Equitana USA Adds Seminars on Recent Health Crises

Domestic and international equine health issues will share the stage with riding seminars and product demonstrations at the four-day Equitana USA exposition being held in Louisville Thursday through Sunday.

Equitana organizers said they added seminars about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome and Foot and Mouth Disease because they kept getting complex medical questions about these diseases. Hundreds of foal deaths and early-term abortions that occurred in Central Kentucky in May are being blamed on cyanide poisoning associated with drought and frost damaged black cherry tree leaves ingested by Eastern tent caterpillars. The poisoning also is suspected of causing record cases of pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart and an accumulation of fluid around the heart.

Foot and Mouth Disease does not affect horses, only cloven-hoofed animals like cows and pigs, but horse transportation in Europe was banned to prevent spreading of the disease. Dr. Tim Courdes, senior staff veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will discuss dealing with and preventing the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease.

"Equitana USA recognizes its obligation to provide continuing education to the horse community," said show director Darel Cook. "From farmers and breeders to equestrian competitors, horse owners have universal veterinary concerns and a big part of why Equitana USA exists is to address those concerns."

Equitana USA will be held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. A single-day ticket to the show is $15 and a four-day pass is $40. For more information, call 1-888-467-7371 or visit www.equitanausa.com on the Web.