USCTA'S New Name
Equestrians will soon face the challenge of keeping USEA straight from USAE, not to mention USET. The U.S. Combined Training Association will formally become the U.S. Eventing Association on December 1. The USCTA’s board of governers voted for the name change in April 2000, in keeping with the FEI’s adoption of the term “eventing” for that international sport.
The USCTA was formed in 1959 and has 13,000 members. The name change also could affect numerous local organizations that use the term “combined training” in their names. This will add to the alphabet soup that includes the recent name change of the AHSA to USA Equestrian (that’s the USAE).
The FEI has also been testing ideas this summer for a new Olympic format. One plan tried at the Burghley, England, horse trials in late summer had a morning jumping test to decide team placings and an afternoon jumping test with the same horses for individual placings. This procedure could replace of the entire separate event for individuals held at the Olympics in 1996 and 2000.
West Nile Hits Florida Big
As of mid-September, 84 horses were confirmed as infected with the West Nile virus in 2001, including 61 in Florida alone. Other states reporting infected horses included Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
By this date last year, there were 12 cases. At the end of fall 2000, there were 64 cases, all in the Northeast, with a 42% mortality. This fall, cases will again probably taper off quickly in the Northeast by the end of October, but owners of horses in southern states are encouraged to continue aggressive premise control of mosquito breeding sites. Other measures should include keeping horses inside at dusk and dawn, using fly spray and fly covers, plus nutritional support to keep the immune system healthy.
National Games Planned in 2002
USA Equestrian announced in September that it plans an American Equestrian Games in 2002, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The event will not be restricted to international disciplines.
Professional organizer Peter Doubleday has been named to head the effort. The plan outline, with dates, will be posted on the USAE website (www.ahsa.org) for comment this fall. It will include the event’s anticipated development from year to year through 2006, with the aim that the United States will host the World Equestrian Games that year.
USA Equestrian has already notched a record for membership in 2001. By late summer, it had 79,340 members, while the total for 2000 was 77,612. The number of competitions also reached a record high, with 2,803 sanctioned by late summer, compared to 2,742 in all of 2000.
HITS Launches Shavings Business
Horse Shows in the Sun, which runs six hunter/jumper show circuits, is launching a wood shavings business called King Shavings, based in Jackson, Miss., in late October. The new operation will make delivery in the southeast part of the United States more efficient, easing some of the difficulty and cost of transport from Canada.
King Shavings is using the expertise of Darryl B. Williams and Associates of Quebec, which sold a million bags of shavings last year. The new company is also planning to open new plants and acquire existing operations in other locations in North America.
Hay Production Rises, Pasture Condition Falls
U.S. hay production is expected to be up this year by 4% over 2000, according to the Morgan Consulting Group. This is due to an increase of 7% in overall acreage, offsetting a 2% drop in yield. Production is still expected to be low in drought-affected areas where prices are also at record levels, up as much as 20% over last year.
Drought-affected areas are faced with a double whammy of severe pasture conditions. The pasture-condition index nationwide was down 14% from last year by mid summer (see related piece on page 21). For updates in hay prices and pasture conditions, check www.forage.com.
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