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Gutsy Women, Freaky Winner Highlight Cheshire Races

by Marcella Peyre-Ferry - May 2016

The 71st running of Mr. Stewarts Cheshire Foxhounds Point to Point races on Easter Sunday, March 27, added a new feature that harkens back to the past. The Unionville, Pa. course was the site for the first running of the Mrs. Miles Valentine Memorial Ladies Side Saddle race.

A field of 12 ladies riding aside took to the two-mile course over fences, with jumps set at an inviting 2’6”. Horses entered covered the full range of mounts you might see in the hunt field, from draft crosses and warmbloods to a Quarter Horse X Welsh crossbred, but it was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred with an Irish rider who led the field start to finish.

Susan Oakes flew in from Ireland to ride owner/trainer Stephanie Boyer’s veteran gelding Fort Henry. Fort Henry’s experience in the field and racing point-to-point combined with Oakes’ expertise aside made for a confident trip and a win by a wide margin.

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Revised Newlin Township Ordinance is Even More Restrictive
by Suzanne Bush - May 2016

After several contentious meetings with residents, the formation of a committee of concerned citizens urging the supervisors to rescind the so-called Equestrian Ordinance, more than two years of angry township meetings and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s threat to sue Newlin Township, a revised ordinance has emerged. An olive branch it is not.

The infamous Equestrian Ordinance was passed in October 2014. The ordinance made distinctions between commercial and private equine facilities. Those facilities deemed to be commercial became subject to restrictions governing how many horses they could have on the properties. The ordinance required a commercial operation—that is a facility which charges board for horses or offers lessons—to have three acres for the first horse and two acres for each additional horse on the property. Additionally, the ordinance placed restrictions on the size and location of indoor arenas, limited outdoor equine activities to daylight hours and mandated off-street parking.

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Animal Cruelty Cases Will Be Part of National Incidence
Based Registry System
By Suzanne Bush - May 2016

Early this year 16 starving horses, along with numerous sheep and goats, were removed from a farm in Carbon County, PA. Three of the horses died at a veterinary hospital; one was euthanized because it was so neurologically damaged that it could no longer stand. Two of the horses were so thin that they were rated zero on the Henneke Scale—a measurement of a horse’s body condition. A horse with a score of one is profoundly emaciated. Rescuers at the scene reported burn piles throughout the pasture, with the remains of dogs, horses and other animals piled together under pallets and old mattresses. The owner of the farm, a large animal veterinarian, faces numerous charges of animal cruelty. His veterinary license was revoked.

In March, an undernourished, nearly blind mare was found tethered inside the New Holland auction barn. The mare had been shot 130 times at close range with paint balls. A truck driver who had brought the mare to the auction for sale has been charged with animal abuse, bringing a horse without a health certificate across state lines and attempting to sell a debilitated horse. When officials at New Holland refused to put the mare, now known as Lily, through the auction because she was so debilitated, the driver returned after the auction was over, sneaked into the barn area and tied her up, abandoning her.

In January 2016 the Federal Bureau of Investigation began collecting data on animal cruelty in their National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), concluding that the National Sheriffs Association and the Animal Welfare Institute were correct about the connections between abuse of animals and crimes against humans. Those two groups had been lobbying the FBI for several years, trying to persuade them that animal cruelty should be considered a major crime, and that statistics about animal cruelty should be part of a national database. Prior to this change, incidents of animal abuse, cruelty, neglect and torture were collected in an “all other offenses” category.

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Mohaymen Looks to Bounce Back in Kentucky Derby
by Terry Conway - May 2016

The most highly touted Derby prep matchup in years took place in the $1 million Florida Derby. A clash of the titans: an East vs. West showdown of unbeaten colts. It never happened.

Undefeated 2015 juvenile Eclipse Award-winning Nyquist rolled to an easy victory, stamping himself as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby on May 7.  Geared down by jockey Junior Alvarado in the stretch, Mohaymen (4-5 favorite) wound up beaten by 8 ¼ lengths, finishing fourth.

“We feel like it was a perfect storm of unfortunate things that happened with the track, raining earlier and then later," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin from his barn office at the Palm Meadows training facility.

"Basically it was a very wet (track) and we were very wide. We ran 54 feet further than the winner, but congratulations to Nyquist and their team. They had to run over the same racetrack under the same conditions and they did it better than us. Hopefully we can turn the tables on May 7."

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