The Unwanted Horse Coalition met officially for the first time under the auspices of the American Horse Council at the United States Equestrian Federation headquarters in Lexington Oct. 31. Meeting participants discussed a number of issues relating to the unwanted horse situation in the United States, and committees were established to continue work on communications and education, research, fundraising, and steering functions of the UHC. "This meeting was an important step in establishing the core goals of the Unwanted Horse Coalition," said chairman Dr. Tom Lenz. "There is a lot of work to be done, but I am confident that we have established achievable short and long term objectives and are prepared to continue moving forward with the mission of the Coalition."
The communications and education committee will work to develop a website, informational brochures, a guide to responsible horse ownership, and continue to develop public outreach strategies. The appointed research committee will focus on compiling up to date information on issues such as horsemanship, alternative careers, retirement, retraining, and euthanasia/disposal options. The funding committee will continue to recruit new UHC members, in addition to individual donors and exploring corporate sponsorships, and the steering committee will oversee the overall direction of the UHC. The meeting was attended by representatives from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, The Jockey Club, National HBPA, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Professional Rodeo Stock Contractors, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, United States Equestrian Federation, and US Trotting Association.