UK Equine Initiative Field Day Held June 27

Nearly 125 people turned out on a steamy summer day, June 27, for the University of Kentucky's first all-equine field day. Participants hailed from 29 Kentucky counties and seven states to attend the daylong event. After registering, attendees chose three of nine available workshops highlighting ongoing equine research at UK and visited nearly 40 sponsors and College of Agriculture-affiliated exhibits.

See photos from the event and/or download informational handouts given by each of the speakers.

Topics Covered at the 2009 Equine Field Day

Managing problem weeds on horse farms
Participants viewed approximately 75 weed species growing at the site. Control options (mowing, tillage, and herbicides) were discussed with emphasis on control in cool season grass pastures. Herbicides are frequently used for weed control in pastures. Safety and/or potential for toxicity were discussed.

Degenerative joint disease
The breakdown of tissues in a synovial joint that contribute to osteoarthritis in horses were described. Clinical signs, diagnostic methods, and treatment/management issues were presented along with a description of research initiatives in these areas that are being conducted at the University of Kentucky.

Evaluating your feeding program
New information on selecting the best feeds for broodmares, growing horses, and performance horses. The workshop included an explanation of the benefits of different types of hays and some of the non-traditional feed ingredients that are now used in horse feeding. Participants had the opportunity to test their skills at evaluating the best hay for a horse.

Vaccination and infectious disease control
This workshop focused on some of the methods available to prevent the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases. Emphasis was placed on the vaccination recommendations from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The development and use of an infectious disease control program was also discussed. Faculty and students from the Gluck Equine Research Center answered questions about vaccination and infectious disease control programs.

Is your deworming program working?
Rossano and Smith presented an update on trends in drug resistance in equine parasites in Kentucky. Topics included detecting drug resistance, strategic deworming, and alternatives to chemical parasite control.

Rotational grazing
Presenters discussed the use of rotational grazing for horses, including the topics of stocking rates, pasture management, and horse management to maximize the use of the forage produced while maintaining the horses in appropriate condition.

Normal development of the equine pregnancy
This session addressed normal development of pregnancy and pregnancy-related problems during early and late gestation.

Mud, horses, and clean water
This session covered stream crossings, gulley erosion, and riparian areas as they relate to water quality.

Economic considerations: Does your farm need a "bale-out?"
This session focused on cost management for equine operations. Specifically, they examined grazing versus hay feeding.

Thanks to the Sponsors

Sponsors for the event included Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Darley, Dow AgroSciences, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Keeneland, Neogen, American Saddlebred Horse Association, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., Central Equipment, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, John Wiley Books, KBC Horse Supplies, Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky Equine Research, Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, The Pond Lady, Fayette County Farm Bureau, Horse Cents, Kentucky Horse Council, and Woodford Feed Company.

Prepared by Holly Wiemers, communications director, Equine Initiative

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center, and UK's Equine Initiative.

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