Congressional Cavalry Program Launched

In an effort to better represent and serve the horse industry in Washington D.C., the American Horse Council and some of its member organizations are initiating a new direct grassroots effort called the Congressional Cavalry Program.

Individual horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, competitors, recreational riders, service providers, and others involved in the industry are invited to join the effort, which was launched at the beginning of the New Year. 

The program's purpose is to identify at least one member of the American Horse Council in each Congressional District across the nation who will agree to contact his or her Representative, Senator, or other federal officials when asked.  

The AHC hopes to recruit individuals from as many member organizations as possible to obtain a cross-section of the horse industry identified in each Congressional district.

Individuals will be mobilized when there is a need for grassroots lobbying on industry-related issues. The AHC will provide participants with programs containing necessary information. Members of the program will be put on an email, fax, or mail list so they can be contacted and activated quickly.

"We're excited--we want people to sign up because we think it's a great idea," said Kevin McColaugh, director of legislation and recreation for the American Horse Council. "Grassroots is essential to lobbying efforts."

Other Congressional Cavalry activities may include visits with Congress members in Washington or in his or her home district; inviting Congressional members to visit facilities; attending events or activities; writing regular reports to Congress and staff about local activities; and illustrating the importance of the horse industry to the local economy, sport, and recreational life.

"We always tell our people when they're asking us to do things, 'you call your senator--they're much more likely to listen to you,'" said McColaugh. "That's how you get the ball moving on legislation--when members hear from their constituents, then they'll get interested. So that's why we want to emphasize that and build that support. We'll give you some of the background and materials, but it ultimately comes from you."

The following organizations have already signed up with the program: American Association of Equine Practitioners; American Paint Horse Association; American Quarter Horse Association; American Saddlebred Association; Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association; U.S. Equestrian Federation; and U.S. Trotting Association.

Individuals or groups that are interested in being involved with the program may contact McColaugh at kmccolaugh@horsecouncil.org. 

 

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