AHC Annual Meeting to Include Issues Forum

“Congress on a Diet: What It Means for the Horse Industry” will be the theme for the annual National Issues Forum sponsored by the American Horse Council.

This year’s National Issues Forum will be held June 21 in Washington, D.C. during the AHC’s annual meeting, which runs from June 19-22 at the Washington Court Hotel. The annual meeeting will also include an update on the national equine health initiative, the Congressional reception, and the annual Congressional Ride-In. 

This year’s meeting will also see the return of the AHC’s Breed Roundtable that brings together leaders of horse associations to discus common issues.  

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

“The highlight of this year’s forum will be presentations from Members of Congress, staff, and federal regulatory agencies on the new fiscal realities in Washington.” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “They will discuss how Congress’ efforts to deal with the country’s deficits may result in cut-backs to federal programs and spending that could affect the horse industry. There is a new paradigm in Washington that will affect all American industries, including the horse industry.”

The Breed Roundtable allowed leaders of horse organizations involved in various disciplines to visit with each other and discuss issues of common concern. According to a release, it was reinstituted this year by the AHC board because of the important issues facing the horse industry. 

There will also be an update on the national equine health initiative. “This initiative resulted from the USDA-AHC hosted workshop at last year’s National Issues Forum, which provided an opportunity for the horse industry, key federal and state authorities, and others to discuss a coordinated approach to the handling of serious infectious equine diseases that threaten the health of our horses and the commercial health of the industry,” said Hickey.

The annual Congressional Ride-In will occur Wednesday, June 22. The Ride-In allows members of the horse community to meet with their elected representatives and their federal officials to discuss important issues affecting them. 

All members of the horse community are encouraged to participate, even if they don’t attend the AHC convention. “The Ride-In puts a face on the $102 billion horse industry and the millions of Americans who are part of it,” said Hickey. “The most effective way to affect Congress is through the voters, the horse people from back home who can tell Congress first hand about the horse industry in their respective states, and districts and the issues that impact them.” 

The AHC will conduct a free briefing for Ride-In participants. Anyone wishing to participate in the Ride-In should contact AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass at bpendergrass@horsecouncil.org.

More information on these Forums and the entire AHC annual meeting, including registration and hotel information can be found on the Events Page on the AHC’s website, http://horsecouncil.org/events.php.