The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program finishes 2012 with a total of 208 stallions castrated just this year. Almost 600 stallions have been castrated since the first Operation Gelding clinic in September 2010. 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, Pfizer, and the UHC.
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.
In 2012 alone, Operation Gelding aided in the castration of stallions from 14 different states: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The Maryland Fund for Horses (MFFH) held their first castration clinic with the help of the UHC’s Operation Gelding program. Victoria Carson, president of MFFH says, “Maryland Fund for Horses’ first gelding clinic was a big success. We received amazing support from local veterinarians and volunteers, and the forms and financial help from the UHC were invaluable. I think the most satisfying outcome was that every horse owner who participated reported that their horses were much better off as a result of being gelded. That’s really what it’s all about.”
The UHC had the opportunity to work with Lacey Jo Edge and her mother, Kaye Garrison, on their third Operation Gelding clinic. They were able to castrate 12 horses at their clinic in Pilot Point, Texas. “Lacey is just so passionate about the unwanted horse. She’s seen so many horses starved and abused go through the rescues in our area. Operation Gelding gives her an avenue to help horses in need,” said Kaye Garrison. Lacey Jo Edge tells the UHC, “I have tried to make a difference in the number of unwanted horses by organizing Operation Gelding clinics in my area of North Texas. In the past three years, my friends and I have assisted in gelding 50 stallions with the help of funding from the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
Owners have brought in colts as young as 4 months to stallions from rescues as old as 13 years, all varying breeds.” Ande Miller and Hope in the Valley Horse Rescue also held their third Operation Gelding clinic. In three clinics, they have been able to geld 46 stallions. “Thanks to the UHC for giving us the opportunity to put on this much needed clinic. We have over 40 horses here currently and I have to turn horses away about every day, and it just breaks my heart to have to say no. Thanks again for giving us the chance to make a difference. I really appreciate everything you do for us,” said Miller.
Changing Leads Horse Rescue and Abby White were able to hold their first Operation Gelding clinic in Kansas City, Missouri in October. White reminds us that even a small clinic can make a difference, “Our clinic went very well. We gelded three horses. I wish we would’ve had more, but a few is better than none!”
Under the guidance of Amanda Wilson, Oklahoma State University put on two clinics this fall, one being supported by Operation Gelding. Wilson says, “Our clinic went great! We also held a second clinic to help all the stallions and horse owners we might have missed the first time around.”
Dr. Jennifer Trippany from Willow Run Veterinary services held her second Operation Gelding clinic in Rockford, Michigan this fall. “We filled 12 spots within 2 weeks of advertising the clinic. There is certainly a need for these clinics in this area and all around the country. Thank you to the UHC for the support,” says Dr. Trippany.
Operation Gelding currently has funding available for organizations that would like to host their own Operation Gelding clinic. For more information on how to host your own clinic, 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.