Kentucky Veterinarians Curb Unwanted Horse Population

Several of Central Kentucky's equine veterinarians are pitching in to help lower the number of unwanted horses bred in the Commonwealth.

On December 4, the Kentucky Horse Park, along with the Kentucky Horse Council and the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, will offer free gelding surgeries for horse owners who cannot afford to have the surgery performed on their stallions. In addition to rendering a stallion unable to reproduce, gelding surgery often helps horses become easier to manage, train, and if the need arises, adopt or rehome.

Lori Bidwell, DVM, of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management Services, is enlisting the veterinarians and coordinating the surgeries that will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park.

"As equine practitioners, we make our living from horses," she said. "The gelding clinic is an opportunity to give back to the community and to the animals to which we owe so much. We are all invested in finding a solution to the unwanted horse dilemma."

Participating veterinarians and clinics include Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Woodford Equine Hospital, Equine Medical Associates, Tom Daugherty, DVM, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management Services, Leah Neuhauser, DVM, and Lexington Equine Surgical Associates. Pfizer Animal Health and Celox are both donating supplies.

John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, said, "These veterinarians are leading the world by example. By giving their time and skills to this clinic, they are contributing to a much larger, multidimensional effort to ease the suffering and reduce the numbers of unwanted horses through completely humane solutions." Partial funding for the clinic is being provided by the Unwanted Horse Coalition and the Kentucky Horse Council's "Save Our Horses" fund.

Applications for the December 4th clinic are currently being accepted until November 26. The gelding surgeries are free to preapproved owners who are financially unable to afford the surgery. Stallions must be halter broke, in good health, with two descended testicles, and be at least four months of age, with current Coggins and health certificate.

Please contact Sheila Forbes at the Kentucky Horse Park, or 859/233-4305 for an application.

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