Celebrate the 4th with Hattingdon®

Years and years ago, when working in Washington D.C. and stuck there over the Christmas holidays, our Founding President Vivian Farrell created a cartoon horse for the Fund for Horses’ gift shop. It took off and she created more. And more! She named the series Hattingdon Horses®.

It being a holiday and a Saturday, we thought we would share one with you just for fun. This is a brand new hat silhouette Mrs Farrell created just the other day. In honor of 4th July, she has made it up in a red, white and blue colorway. Each hat has its own identifying name — this one is called “Elise”.

As Hattingdon says, “Hugs and kisses, and millinery blisses”.

Elise Hattingdon design. Created by ©Vivian Grant Farrell exclusively for Hattingdon Horses®. Thank you.
Elise Hattingdon design. Created by ©Vivian Grant Farrell exclusively for Hattingdon Horses®. Thank you.

We closed our Zazzle shop and will be reopening in the Fall on Etsy. In the meantime, visit Hattingdon’s blog for a “hatful of smiles”.

Have a lovely day, and be safe.

Updated 11:16 am EST


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Canadian PMU farms’ losses are China’s gain

PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).

EXCLUSIVE REPORT by JANE ALLIN

Canada braces for more cuts

By now, I’m sure that most who care about the abuse of horses for human gain are aware of the shrinking need for the PMU (Pregnant Mare’s Urine) farms in Manitoba (ya, I’m late in getting this out). Urine collected from these pregnant mares is used to provide the source of estrogen hormones used in the manufacture of the Premarin family of drugs that are prescribed primarily for the symptoms of menopause.

An article last month in the Manitoba Co-operator dated May 13, 2020; “Remaining PMU producers brace for more cuts”, signals that Pfizer will be implementing further production cuts for the 2020-2021 season despite signing a three year, 18-week contract with the company’s Canadian division in 2019.

Open quote

“It follows of the heels of last year’s cuts which resulted in production of PMU to cease at five ranches; three from southwestern Manitoba, one from the Interlake region and one from southeastern Saskatchewan, as well as a production cap on some of the larger contracts. That reduction reflected a 17 per cent cut in product equalling approximately 33,000 grams of estrogen for the 2019-20 contract year.

While no ranchers will be forced out of the industry in this round of cuts, Pfizer did give producers up until March 4, 2020 to voluntarily accept a full or partial buyout package aimed at reducing the number of grams of estrogen needed by the company.”


The cuts in 2019 left 19 producers actively involved in the production of PMU in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the highest concentration of ranches in southwestern Manitoba. With this new announcement, one producer in south-central Manitoba opted for the full buyout and another from southwestern Manitoba, a partial buyout, leaving a total of 17 farms remaining. Of those, 4 are in southeastern Saskatchewan and the rest in Manitoba.

Open quote

“For these 17 remaining ranchers involved in the network, some will see an approximate 17 to 18 per cent reduction in total contract overall for the 2020-21 season, with some of the smaller contracts less affected. Ranchers are paid per gram of estrogen and not on the volume of urine produced.”


This doesn’t include the fact that this past season was cut 2 to 3 weeks short when ranchers were told to cease production. So, in total, over two seasons the production quantity has been reduced by a margin of up to and above 35% when the shortened production season is taken into account. 

Why such a drastic cut?

Open quote

“Pfizer routinely conducts reviews of its businesses and overall manufacturing needs and capabilities. This includes our operations in Brandon, Manitoba. Pfizer has initiated a review of its inventory management. We are able to satisfy market demand by reducing the volume of PMU that is being collected.

“As part of its normal business analysis, Pfizer continually reviews PMU collection requirements. Decisions are informed by an evaluation of the hormone therapy market, prescribing trends and related raw material and inventory requirements.

“Pfizer values its network of ranchers and the decision to reduce our PMU volume collection was not made lightly. We are committed to treating ranchers fairly and reasonably as we make these changes to our collection operations.”


This seems like an unusual strategy given the expected increase in the projected HRT market over the next few years – both globally and in the US. In fact, the NA market dominated the overall hormone replacement therapy market in terms of revenue share in 2019. Moreover, the estrogen replacement therapy segment and the treatment of menopausal symptoms is likely to showcase the fastest growth rate over the forecast period (to 2027), as well as the majority of the market share. [1]

These are the drugs Pfizer exclusively markets – the Premarin family of drugs produced from estrogen extracted from pregnant mare’s urine, which in 2019 accounted for $734 million of their revenue most of which is based in NA (94%). 

In 2019, the global hormone replacement therapy market size was valued at USD 21.8 billion and is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% until 2027. This of course includes other hormone therapies (i.e. HGH, thyroid and testosterone hormone therapies), but the majority of these products will be related to estrogen HRT. [2]

On a global basis, the top five companies involved in the production of HRT formulations collectively account for a significant revenue share (35%) of the overall hormone replacement therapy market; Novo Nordisk, Pfizer Inc., Janssen NV (a Johnson & Johnson company), Novartis AG and Bayer AG. Why would Pfizer choose to lose a share of this revenue?

The simple truth is, they wouldn’t choose to do so. Facts are however, that Pfizer has seen decreasing revenues from its Premarin family of drugs over the last few years. According to their 2019 annual financial report, this decline is directly in consequence of the continued competitive pressures in the U.S., which is expected to continue. [3]

This is not really surprising given the stigma and awareness associated with estrogens derived from PMU that has developed over the years, accompanied by the advances other pharmaceutical companies have made with similar drugs not sourced from PMU. 

Nonetheless, Pfizer remains committed to these products and, in particular, have been heavily marketing the Premarin cream product. This may be in response to quell fears of the side effects the oral version carries with it in favor of “less-invasive” local dermal applications, where the overall dose can be lower and circulating blood levels of the hormone aren’t raised significantly.  Or potentially, the market for these creams is very large and easier to compete in.  

Another interesting point to make is the inflated cost of Premarin compared to most other HRT products as alternatives. As shown in the chart below, for a number of years, Pfizer’s revenue from the Premarin family of drugs remained relatively stable at or around $1 billion USD annually.  

At the same time, however, the cost to purchase these products was increasing steadily, meaning that sales must have been decreasing for a number of years to maintain annual profits with little change. Nonetheless, since 2016, there has been about a 28% decrease in profits. It seems from these observations then that these products have fallen out of favor in lieu of other “safer” or “cheaper” drugs? 

So, the downsizing in NA over the years appears to make perfect sense from two aspects – decrease in demand and declining return on investment. Hence, to further minimize expenditures and maximize revenue, cost-effective changes have to be made. 

One needs only look at Pfizer’s 3 key phrases they use to justify the reason for the decreased production volume required in NA; raw materials, inventory management and collection operations, all of which are related to operating costs.

Enter the solution: China

Who needs 2 supply chains, especially one in NA that is likely more costly to run, when you can have a single supply chain to maximize the cost-reduction? Moreover, how long can they continue to inflate the costs of these products and remain competitive in the market while running NA operations? 

I don’t think there is any question that Pfizer has been sourcing the raw materials from China for a number of years, despite their continued insistence that it is in an effort to match “supply and demand”.  And while demand for HRT produced from PMU seems to have declined to some extent, it’s hard to believe that it has dwindled to the point of no return as both this and last year’s announcement would have you wondering about. In 2019 when the round of cuts was made, they said the same thing and also offered (all of) the ranchers the decision of voluntarily opting to exit the sector, in exchange for a 75 per cent total contract payout for the following year to ease the transition – all of them, not just a few, just like this year. [4]

It must be clear by now that the NA PMU farms were doubtless supplying only a small percentage of the CEEs for Pfizer’s Premarin family of drugs over the last several years. I suspect the NA operation of PMU ranchers will be obsolete within 2-4 years, if not sooner.  At that point, Pfizer can no longer conceal the fact that their HRT drugs are born and bred in China. 

And what about the horses when all of the farms are shuttered– the mares and their foals? 

There was no mention of them in this year’s announcement, but in 2019 Pfizer did state they would provide compensation for the care of the mares and foals as the producers “transitioned out of the network.” Additionally, the affected ranchers would also be eligible for equine placement assistance, but no guarantee that the mares and their foals wouldn’t end up in the slaughter pipeline if those options fell through.  

No happy endings – Pfizer doesn’t care. 

Expansion in China

Coincidentally, and quite conveniently, a couple of other articles about PMU horses surfaced about the same time as this news broke in Manitoba, announcing further expansion of PMU farming in China.

This information comes out of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region is home to vast grasslands, the majority of China’s ethnic Kazakh population, and is experiencing its most propitious phase of development and prosperity. 

Introduction to Xinjiang | The Xinjiang Grassland

Xinjiang, roughly half the size of India, is a historic crossroads, sharing a border with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, and Tajikistan. The region is also home to about 10 million Uighurs—making up roughly half of China’s 22 million Muslims. In the past, resource-rich Xinjiang had become a center of sporadic violent protests, but the region’s counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts have laid a solid foundation of stability in the district due to the repressive policies of the Chinese government against the Turkic Muslim peoples who reside there. Not a pleasant read, but here is the reason. [5]

Xinjiang is also one of China’s major habitats for horses, with those bred in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture standing out among the country’s sports horses. Plans are currently in place to grow its modern equine industry in 2020, with the whole industrial chain’s annual output topping 9.5 billion yuan (about 1.34 billion U.S. dollars). [6]

Now however, the proposal is to move beyond sport horses and expand its entire horse industrial chain in 2020 including large breeding bases for horse milk, meat, fat and pregnant mare urine (PMU) production. [7]

PMU farming has become a lucrative business for many of the herders in the region as well as providing a venue for a biopharmaceutical industrialization base.

Open quote

“For Erbosun Abuduhan, a herdsman in Ili’s Xinyuan County, pregnant mare urine (PMU) is a new source of income.

One kg of PMU can sell for 4.3 yuan to 7.8 yuan, and Erbosun raked in over 20,000 yuan from last December to March, the prime season for collecting PMU.

This unusual product is collected for estrogen that can be used as a hormone replacement for treating women experiencing menopause, said Xu Zhiyong, general manager of Xinjiang Nuziline Bio-pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a local company focusing on PMU drugs.

The company collects PMU from about 400 households, with nearly half of them previously poor families. “We have strict management rules and a fixed daily collection quota to ensure that the PMU is collected in a humane way,” Xu added.

Xu’s company is also making a foray into developing horse milk and horse fat products, as they boast huge potential in the healthcare and cosmetics markets.” [8]


20,000 yuan for the 4-month PMU collection season works out to about 2,800 USD or 700 USD/month. That’s likely considerably cheaper than what the PMU ranchers in NA collect from their operations, but no doubt a king’s ransom for these rural-dwelling people.  I’m sure Pfizer didn’t need a detailed cost-benefit analysis to figure that one out. In fact, the Chinese are doing all of it for them. More on that later. 

The PMU industry in China has been recognized to exist for a number of years, so this is not new per se. The Fund for Horses first reported this in 2012 and in 2016 reported on the Chinese company, Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Moreover, an abstract from a 2015 paper in the Chinese CKNI database from the journal China Rural Finance also refers to how the lucrative PMU industry has developed in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region: 

Open quote

“The pregnant horse urine industry arouses herders “money bags” Xinyuan County Rural Credit Cooperative issued a total of nearly 100 million yuan of loan from pregnant urine industry, so that the pockets of more than 1,000 herdsmen swelled up in the hinterland of Gongnais grassland in the east end of the Ili River Valley in Xinjiang……

The Fertile soil and high-quality forage grass provide unique conditions for the country to develop horse farming. Today the number of horses in Xinyuan County has reached 110,000.” [9]


This was in 2015, so no doubt there are far more PMU horses than 110,000 by now. So, this news out of China is yet another bit of information providing details of an ever-growing PMU industry in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. 

With the establishment of the Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. In the autonomous region in 2005, the breeding of PMU mares and sales of pregnant mare’s urine has since become the “sunrise industry” for the regional rural farm economy, providing a significant increase in income for the farmers and incentive to expand production and number of horses.

Pfizer is stated to be the reason for establishing Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological, but the relationship described between the two companies is inconsistent – at least until now. 

Whatever the true circumstances are concerning Pfizer, the magnitude of gross cruelty to horses resulting from the creation of a domestic market in China for equine estrogen projects is in itself unthinkable.

And with this comes the news that not only are they “harvesting” the urine for the production of Premarin products but also ostensibly the milk, meat and fat of the spent mares and the foals – the now “convenient” and profitable “by-products” of the industry.

Horse milk, meat and fat have long been staples in Asia, and since then these ancient traditional remedies have been extended to many European countries in particular, and even in NA. Pregnant mare’s milk is touted for its ability to combat inflammatory diseases, diabetes, tuberculosis, blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer (ya right – eye roll). 

Horse fats? Turned into oils for its inflammatory properties and used in topical ointments for mild skin complaints (e.g. burns, cuts, eczema), due to its higher linoleic acid (fatty acid) content, than found in cows and sheep.

Horse meat is self-explanatory. 

But it’s all “humane” so they claim. 


“We have strict management rules and a fixed daily collection quota to ensure that the PMU is collected in a humane way”.


No, it’s horrific and oppressive. 

It’s a “horse mecca”. Let’s not waste a thing, let’s exploit them for every last bit of flesh and fluids in their bodies. When the mares are beyond their productive years, and when the by-product foals have no economic use, they can be turned into meat and their milk and fat used in “health care” products and cosmetics.

Vile. 

The main players — N. America and China

Pfizer’s international market for Premarin has been open game for competitors without the U. S. Food & Drug Administration’s protection of the company’s monopoly trade secret and the Chinese industry has grown considerably as a result of it over the years. In fact, it has evolved to be the largest in the world for conjugated equine estrogen collection and derived HRT products (Premarin). 

The number of middle-age women in China presently within the target demography for estrogen products exceeds the total population of the rest of world. Furthermore, the corresponding number of horses required to meet China’s domestic demand annually is greater than the total number of horses used for Premarin production during the 75 years since FDA approval in 1942.

Just as the collective HRT market is expected to grow over the next few years, the Premarin-API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) market is also expected to witness growth acceleration during the five-year period from 2020-2025.  

An active pharmaceutical ingredient is defined as “any substance or mixture of substances (usually in powder form) intended to be used in the manufacture of a drug product and that, when used in the production of a drug, becomes an active ingredient in the drug product – this would be the CEE’s extracted from the pregnant mare’s urine in the case of Premarin. 

According to a Premarin-API Market 2020 report, the key companies operating in the global Premarin industry include:

  • Pfizer 
  • Xinjiang Tefeng (Henan Huaxing)
  • Anhui Tiger
  • Zhejiang Garden Biochemical High-tech

Taizhou Hisound Pharmaceutical.  [10, 11]

The “vendor base” is made up of Pfizer and Xinjiang Tefeng who manufacture and sell the finished products while the remaining three produce the key ingredient (CEEs) in bulk, typically in powder form, for the production of the “Premarin” in its various formulas (tablet and cream). 

Currently however, some companies that produce the bulk CEEs for the industry are looking to expand their portfolios to finished products to capture some of the market share with the predicted growth over time. 

Both Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological Pharmaceutical and Xinjiang Nuziline Bio-pharmaceutical mentioned above, appear to be part of the Xinjiang Tefeng pharmaceutical company, or subsidiaries, as both of their websites are linked directly to the “parent” company (http://www.tefeng.com). If not, they are working in close affiliation to supply the bulk CEEs for the different versions of “Premarin” products manufactured by Xinjiang Tefeng.

Open quote

“Tefeng Pharmaceutical has formed a complete pharmaceutical quality management and security system. It has three production bases that have passed the national GMP standard certification and has a variety of dosage forms such as tablets, hard capsules, soft capsules, ointments, dripping pills, oral liquid, granules, etc. The production capacity of estrogen raw materials combined with pregnant horses.” [12]


In 2011, Tefeng announced the construction of a modern biomedical park in the high-tech development zone of Urumqi. The project was developed to contain a Premarin production base, a Xinjiang local biological drugs extracting base, a post-doctoral workstation and pharmaceutical technological center, a comprehensive preparations production base and a health food (horse milk?) production base. 

Its purpose was to take advantage of the agriculture and animal husbandry industry in Xinjiang, stimulate the economy of the pastoral area, help farmers reduce deficiencies and promote the industrialization of Xinjiang. 

Open quote

“It will strive to pass international authentication of the production bases and push the Premarin products and Xinjiang biomedical resources to European and American markets.” [13]


The other three companies have no clear information pertaining to conjugated equine estrogens, at least from what is available on their websites; all three appear to be largely associated with lipid (fat) technology and the manufacture of various vitamins (e.g. Vit D3, Biotin), cholesterol and lanolin products. Nevertheless, they also supply “other” pharmaceuticals, presumably the API (conjugated equine estrogens) for the manufacture of Premarin.


Are the “fats” of the mares and foals considered as “by-products” used in their “lipid technology” applications?


Seemingly, they are involved in the collection of pregnant mare’s urine from farms and/or constitute a large source for extraction and production for the bulk conjugated equine estrogens. How this ties into their main products derived from lipids is unknown, if in fact it does. Are the “fats” of the mares and foals considered as “by-products” used in their “lipid technology” applications?

  • Anhui Tiger Biotech Co, Ltd., a holding subsidiary of China BBCA Group Corporation (see bbcagroup.com )
  • Taizhou Hisound Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., founded in 2000, a subsidiary company of Xianju Pharmaceutical Co. (see hisoundpharma.com)
  • Zhejiang Garden Biochemical High-tech Co. Ltd., together with the subsidiary companies of Hangzhou XIASHA Biotech Co., Ltd and Hangzhou ROSSEN Lipids Technology Co., Ltd. is the world’s famous manufacture of Vitamin D3, Cholesterol and lanolin products (see http://en.hybiotech.com/)

Growth of the PMU industry in China

All of these developments have occurred over the last several years, so chances are that Pfizer is, and has been, sourcing a portion of its bulk CEEs from China if not some of the finished products from this organization, effectively allowing them to reduce the PMU footprint in North America. Eventually, China will be the primary, if not the single, source of all Premarin products. 

And for good reason. Over the last several years, there has been a wealth of research that has been conducted in China with respect to PMU and CEEs.

Cost-benefit analyses have taken place to determined the optimum breeding protocols to produce the maximum estrogen quantities based on cost and production optimization.

A US patent has been filed that solves the problems of low adsorptive capacity and high cost existed in the conventional methods, and is suitable for large-scale production. (Method for obtaining conjugated estrogen mixtures from pregnant mare’s urine and use of a macroporous resin in the method). [14]

Scientific studies on factors affecting the estrogen content in pregnant horses and the pharmacological effect of combinations of various components within the PMU (e.g. estrogens, progestogens, acids and their salts, androgens) have been carried out to determine the most effective formulations to maximize their effect on menopausal symptoms. Different and more efficient quantitative measurement (QAMS) of estrogenic components in PMU based on mass spectrometry have been developed, and so on. 

What Pfizer couldn’t be bothered to invest their money in the Chinese have.

So, in effect, Pfizer has let the Chinese do all of the work and are reaping the benefits from their technology at no cost to them apart from the purchase of their product, while maintaining their position as the leading supplier outside of China. A definite win for them. But for how long?

Will the Chinese products, as Tefeng claims, “push the Premarin products and Xinjiang biomedical resources to European and American markets”? No doubt it will. 

The biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, known as “Big Pharma”, are American and European, but rely on global supply chains. And China and India play key roles in the supply of both ingredients and finished drugs.

And so, just as Wyeth/Pfizer cornered the market on CEEs for almost 80 years, so it seems the torch will be handed over to China. 

Do we need these drugs? The resounding answer is no.

But the exploitation will continue, now at the hands of a country with a sordid history of extreme animal abuse. That is not to say that animal abuse does not occur throughout the world — it most certainly does. NA and other democratic nations are guilty as well.

We cannot give up hope

But we cannot give up hope. There has been a movement in China over the last several years; the rise of the voice for the voiceless, the tireless, equally compassionate, advocates and activists in China who should be lauded for their efforts against an unforgiving regime. We can hope that things will change over time, but the Chinese animal protection movement faces many challenges. 

Yet, China is at a historical crossroads, and these people are charting a new roadmap for China’s future.

Hope.


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Chuckwagon Race Report

Image from chuckwagon racing in Clinton, Arkansas, 2019.

The Calgary Stampede is not the only venue conducting chuckwagon races but it is the one that garners the most attention and publicity because of the number of horses it kills and has killed over the years.

Chuckwagon races are also run south of the Canadian border in the USA such as in Clinton, Arkansas over the Labor Day weekend, where it has been conducted since its inaugural year in 1986.

While the deaths of horses at the Calgary Stampede are reported what we do not know are how many and how often horses are killed in chuckwagon races in the U.S. because they do not keep those kind of records, so we are told by those few who were willing to speak to us about it. Even those folks felt compelled to point out that they were not obligated to tell us anything even if they did keep records.

What we were told regarding the National Championship Chuckwagon Races in Clinton, Arkansas that amazed us is this — they have never had a single equine casualty. Hmmm. Okay.

For the purpose of this post, let’s stick with the Clinton folks since they are the largest and only documented event of this nature we can find in the U.S.

Please Note

It is important to point out that rodeos, or any other event or sport using horses, do not have to kill them to make the event or sport cruel, abusive and immoral.

Additionally, the spectre of slaughter always haunts horses who are injured, who turn out to be not quite good enough in “their master’s opinion”, or lacks the mental acuity to compete successfully in the types of events or sports they were acquired for.

Insofar as we can discover, there is no retirement plan for rodeo horses.

Images

2019

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE — 8/30/2019 — The National Championship Chuckwagon Races on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Clinton, Ark.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE — 8/30/2019 — The National Championship Chuckwagon Races on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Clinton, AZ.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE — 8/30/2019 — The National Championship Chuckwagon Races on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Clinton, Ark.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE — 8/30/2019 — The National Championship Chuckwagon Races on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Clinton, Ark.

2015

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN Chuckwagon driver Allen Fuller with the team County Line Bunch from Perry leaps from his wagon Friday as it tips on a sharp turn during the 30th Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Race in Clinton, Ark.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN Chuckwagon driver Allen Fuller with the team County Line Bunch from Perry leaps from his wagon Friday as it tips on a sharp turn during the 30th Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Race in Clinton, Ark.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN Chuckwagon driver watches as horses are crushed as his wagon turns over in the 30th Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Race in Clinton.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN Chuckwagon driver watches as horses are crushed as his wagon turns over in the 30th Annual National Championship Chuckwagon Race in Clinton, Ark.

Video

There are many other events at the annual Clinton gathering that use horses in addition to the chuckwagon races. The video below states that altogether 6,000 horses are used in a variety of events, although a 2015 article puts the number at 5,000. By the way, they use mules too.

Please watch all of it if you can. It’s about 5 minutes long. It is quite eye opening particularly concerning the people involved and the many different ways horses are used.

This year’s National Championship Chuckwagon Race in Clinton, Arkansas and related festivities is set for Aug. 29 — Sep. 6, 2020.

Controversy Continues

The “sport” of chuckwagon racing remains controversial as horses are frequently injured and killed, prompting animal welfare groups to call for it to be banned. Chuckwagon horses are killed as a matter of routine at the Calgary Stampede.

The movement to ban chuckwagon racing exists almost solely in Canada. No one is taking this issue on in the U.S. that we are aware of or could find. Please contact us if you are. Perhaps we can band together to take this issue on.

Please note. We are not “welfarists”. We are not interested in mitigating abuse, we are interested in liberating horses from abuse.


BACKGROUND

New to this issue? Here is some background information on both the National Championship Chuckwagon Race and the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races.

• USA

National Championship Chuckwagon Race

“The National Championship Chuckwagon Race is held every Labor Day weekend at Dan and Peggy Eoff’s ranch in Clinton, Arkansas.

“The chuckwagon is associated with Charles Goodnight, who designed the first wagon to follow the cattle trails in the 1800s. Stories hold that, at the end of the cattle drive, the cowhands would collect their pay, pack up their supplies, and race into town. Legend has it that the last one there had to buy the first round of drinks for all.

“The races were started in 1986 when Dan and Peggy Eoff decided to host a Labor Day party for a few of their friends, inviting them to bring their horses and wagons and have a race. The Eoffs expected about 100 people to attend, but over 500 came to watch the eight teams that participated.

DAN EOFF in 2006. Photo: American Profile.

“Following the weekend’s event, people who were not able to attend persuaded the Eoffs to have another one. The next year, the Eoffs advertised, traveling throughout the state to promote the event. That year, sixteen teams entered, and the crowd grew to about 1,500. Year after year, the number of teams increased, as did the number of spectators. In 2006, the twentieth anniversary of the first chuckwagon race, over 20,000 people attended to watch 135 teams participate. Nearly 5,000 equine (horses and mules) were verified through the gates, making this event the largest equine event in the state.

“Over the years, days were added to the event, now stretching the entire week before Labor Day. Concerts, trail rides, camping, and horse/mule activities occur throughout the week.

“The race has very few rules. Three people make up a team—the driver, the cook, and the outrider. At the start of each race, the cook and the outrider are on the ground.

“At the judge’s instruction, the cook loads the stove and gets into the wagon. When the gun is fired to start the race, the outrider loads the tent into the wagon, gets onto his/her horse, and must pass the wagon before it crosses the finish line. The cook and driver must be in the wagon, along with the tent and the stove, as it crosses the finish line to receive a qualified time.

“Although that may sound simple, with four teams at the starting line at once, the excitement and noise of the crowd, and the unpredictability of animals, it is not as easy as it sounds. Often times, the outriders cannot mount their horses, stoves or tents are not loaded, and occasionally wagons turn over. There are five different divisions of chuckwagon races, depending upon the size of the animals.

“Other events during the race include a mule race, a bronc fanning (a bucking horse event wherein horses are flanked out of a chute, and the rider must not only ride the animal for six seconds, but take his hat off and “fan” the animal to show that he has conquered it), and the Snowy River Race, a thrilling horseback race that includes two downhill runs and a plunge into the South Fork of the Little Red River. Spectators bring lawn chairs or blankets and sit along the bluffs that overlook the track.”

Source: ChuckwagonRaces.com

• CANADA

Calgary Stampede

Chuckwagon racing is an equestrian rodeo “sport” in which drivers in a chuckwagon led by a team of Thoroughbred horses race around a track. The sport is most popular in the Prairie Provinces of Canada, where the World Professional Chuckwagon Association and the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association, are the two major racing circuits.

The actual origin of the sport is unknown, but different stories have been offered over the years.

Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Races consistently result in injury and death of the horses used for this barbaric and archaic event.
Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Races consistently result in injury and death of the horses used for this barbaric and archaic event.

The first time chuckwagon races were held as a spectator sport was at the 1923 Calgary Stampede. Guy Weadick, who had founded the Stampede eleven years earlier, invited ranchers to enter their chuckwagons and crews to compete for a total of $275 in prize money.

Records of horse injuries and deaths were not recorded until the late 80’s.

The most complete records available publicly are from the Vancouver Humane Society, which have added up the tally since 1986 using data from the Calgary Humane Society and media reports.

The Vancouver Humane Society says the total known chuckwagon horse deaths as of 2019 stands at 72 through 2019. The Calgary Stampede was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus scare.

Read our Calgary Stampede coverage here on Tuesday’s Horse »


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How a bill becomes law

Interior of the Capitol Hill dome, Washington D.C.

Who remembers Government class or Civics? Or do they even teach them any more?

It seems a large percentage of American citizens do not know how a bill becomes law. When we started, some of us at the Fund for Horses did, but most of us had very little clue.

We were in good shape though from the beginning because the founder of the Fund for Horses worked for 20 years in the legal profession. A lawyer she worked for was the author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and she was active from the time the bill was drafted and introduced until it became law. It was great experience for her future work in horse protection which she had no idea she would be involved with at the time.

As constituent lobbyists working for (or against) laws that impact the health and safety of horses, the more knowledgeable you are, the better an advocate you will be. Now, this does not mean you need to become an expert by any means, but it will be helpful if you have a general idea.

Action Station

If you are working on the anti slaughter and anti soring bills, please check out the following resources which we feel certain will help you a great deal. There are also loads of helpful links. Here are handy resources from our Take Action page:

• Pending Legislation (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/pending-legislation/)

• Calling Congress (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/calling-congress/)

• How a Bill Becomes Law (https://fundforhorses.org/advocacy-tools/how-a-bill-becomes-law/)

PopVox

POPVOX is an online constituency tool for tracking bills and contacting your Representative and Senators guaranteeing your voice will be heard and counted. We have been with them since they launched in 2010.

Visit our Stakeholder’s page at https://www.popvox.com/stakeholders/horsefund. You will find all horse legislation pending right now before Congress (there’s more than just the anti slaughter and anti soring bills), whether we endorse the bills or oppose the bills and why including detailed talking points.

Create a POPVOX account with an email and password. Weigh in on any and all legislation you want — not just those having to do with horses — and POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your legislators, guaranteed. Oh, did we mention when you sign up POPVOX identifies your legislators for you and stores it right there on your account, so you never need to look them up again! Even if they get booted out and someone else gets elected in their place.

No. We are not getting paid to promote them. We just love them. They make everything so easy. And that’s the truth.

Thank you so much for helping our horses by taking action right away.

Oh. Remember it’s the Senate version of the horse soring bill only, but both House and Senate on the horse slaughter bill. Learn more here or at POPVOX.

Or

Forgot. You can also find and contact your U.S. Representative at https://www.house.gov/ and your two U.S. Senators at https://www.senate.gov/.


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