February 17, 2009 -- Horses 2009 is coming to Rutgers in New Jersey March 28-29, and its theme is "Knowledge is Horse Power."
The program organized by the Equine Science Center at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will offer attendees an intense learning experience, with a liberal sprinkling of exhibitor information, fun, prizes, gifts and valuable networking.
The weekend is designed to help the public--whether they ride or own horses, own or manage a horse farm, work with horses as a professional, dream about horses or just want to know more about them--become better "horse people." The event is expected to draw 1,000 people, and it will be held at the expanded facilities of the Busch Campus Center near Route 18 in New Brunswick/Piscataway.
Presentations will focus on horse health and, especially, keeping horses (and their people and facilities!) safe and healthy.
"Those folks who attended Horses 2007 a year and a half ago applauded the range of presentations and the expertise of the speakers. Horses 2009 will look at some of the same topics from a new and updated perspective, and will introduce new subjects that have emerged as important issues in the horse world," said Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center.
In addition, a new feature of Horses 2009 will be one-on-one classroom sessions throughout each day, where attendees and presenters can engage in in-depth discussions.
The keynote speaker on Saturday will be veterinarian Scott Palmer, founder of the New Jersey Equine Clinic and past-president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), who will tackle the topic "Responsible Horse Ownership: When the Dream Becomes a Reality." Palmer is very active in the responsible ownership movement of the AAEP and the American Horse Council and is recognized as one of the most dedicated and thought-provoking experts on this delicate subject.
On Sunday, the keynote speaker will be Eric Scott, news director of Millennium Radio and New Jersey 101.5, who can be heard almost every weekday morning reporting on developments in New Jersey, particularly news generated by public officials. He will give an overview of "The State of the State We're In," with an insider's look at what New Jersey residents and neighbors in nearby states can expect in the months ahead.
In addition to the keynoters, experts from across the country will share their knowledge in areas of nutrition, behavior, hoof and foot care, keeping competition horses healthy, first aid for horses, serious injuries, lameness and pre-purchase protocols, farm and barn management and protecting horses against disease.
Presentations will be geared for a widely varied audience. The Saturday program will appeal to new owners and those contemplating buying their first horse, as well as riders who may or may not own a horse of their own. In addition, the Equine Science Center is especially inviting riding and driving clubs as well as youth involved in the 4-H Horse Program and the New Jersey Pony Clubs and their parents and grandparents who are interested in a solid overview of horse health care and management.
Speakers on Saturday will include three popular veterinarians--Michael Fugaro of Centenary College, David Marshall of the University of Delaware and Dan Keenan of Keenan-McAlister Equine--who together will provide insight on "When to Call Your Veterinarian."
A panel on "Why Does My Horse Do That?" will look at equine behavior from the point of view of the horse's nature as well as the rider's influence. The two presenters for this session will be veterinarian and equine behaviorist Jeannine Berger from the University of California at Davis and master instructor Heidi Potter from Vermont.
Then "Good Horse-Keeping Essentials" will cover the basics of nutrition by Carey Williams, associate director-outreach with the Equine Science Center; feeding for special needs by Sarah Ralston, associate director-teaching with the Center; and foot and hoof care by Laura Florence, hoof care specialist.
On Sunday, the focus will be on farm and horse health management. Bix DiMeo, longtime manager of Showplace Farms, will discuss the economics of keeping horses; Nick Attwood, owner of a leading equestrian surfaces operation and lecturer for the U.S. Dressage Federation, will talk about arenas, footing and fencing; and attorney Chris Wittstruck, a faculty member at Hofstra University, will discuss legal matters, including contracts, liability and insurance.
Two horse health panels will take place in the afternoon. In the first, veterinarians Brendan Furlong of B.W. Furlong and Associates and Celeste Kunz of Kunz Equine will discuss lameness and chronic conditions in performance horses. Then Kenneth McKeever, associate director-research with the Equine Science Center will talk about performance-altering substances. The second health panel will address "Protecting Your Horse Against Disease" led by David Horohov of the Gluck Center at the University of Kentucky discussing vaccines and Tim Cordes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on infectious diseases.