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Horsemen's Voice Newsletter 04-25-04

February 29, 2004

In this issue


US Animal Identification Plan

A Great Quote

505 by 2/29

Fun Things to do March 6 - 14




It has been three weeks since I last wrote a "weekly" newsletter. Didja miss me?


I have been on the road a lot for my "day job," which is being a computer nerd. Over the last couple years, I have been writing some updates to the software for the company I work for, and for most of this month, I have been going to our remote offices to install the software and teach our employees how to use it.


A couple of weeks ago, one stop was Las Cruces. I finished my work about noon on Friday the 13th, and then hung around for another day to talk to folks about Horsemen's Voice stuff. It wasn't the best day to be standing around with horse folks though. It was the first time it snowed in Cruces for about three years. On Friday afternoon, I met Jason Turner and some of his students at the New Mexico State University Equestrian program and Friday evening, I had dinner with Susie Whelpley of Red Sky Farms and her adorable children. On Saturday morning, it wasn't snowing any more, but it seemed colder because the wind was blowing. Nonetheless, I stopped by the Las Cruces Horse Trials and watched a little of the dressage competition, and met Lisa Reader and her crew. Then, on the way home, I stopped in Ft. Selden to watch a little bit of a Deborah McDowell driving clinic, a benefit for the Zia Carriage Club.


It was nice to meet more folks from the southern part of the state. I also grew more fond of Las Cruces. I have to admit that I used to think of that town as a little too sleepy and a little too dusty for my tastes. And since I am a UNM alumnus, I also have to admit that I sort of looked down my nose at NMSU. However, my last two visits to Las Cruces have changed my mind. Nancy and I visited in the summer a couple of years ago to deliver Horsemen's Directories. We found the areas of town where all the orchards are quite charming and beautiful. I've also grown to appreciate the stark beauty of their mountains down there. During this trip, I did a little more driving around the city than I have before, and I felt more and more comfortable there. Susie told me that there were no murders in the city for all of 2003, which is a good statistic to know.

One thing I did notice are Las Cruces's streets. When you visit a town that has lots of hills, you might expect some meandering, winding roads. But Las Cruces is actually quite flat. But that didn't stop them from building streets that cross any which way. You're never quite sure what direction you're going. I bet that they just paved the old horse paths that were hundreds of years old. I'm not complaining. I found it charming.


Another stop on my journeys was a trip to Las Vegas, NV this week. Most people who go to Vegas look forward to gambling or the shows. They like to gawk at the lights and marvel at the opulence and decadence. But I was looking forward to something completely different: A basketball game. Those of you who have been reading this newsletter for a while know that I am UNM Women's Basketball fan. I planned the date of this training trip just so that I could see the Lobos play UNLV Thursday night. The Lobos won a close game and, coupled with the win at San Diego State, clinched second place in the conference. Watching that game was a lot more fun than gambling.


Las Vegas is full of absurdities. Like hotels that are scale models of New York City or the Eiffel Tower. Or a huge water show at the Bellagio in the middle of the desert. But, I am most amused that the little oddities and weirdnesses.


It started at the Avis rental counter. Back behind the rental agents there were two sets of four pictures of rental cars. Each picture had a word over it that seem to express the mission of Avis. The first set was:





The second set said,






Now, this might seem like an SAT test question, but which word doesn't belong? In my English grammar classes, we were told that if we were going to make a list they should be of the same part of speech. We can make a list of adjectives, adverbs, nouns, or verbs. Or a list of prepositional phrases, participles, or gerund phrases. But each item in each list should all be the same type. (Did you ever notice that the word "verb" is a noun?)


So, why did the ad folks at Avis throw an adjective in as the second word of each set of four? Did they do that on purpose? If so what is the reason? Why not "resourcefulness" and "dependability"? Furthermore, why do I notice these things, and why do I care?


The next little oddity I noticed was on the radio as I was leaving the airport. There was a report on a screening of "The Passion of the Christ". The commentator said that at the end of the show there was only "silence and sobbing from the audience members." Excuse me, but if there was sobbing, how could there also be silence? Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?


I stayed at the Paris Hotel, where they have that 1/2 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. I saw signs everywhere advertising the TV show "Last Comic Standing." They were having a "live taping" that evening, and tickets were free, first come, first served. Why did they have to say "live taping"? What other kind is there? A taped taping? A dead taping? I tell ya; it's the little strange items that get to me.


Finally, I was watching the local Las Vegas news and they were doing an expose on cock fighting and its brutality. (I was not exactly proud to be a New Mexican when they mentioned that cock fighting is only legal in New Mexico and Louisiana.) They had undercover footage of chickens cutting each other to shreds. It was pretty brutal and hard to watch, but I noticed another little oddity. There were signs on the cages where the cocks fought. One said, "No Gambling." Yeah, right. Who believes that? And secondly, "Do Not Spit on Floor." These guys are putting on a match where animals fight to the death and spill blood, and they don't want people to spit on the floor?


I guess I'm a half-bubble off plumb to notice things like this.

US Animal Identification Plan

In my last newsletter I mentioned the US Animal Identification Plan. I had just found out about it, and didn't know much about it. Val Cole forwarded this press release from the American Horse Council.


The US Animal Identification Plan and the Horse Industry


Many in the horse industry are learning of the US Animal Identification Plan (USAIP or Plan) and they are naturally concerned about what it means to horseowners


The American Horse Council has been aware of the drive to set up a national ID system for livestock and has been involved for some time.  There were presentations about the Plan and broad discussions at the AHC conventions in 2002 and 2003.  There have been several articles in AHC Newsletters, which can provide additional background.  In addition, information about the plan and its potential effect on the horse industry is available at the AHC website at


Unfortunately, some of the information that is being circulated about the USAIP and its potential impact on the horse industry is misunderstood or inaccurate.  For instance, some believe that the Plan requires all horses to have an identifying ear tag by 2006.  This is not true.  In addition, the deadlines set out in the USAIP are for when a numbering system should be in place applicable to cattle and swine, but not horses or other livestock.  In fact, the Plan does not apply to horses now, although it does include a blank section for horses that can be fleshed out in the future.


The AHC has organized a Task Force, which includes nearly thirty national equine organizations, to evaluate the USAIP and determine if the horse industry could develop standards for equine identification that would benefit the industry and be compatible with the USAIP.  That Task Force met on January 16, 2004 in Los Angeles during the annual meeting of the US Equestrian Federation. 


The following organizations have representatives on the Task Force: American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Endurance Ride Conference, American Miniature Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, Arabian Horse Association, Back Country Horsemen of America, California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Harness Tracks of America, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Mersant International Ltd., NA/WPN - Dutch Warmblood Studbook in North America, National Cutting Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Palomino Horse Breeders of America, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association, The Jockey Club, The National HBPA, the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association, Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, U. S. Trotting Association, US Equestrian Federation, and the Western Stock Show Association.


The USAIP has been developed by a team representing many of the nation's major animal agriculture industries.  These individuals came together because they believe that the ability to trace animals quickly in the event of an outbreak of a major animal disease is vital to ensuring the continued operation and viability of our enormous animal agriculture industry.  Some of the animal agriculture organizations involved include the Livestock Marketing Association, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Milk Producers Federation, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Sheep Industry.  The US Department of Agriculture has also lent expertise to the group as well.


This group, originally known as the U.S. Animal Identification Working Group, was formed out of concern about the destruction that diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Hog Cholera and BSE (Mad Cow Disease) might have on the US livestock industry.  These industries recognized the destruction such diseases had inflicted on many of our nation's trading partners.


Now, with a major sector of the US livestock industry reeling from the diagnosis of a BSE-positive cow in Washington State and in Canada, the need for accurate, rapid, individual animal identification has shown to be vital in tracing the origin and movement of diseased and/or exposed animals and in containing, controlling and eradicating the disease.


The USAIP is intended to establish a standardized, alpha-numeric system for animal identification.  The purpose of such a system is to permit “trace back” within 48 hours of a confirmed diagnosis of an animal disease, such as FMD or BSE.  Ensuring animal health in the US, and thereby our ability to market our animals, is the primary reason the animal agriculture industry is looking at a national, standardized, identification system.


An important purpose of a national identification system is also to ensure that the opportunities to use and enjoy horses remain open.  Disease outbreak and the broad effect it has on the movement of horses is a great threat.  The U.S. horse industry is built upon the movement of horses, interstate and internationally, for breeding, competition and recreation.  If the industry lost the ability to compete and show horses throughout the country, to transport a mare interstate to breed to a specific stallion, to import semen from other countries, the industry would not be as strong as it is now.  A disease outbreak has often closed down events and has had a significant impact on the industry in the past.  The ability to verify the origin and movement of animals in a disease outbreak would go a long way to mitigate the effects of such an outbreak and assist in dealing with the disease itself.


The USAIP is not mandatory at this time, although the recent events involving the diagnosis of BSE in the US and Canada have moved the implementation of the Plan for livestock forward and made it seem inevitable.  If this happens the horse industry must be prepared to make its own recommendations for a national equine identification plan.  Such a system must be acceptable to the industry, practical yet comprehensive, and take into consideration the uniqueness of the horse industry.  Developing such a plan is the purpose of the AHC’s National Equine Identification Task Force.


As mentioned, the USAIP does not have a section on Equine ID at this time, although a place has been reserved for standards of equine identification.  The AHC is working with our member organizations through our Task Force to evaluate the plan and its benefit to the horse industry, and to determine if the industry could develop standards for equine identification that would fit into the USAIP. 


The AHC will continue to follow the implementation of the USAIP by other livestock sectors and the National Equine Identification Task Force will continue to work to determine the role that the horse industry should have in the process.



A great quote


Karen Everhart sent this great quote:


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,  thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming----    

WOW!! WHAT A RIDE!!! (author unknown)


Karen adds, "Time for me to get on the stick.  I have been way too cautious lately."


505 by 2/29


And, now, for the moment you have all been waiting for: the results of the 505 by 2/29 drive. And unlike at the Oscars, you don't have to be a hobbit or an orc to win.  Just before Christmas, I started a readership drive to get somewhere around 500 total readers for this newsletter. With some feedback from all of you we decided that the number to shoot for would be 505, New Mexico's area code, and the target date was 2/29, since it only comes around once every four years.


We didn't quite make that goal. Right now, there are 435 readers for this newsletter. The good news is that we have nearly 60 more readers than when we started. I consider that a great success. I really appreciate having the new readers, and I appreciate all of you who helped me find the new readers.


So, we'll award the prizes anyway!


There was a tie for the most number of referrals. Eleanor Bravo encouraged five people to sign up. And one of the new subscribers she recommended to us was Connie and Fernando De Leon. And THEY got five people to sign up. Eleanor and the De Leons will each receive a one year subscription to The Horsemen's Voice.


Since we didn't get a 505th reader, that prize will not be awarded - yet. When we get there, the 505th subscriber will get a year's subscription to The Horsemen's Voice.


For all the rest of you, I promised I would add a month to your current subscription. I will start digging through the list and will notify you when I have extended your subscription. If you are not a subscriber to the magazine, yet, go to and sign up. We'll extend your subscription by one month when we get it.


Thanks to all of you for your help. I feel like I have a huge extended family.


Fun Things to Do  March 6 - 14


It's great to be getting to that time of year where the Coming Events lists get longer instead of shorter. Just like the days.


EVERY SUNDAY            HABANEROS POLOCROSSE PRACTICE, 1 p.m., Albuquerque South Valley.  All are welcome, gear not necessary for practice.  Info:  235-6457


6            TRAINING SHOW, NM Palomino Exhibitors Assoc., Dairy Barn, NM Expo (formerly NM State Fairgrounds).  Judge:  Ann Clemons.  Info:  Shelley Bateman, 832-6867 (, or Lloyd Aker, 281-3032 (  Premium at


6 – 7            QUARTER HORSE SHOW, SW Quarter Horse Assoc., Rio Grande Valley Ranch, Canuntillo, TX.  Info:  Farrel, 505-382-5911 or or


6 – 7            TULLY TEAM ROPING, Expo NM Horse Arena


6 – 7            CUTTING, NM Cutting Horse Assoc.  Ladyhawk Ranch, Santa Rosa.  Info:  Patti Rawls, 856-6540


7            SHAGGY TRAINING SHOW, NM Pinto Horse Club, Bosque Farms Rodeo Arena, 10 a.m.  Info:  Marilyn, 865-6568


7            AHANM ALL-BREED TRAINING SHOW, Expo NM Horse Arena.  Registration 7 a.m., classes start at 8 a.m.  Info:  Marvin Solsrud, 281-5525


11 – 13            2004 FOUR STATES AG EXPO & SOUTHWEST HORSEMAN’S SYMPOSIUM, w/Craig Cameron Training Clinic.  Fairgrounds, Cortez, CO.  Info:  970-565-1836 or


13        BFRA JUNIOR RODEO SERIES, Bosque Farms Rodeo Arena, 8:30 a.m.

Buckles & Hi Points & more prizes.  Entries:  Brenda Adcock, 865-3751.  Info: Charlie Long, 866-1602


13            EQUINE EXPO, sponsored by Purina & Broome’s Feed & Supple, Rockin Horse Arena, Moriarty, NM.  Info:  832-0438


14            TRAINING SHOW, NM Buckskin Assoc., Western & English classes, Bosque Farms Rodeo Arena, 9 a.m.  Info:  Lynn Rogers, 896-0737, or Sharon Eastman, 869-2763


14            TRAINING SHOW, North Valley Equestrian Center, including Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat & more.  Judge Charles Chaddick.   9521 Rio Grande NW, office open at 8; sow at 9.  Info:  Melanie Omer, 890-4338


14            SPRING CREEK FARMS FUN SHOW, Hunters/Jumpers & Under Saddle classes.  Old Town Farm, 949 Montoya Rd. NW  Info:  Anita Endean, 321-2175, or Jenny Paisley, 303-748-8477


14            MORIARTY HERITAGE RODEO ASSOC. & MORIARTY HIGH SCHOOL XTREME RODEO TEAM, Wrights Arena, north of Moriarty.  Info:  Don Martinez, 832-0438


14            ENCHANTMENT DRIVING SOCIETY SHOW, North Valley Equestrian Center.  Info:  Mike Sullivan, 873-0553




The sand hill cranes are starting to circle overhead and head north. I've seen a couple of huge flocks high in the air waiting for the right moment to go north. The flock that still inhabits our pasture and the surrounding alfalfa fields is still here. As a matter of fact, it seems like it has grown the last couple of weeks. I expect that those magnificent birds will start their long journey toward Canada sometime soon. We'll miss them and we'll look forward to their return in October.


Happy trails...




The above newsletter was written when Nancy Gage and Jay Koch owned The Horsemen's Voice magazine. The Horsemen's Voice name and logo are used here with permission of the new owner, Catherine Logan-Carillo, who is a fine, upstanding member of the community. Catherine disavows any silliness, stupidity, vapidity, errors, or unintentional offenses, and the reader should know that she would know better than publish anything like this.

Aside from the Horsemen's Voice name and logo, the rest of this newsletter is copyrighted by and is the full responsibility of Jay Koch. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any of this material in any form.