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[RC] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee - Oldwaggy

One of the general purposes of the Committee for the Welfare of the Horse is to act as a sounding board for informal complaints by AERC members about horse abuse and to contact overzealous riders to warn and educate them of potential problems.  This helps serve the committee’s overall mission of fostering peer pressure and a culture of protection of horses through non-coercive means. 

This is to announce that members of the Horse Welfare Committee are now ready to field informal complaints or requests for information about riders who are perceived as pushing their horses too hard.  AERC members may contact the committee for this purpose through the following email addresses and phone numbers:

Beverly Gray at bgray@xxxxxxxxxxxx ; Laura Hayes at mark@xxxxxxxxxx ; Mike Jaffe at mrjaffe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx or (972) 524-5047; Jim Mitchell at navion2@xxxxxxxxxxx or 661-324-1760; John Parke at Oldwaggy@xxxxxxx or (805) 963-8611.

Initial contact by email is probably best since it can so easily be forwarded to other
committee members.  A communication to any commitee member will be distributed to the rest of the committee.  The committee will then select a particular member to provide a response.  The committee member assigned to a complaint will review it and, if appropriate, contact and counsel the rider about the impression he or she is creating and the potential consequences if horse abuse does occur.

This informal procedure is intended to allow intervention with problem riders before death or serious injury to a horse occurs and before the problem progresses to a protest.  This informal procedure is not intended to address complaints about competition issues not related to the welfare of the horse.  Nor is it intended as some sort of witch-hunt or “turn in your neighbor” program. 

Obviously, the best way any of us can deal with a problem rider is to directly express our concerns to that rider ourselves.  Sometimes we become worried about what another rider is doing with his or her horses even though we do not see a rule violation.  The committee simply hopes to provide a way to reach out to problem riders who don't seem to respond to the advice of their fellow riders.  Where horse abuse or any other behavior amounts to a violation of the AERC rules, a formal protest should still be directed to the Protest and Grievance Committee.

John Parke
Chaiman, Committee for the Welfare of the Horse