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 By Winniefield Park   •   5th Dec 2018   •   321 views   •   0 comments
Bodybuilders taking horse drugs, the carriage trade takes another hit, and once again we learn not to drink and ride. Here’s what’s been showing up on my news feeds lately.



Caleche Horse Dies In Montreal
The mayor of Montreal claims that the latest incident involving a carriage horse reinforces that shutting down that city’s carriage rides is justified. November 4, a horse pulling a calache collapsed and died on a Montreal street. During the September long weekend another collapsed. Veterinarians suggested that extreme fatigue could have been responsible for the collapse and an SPCA representative points out that most of the horses used are over fifteen years old and activists claim that the horse was getting increasingly skinny throughout the summer and should have been retired. The ban comes into effect late in 2019, and many feel that it’s not soon enough. Meanwhile, similar discussions are being held in Quebec City and Victoria, BC. The cause of death for the horse that died on November 4 has not yet been determined.

Drunk Man Tries to Ride in Breeders Cup
Proving that you are more likely to make bad decisions when drunk, a young man decided to take part in a Breeders Cup race. A young man was arrested at Churchill Downs after sneaking into a restricted area and mounting a horse. He rode the horse as far as the track entrance before he was caught. When asked to dismount and leave he became belligerent, which led to his arrest.

Officers arrested 24-year-old Michael Wells-Rody
Officers arrested 24-year-old Michael Wells-Rody

Depp Lowers Price of Horse Farm
Proving that the housing market is softening, Johnny Depp has had to lower the price of his Kentucky horse farm. Depp listed the 42 acre facility at 2.9 million dollars just over a year ago. The price was dropped to 1.6 million. In case you want to put in an offer the farm features a six bedroom 6,635-square-foot home with six full bathrooms and a four-car garage. Along with three barns with fifteen stalls and ten paddocks with automatic waterers. There are also quarters for guests and staff. The address is on the previous auction listing should you want to do a drive by viewing.



Do You Really Want a Body Like a Horse
The quest for physical perfect knows no bounds apparently, and it seems both men and women are willing to make themselves sick in order to look fit and healthy. The abuse of anabolic steroids in athletes is nothing new, and its use to get huge muscles is well known. In fact, abuse of these types of drugs has been killing bodybuilders for some time now. The newest drug is one originally used to amp up the performance of race horses. Known as AMP5, it was given to horses pre-race to boost their speed and endurance by increasing blood carrying nutrients and energy to the muscles by dilating the blood vessels. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for humans to take it for the same reason. Experts are warning that the use of AMP5 can cause a number of complications including mood changes, addiction, low blood pressure, altered pulse and depression. There is also some concern about the long-term effects, given what is known about the long-term effects of steroids on internal organs and bone.

Choctaw Horses
The population of the Choctaw people lived in the area of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. They were a horse nation, and it’s estimated that by the early 1800s; they had tens of thousands of horses. Then came legislation from the U.S. government to remove native peoples from lands east of the Mississippi River. The relocation decimated the population and the numbers of the Choctaw horse also dwindled. and it was thought that the Choctaw horse breed was in jeopardy of being lost altogether. But a discovery by a breeder has boosted the chance of the breed’s survival. Further ensuring the breed’s continuance, Texas A&M veterinary school tested samples of DNA from a stallion named DeSoto, now 19 years old that the breeder found back in 2005. DeSoto matches the DNA of another breeder’s horses and adds a welcome boost to the dwindling gene pool and more chance to save this rare breed.

Swamp Cancer
The environs in which the ponies of Chincoteague lives are not without their dangers even though the herds have no actual predators to worry about. Recently, one pony was lost to ‘swamp cancer’ and several others are sick1. This isn’t actually a cancer, but a fungus like organism called Pythium insidiosum. The organism can enter a wound on a horse, and will cause infection as the organism spreads. Because the infection can look like other diseases, it is sometimes not recognized and treated in time for treatment to be effective.



The disease is called swamp cancer because the organism responsible survives in stagnant waters that do not freeze. So in North America, Pythium insidiosum can occur in the southern states and other areas that have mild winters. The disease is very rare, but it can affect horses, people, dogs and other mammals.

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1 Swamp Cancer
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