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AHC Develops COVID-19 Resource Center

Posted March 25, 2020


Washington DC - In response to the hardships and challenges created by the pandemic, the American Horse Council has developed a COVID-19 Resource Center on our website to address human health, horse health and business health.


The Center contains articles, news, and we hope eventually YouTube videos and other content, to help horse owners, equine non-profits, equine businesses and equine industry employees. Simply go to and click on COVID-19 Resources and it will direct you to the Center.


If you have content you’d like us to consider adding, send it to  Likewise, if you have suggestions for content, information you are looking for, or other helpful ideas, drop us a note and we’ll try to find and share answers.  Be Safe and Be Well. 



On April 13, 2020, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed a finding of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection (Indiana serotype) on an equine premises in Dona Ana County, New Mexico.  A single horse on the index premises has met the case definition of infection with compatible clinical signs and virus isolation positive results. A second equine premises in Sierra County, New Mexico subsequently met confirmed VSV case definition with compatible clinical signs and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-positive results for VSV (Indiana serotype).  This is the 2020 VSV index case for the United States and subsequent VSV case for New Mexico. 

The epidemiological investigations on both VSV-positive premises indicate that incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection in these herds.  Biosecurity measures and vector mitigation have been instituted to reduce spread of the virus. 

For the full press release from NMLB click here

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The Ride Podcast by Horse & Rider Starts Season Two

Posted March 25, 2020

BOULDER, Co. — The Ride podcast—Horse&Rider’s bi-weekly podcast—is set to release season two on March 31, 2020.  


Season two of The Ride will include a change in format and style. Michaela Jaycox will now co-host with Managing Editor Nichole Chirico to bring a personal touch to the podcast. Instead of featuring a round-table discussion followed by the narration of a profile, The Ride will now incorporate current events, more interviews, and more engaging conversations about Jaycox and Chirico’s personal horse life. The Ride will continue working with great horsemen and -women, however, it’ll also include interviews with inspiring riders and horse enthusiasts who have exciting stories to tell.


“I’m excited to have Nichole as my co-host and bring a conversational approach to this podcast,” Host Michaela Jaycox says. “We’ve surveyed our listeners and are incorporating their interests into the podcast. Our listeners enjoy hearing from the trainers we work with in Horse&Rider, but also find inspiration from the conversations we have with riders like themselves. As hosts, we know if we’re having fun with a conversation, that you’ll have fun listening and that’s the goal for season two.”


Listen to The Ride wherever you listen to podcasts or here 

Semi-Metal Compound Could Treat Foal Pneumonia Without Promoting Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria

Posted March 13, 2020


Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia may have discovered a way to treat deadly foal pneumonia without promoting multi-drug resistant bacteria. In a clinical trial, they found that gallium maltolate (GaM), a semi-metal compound with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, could be a viable alternative to overprescribed antibiotics. The team published their findings in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of disease and death in foals and there is currently no effective vaccine licensed. The bacterium Rhodococcus equi (R. equi), a naturally occurring bacterium in soil, is implicated in the most severe cases in horses. Unfortunately, current methods to screen for R. equi are imprecise and many foals are treated with antibiotics, such as the combination of a macrolide antimicrobial (e.g. azithromycin, the antibiotic in the commonly prescribed Z-pack for human use) with rifampin (MaR), even though they would not have developed pneumonia.

“While that treatment strategy saves lives in the short term, it’s really driving this resistance problem because for every one foal that needs treatment, you treat several foals that don’t need treatment,” said Dr. Noah Cohen, the Patsy Link Chair in Equine Research at Texas A&M University, a primary investigator of the study, along with his colleague Steeve Giguère (deceased). “For the sake of foals, we want to offer veterinarians a better, nontraditional option.”

For the study, the team screened 57 foals from four farms in central Kentucky for subclinical pneumonia, then divided the foals into three equal groups. Two groups contained foals with subclinical pneumonia, meaning ultrasounds found lesions on their lungs but the foals had no clinical signs. The foals also all lived on farms with positive cases of R. equi pneumonia that year. Those groups were given either MaR or GaM for two weeks.

The third group served as a control group and was made up of foals that were the same age as the subclinical foals, but were healthy. They were monitored and not given any treatment.

After two weeks, researchers analyzed fecal samples from each foal. DNA tests revealed that the MaR treated group had an increase in both the number and diversity of antibiotic-resistant genes in the bacteria. Most alarming was the discovery that the bacteria were resistant to multiple drugs and antibiotics. The GaM treated and control groups showed no change in the number or diversity of resistance genes, a positive finding.

The team also experimentally infected soil plots with resistant and nonresistant strains of R. equi to see how foals might contaminate their environment with their excrement that can contain unabsorbed and metabolized antibiotics. MaR tended to reduce the number of bacteria in a plot’s soil but increase the proportion that were resistant.

Dr. Cohen said one of his team’s next steps is to test the effectiveness of GaM on foals that are clinically infected with R. equi.

“The widespread use of antibiotics has consequences and we really need to be prudent in prescribing them,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Scientific Officer. “Gallium maltonate may be an excellent alternative and we hope, if proven fully effective, that it could be put into regular use.”

The Foundation also funded a companion paper to this study where researchers compared three techniques to monitor antimicrobial activity and the spread of antimicrobial resistant R. equi.

Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $155 million in studies across a broad range of species.

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2020 Horse Industry Directory Now Available

Posted March 11, 2020


The 2020 American Horse Council’s Horse Industry Directory (HID) is now accessible on the AHC website!


AHC President, Julie Broadway, stated, “We are delighted to make this year’s Directory available to everyone in a digital, searchable, flipbook format! We think it will be extremely user friendly and widely referenced.”


Hardcopies will be available for purchase beginning March 30th.

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