American Horse Council Finalizes Schedule for National Issues Forum


The AHC's 2009 National Issues Forum will be held on June 16thThe American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum will focus on the “Welfare of the Horse,” an important topic in the horse world today. AHC believes that this will be the most comprehensive presentation in recent years on what the industry is doing in “Putting the Horse First.”

The forum has now been finalized and will feature speakers from segments of the horse community as varied as competition, sport, work and entertainment. A complete program follows. The forum will be held June 16, 2009, in Washington, DC as part of the AHC’s annual meeting.

The forum will be an opportunity for the industry to provide reports on the welfare and safety initiatives in place and being undertaken. It will also be an opportunity to let our fans, the general public, the media, and elected officials know how important this is to the horse community.

Dr. Scott Palmer, a nationally-known veterinarian and past-president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, will deliver the keynote address. Other featured speakers will be Gary Carpenter, Executive Director of the American Quarter Horse Foundation; Cindy Schonholtz, President of the Animal Welfare Council; Dr. Tom Lenz, Chairman of the Unwanted Horse Coalition; and Dr. Gail Golab, Director, Animal Welfare Division of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The forum will also include panels on racing, showing, sport, and work. The panels will include representatives from racing, showing, eventing, hunter-jumpers, endurance riding, rodeo, carriage operators, polo, sales/auctions, entertainment and research. Representatives from national organizations involved in all these activities will provide an update on their welfare activities. We believe that this will be the most inclusive presentation on safety and welfare ever assembled in terms of its breadth and the activities and organizations involved.

This will be an opportunity for attendees to learn about welfare initiatives in other segments of the horse world and how they might be adapted to their activities. It will be an opportunity to discuss the common goal of being good stewards of the horse and facilitate working together to that end, regardless of one’s particular activity.

A complete program is as follows:

National Issues Forum
June 16, 2009

9:00–9:30 Keynote Address
Responsible Horse Ownership; When the Dream Becomes Reality
Dr. Scott Palmer, American Assn. of Equine Practitioners

9:30–10:00 Everyone is Entitled to Their Own Opinion, But not to Their Own Facts
Gary Carpenter, American Quarter Horse Foundation

10:00–10:45 Racing Panel
Alex Waldrop – Moderator – National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Mike Ziegler – National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Mike Tanner – United States Trotting Association
Tom Persechino – American Quarter Horse Association
Andrew Schweigardt – Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association

10:45–11:30 Showing Panel
David O’Connor – Moderator – United States Equestrian Federation
Cam Foreman – American Quarter Horse Association
TBA – United States Hunter Jumper Association
TBA – United States Eventing Association

11:30–12:00 Unwanted Horse Coalition Report
Dr. Tom Lenz – Chair

12:00–1:15 Awards Luncheon

1:15–2:00 Work/Sales/Research Panel
David Foley – Moderator – American Assn. of Equine Practitioners
Tommy Doyle – Carriage Operators of North America
Marie Wheatley – American Humane Association
Dr. Jim Morehead – American Assn. of Equine Practitioners – Sales/Auctions
Dr. Nathanial White – American Assn. of Equine Practitioners – Research

2:00–2:30 Competition/Sport Horse Panel
Dr. Jerry Black – Moderator – American Assn. of Equine Practitioners
Laura Hayes – American Endurance Ride Conference
Dr. Doug Corey – Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
Peter Rizzo – United States Polo Association

2:30–3:00 Are We Mushrooms or Sun Flowers?
Cindy Schonholtz – Chair – Animal Welfare Council; Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association

3:00–3:30 Where Do We Go from Here? Responsibilities to our Horses, our Industry, our Fans and the Public
Dr. Gail Golab – American Veterinary Medical Association

More information on registration and hotel information can be found on the AHC’s website at



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