Operation Gelding Helps 62 Horses in Four States

The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Program hosted five clinics in four states during October. Thanks to generous donations from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Zoetis, and the United States Equestrian Foundation, the program was able to help castrate 62 horses in just under a month.

The Oklahoma State University Student Chapter of the Society for Theriogenology hosted its second clinic under the guidance of Merel Rodenburg. Rodenburg said, “Twenty-six Oklahoma State veterinary students and seven supporting veterinarians gathered to castrate 12 community horses on Oct. 26. The event had dual purposes: to help owners and horses in need in our area and to give eager veterinary students hands on experiences. Students from all years of education, and with all levels of horse experience learned so much, and took something away from the event."

Amy Dalsing, treasurer of the All American Miniature Horse Club, helped her organization host its second Operation Gelding clinic. Dalsing said of her clinic, “Our gelding clinic was a success again this year. We are extremely thankful to veterinarians, Dr. Alan Beyer (DVM) and Shawn Samuelson (DVM) of the West Branch Animal Clinic in West Branch, Iowa, for substantially lowering their fees so that in combination with the money from the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the gelding procedure ended up being free of charge for Miniature Horse owners. We are grateful that these veterinarians believe in and support this program as much as we do to help reduce the number of unwanted horses.”

In Estarada, Ore., Dawn Sayles of Vintage Farm held her first Operation Gelding clinic. She was thrilled with the success of the clinic and is looking forward to hosting more. "This was a total win-win situation for everyone involved," she said. "The owners now have happy geldings. The vet students couldn't thank us enough for the experience they got and most of all the horses can now be turned out with pasture mates and live long, happy, peaceful lives where they get to interact with other horses,"

Even rescue facilities are hosting Operation Gelding clinics. Susan Thompson of DreamChaser PMU Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. hosted her first clinic “and the clinic went beautifully, with 14 horses gelded,” she said.

Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the late fall in Texas, New York, and Florida.

The UHC provides information and forms necessary to conduct a castration clinic, along with seed money to defray the costs. Funds of $50 per horse gelded, up to a $1,000, are awarded to groups once a year on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to available resources. Organizations can apply by filling out the UHC's Operation Gelding Funding Form. Funds will be awarded once the clinic is complete and a veterinary statement is provided. Any organization, association, or event can participate in the UHC’s Operation Gelding program; the UHC wants to involve as many groups as possible.

If you would like information about hosting a clinic or information about upcoming clinics, visit the Operation Gelding webpage or contact Ericka Caslin at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.

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