The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program completed its summer schedule with four clinics between May and July. The Minnesota Horse Council, Patterson Animal Hospital, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, and Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue all hosted successful Operation Gelding clinics, castrating 66 stallions between the four organizations. The UHC’s Operation Gelding program has aided in the gelding of 489 stallions to date.
The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, 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.
On May 5th, Dr. Yalonda Burton of Patterson Animal Hospital in Stillwell, OK, was able to perform 18 gelding procedures at her veterinary clinic. This clinic marks Dr. Burton’s second time hosting an Operation Gelding clinic with the help of the UHC.
“We were able to castrate 18 equines with the help of the UHC, 2 mules and 16 horses. We had student volunteers from Oklahoma State University student chapter of AAEP as well as a veterinarian from Goldsby, OK come to participate in this event. It was a great day and we all felt like we made an impact on our community. We were able to castrate some horses that may not have been castrated otherwise. Although hot and tired at the end of the day, we felt as if we became part of the solution to unwanted horses. It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with some individuals from the horse world and people with similar goals for the horse industry. We appreciate all that the UHC has done to support this effort and realize that without their support, none of this would be possible. Thank you for the opportunity to participate,” said Dr. Burton.
“The Minnesota Horse Council (MHC) with the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) castrated 22 horses with the help of 6 local equine veterinarians and 5 veterinarians and 22 students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Tracy Turner, President of the MN Horse Council. “The clinic was held on May 19th at the Isanti Fairgrounds. This was the fourth clinic sponsored by the MHC and MHWC, which to date has castrated nearly 90 equids.”
The Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue hosted an Operation Gelding clinic in June in East Hampton Connecticut along with the help of Dr. Stacey Golub.
Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, located in Jones, OK, conducted her first Operation Gelding clinic at the end of July. “The clinic went great!” said Cross, “We had a very successful day. We castrated 14 horses!” Ms. Cross was pleased with the outcome of their first clinic and looks forward to putting together more clinics for the horses and horse owners in her area in the future.
Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said, “With the two year anniversary of Operation Gelding coming up at the end of the summer, we are really pleased with the success of the program thus far. It is very encouraging to see the amount of interest and participation in the program. Participating organizations have helped hundreds of horses and horse owners in need and have done a wonderful job working together to help with the issue of unwanted horses. We look forward to organizing additional clinics for the fall.”
The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax-deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely toward funding the gelding of a stallion.
Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in the fall in Michigan, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
For more information about 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-296-4031.
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.