The 2017 Horse Industry Directory is also delivered as an AHC member benefit to Legislative level members and above—join today and receive your new copy today!  If you have any questions, or problems purchasing the Directory, please contact the AHC at info@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

 

AHC to Offer Internships in 2017

Open to High School and College Students

 

(Washington, DC)- In 2017, the American Horse Council (AHC) will begin offering three different internship programs available to both high school and college students. Students will be eligible to apply to one internship per year in the AHC Internship Program.

 

“We recently announced the addition of a Student Membership, and wanted to continue the trend of being able to educate youth on the importance of AHC to ensure the industry’s long term sustainability,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We felt that offering an internship would be another great way for students to understand exactly what it is the AHC does here in DC, and educate the next generation to advocate on behalf of the industry be it at the local, state or national level.”

 

The three internships available are:

 

  1. 1 or 2 week shadowing program to gain a broader understanding of the AHC with a focus on expanding knowledge of equine industry and policymaking. Transportation and housing not included; stipend of $250 available to offset expenses. Open to high school and college students.
  2. 1 or 2 month internship- includes overview of AHC, student would conduct a research project and write a white paper on a specific topic of interest for academic credit. Transportation and housing not included; stipend of $500/month available to offset expenses. Open to college students.
  3. Semester internship- includes overview of AHC, research project and white paper for academic credit and attendance at annual AHC meeting. Transportation and housing not included; Stipend of $500/month available to offset expenses. Open to college students.

“We encourage those that apply for these internships to also join at the Student Membership level in order to get a fully rewarding experience,” said AHC’s Director of Communications Ashley Furst. “That way the student will be able to see the relationship between the work that we do, and the information that shared with members.”

 

Please visit the AHC website here for more details and to download the application form. If you have any questions, or would like more information about the internship program, please contact the AHC at info@horsecouncil.org.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact: Ashley Furst

202-296-4031

afurst@horsecouncil.org

 

View on AHC website