I arrived at Equine Advocates on Friday afternoon, and was warmly welcomed by Susan Wagner, and given a personal tour of the Sanctuary. I got to meet horses, and burros and minis and tow mustangs, Nelson and Hayden. All the horses looked very content, and were happy to greet new human visitors.
The Summit took place in the beautiful Education Center at the Sanctuary, which seats up to 140 but was cozy enough to not feel impersonal. In the morning there were morning treats and juice and coffee for the all the conference participants and speakers who mingled and talked before the conference started.
When it began, Susan Wagner spoke about the Summit Agenda and a desire to keep moving forward. She read a wonderful letter from Gloria Steinem about ending the use of PMU.
The first, keynote speaker was Paula Bacon, the former Mayor of Kaufman, Texas and passionate proponent of ending horse slaughter. She was charming and funny and dedicated to the welfare of the horses.
The second speaker was John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance. His report on horses being shipped to Mexico was extremely detailed and well researched, and gave a detailed picture of what has been happening and the changes that are taking place.
Vicki Burns was next, formerly of the Winnepeg Humane Society, and she gave us insight into the PMU industry in Canada, now moving/moved to China.
We had a wonderful catered vegan lunch outside under the tent where we could enjoy views of the sanctuary as we ate.
After lunch, Dr. Jerilynn Prior, Professor of Endicrinolgy at the Department of Medicine at the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research gave us the answers we have all been wanting to have handy – what to use instead of Primarin – she says there are many solutions none of which include Premarin, to help women dealing with side effects of menopause.
The emotional end of the day was the first showing of a film “One Day” by Victoria Racimo and TanNa Young about the rescue of the racing mare “Our Mims” and the woman who saved her and started a sanctuary for older race mares.
Day Two began with opening remarks from Karen and Susan Wagner.
Then I (Carol Walker of WHFF) gave my presentation about fighting to save Wyoming’s wild horses which included a slideshow set to music of horses in Adobe Town, the roundup, the holding facilities, and the rescued horses going to Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Then I outlined the BLM’s plans for sterilization studies.
Next Debbie Coffey of WHFF gave a short summary of wild horse issues focusing on the online adoption process, the secret bait trapping and ending giving an update about Cloud.
Loni Stewart, of the Canadian Horse Defense was next with a comprehensive report on Canadian Horse Slaughter today complete with documentation and videos.
The last speaker before lunch was Russ Mean, Esq., General Council for the Animal law Coalition. He gave strategies for making changes in animal welfare, and stories about making a difference on the local, regional and national level.
We had another lovely catered lunch under the tents and this time the sun was out. Summit participants strolled the grounds of the sanctuary and became acquainted with the horses and burros.
After lunch, Holly Cheever, DVM presented about professional equine groups and their support of horse slaughter, and why.
The day ended with Alex Brown showing his new three part series Horses, Sports, Culture and Slaughter.
The Summit was packed full of extremely useful information, and was a wonderful opportunity to network with and talk to experts in many different areas of equine welfare, all with a common goal of improving the lives of horses.
The presentations, with the exclusion of Russ Mead’s, will all be online and available to listen to soon at the Equine Advocates website: