When was the last time you heard of a single mother of three adult children making a serious commitment in  time, money and effort to promote a breed of draft horses (or any other type of horse for that matter)? Sounds unlikely, right? How about if you consider the fact that this commitment was made at 81 years of age?! Western Pennsylvania has produced its share of important draft horse breeders. The Orndorff Belgian establishment comes quickly to mind, in addition to the farm of Glen Montgomery, birthplace of the Belgian stallion Jay-Lou-Supreme. Others include names like Ryburn, Biedl, Braiden,…
Pneumonia in foals is a major cause of foal death. It has been estimated by experts in foal diseases that up to 14% of all foals develop pneumonia and of these, the death loss may be as high as 45 to 50%. In those stables where Rhodococcus equi is the cause of pneumonia in foals, as many as 80% of these affected animals can die. From February 19 through 23, 2006, I attended the Western Veterinary Conference at Las Vegas, Nevada, and was very fortunate to attend a two-hour class on Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. The course was taught…
(From the April, May and June Breeder's Gazettes and the national and international news of the day.) The April '31 Gazette came out with a drawing of a famous Southdown ram on the cover. Right under the name of the magazine it said in big, bold letters "THREE YEARS FOR A DOLLAR." The need for money in their office and nearly every other business and farm in the country had grown urgent. When you could subscribe to a publication of that stature and receive 36 issues for less than 8-1/2 cents apiece, delivered to your mail box or to your…
(From the general news of the time and the 1957 Belgian Review) No public celebrations were held because nobody noticed. But I do believe, after studying mountains of evidence, that you can make a strong case that the bottom was reached for draft horses in the mid- to late 1950s. Unlike the dinosaur, the draft horse had not been wiped out. But the turnaround was so incremental that it, too, went unnoticed for several years. Their demise had been predicted for so long by so many terribly smart people. As these folks pointed out, horses are impractical. I remember one…
(From general news and our own 1981 Draft Horse Journal) It was a great spring for attempted murder on the public streets. On March 30, it was President Reagan, gunned down by a 25-year-old would-be assassin. Reagan survived. About a month later another assassin tried to take out Pope Paul II as he rode in an open car among 10,000 worshipers near St. Peter's Square. Like Reagan, he was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and survived. His would-be assassin was a Turk who was protesting the imperialism of both the Soviet Union and the United States. He, at least,…
Disclaimer - This article is intended as general discussion and information on the topic covered, and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should contact an attorney. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the author. In April, 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) as a program designed to trace back, within 48 hours, any animal infected or exposed to a foreign or domestic disease. The NAIS program was developed due to the growing…
There is growing excitement in Clydesdale circles around the world, this with good reason. American breeders have a World Clydesdale Show at Madison, Wisconsin, planned for 2007. There is reason to celebrate, for it has been years since a world show was last held. While it is early, I know this World Clydesdale Show will attract visitors from around the Clydesdale world. Already horsemen from the British Isles, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have signaled their intention to attend. Their presence will swell the ranks of American horsemen, who have every reason to look forward to this event. While the…
Animals have many uses. Traditionally, they are discussed as to their purpose; i.e., a source of meat, milk or as a beast of burden. Other categories include, as a pet, as a show steer or dog, or possibly as an object of worship like Free Willy. But one of the most significant ways in which animals have contributed to the civilization of mankind is as a simile or metaphor; strong as a lion, graceful as a gazelle, sly as a fox, crazy as a loon, nosy as an elephant, cute as a bug’s ear. Certain animals convey feeling; gentle as…

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