May 9, 2016
Blood-Horse Staff

Legislators who chair the United States Senate and House of Representatives Agricultural Committees are expected to speak at the American Horse Council National Issues Forum June 14 in Washington, D.C.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is confirmed as the leadoff speaker. U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, has also been invited.

“We would be very fortunate to have the chairmen of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees address us,” AHC president Jay Hickey said May 9. “The $102 billion equine industry is an important sector of the agriculture community, not only when horses are in their breeding life, but also when they move into their racing, showing, work, or recreation careers.

“The equine world is still regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in terms of disease control, import/export, interstate movement, and research. The congressional agriculture committees are important to the horse industry.”

The National Issues Forum will also feature a special panel which will include representatives of the U.S. Equestrian Federation and The Jockey Club to update the industry on plans to require the microchipping of horses beginning in 2017. Speakers are Mary Babick, vice president of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association; Summer Stoffel, who serves on the USEF Horse Recording and ID Task Force Committee; and Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.

“This should be a real opportunity for attending organizations to learn first-hand about their plans, how they will affect their members, and how they might want to prepare for the new requirements,” Hickey said.

The AHC convention will also feature the inaugural meeting of executive directors of national equine organizations. Organized by Julie Broadway, the new president of the AHC, and David Foley, executive director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the meeting will allow top staff of horse associations to join together to discuss internal, administrative-type issues that each may face in their day-to-day operations.