Operation Gelding Castrates 208 Stallions in 2012

The Unwanted Horse Coalition's (UHC) Operation Gelding program finished 2012 with a total of 208 stallions castrated last year. Almost 600 stallions have been castrated since the first Operation Gelding clinic.

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is able to continue aiding in the castration of stallions thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Pfizer, and the UHC. Operation Gelding 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.

In 2012 alone, Operation Gelding aided in the castration of stallions from 14 different states, including Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The Maryland Fund for Horses (MFFH) held their first castration clinic with the help of the UHC's Operation Gelding program. Victoria Carson, president of MFFH says, "Maryland Fund for Horses' first gelding clinic was a big success. We received amazing support from local veterinarians and volunteers, and the forms and financial help from the UHC were invaluable. I think the most satisfying outcome was that every horse owner who participated reported that their horses were much better off as a result of being gelded. That's really what it's all about."

The UHC had the opportunity to work with Lacey Jo Edge and her mother, Kaye Garrison, on their third Operation Gelding clinic. They were able to castrate 12 horses at their clinic in Pilot Point, Texas. "Lacey is just so passionate about the unwanted horse. She's seen so many horses starved and abused go through the rescues in our area. Operation Gelding gives her an avenue to help horses in need," says Garrison.

Edge tells the UHC, "I have tried to make a difference in the number of unwanted horses by organizing Operation Gelding clinics in my area of North Texas. In the past three years, my friends and I have assisted in gelding 50 stallions with the help of funding from the Unwanted Horse Coalition. Owners have brought in colts as young as four months to stallions from rescues as old as 13 years, all varying breeds."

Ande Miller and Hope in the Valley Horse Rescue, in Valley Center, Kan., held their third Operation Gelding clinic. In three clinics, they have been able to geld 46 stallions. "Thanks to the UHC for giving us the opportunity to put on this much needed clinic," Miller said. "We have over 40 horses here currently and I have to turn horses away about every day, and it just breaks my heart to have to say no. Thanks again for giving us the chance to make a difference. I really appreciate everything you do for us."

Changing Leads Horse Rescue and Abby White held their first Operation Gelding clinic in Kansas City, Mo., last October. White reminds us that even a small clinic can make a difference, "Our clinic went very well. We gelded three horses. I wish we would've had more, but a few is better than none."

Under the guidance of Amanda Wilson, Oklahoma State University put on two clinics this fall, one being supported by Operation Gelding. Wilson says, "Our clinic went great. We also held a second clinic to help all the stallions and horse owners we might have missed the first time around."

Jennifer Trippany, DVM, from Willow Run Veterinary Services, in Rockport, Mich., held her second Operation Gelding clinic this fall. "We filled 12 spots within 2 weeks of advertising the clinic," she says. "There is certainly a need for these clinics in this area and all around the country."

Operation Gelding currently has funding available for organizations that would like to host their own Operation Gelding clinic. For more information on how to host your own clinic, contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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