EQUINE NEWS

Following the hoof prints of Equine GuelphMay 2008



University of Guelph Centre celebrates 5th Anniversary

Melanie Prosser

With Equine Guelph’s 5th Anniversary just around the corner, plans are underway to showcase this celebration of partnerships. Founded in 2003, Equine Guelph is the horse owner’s Centre at the University of Guelph, supported and overseen by equine industry groups, and dedicated to improving the health and well-being of horses. The success of Equine Guelph is a true reflection of the equine industry joining together with the University for the good of the industry as a whole. Equine Guelph’s partners include: the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, the Ontario Equestrian Federation, the Ontario Harness Horse Association, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ontario Racing Commission and the University of Guelph.

The industry has much to celebrate. Results of the 2006 Census of Agriculture show that the number of horses in Canada has increased an incredible 16.7% since the previous 2001 Census and 28% in the past 10 years. Ontario’s horse population is estimated at 379,412, an increase of approximately 54,000 horses over the past four years. These numbers directly translates into people in the industry with, for example, more than 65,000 people in Ontario working in the racing industry alone. The economic impact of the horse industry is considerable with more than $2.6 billion of Ontario’s income being generated annually by the horse racing and breeding industry.

Equine Guelph’s mandate includes all equine activities at the University of Guelph. Equine Guelph focuses on five interrelated areas: research, education and training, performance, healthcare and industry development. These roles support the horse throughout its lifespan by providing a comprehensive continuum of care that optimizes health, addresses performance issues and fully supports the diagnosis and treatment of sick and injured horses. To build this continuum of care, Equine Guelph brings all of the resources at the University of Guelph together in partnership with the equine industry. The University of Guelph has a long and proud history of providing service for horses and horse owners, dating to the establishment of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1862. Today, the industry benefits from Guelph’s unique combination of resources and campus-wide expertise in the life sciences build upon more than a century of caring for horses at the University of Guelph.

The equine industry benefits from Equine Guelph’s successes. Over the past 5 years Equine Guelph’s education program has grown in leaps and bounds, and continues to evolve and offer quality, award-winning programming for the equine industry. The research program has surpassed important milestones including gaining new understanding of; the transmission and diagnosis of MRSA infectious disease, colic, the impact of horse behavior on racing performance, the incidence of horse injuries at the racetrack and the use of new diagnostic tools. Equine Guelph’s efforts in the areas of performance and healthcare continue to support both the horse athlete and the beloved backyard pony with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

The horse industry, University of Guelph and Equine Guelph, a celebration of partnership – join Equine Guelph to celebrate. The celebrations kick off with the Ontario Equestrian Federation/Equine Guelph Annual Ride on June 1.


- Susan Raymond
- photo Melanie Prosser