Unwanted Horse Coalition Announces Operation Gelding

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) has initiated a program called Operation Gelding, whereby the coalition will provide funds and materials to assist organizations, associations, and event organizers that wish to sponsor clinics to which horse owners can bring their stallions to be castrated. A number of associations have sponsored such clinics and the UHC wants to help more organizations, associations, and event organizers get involved in this effort.

This initiative is made possible by a special gift from the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation (AAEP) and the UHC; both organizations have donated seed money to get the program started. Operation Gelding is patterned after several initiatives undertaken by horse associations, organizations, and event organizers around the country.

"The Coalition has focused on raising awareness about the unwanted issue for the first few years of its existence," said David Foley, executive director of the AAEP. "We are now able to start offering some tangible programs that help address the problem. Hopefully this will be the first of many,"

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

Doug Corey, chairman of the UHC, said, "The impetus for these clinics is that the castration of a stallion will help prevent overbreeding and produce a gentler horse that is more rideable, more trainable, and more salable, allowing them to be used in several careers. With the inauguration of this program, the UHC will become more directly involved in helping horses."

Ericka Caslin, director of the UHC, added, "There are many ways that an organization, association or event can become involved in helping with unwanted horses in addition to Operation Gelding. The UHC's handbook, Best Practices: How Your Organization Can Help Unwanted Horses, outlines other activities that organizations, associations and events can undertake to create programs that help horses in need." Best Practices cites many examples of how organizations and groups can get involved, including gelding clinics. This handbook is available for download at the UHC website or you can obtain hard copies by contacting the UHC.

For more information about Operation Gelding, to receive a packet of information, or to apply for funding, please contact Caslin, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031. Visit the UHC website for additional information, forms, and assistance.

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