Operation Gelding Program Ends Summer with Four Clinics

The Unwanted Horse Coalition's (UHC) Operation Gelding program completed its summer schedule with four clinics in May, June, and July. The Minnesota Horse Council, Patterson Animal Hospital, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, and Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue all hosted successful Operation Gelding clinics, castrating 66 stallions between the four organizations. The UHC's Operation Gelding program has aided in the gelding of 489 stallions to date.

The program, which was launched in Aug. 2010, is designed to offer funding assistance to organizations, associations, and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse ($1,000 maximum) to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.

On May 5, Yalonda Burton, DVM, of Patterson Animal Hospital in Stillwell, Okla., gelded 18 equids at her veterinary clinic. This clinic marks Burton's second time hosting an Operation Gelding clinic with the help of the UHC.

"We were able to castrate 18 equines with the help of the UHC: 2 mules and 16 horses," Burton said. "We had student volunteers from Oklahoma State University student chapter of AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) as well as a veterinarian from Goldsby, Okla., come to participate in this event. It was a great day and we all felt like we made an impact on our community.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with some individuals from the horse world and people with similar goals for the horse industry," Burton added. "We appreciate all that the UHC has done to support this effort and realize that without their support, none of this would be possible. Thank you for the opportunity to participate."

Elsewhere, "the Minnesota Horse Council (MHC) with the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) castrated 22 horses with the help of six local equine veterinarians, and five veterinarians and 22 students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine," said Tracy Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, president of the MHC. "The clinic was held on May 19 at the Isanti Fairgrounds. This was the fourth clinic sponsored by the MHC and MHWC, which to date has castrated nearly 90 equids."

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue hosted an Operation Gelding clinic in June in East Hampton with the help of Stacey Golub, DVM.

Finally, Natalee Cross of Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue, located in Jones, Okla., conducted her first Operation Gelding clinic at the end of July.

"The clinic went great." said Cross, "We had a very successful day. We castrated 14 horses." Cross was pleased with the outcome of their first clinic and looks forward to putting together more clinics for the horses and horse owners in her area in the future.

Ericka Caslin, UHC director, said, "With the two year anniversary of Operation Gelding coming up at the end of the summer, we are really pleased with the success of the program thus far. It is very encouraging to see the amount of interest and participation in the program. Participating organizations have helped hundreds of horses and horse owners in need and have done a wonderful job working together to help with the issue of unwanted horses. We look forward to organizing additional clinics for the fall."

The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely toward funding the gelding of a stallion.

Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the fall in Michigan, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

For more information about Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact Caslin at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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