Operation Gelding Program Aims to Reduce the Number of Excess Horses

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Yearling coltsThe Unwanted Horse Coalition [UHC] has initiated Operation Gelding. The new UHC program will provide funds and materials to assist organizations, associations and events that wish to sponsor clinics to which horse owners can bring their stallions to be castrated. A number of associations have sponsored such clinics and the UHC wants to help more organizations, associations and events get involved in this effort.

This initiative is made possible by a special gift from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation [AAEP] and the UHC both organizations have donated seed money to get the program started. Operation Gelding is patterned after several initiatives undertaken by horse associations, organizations and events around the country.

“The Coalition has focused on raising awareness about the unwanted issue for the first few years of its existence. We are now able to start offering some tangible programs that help address the problem. Hopefully this will be the first of many,” said David Foley, Executive Director of the AAEP.

The UHC will provide information and forms necessary to conduct a clinic, along with seed money to defray the costs. Funds of $50 per horse gelded with a $1,000 maximum will be awarded to groups once a year. Assistance will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis, subject to available resources. Organizations can apply by filling out the Operation Gelding Funding Form provided by the UHC. Funds will be awarded once the clinic is complete and a veterinary statement is provided. Any organization, association or event can participate in the UHC’s Operation Gelding program, the UHC wants to involve as many groups as possible.

“The impetus for these clinics is that the castration of a stallion will help prevent overbreeding and produce a gentler horse that is more rideable, more trainable and more saleable, allowing them to be used in several careers,” said Dr. Doug Corey, Chairman of the UHC. “With the inauguration of this program, the UHC will become more directly involved in helping horses.”

“There are many ways that an organization, association or event can become involved in helping with unwanted horses in addition to Operation Gelding. The UHC’s handbook, Best Practices: How Your Organization Can Help Unwanted Horses, outlines other activities that organizations, associations and events can undertake to create programs that help horses in need,” said Ericka Caslin, director of the UHC. Best Practices cites many examples of how organizations and groups can get involved, including gelding clinics. This handbook is available for download at the UHC website or hard copies can be obtained by contacting the UHC.

For more information about Operation Gelding, to receive a packet of information or to apply for funding, please contact UHC director, Ericka Caslin, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 2022964031. Visit the UHC website for additional information, forms, and additional assistance at www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great idea. If you have a stallion that you don’t plan on breeding, castrate him. You might feel bad, but what if he were to get out and have his way with a few mares? That could make you very unpopular. Also, so many people are trying to give their horses away that there is obviously an excess.

  2. Uh oh, my stallion had better keep hidden!
    Well, I do agree this is a great idea. I just hope that they don’t make it mandatory like they’re trying to force on the cats and dogs.

  3. I THINK THIS IS A REALLY GOOD IDEA. SOMETIMES, PEOPLE JUST NEED HELP. RIGHT NOW, MOST OF US ARE HAVING A BIT OF A CHALLENGE WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCES, AND WE ALL KNOW THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY HORSES OUT THERE. WE DONT NEED TO ADD TO THE OVER-POPULATION IF IT CAN BE HELPED. GO UHC!!

  4. I think the pure breed horse registries need to be stricter in who is able to breed. I think they need to look at how the fresians do it. It would save a lot of headache with halfbreeds that no one wants or those stallions that aren’t good enough to breed. A lot of people have stallions that shouldn’t be breeding. There are also to many registries that accept mutt horses. I’m not saying these are bad horses, I’m just saying we don’t need to flood the horse industry with half breeds.

  5. Awesome idea- we need a lot more geldings and a lot less stallions that people are breeding because they think they are “cute” or because they have spots.

  6. Actually, I think this is going more towards those people who buy a yearling with little or no intentions of breeding it, then discover they can’t afford to geld it. Or the sudden glut of producing stallions and young purebred colts of excellent breeding that simply can’t be used because the market for them isn’t there right now. You can’t force those “cute” or “spotted” stallion owners to cut their horses and not everyone breeds with the intention of obtaining papers. Those breeders aren’t responsible for the overburden as much as big purebred operations looking to find that one winner out of 20 (or MORE) young a year. And with big farms going broke they need just as much help defraying costs as anyone else.

  7. This would really be a good idea in the Thoroughbred industry, especially since there are so many yearlings born and sold each year. Have you ever wondered where they end up if they dont make it to the big times. A lot of them end up in slaughter. I truley to believe that the thoroughbred industry needs to cut way back on their breeding. Cause the horses are the ones to pay in the end

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