Marketing Initiative is Focus at AHC Forum

Initiative involves 10 national associations and corporate industry stakeholders.

The American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum, entitled “Reinvigorating the Horse Industry,” will feature a new national marketing initiative for the horse industry that involves 10 national associations and large corporate industry stakeholders.

It will be announced at the forum June 26 in Washington, D.C., during the AHC’s annual meeting, which will run June 25-27 at the Washington Court Hotel.

“This initiative involves major organizations and corporations in the horse industry,” said AHC president Jay Hickey in a statement. “They have been meeting for about nine months; formed a coalition under the American Horse Council; committed funding for the effort for several years; and hired Patti Colbert Enterprises to draft a marketing plan. While the full marketing plan has not been finalized, the group thought the AHC’s Issues Forum would be a good place to announce its existence and activities to date and how other organizations can participate in the initiative in the future.”

A key component of the marketing initiative is a study that Pfizer Animal Health has completed to determine why people interested in horses do not own a horse and why they are not more involved with equine activities, either as participants or spectators.

Stuart Meikle, equine marketing director at Pfizer Animal Health, will present the findings of that study, which is intended to identify recommendations for messaging strategies that will encourage more ownership and participation.

Patti Colbert and Janet Greenlee of Patti Colbert Enterprises, which will be leading the effort, will provide an outline of what the initiative hopes to accomplish and its plans to date. Patti Colbert has had considerable experience with producing events and drafting marketing plans for the horse industry. She developed the Extreme Mustang Makeover events with the Bureau of Land Management and has produced several television programs on horses.

“The AHC is very pleased this initiative will be highlighted at the National Issues Forum so that others in the industry will be aware of it,” said Hickey. “Hopefully, this will lay the foundation for others in the horse community to take advantage of the proposals to connect horses and people once the plan is finalized.”

Already on the agenda for the program are presentations by The Jockey Club and the American Quarter Horse Association on their ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the horse industry.

On the afternoon of June 26, the National Issues Forum will host speakers on “Legislative Advocacy in the Electronic Age.” Congressman Bill Owens, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, will be the featured speaker.  

The AHC’s annual Congressional Reception will take place the evening of June 26 and the Congressional Ride-In on June 27, which provides an opportunity for the horse community to meet with their Members of Congress.

The AHC’s various committees, including the Unwanted Horse Coalition, will meet Monday, June 25, to discuss issues affecting the equine community.

More information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information can be found on the AHC’s website, or by contacting the AHC.