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N.Y. Racehorse Fatality Database to Open to Public

March 30th, 2012 by RSS News Feeds in News From The Web | No Comments »
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Racing board chairman John Sabini said during a March 28 board meeting that his agency will shortly be making public a “significant database” regarding equine deaths and board rulings against jockeys, trainers, and others in the industry. He did not elaborate.

A state source told The Blood-Horse that the new database is an attempt to bring information now held by the board internally and make it available to the public.

The new database is believed to be one of the only kind like it in the nation where anyone–from bettors to animal rights groups to lawmakers–can research every horse death the past three years in New York, whether occurring on track during a race or off-track during training. The database, expected to be released early next week, can reportedly be searched in any number of ways, including date of death, reason for fatality, and horse name. The database will also include all injuries and incidents involving racehorses.

Sabini said his agency is already working with a new panel charged with investigating the deaths of 21 horses at Aqueduct between Nov. 30, 2011, and March 18. The panel’s members include retired jockey Jerry Bailey; Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Scott Palmer, DVM, the hospital director and staff surgeon at the New Jersey Equine Clinic and past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; and Mary Scollay, DVM, equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

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“The board has undertaken a comprehensive review of each fatality and circumstance regarding each one, including things like track conditions, trainer, ownership, place on the track, any and all variables,” Sabini said.

The review is not just looking at equine deaths at Aqueduct, but all New York facilities, officials said.

Sabini said the review will also determine if any direct actions are needed by the racing board, or if existing racing rules should be changed. “There is no limit as to what we would consider to make the process better,” he said.

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BLM Seeking Bids for New Wild Horse Management Contracts

March 30th, 2012 by RSS News Feeds in News From The Web | No Comments »
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As part of its responsibility to manage and protect wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service (FS), is soliciting bids for several contracts that will help manage wild horses and burros located across the western United States. The contracts are for a new “bait trapping” method that is intended to relieve areas of excess wild horses and burros where helicopter drive trapping is not an effective method. The bids are the first of their kind, in that they involve six zones across the West, with a potential for multiple contractors simultaneously bait trapping animals over an extended period of time.

Bait trapping is not a new method of gathering animals for the BLM; it has been implemented in areas where timeliness is not an issue, as bait trapping usually occurs over several weeks or months, and in locations where BLM personnel can easily monitor the progress from their duty locations. Many times it occurs in areas where water is already scarce and the animals are lured by the water provided, or in areas where a helicopter cannot easily move the animals out of densely wooded areas. Bait trapping involves capturing wild horses and burros by setting up panels and using food, water, salt, or sexual attraction (a mare in heat) to lure animals into a confined area. Allowing contractors to execute the bait trapping over lengthy amounts of time in a variety of locations simultaneously, however, is a new strategy for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

“The BLM is committed to continuously improving its management of wild horses and burros,” said BLM Wild Horse and Burro Division Chief Joan Guilfoyle. “Deploying this new method of bait trapping enhances our ability to gather animals more effectively in certain areas of the West, while minimizing the impact to the animals.”

The concept of the contract is not to capture large numbers of wild horses and burros in a short period of time, but rather to capture smaller numbers over a long period of time. A benefit is that it reduces the impact to the BLM’s holding facilities–instead of large horse gathers with hundreds or thousands of animals entering the facilities at one time, this type of management involves very small amounts of animals trickling into facilities over a longer period of time. Each contract is from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, with an option for four additional one-year periods.

The work consists of the capture, care and transportation of wild horses and /or burros from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. It requires work to be accomplished in a safe and humane manner during all phases of the operation, including capture, handling and transport. The contract is not set up for holding wild horses and burros for any length of time, but to have the wild horses and burros shipped to BLM facilities as soon as possible. The contracts involve setting up a trap, capturing wild horses and burros and shipping them to the BLM preparation facilities. The capture, care, and handling must be completed by those who are knowledgeable and experienced about the behavior and trapping of equids.

The zones are determined by the location of FS territories, BLM herd management areas, and proximity to BLM preparation facilities. The goal is to employ contractors who live around the area where the wild horses and burros are located so that they have short travel times from one trap area to another or to the BLM facility. There can be more than one contract per zone and one contractor can bid on more than one zone.

The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L12PS00229, the details of which are available at To obtain the solicitation:

  • Click on “Search Public Opportunities”;
  • Under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”;
  • Put in the solicitation number (L12PS00229); and
  • Click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear.

The solicitation form describes what to submit and where to send it. Applicants must be registered at to be considered for a contract award. For a map of proposed bait trapping zones, visit

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