On February 16 and 17, 2021 the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) was notified of two confirmed cases of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM) caused by equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection at equine facilities in the Regional Municipalities of Peel and Niagara.
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The CQHA “Q Horse Heroes” program, will recognize those first responders, frontline workers, and any person who has went to extraordinary lengths to support the Canadian Quarter Horse Community.
Two months ago, if you’d told Paul Sharpe that he’d be writing a weekly e-mail to his staff to check in with them and keep up morale, he’d have told you that was crazy. And yet, here he is, doing what needs to be done to deal with a pandemic that no one could even imagine.
Recognizing the urgent need of our equine friends, Jen Sweet of Lions Bridge Stables of Ayr, along with Jessica Blackwood, came up with a plan to help the horses. They launched a website and program called ‘Helping the Schoolies’ whose goal is to distribute a pandemic relief package for each riding facility in need. Relief will be used to ensure the basic needs, health and welfare of horses during the pandemic.
As Rosemarie described, “Months’ worth of sweat, tears, hard work, and huge community support has seen this project head down the back stretch to now be reaching the finish line, less than one year later!” They’re just finishing staining the boards on 20 new box stalls in a new barn along with tack lockers, a wash stall and grooming stalls. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The fastest horses in the land will be back in action at Ajax Downs on Wednesday June 10, 2020, opening day of the 21-card Quarter Horse racing season. Racing will be held each Wednesday through the summer with a post time of 12:55 p.m.
The nature of the horse industry will allow it to open up more quickly than other sports or hobbies. Social distancing is easy on a horse. For many, time with their horse is just that, alone, but for others who enjoy the social aspect of barn life, adjustments will need to be made. In the May issue we’ve got some stories from people who have taken up the challenge. We will be featuring these stories here on our website each day this week.