Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Continues with More Clinics

The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program has aided in gelding 276 stallions to date. 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 (AAEP). 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.

The Operation Gelding program is in its second year, with four clinics already completed since September 2011. Clinics have been held in Colorado, Washington, and Michigan. Wilma Tronstad, from Ripley’s Horse Aid Foundation in Mount Vernon, WA, completed her first Operation Gelding clinic in October of this year. Tronstad said, “It has been a privilege for Ripley’s Horse Aid Foundation to work with the dedicated and caring individuals, volunteers, and veterinarians that recognize the importance of gelding. We have successfully helped RHAF geld 65 Washington equines in 2011 with one more clinic to go.”

Dr. Amy Mason, with the Guffey Veterinary Clinic in Guffey, CO castrated 17 horses for an owner in need. Mason said, “The Operation Gelding program assisted me in helping a rancher prepare for a dispersal sale. The low economic equine market has taken its toll on just about everyone. This program made a huge difference in the quality of life for these young horses going to new homes. It was very greatly appreciated.”

Willow Run Veterinary Services conducted an Operation Gelding clinic on November 5th in Rockford, Michigan. Under Dr. Jennifer Trippany’s guidance, they were able to castrate 12 horses at the clinic. “We had an awesome day! We castrated horses total and the owners were very positive about the clinic,” said Dr. Trippany.

Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “We are excited to be able to continue this important nationwide program, thanks to the generosity of the AAEP. The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax-deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes directly towards funding the castration of a stallion. We hope to gain assistance from the equine industry, in order to offer more grant money for Operation Gelding clinics, to help tackle the problem of indiscriminate breeding.”

Currently there are six more Operation Gelding clinics on the calendar. Upcoming clinics will be held in Florida, Texas, Georgia and Kansas.

For more information on Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.

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The Unwanted Horse Coalition

The mission of the Unwanted Horse Coalition is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses. The UHC grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005. The summit was held to bring key stakeholders together to start a dialogue on the unwanted horse in America. Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue. In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.