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Merry Christmas from the Staff of the Louisiana Equine Report

Cattle Producers of Louisiana........................... 20 Equine Health by Neely.........21 Youth Page.............................. 29 Therapeutic Riding.......34 & 40 4-H......................................... 46

FEATURED ARTICLES Dr. Frank Andrews LSU Equine Health Studies................................Cover Acadiana Equine Hospital/ The Copper Crowne Concept..............................Cover 2015 World Cup in Vegas..............................Cover Miss Rodeo Mississippi Laura Sumrall..........................13 Jeff Hoovler/Inventor..............15 Dr. Kelly Hudspeth, DVM It’s a Gut Feeling.....................43 Lanny Keith The Lure of Louisiana............52 LQHBA Million Dollar Futurity....................................60

Calendar of Events Page 5

Q and A with Dr. Frank Andrews of the LSU Equine Health Studies Program By Barbara Newtown

Dr. Frank Andrews, DVM, is the Director of the LSU Equine Health Studies Program, part of the Veterinary School at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The program is funded partially by a tax supplement from slot machine revenues at the four Louisiana racetracks. This “statutory dedication” (revenue dedicated by state law or by the state constitution) benefits the health and welfare of horses not only in racing but also in any sport or backyard in the state. Private donations and grants are an essential supplement to state support. Friends of the Equine Health Studies Program have contributed to leading-edge research, professorships, continuing education for the horse-loving public, and modernization of the hospital. Continued on page 17...

The Copper Crowne Concept

By Barbara Newtown

Acadiana Equine Clinic, a multi-disciplinary veterinary practice, has been going strong for over 30 years, most of those years at its original location on Gloria Switch Road in Lafayette, Louisiana. As time passed, a number of veterinarians practiced at Acadiana and retired or moved on. Dr. James “Sunny” Corley merged his practice with Acadiana years ago and now counts Drs. Eddie Cramer, Pat Bernard, Justin Jensen, Patrisor Baia, and Mark Buchert as his colleagues in state-of-the-art reproduction services, surgery, orthopedics, lameness treatments, and the care of racehorses. Continued on page 12...

EHSP Barn Facilities

2015 World Cup in Las Vegas By Marie Cobb, Ree Photographics

World Cup began with a sand storm. We arrived just in time, evidently. Later, I heard tales of judges and coaches that couldn’t arrive by plane, Carl Hester being one of them! He had to fly into LAX and drive to Vegas. He only just made it in time to coach Charlotte Dujardin’s warm up. I can understand why they closed the airport – I got a free Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the dermabrasion just walking to World Cup in Las Vegas. our lovely apartment from the Photo ©Ree Photographics. lobby. Continued on page 10...

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2 Louisiana Equine Report •

December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report







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Sales Executives: Columnist: Jamie Klibert Neely Walker, PhD Allison Young LSU Ag Center Equine Extension Specialist Feature Writer: Assistant Professor Barbara Newtown

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Cattle Producers of Louisiana

Laura Sumrall,

Miss Rodeo Mississippi

Kristi Milazzo Barbara Newtown Glenn Delahoussaye

Articles appearing herein are not necessarily the views or opinions of this paper. They have been submitted and/or paid by the individuals. All Copyright 2014, reserved by Louisiana Equine Report. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the written, expressed consent of the publisher. Reproduction of editorial content or graphics in any manner or in any medium is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for returning unsolicited photos or materials. All articles and advertising are subject to editing. We encourage you to provide us with local news of interest to our readers.

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COMING ISSUES February/ March Deadline: January 15th Stallion Issue 2016 Deadline: december 31 April/May 2016 Deadline: March 15th CALL FOR MORE INFO: 225-229-8979

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Horse Racing Evangeline Downs Quarter Horse Racing September 30th – December 19th, 2016 Post Time 5:40pm Delta Downs Thoroughbred Horse Racing October 16th – March 12th , 2016 Post Time 5:40pm

December 11th – 13th Ms. Classic Team Roping Tunica Arena & Expo Center Info: Kevin Hall 417-547-3406 | Tunica, MS

NBHA MS07 5D Lauderdale County Agri Center | Meridian, MS

MAQHA Holiday Classic Kirk Fordice Equine Center Info: Scott Adams 585-303-4329 | Jackson, MS

New Orleans Fair Grounds Thoroughbred Horse Racing November 19th, 2015 – March 27, 2016

December 12th NBHA MS 01 & 02 $1000 ADDED Pontotoc County Agri Center Info: Courtni 901-651-7622 or Beau 662-544-5290 | Pontotoc, MS

Young Guns Bull Riding Practice Day First Saturday of Every Month Info: 985-351-6862 | Livingston, LA

Southwest Arkansas High School Rodeo Assoc. Info: or 870-582-1968 Texarkana | Cajun Little Britches Rodeo Beauregard Parish Covered Arena Info: Casey Richard 337-302-1365 DeRidder, LA

December 12th & 13th NBHA LA 03 SugArena Open 5D Barrels, Sr. 5D Barrels, Youth 5D Barrels and Open 3D Poles Info: 337-365-7539 Southern Junior Rodeo Association Entry & Membership: SJRA, Attn: Welda Smith 8952 Mars Hill Rd., Bauxite, AR 72011 Acadiana Youth Rodeo Association Acadia Rice Arena Info: Tracia Hebert 337654-2757 or | Crowley, LA 70526 December 18th – 20th Jingle Bell Jamboree West Cal Arena Info: | Sulphur, LA

December 20th Southern University Ag Center Youth Horse Show Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena Info: Ms. Bulter 225-771-6208 Baton Rouge, LA January 1st & 2nd 2 Hearts Barrel Racing New Year Celebration $2,500 Added Marshall City Arena Info: Martha Reyenga 318-560-7583 | Marshall, TX January 1st – 3rd New Year’s Fun Run $10,000 ADDED 4-D Barrel Race & Futurity Forrest County Multipurpose Center POSTMARK BY DEC. 21ST, 2015 Info: Down South Productions P O Box 209, Poplarville, MS 39470 Info: 601-795-4569, 601-297-4619 or 601-463-9111 | Hattiesburg, MS Continued on Page 47...

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Continued from cover...

2015 World Cup in Las Vegas

By Marie Cobb, Ree Photographics Lots of fun when you’re wearing contacts, let me tell you! I flew in with Vicki Macgowan and Judi Dauterive. The approach and landing were quite ‘sporting’. I’m not admitting to being nervous, but we were all holding hands! There we met other SEDA members, Lynda and Harold Katz, Joanna and David Leake, Traci Freeman and Sheri Kitchens.

The next day we arrived at the Thomas and Mack Center to watch the warm-ups. I left my fellow dressage enthusiasts at the entrance to find their seats, and more importantly, THE SHOPPING! I went to the media center to get my credentials. It was good to see so many of my fellow photographers from all over the world. We caught up on all the gossip, then headed down to find our spots. The riders were allotted a certain amount of time for warm-up. Some chose to come in pairs to combine their ring times, giving them twice as long, others schooled solo. The horses had a chance to look around and loosen up after their arduous journeys. Most just calmly looked around, not upset by the closeness of the crowds or the lights. After the World Cup riders, the exhibition riders came in to practice, so we got a preview of the pas de deux and quadrilles we would see on Friday. Thursday was the Grand Prix. They drew for positions and rode in two groups according to the FEI World Ranking Standings, The top ranking horses were in the second set. In the first set there were some nice surprises, though. I personally loved Mister X, ridden by Inessa Merkulova from Russia. An old campaigner, Painted Black, who was ridden by Anky Von Grunsven, was also in that set with his young rider Morgan Barbancon Mastre from Spain. It was really quite sweet, the oldest horse and the youngest rider. America’s newest star, Laura Graves and Verdades, were also in the first set. The second set included Elena Sidney on Romer Star, Mikala Gundersen and My Lady (a pair I’ve had the pleasure of photographing in Wellington) along with Lars Petersen and Mariett. Steffen and Legolas, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Flirt, Isabell Werth and El Sancto NRW, Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on Unee BB, and the one we all were waiting to see – Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin. What can I say… I love that horse! Friday was the short day, the exhibitions were thoroughly enjoyable. We got to see Steffen ride the new mare Rosamunde whom I found to be lovely. Sabine Schut-Kery rode Sanceo in a freestyle. Then there were the Pas de Deux. Mette Rosencrantz and Anna Dahlberg were cowboys and Indians. David Blake and Shannon Peters were Batman and Poison Ivy, Charlotte Bredhal-Baker and


David Black and Shannon Peters as Batman and Poison Ivy. Photo ©Ree Photographics.

Jan Ebeling were Danny and Sandy from Grease, and last but not least we had Guenter Seidel as Elvis with showgirls Michele Reilly, Elizabeth Ball, and Sarah Christy. it just wouldn’t be Vegas without Elvis. The judges had a hard time picking the winners and did so with the assistance of very enthusiastic audience participation. It was lots of fun and over too soon. Saturday’s freestyles were wild. The stadium was packed, 10,700 excited fans! WOW! It was noisy and the rides were electrified. Several of the horses had a little trouble when they spotted the World Cup on a pedestal in the corner of the arena illuminated by a very distracting spot light. When Valegro came in, there was absolute silence at first but the audience couldn’t contain themselves, applauding every extravagant extension and foot-perfect pirouette. His Grand Prix test was amazing, but the freestyle went miles beyond. It literally gave me goosebumps! Every foot placed just so, so precise and powerful and elastic. If there were any imperfections, I certainly couldn’t see them. He reminds me of a powerful gymnast, all that muscle and grace. He and Charlotte obviously have a wonderful connection. You barely see her give an aid yet her face is total concentration. It was poetry. A world record-setter at the top of his game in an absolutely electric atmosphere. What a moment! Me and my fellow seasoned world photographers all had a catch in our throats and a tear in our eyes. Charlotte made the final halt and the crowd went ballistic. Valegro looked up at the audience as if to say ‘What’s all the fuss about? I’m just doing my thing. This is how I roll.’ What a horse!! I believe there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


Continued from cover... The Copper Crowne Concept By Barbara Newtown

about what Copper Crowne means to him.

Acadiana Equine is now located in Opelousas, Louisiana, not far from Evangeline Downs. The clinic is part of Copper Crowne—a gorgeous, 210-acre property dedicated to equine reproduction, health care, training, and rehabilitation. Copper Crowne, so named for the elegant copper cupolas on the brand-new stables, boasts a 6 ½ furlong track, officially sanctioned by the Louisiana Racing Commission for workouts; a large outdoor arena; boarding, foaling, and rehab space for hundreds of horses; barns with living quarters; and superb veterinary facilities. Acadiana Equine’s official title is “Acadiana Equine Clinic at Copper Crowne,” not to be confused with “The Veterinary Clinic at Copper Crowne,” a facility for small animal care just a few small-animal strides away. Dr. Corley’s wife, Dr. Edna Dean Corley, oversees The Veterinary Clinic at Copper Crowne.

I started off as more of a general practitioner. I always had a profound interest in reproductive medicine, but I really questioned, honestly, whether the region would support an exclusive reproductive veterinarian.

Mr. Harold Forman, a prominent builder, developer, and supporter of Thoroughbred racing, envisioned the Copper Crowne concept: a full-service, “cradle-to-grave” facility that caters to every need an equine might require. Mr. Forman had been a friend and client of Dr. Corley for years, and he turned to Dr. Corley for input. Copper Crowne Equestrian Center began to take shape in 2009. The story of Copper Crowne is a tale of dedicated horsemen deciding to go “first class.” Good friends, old and new, are developing a dream that benefits many others, human and equine. I talked with Dr. Eddie Cramer, the reproduction specialist,


You used to work with Dr. Chat Kleinpeter in Baton Rouge.

But the repro services at Kleinpeter/Cramer in Baton Rouge continued to expand, and dramatically outgrew what was available to us. [The facility is leased from the Dixon family.] I love Bill and Mary Lee Dixon and they are very good friends. It’s a beautiful property, but it was never designed to be a breeding farm. The reproductive services within Kleinpeter/Cramer had just outgrown everything we could do there. We looked into developing a facility in the South Baton Rouge area, but the property values were prohibitive. A large portion of my client base at that point were running quarter horses that were doing embryo transfers. Most of them were in the Acadiana area, but since I was a lot closer than Oklahoma they came to me. So I had a client base in this region already. Kleinpeter and I discussed it for a long time but at the end of the day Chat was not interested in investing in a whole new project 60 miles away at that point in his life. We separated business interests. The “spun out” repro department of Kleinpeter & Cramer became the Louisiana Center for Equine Reproduction, or LACER. I purchased a tract of land for LACER in Opelousas. After I signed the purchase agreement, the realtor mentioned that somebody had just bought an old horse farm two miles away.

Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Two days later Dr. Corley called me up and wanted to have lunch because he heard in the wind that a veterinarian just bought some land down the road. We went to lunch and we hardly knew each other. Frankly, there was some concern on both of our sides—you know, “is there a market that you are going after that I’m going after and how competitive are you?” 10 minutes into lunch we figured out that we could be neighbors and friends but we weren’t going to be in competition. LACER and Acadiana Equine at Copper Crowne were happening at the same time. We were friendly but really didn’t do a whole lot of work together until about 2012. And what actually happened was that the first thoroughbred stallion we stood at LACER had a lot of ties back to Dr. Corley and Acadiana. The logic was that LACER didn’t have the capacity to handle that influx of broodmares. Copper Crown would function more as the mare farm and we would haul them over to LACER for breeding and repro. It made a lot of sense. What happened practically is that Dr. Corley and I started working together and getting to know each other… January 1st of 2015 was the official merger of LACER and Acadiana Equine. We have probably 250 mares in our care. [Dr. Cramer explains that Harold Forman concentrates on the 150 acres of Copper Crowne that include the training center and track. Dr. Corley purchased Mr. Forman’s interest in the front 50 acres, the location of the original old farm and the new veterinary facilities.] There is not the same ownership across all of Copper Crowne. At this point Sunny owns half of LACER and I own half of the farm at Copper Crowne. Continued on page 50...

A Crown for a Year, Memories for a Lifetime By Laura Sumrall I have never been a “pageant girl” per say, but I definitely had my perceptions of what pageants would be like. As my year as Miss Rodeo Mississippi started coming to a close, I prepared for my first ever real pageant, and it just so happened to be a national one- the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. I must say, the whole idea made me nervous. It is an eight-day pageant, filled with modeling, several interviews, a written test, a horsemanship competition, several impromptu speeches and engagements full of interaction with some of rodeos finest. When I heard the word “pageant” in the past, it gave me a sense of worry, as if I was being judged for who I am and my character. But I was pleasantly surprised in every way. Our judges could not have been any nicer. They wanted each of us to succeed and be the best person that we could be. They listened to our stories and told us some of theirs too. They may have been our “judges,” but really they were just people who love the same sport that we do and were looking for just the right girl to represent it. Yes, they did have to give us each numerical values, but I like to think it was on a scale of greatness rather than bad to good, because in all honesty, there was not a single state representative there that could not take the America title and make it proud. It was incredible. Each girl had put in hours and hours of studying, preparation and planning of their wardrobe in order to be the best they could be for their state and that week.

Laura with her parents, Hiram & Dawn Sumrall

As a state queen, we all travelled together the majority of the year, spending many nights in close quarters and sharing clothes, helping with hair and even studying together on the road. We made great friendships that will never be forgotten. They will all be receiving invitations to my wedding in the future. For the eight days, we were completely disconnected from all things electronic- no phones, computers, iPads, iPods, or anything of the sort. They did leave the televisions in the room, which we only used for news updates and a little CMT to get our mornings going at 4 AM each day. They put us together alphabetically, so my roommate was from Minnesota. We had spent a little time together but not much over the year. We were always in different parts of the country. Little did we know, we are nearly the same person from different areas of the world. She comes from a pretty rural area of Minnesota and is quite an impressive gal. She is currently in law school and had to return after the pageant in order to complete a final. We had a blast together, and I would not change our week together for anything. In the end, they picked Miss Rodeo Washington as the 2016 Miss Rodeo America, and she will do a wonderful job. She is incredibly smart and well spoken with experiences under her belt to make her upcoming year the best it can possibly be. She will make the Miss Rodeo America organization very proud in all of her duties, I feel sure. And I am very happy to call her a good friend of mine. So for any future pageant girls out there or moms of pageant girls, I leave you with one thought- an open mind. Maybe the Miss Rodeo America organization is just different from others, but I absolutely could not be any happier with my pageant experience. It was fun and exciting and full of new friends to last a lifetime. Whether it be a local, state or national pageant, rodeo or not, I say go for it. It gives an opportunity to spend time and make friends with people who love the same things you do, and what more can you ask for. Next on my agenda will be a trip to the National Western in Denver, CO, then our Miss/Jr./Sweetheart Dixie National Pageant as well as the Miss Rodeo Mississippi Pageant all to be held on January 16, 2016, where I will wear my crown for the very last time. It will be bittersweet, but what a year I have had! One full of so many joys and adventures. A year I will never forget.

Laura meets a new friend

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


14 Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Jeff Hoovler, Inventor of the Easy Way T-Post Puller Jeff and Pam Hoovler started out with five acres and a pregnant, one-eyed, registered Quarter Horse. They cleared land and built stalls for the mare and her son Daybreak. Jeff and Pam discovered that they had soft hearts for equines. They started going to auctions. “We picked up one, then another one, then another one,” says Jeff. They realized that they needed more property. They cleared trees and built fences and ran wire. They built a bigger barn. They rescued horses and Pam developed an ability to communicate deeply and kindly with the animals. People brought troubled horses to her. Jeff and Pam bought yet more land, and moved the fences yet again… One day, Jeff was working alone, yanking T-posts out of the ground with a chain attached to the loader on his little tractor. He had to keep getting off the tractor to snug the chain around the post, and half the time the chain slipped off before the post was free. If everything worked correctly, he still had to get off the tractor to unwrap the chain and drop the post. “I’m getting too old for this,” he thought. Thus was born the idea which became the Easy Way T-Post Puller. The sturdy metal unit dangles on a chain from a tractor’s loader. The operator—a grizzled, stove-up rancher, say, or a teenage girl with a new manicure—lowers the Puller over the top of a post. The flared bottom easily wiggles onto the post; you don’t have to be exact, because the Puller settles into just the right orientation every time. The movable lock of the Puller snags one of those bumps that go the length of all metal posts. Lift the loader, and the post pulls out of the ground. Lightly pull a string which is attached to the top of the lock, and the post drops out. Next post, please! No need to stumble off the tractor and wade through briars and poison ivy and fire ants. No broken teenage nails. Inventing comes naturally to Jeff. He’s worked on machinery from all over the world, not just on the mechanics, but on the electrical, electronic, and hydraulic systems. He’s done machining. “I’ve seen how all types of things work,” he says, “and I’ve always been able to modify equipment for people.” Now that he is near retirement, he looks forward to tinkering in his shop full time and letting his imagination roll. He has his own milling machine, drill press, welding machines, and small tools, and he can make his own prototypes. He can illustrate devices with AutoCAD – the powerful computer-assisted design program used by engineers and architects. One thing Jeff does NOT have is an inclination to send his inventions to China for assembly. The T-Post Puller is made in America. In fact, it is made in Mississippi, and the Puller already has fans there. “They’re using it at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson. They have to set up T-posts in different areas to border off different animals at different times. They used to pull posts with a fork lift. They would raise the fork up to the tip of the T-post, a guy would push against it, and they would try to lift it out of the ground,” says Jeff. Of course the fork would slip off the post. Now the grounds crew in Jackson are believers. What is Jeff going to invent next? He won’t say for sure, but he hints that the perfect accompaniment to the T-Post Puller would be something that winds up old barb wire.

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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Continued from cover...

Q and A with Dr. Frank Andrews of the LSU Equine Health Studies Program By Barbara Newtown

Corporations like Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Zinpro, Purina, SeaBuck Equine LLC, Triple Crown Feeds, and SmartPak contribute, as well as organizations (in the form of competitive grants) such as the Morris Animal Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, and the Louisiana Governor’s Biotechnology Initiative Grants Program. One example of significant generosity is the new $5.3 million Isolation Unit, which was partially funded by the John Franks Foundation in Shreveport, LA. “John Franks was a famous owner of racehorses and a distinguished LSU alumnus,” says Dr. Andrews. “He had a thousand horses racing and training in the 1980s. In this new unit, we can separate horses with strangles, diarrhea, or other infections from our main population of horses.” Researchers and veterinary students appreciate the donation of horses to the research program. The identity of horses and donors is kept confidential. Dr. Andrews writes (in the LSU EHSP 2014 Equine Research Report): “These horses are valued members of our program and are treated with kindness and dignity.” Dr. Andrews praises the state-of-the-art Veterinary Hospital facilities available to the Equine Health Studies Program, in particular the MRI, CT, and nuclear scintigraphy units for imaging soft tissue and bone. The dynamic endoscope allows a horse’s upper airway to be viewed and analyzed while the horse is exercising at the farm, racetrack, or on the high-speed treadmill, another high-tech state-of-theart piece of equipment at the LSU Veterinary Hospital. Digital motion analysis of gait and lameness, equine stem cell research, design of orthopedic implants, laser surgery, molecular biology research, and advanced reproductive techniques all contribute to the cutting-edge reputation of the LSU EHSP. Imagine a sophomore in college who loves science and animals and wants to go to veterinary school. What advice would you give that student? GET EXCELLENT GRADES IN COLLEGE! The first two years of college are critical. If you get a low GPA your first two years of college, you won’t be able to bring it up and it might be “too late” to get into veterinary school! The students who get into vet school, here and nationwide, have an average GPA of 3.7. If you can get a 3.5 to 4.0 your first two years, you set up good study habits and your chances of

getting in are greatly increased. I’ve heard that vet school is harder to get into than medical school. Well, since there are fewer vet schools than medical schools, it can be just a numbers game. We used to have just 28 vet schools in the nation, but four more have opened up recently in Arizona, California, and the northern part of Tennessee, and Alberta, Canada. In Europe, a vet school might accept 150 or 200 students, and then make the comment on the first day, “Look to your right and look to your left—one of those people won’t be there at graduation.” They start out with larger classes and weed students out. [Yes, American veterinary schools are hard to get into,] but once a person gets into vet school, we do everything we can to make students successful. Sometimes students will drop out of veterinary school; they applied because they love animals, but then they realize that they do not like the science part and do not like memorizing anatomy structures. But this rarely happens, as over 95% of the students finish with DVMs! The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine gets between 700 and 800 applicants each year. About 90 will get in. It is competitive. If you make it to the interview stage, you have a 50/50 shot at getting in. [Dr. Andrews says that strong

go into equine practice once they graduate. There is a worry out there that there aren’t going to be enough large animal vets. A lot of the horse vets out there are older, and there aren’t enough people coming up to take their places. [Part of the problem is the economics of the profession:] Sometimes rural vets don’t make as much money as the small animal vets, who can stay in their practices and look at four or five patients an hour. If you’re out on the road you can only look at one patient an hour. That said, I’m impressed with how many good horse vets we have here in Louisiana—from my limited perspective! We have a strong horse culture. Before I came to LSU I spent 20 years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville—and when I came to Louisiana I noticed that pretty much everybody you talk to owns a horse, grew up with horses, or had grandparents who raised horses. Western Mississippi, Southern Arkansas, and Eastern Texas have big horse cultures, too. How are the four years of veterinary school structured?

EHSP Pole Barn Facilities

recommendations, convincing essays, experience with animals, and a great interview all make a difference— but, to get past the initial cut, a student must have “the numbers”--a high GPA and a high score on the Graduate Record Exam.] [Since the state of Arkansas doesn’t have a veterinary school,] we have a contract with Arkansas to take 8 or so of their students. The students pay in-state tuition and the state of Arkansas makes up the difference. Students from out-of-state and even from foreign countries like China or England or Mexico make up about 25% to 30% of each entering class. We get a number of applicants from the northeastern states, because the out-of-state tuition at LSU is still lower than tuition at the University of Pennsylvania or Cornell University. What percentage of LSU veterinary students want to study equines?

Pony Reproduction Herd

Research Horses Enjoying Pasture Turnout 2014

Every veterinary student is required to take equine medicine and surgery for four weeks. About half of them express an interest in equine studies, and perhaps 10% of them actually

For the first two-and-a-half years, the students do book learning and anatomy. They dissect legs, for instance, and they are assigned a dog to dissect. Very much like when you donate your body to science, for the education of medical students. We have horses for dissection, too, donated in the same way. The dogs and horses have all been humanely put to sleep. Then the students learn functional anatomy. We take them out and show them a live horse so that they are able to take what they learned in dissection and apply it. They don’t do any cutting on a live horse, but they are able to palpate and explore where the internal organs touch the body wall and where the nerves run. In February of the third year they start clinic rotations. Each month they rotate. One month they might do equine medicine and surgery, and the next month they might do food animal medicine and surgery. When cases come in, the students examine the patients, take histories from the clients, and learn the procedures and diagnostics. [Dr. Andrews explains that the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine has a licensed social worker on the staff. She is available to counsel students who are feeling stressed, but she also teaches students how to handle difficult situations with clients. The most difficult situation, of course, is euthanasia.] Continued on page 23...

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016• Louisiana Equine Report


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THE YEAR 2015 IS OVER! by Dave Foster December marks the end of 2015 and what a year it has been! Farmers and ranchers dealt with two major challenges- weather and prices. Weather conditions in late winter/early spring (cold and wet) delayed corn and rice planting and prevented ryegrass from fully developing. Temperatures and moisture allowed row crops and rice to develop until a major rain event happened July 4 weekend. When the storm ended so did the rain. This fact, coupled with high temperatures, lasted until October. Records were set for the longest period of temperatures over 90 degree F with as many as 35 consecutive days with temperatures over 95 degree F. Hay production was late and some ranchers were forced to feed early harvested hay to cattle. Until mid-October the bulk of the state was in a moderate to severe drought. The last two weeks of October saw 14-15 inches of rain, all coming in 4 days. Sugar cane farmers looking for a good harvest were adversely affected by this October rain event. Cattle prices opened the year at record price levels for calves and yearlings with slaughter cows posting record highs as well. In the second quarter of 2015 (April-June) prices weakened a little but were still higher than the 2014 prices. After the July 4th break, prices started lower and by August the market headed lower and continued until the end of the year. When comparing prices to 2014 at the July/Aug. junction the opposite happened. At this point 2014 prices started higher and continued this upward trend to close out the year while the 2015 prices headed lower and finished the year lower. When comparing calf/yearling prices in Nov./Dec. from this year to last year they were $300.00-$500.00 per head lower during this time frame. However when comparing the current cattle price to year 2013 these prices are still higher. To say farmers and ranchers in Louisiana have been on a “roller coaster ride” in 2015 is truly an understatement. As we await Christmas (a time of giving , remembrance and blessing) let us remember how that special child in a manger changed people’s lives. As we look forward to a new year, give thanks for your blessings, be flexible and keep informed. Cattle Producers of Louisiana is a phone call away (888-528-6999) or check out our website

20 Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Equine Health

By Neely

Neely Walker, PhD: LSU Ag Center | Equine Extension Specialist

Equine Insulin Resistance Feeding your horse is one of the most important factors in maintaining its overall health and performance. When horses digest feed; carbohydrates produce glucose (sugar), which becomes the horse’s main source of energy. Once the body recognizes the increase in available glucose, insulin is produced to regulate the glucose concentration and use throughout the body. Insulin resistance (IR) occurs when the body is no longer sensitive to the actions of insulin. Therefore a horse that is insulin resistant will require higher quantities of insulin to properly utilize the available glucose from digested feed. The cause of Insulin Resistance in horses is not fully understood and it is likely that multiple factors contribute to this condition including diet, obesity, age, activity level, and genetics. Modern feeding programs usually include high sugar/starch which causes an increase in glucose and the amount of insulin required to regulate it. Research has shown that horses that are fed a high sugar/starch diet compared to horses that are fed a high fiber/fat diet were more likely to develop insulin resistance. Obese horses are more likely to become insulin resistant, however even lean horses that can be classified as “easykeepers” can also develop this disorder. Horses over the age of 20 are prone to developing endocrine dysfunction and as a result also develop IR. The level of activity your horse has also plays a role in Insulin resistance development. Regular exercise will utilize the excess glucose causing a reduction of insulin; therefore active horses have a reduced chance of developing IR. Horses that are Insulin Resistant often have a body condition score of 6 or higher with irregular fat deposits, can be described as “easy-keepers”, and may have bouts of unexplained sore hooves and laminitis. If you suspect your horse may be insulin resistant it is important that you have your veterinarian diagnose it as soon as possible. If untreated insulin resistance can lead to decreased pancreatic function and potentially cause the development of type II diabetes.

It is important to note that management practices utilized in the first 10 years of a horses’ life can predispose it to becoming insulin resistant. Prevention is always preferred. The following management techniques can help you treat and prevent insulin resistance. • Avoid obesity (body condition score of 7 or higher) by adjusting your feeding protocol. • Limit grazing especially in the spring and fall when cool grasses contain the most sugar. • Limit concentrates and feed grain with low in sugar and starch (i.e. NO MOLASSAS) only if needed. • Provide exercise and turn out time for your horse. Turn out should be done in a dry lot or an arena to reduce the chance of consuming high starch grasses. • Maintain adequate hoof care to help reduce future laminitis. • Ensure a proper diet that is specific to your horse. Many IR horses that are fed a restricted diet do not get all of the required nutrients. Work with your veterinarian or a nutritional consultant to determine if additional supplements are needed. Insulin resistance in horses can create a management challenge for owners and decrease overall performance. If you suspect your horse may be suffering with IR contact your veterinarian immediately. Maintaining a healthy balance between diet and exercise can help prevent insulin resistance in your horse. References: 1. Frank, N. 2006. Insulin Resistance in Horses. Endocrinology. Vol 52, pg 51-53. 2. Adams, M. 2009. Feeding the Insulin Resistant Horse. MFA Inc. FactSheet. 3. Treiber, K., Kronfeld, D., & R. Geor. 2006. Insulin Resistance in Equids: Possible Role in Laminitis. Journal of Nutrition. Vol. 136 no. 7 pg 2094s-2098s.

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


Junior’s Show Experience: Priceless By Grey Cummins, SEDA Junior Rider Hi, my name is Grey Cummins, and I am ten years old. I have been a SEDA member for a few years. I would like to tell you about my experience at SEDA’s Junior Classic

about it. I entered the combined test with Charlie, and I practiced two dressage tests with Libby. She is my mom’s lesson horse, so she was a good horse to give me experience. I also did the in-hand class, and I got to jump Charlie in the 2’3 jumping classes. That was my favorite part!

A week before the show, I went with my friends from Highlands Riding Center to help set up the jumps for the show. My mom taught us how to make jump courses on paper and then set up the real thing in the arena. We had to pull poles and standards down from the jump wagon and move them to different places in the ring. It was a lot of work, and it was hot! But I loved being the jump cup person, which meant I brought cups and pins to each jump so they could be set up. We also put the flags and numbers out. It looked really good when we were done.

My ponies are very different from one another. Charlie and I are a lot alike. Like me, Charlie is curious, mischievous, a little hyper, and a handful... but still an awesome pony. He really loves to jump. I do a lot of things with Charlie at home – like ride bareback around the farm – and sometimes we go scouting in the woods together...just the two of us. Sometimes, I turn him loose in the yard and let him eat grass, and he follows me around. I entered Charlie in the in-hand class because I thought we would do a good job since we spend a lot of time together. I was a little worried that he would spook at the judge because he is not very trusting of people he doesn’t know. He just doesn’t know what to do around strangers. But I was very happy with him because he was curious about Ms. Helen George, the judge – he sniffed her but didn’t jump away. I think he was trying to see what she was all about! I was also proud of him because he stood very still for her to walk around him for the inspection. Trotting for her was easy, too, because he likes to go fast.

I was lucky enough to ride my favorite two ponies at the show this year – Charlie, my POA gelding, and Libby, a black-and-white Pinto pony mare. It was a very fun day. I was super busy, but I was enthusiastic

My other pony, Libby is very trusting and laid back, but she can be a little sassy. Libby is easier to ride than Charlie because she has “been there and done that!” I love her canter. It is so much fun! I was a

Smiles from Team Equi-Best at the Junior Classic.

show this past summer.


Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

little bit nervous about doing the Beginner Novice tests because I don’t ride Libby as much as I ride Charlie, but I was pleased with my rides because Libby took care of me and did what I asked her to do. I think I would have gotten a better score if I had practiced on her more.

Kelsey Lassen at the Junior Classic.

I think the show was great because I got to see all my friends from other barns. I really like laughing and teasing with Ms. Lynn Quast because she always plays with me. I also like Ms. Kimberley Schultz because she is always so nice to me. Her daughters, Sam and Sydney are some of my best friends. The horse show was also nice because we had fun at the potluck lunch. Everyone brought such good food! I think everyone had a good time and learned a lot, and I hope that more kids will come next year. See you there!

worm impactions… We don’t see too much sand impaction in Louisiana; you mostly see that in the coastal areas of Florida and California.

Continued from page 17...

Q and A with Dr. Frank Andrews of the LSU Equine Health Studies Program By Barbara Newtown

We love animals, but we also don’t want them to suffer when they get severe disease. Veterinarians have the ability to make decisions about pets which you don’t have with humans. In the human world, if a patient is suffering you try to minimize the pain. With a dog or cat or horse, you don’t feel quite as helpless in certain situations. We try everything we can, but when there is no hope, we have certain options to ease pain and suffering. The students are trained by having videotaped interviews with mock clients. We usually work with owners from the outside. They have scripts to memorize—they might play the “emotional person,” for example. Faculty watch through a two-way mirror. We teach the students how to talk with clients and how to take a physical exam. We teach them what questions to ask--a lot of times the way you ask a question is the way you are going to get an answer. And then there’s a problem that veterinarians face more often, I think, than human doctors do—the issue of how much a treatment is going to cost. We try not to make the issue of cost the first thing out of our mouth—“How much can you afford?” For instance, we have a standard colic protocol. Most of the colicky horses that come to the LSU clinic are referred from other veterinarians. The local vet may not be able to control the pain, so they talk to their client about taking the horse to LSU or some other surgical facility. If the client says yes, the veterinarian calls us and tells us the horse is coming. [Sometimes the trailer ride fixes the horse!] Once we do the workup and get all the information, we communicate with the client and say your horse may need to have surgery or your horse may be able to be treated medically, and we discuss costs. Medical treatment runs $1,000 to $3,000; average is $2,000 to $3,000. Surgery, plus the aftercare, can run up to $10,000. I think our average is around $5,000 to $7,000 for surgery. What percentage of horses engaged in rigorous sport can return to their prior level of competition after colic surgery? We’ve gotten so good at colic surgery that probably 80% to 90% can return to the same level of competition. They usually recover in two months after the surgery. There are some studies where researchers have shown that the incision part is actually stronger than the original skin and body wall. Now, if we have to remove a lot of intestine, or if the intestine was severely damaged, recovery may take longer and that horse may have recurring problems. There can be infection or adhesions or other problems. [Adhesions are internal scar tissue that connects structures that shouldn’t be connected.] Colic surgery is probably the #1 surgery that we do here. We like to get the horse here early in the disease, but sometimes people are kind of waffling about what to do—keep treating it medically on the farm or just take the horse right away

Dynamic Endoscope

to LSU. It’s only when the pain medication doesn’t seem to work anymore or only lasts a short time that they make up their minds. When we see the horse, it might have been colicking for 24 hours. We had one lady who brought her horse in after four days, but that horse did very well! Surgery is a scary prospect for a horse owner, even if it’s affordable. I remember that the great Thoroughbred filly Ruffian had to be put down because she struggled coming out of anesthesia and re-broke her leg. [Fractures are a problem.] You have to put a cast on; whenever you have a cast, it usually ends in the middle of a bone. If a horse takes a bad step getting up then you have a 1,000 or 1,500 pounds pushing that cast over, and it could snap the leg. Then the older horses can have osteoporosis just like old folk, and when they get up after colic surgery just the sheer weight of their bodies can cause fractures. But now we have lots of new anesthetic agents. We have very few horses that have issues or that break their legs getting up. We use isoflurane, which is an inhalant anesthetic that can be monitored better and doesn’t last as long. We have narcotics which ease pain and help horses recover a little slower. Horses are prey animals—they are always thinking that a mountain lion is going to get them, so they don’t want to be lying down too long. Sometimes they try to get up before they are ready. We have sedation agents that keep them lying down or sitting up on the sternum. When they are ready to stand up, we hand recover them. Hand recovery—how does that work? We tie a rope to the tail and a rope to the halter. The ropes are looped up on hooks at the top of the recovery stall and come through the observation window. We have students or faculty or house officers handling the ropes. When the horse is ready to stand, we raise the tail and then the head. We can keep the weight from teetering. Do you use slings? Yes. We have recovered horses in slings, but it’s pretty labor intensive. We don’t do it often, because some horses panic when they are in a sling. If a horse has head trauma or a neurologic disease or a head tilt or something, we use a sling. Or if the horse has a fracture and we want it to recover from anesthesia while standing. What causes colic? Displacement of the colon, twists in the small intestine,

Most of the colic we see is associated with impaction in the intestine caused by dryness. Maybe the feed is dry, or the horse isn’t drinking enough water. When a horse travels around a lot to shows, the water is different at each show. Some people carry their own water and just run out. We assume that the horse doesn’t drink because it doesn’t like the taste of the new water. Or maybe it’s the new environment, and the horse is too busy looking around than drinking and eating. A lot of people like to keep their horses in the pasture when they are at home. They load them in the trailer Friday night, take them to the show, work them all weekend, and throw them back in the pasture when they get home. What they don’t realize is the grass in the pasture is 90% water and the hay they feed on the weekend is 90% dry matter. What happens is that dry matter goes through the intestine and soaks up all the water in the intestines and sucks water out of the blood, and the horse becomes functionally dehydrated. Since the horse is dehydrated, it has less blood to circulate and may experience lethargy, inefficient cooling in hot weather and exercise intolerance. In addition, if there is not enough water in the large intestines, the horse may become impacted and develop colic. You can wet the hay when you go on the road, but unfortunately it doesn’t soak up very much. We suggest putting flavoring in the water at your farm. You can use packets of Jell-O and find a flavor that your horse likes. When you travel, you can pour the Jell-O into the new water and it tastes just like what you have at home. Or you can use the flavorings you put in bottled water. Some horses like peppermint, others like banana or apple. Another helpful hint to keep your horses drinking at the shows: add a couple of ounces of “lite salt” to the grain twice daily while you are at the show grounds. That salt has the potassium and the sodium together. The horse will eat the grain and then sense that he is thirsty and will drink more water. We manage horses differently than what they were invented for. When they were first put on earth, they were just walking around grazing. They did have some stress when the mountain lions came around, but basically they were just grazing on grass that was 90% water. Dr. Andrews, you are a specialist in equine internal medicine. What is your research interest? My research is focused mainly on gastric ulcer disease in horses, but also further down the GI tract with colonic ulcers and a variety of other things. Right now we are working on the use of supplements and their effect on treating ulcers. We want to maintain stomach health and pH balance by using these supplements that have antioxidants and digestive aids (pre- and probiotics) in them. Current pharmacologic agents used to treat ulcers raise the stomach pH – they make the stomach more alkaline (basic), which might have an effect on digestion. You can try to prevent ulcers by using the pharmaceutical agents in a lower dose, but the pH of the stomach is still altered. We are trying to get away from that effect. Continued on page 26...

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


Continued from page 23...

Q and A with Dr. Frank Andrews of the LSU Equine Health Studies Program By Barbara Newtown

Scoping A Horses Stomach

Horses have what we call a compound stomach. The non-glandular (nonacid-secreting) lining of the esophagus goes all the way into the first third of the stomach. So the horse is really susceptible to heartburn. It turns out that when a horse runs the stomach gets squeezed between the diaphragm and the large intestine. That pushes the acid up into the first part of the stomach. I call it “acid splash,” when that acid is exposed to the esophageal (nonglandular) mucosa.

We recommend having hay available at all times. We also recommend mixing grass hay with alfalfa, which is a buffering agent. It has a lot of calcium carbonate in it, like dietary Tums. Alfalfa also has a lot of protein and it’s very alkalizing to the stomach. Some early research we did compared feeding regular brome grass hay as opposed to alfalfa hay and grain. The horses on alfalfa have lower ulcer scores and higher stomach pHs (not as high as with drugs) in their stomachs than horses on brome grass hay. That study was repeated at Texas A & M, and they found the same effect, even with adding exercise. Do you see more ulcers in horses of a certain breed, or horses in a certain sport? If you scoped 100 Thoroughbreds in race training, 93% would have ulcers. That prevalence might be lower now, because a lot of people use Gastrogard or compounded anti-ulcer medications. If you scope 100 warmbloods or appendix Quarter Horses in hunter-jumper training, about 60% of those would have ulcers. 40% of Quarter Horses that show in reining or pole bending or team penning or Western Pleasure might have ulcers. There was a recent study in Finland, looking at warmbloods, which found 50% with glandular ulcers in the lower part of the stomach. You see glandular ulcers in Europe, but not so much here. We are looking for more of those ulcers now. In people, glandular ulcers show up as holes


in the stomach, [and the ulcers are often the result of the bacterium H. pylori.] In horses, the glandular ulcers are more raised and are caused by inflammation. There does not seem to be bacteria present. What would you like to emphasize about the LSU Equine Health Studies Program? We are here not only to do research and teach students, but also to serve the horses of the state of Louisiana. (In our full-service large animal clinic, we also look at cattle, sheep, goats, pigs—even pet pigs.) We provide services that perhaps are not available to the veterinarian out in the field. We work closely with practitioners so that the practitioner can follow up on the diagnosis. We are not in the business of taking clients from practitioners. The nice thing about Louisiana is that a lot of our graduates practice here, so they have a loyalty to the school and we communicate with them. We want to work with our alumni to provide better service for clients. Besides the technology and the expertise of our faculty, we also have a 24/7 hospital and intensive treatment unit. We have technicians and faculty that are here all night, checking on animals, giving intravenous fluids. For instance, sometimes our ophthalmology cases require treatment every two hours. If clients have to do that at home or call the veterinarian out to do it, it becomes very expensive or impossible to do. We have someone looking at the horse every hour, and sometimes every 30 minutes, writing down the heart rate, for instance. The technicians can call the intern or the resident or the faculty member, so they can evaluate and see if the horse needs more pain meds or needs to go to surgery. We have a wide range of experts: board certified specialists in surgery, medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, and cardiology. So, for example, if we determine that your horse has a heart problem—maybe it’s slowing down during a race or is exercise intolerant—our board certified cardiologist can do an echocardiogram with ultrasound, and determine whether a murmur is significant or not. And, of course, we look at emergencies 24/7, 365 days a year, even Christmas Day and New Year’s. Thank you, Dr. Andrews. You can reach the Equine Clinic at: Skip Bertman Drive at River Road Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 | 225-578-9500 |

Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

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East Mississippi men’s rodeo team stands 18th nationally after first-place finish at Southern Arkansas event

MAGNOLIA, Ark. – The East Mississippi Community College men’s rodeo team closed out the fall portion of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region schedule in winning fashion by collecting first-place team honors this past weekend at Southern Arkansas University. The three-day rodeo event concluded Saturday night at Story Arena on the SAU campus. Now ranked 18th nationally with 1,850 total team points, head coach Morgan Goodrich’s EMCC men’s squad edged out host Southern Arkansas by 10 points, 435-425, in the fall finale, while also out-distancing Top 10 nationally ranked foes Tennessee-Martin (370 points) and Missouri Valley College (275). The victory marked East Mississippi’s sixth overall team win since the program’s inception in 2010.  The EMCC men previously claimed first-place team honors in the 2014 Northwest Mississippi Community College event as well as in 2012 at Troy University and in 2010 at the University of West Alabama.  The EMCC women captured a pair of team titles during last year’s rodeo campaign at Missouri Valley College and Cossatot Community College.      

At Southern Arkansas this past week, East Mississippi benefitted from a 1-2 finish in the tie down roping competition as 2014 National High School Finals Rodeo All-Around Cowboy Marcus Theriot and Cooper Christensen, from North Pontotoc High School, each earned 130 points in the event. The reigning Mississippi High School Rodeo Association Boys All-Around Champion, Theriot also collected 135 points for his second-place finish in the steer wrestling event at SAU.  While winning his second men’s all-around individual title of the fall season, the Poplarville native also advanced to Saturday’s team roping finals with partner Lane Mitchell from UT Martin. Former Kossuth High School product Kody Rinehart also contributed to EMCC’s winning team effort by securing 40 points in the saddle bronc riding competition. Midway through the 2015-16 rodeo season, the East Mississippi men’s team stands 18th among the NIRA’s national standings and third in the Ozark Region behind second-ranked Tennessee-Martin and No. 5 Missouri Valley College.  On the women’s side, EMCC ranks sixth as a team within the Ozark Region with 620 total points.  Just 45 points behind fifth-place Three Rivers College in the region, the EMCC women did not score this past week at Southern Arkansas. Individually for EMCC, Theriot ranks second nationally in the men’s all-around competition with 985 total points.  Along with rating as the NIRA’s No. 7 team roping header, Theriot stands eighth nationally in steer wrestling and 14th in tie down roping. For the East Mississippi women, Katelyn Nicholson, from Lawrence, leads the Ozark Region standings in barrel racing at the midyear mark with 500 points to rank eighth nationally.

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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Elite Custom Saddles of Tioga, Texas Named Official Saddle of the Appaloosa Horse Club

Tioga, Texas – December 1, 2015 – Elite Custom Saddles of Tioga, Texas announced today their partnership with the Appaloosa Horse Club of Moscow, Idaho as both a Platinum Sponsor and the “Official Saddle of the Appaloosa Horse Club.” As such, Elite Custom Saddles will be providing the trophy saddles for the prestigious World Champion Appaloosa Youth Show, as well as the National Championship Appaloosa Show in 2016. Not only will Elite Custom Saddles be providing custom trophy saddles for the events, they will also be producing and presenting awards to the winners of several sweepstakes classes including: Yearling Halter Sweepstakes, Junior and Senior Western Pleasure Sweepstakes, as well as Junior and Senior Hunter Under Saddle Sweepstakes. “We’re extremely excited to, not only be working with the ApHC and providing them with saddles for their shows,” said Jon Carpenter managing partner of Elite Custom Saddles, “we’re also excited to showcase the breadth of our other products as awards including halters, headstalls, spur straps and more. We look forward to presenting these other awards at the official Elite Custom Saddles Sweepstakes classes, as well, Jon continued.” Elite Custom Saddles provides an exceptional line of quality handmade saddles and tack for the pleasure, show and performance rider. Established in 2009, in short order Elite Custom Saddles has developed a reputation for not only producing saddles and tack of exceptional beauty and workmanship, but also their hands-on approach to customer services. Elite Custom Saddles use of technology like Skype ® has allowed them the ability to communicate and manufacture saddles and tack for top riders world-wide. The production team at Elite has had the pleasure of producing unique saddles for riders and competitors in North and South America, Europe and beyond. With over a half-century of saddle making experience, along with being the former Senior Saddle Maker of Silver Mesa for nearly two decades, Elite Custom Saddles can take any saddle dream from concept to finished product. For more information on Elite Custom Saddles visit: or call 940-437-5174 or 501-912-9262. For Immediate Release Elite Custom Saddles – Tioga, Texas | 940-437-5174 & 501-912-9262 Media Contact: Kasha Ford, Silver Buckle Services – Austin, Texas | 512.259.6705


Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016• Louisiana Equine Report


Florida Parishes 2015 Event Schedule December 2015

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday December 4-7 Cajun Rodeo Association Finals. CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR ANY UPCOMING EVENTS IN JANUARY

Reach more horse owners and potential buyers with the Louisiana Equine Report than any other Horse Publication in Louisiana and surrounding areas. Published every other month, i.e. Feb/Mar, April/May etc. Don’t Miss Out on this opportunity to SELL with advertising in the Louisiana Equine Report Classifieds. Email or call 225.229.8979 or 225.622.5747 today!!! Horses for Sale: Free (based on availability) All other items: Reasonable rates (Call or e-mail for pricing)


Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016


The Equine Reproduction team of specialists at LSU performed a study to determine the safety of Iodixanol (Optiprep™), a new nonionic density gradient “cushioning” material with relatively low osmolality and high density, on its suitability for the separation of horse sperm from semen for freezing and subsequent thawing for insemination. Since, centrifugation (spinning down of the semen after collection) is being performed more these days, it has led to the use of these medias containing iodixanol. The Equine Reproduction specialists at LSU performed a study to determine the safety of cushion media (Optiprep™) containing the active ingredient, iodixanol, on sperm quality in horses if retained during cryopreservation (freezing).


The objectives of the study were to determine what effects the semen centrifugation cushion Optiprep™ (60 percent iodixanol in water) would have on sperm motility, plasma membrane integrity (viability), acrosome integrity and DNA quality (COMPαt) if present during the cryopreservation of equine sperm.


Eighteen ejaculates from six stallions were collected, spun-down (centrifuged) without a cushion at 900 x g for 10 minutes to remove the supernatant, and then re-suspended to 200 x 106 cells/ml with 0 percent, 2.5 percent and 5 percent Optiprep™ in an egg-yolk glycerol-based extender and frozen (cryopreserved). Before and after cryopreservation sperm motility was assessed by computer assisted sperm analysis, and samples were stained with SYBR-14/PI for plasma membrane integrity and PI/fluorescent isothiocynate-PNA for acrosome integrity and assessed by flow cytometry. Sperm DNA quality was evaluated using the sperm chromatin structure assay and assessed by flow cytometry.


The 5% Optiprep™ treatment group showed significantly better plasma viability (plasma membrane integrity) and DNA quality after being frozen (cryopreserved). In contrast, the 5 percent Optiprep™ treatment group had significantly more damaged acrosomes than either of the other treatment groups.


These findings suggest that the presence of Optiprep™ (containing 5% iodixanol) during semen-freezing (cryopreservation) may have a beneficial effect by protecting the plasma membrane (viability) and DNA (genetic code). Thus, 5% iodixanol appears to possess sperm cell protective properties by helping spermatozoa maintain motility and membrane integrity, but the mechanism is unknown. Dr. David P. Beehan1 , Dr. Sara K. Lyle1 , Dr. Bruce E. Eilts1 , Dr. Charles C. Love, Dr. Jose A. Len1 1Equine Health Studies Program, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, LSU, School of Veterinary Medicine. For more information on this and other reproduction topics please call: The Equine Reproduction Unit | Equine Health Studies Program Veterinary Teaching Hospital | Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine Baton Rouge, LA 70803 | Phone: 225-587-9500

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

It’s a Gut Feeling : Gastric Ulcer Disease in Horses By Dr. Kelly Hudspeth, DVM

Performance horses provide a variety of entertainment to a variety of people. Events range from the professional level of the Kentucky Derby to local community play days for all ages. Keeping these horses healthy can be challenging. Many of the health problems associated with these horses are identified fairly easily by being associated with various injuries that have an obvious effect on performance. With fractions of a second determining the winner in most events, keeping the equine athlete healthy is vital in successful competition. One health issue that could go undetected is the presence of gastric ulcers. An owner may search out reasons for a drop in performance and discover the ulcers. However, some horses may never reach their full potential due to ulcers that have always been undetected. Before the use of endoscopy, the number of horses affected by gastric ulcers were really underestimated. The clinical signs are not easily recognized and many times do not correlate with the physical findings by endoscopy. That means that sometimes extensive ulcers are discovered when horses show no signs or signs are consistent with ulcers but very little inflammation is identified with endoscopy. Treatment can be expensive so to treat or not to treat in either situation complicates the

You horse has to be at their best for you to be at your best! Good guts get glory!

decision. At least with the use of endoscopy, we are learning more about the prevalence in performance horses. The equine stomach has two kinds of tissue that

produce two different types of ulceration. There are squamous mucosal ulcers and glandular ulcers which have different causes and response to treatment but both kinds of gastric ulcers are more prevalent in performance horses. In one study with horses in the racing industry, the prevalence of squamous mucosal ulceration was above 80%. Another study reported gastric glandular ulceration in exercising horses at 58%. (1) Diet, exercise, stress, and housing all play a role in the development of gastric ulcers. Gastric acidity and feeding frequency are the factors that are related to diet. Horses that are deprived of food experience an increase in gastric acidity. The food consumed that causes an increase in gastric acidity also sets the horse up for ulcers. Exercise has a strong link to the occurrence of ulcers. Although the exact mechanisms are not completely clear, delayed gastric emptying and reduction in gastric size are considered factors. Stress is also a factor whether it is the physical stress or the emotional stress of competition and training. Something as simple as housing can be detrimental. In one study horses that were pulled from pasture and put in a stall with continual access to hay developed ulcer disease in as little as seven days. (1) Continued on page 49...

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


Hauling Horses: Stay Back and Stay Safe! From the by Gina T. Truck and Horse Trailer The following situation comes from Joanna Russell, a Nutrena sales representative, who enjoys riding eventers and show jumpers. My father grew up on a farm with cattle and horses, he could back a truck and loaded trailer well before he had a driver’s license. My mother was a registered nurse who took a few years off in her career to drive a semi. Driving a truck and horse trailer is a skill I started learning while I was fifteen and still had my learner’s permit. By the time I graduated high school, I didn’t think anything of loading a couple horses up and going to a friends to ride with them. By the time I graduated from college, I was used to driving my horses several hours at a time on both highways and back roads near home. I had even driven straight from Virginia to Kentucky with one of my mares in tow. And by the time I started working for Nutrena, I was a pretty confident driver, in my car or in a truck and trailer. Then I had that confidence shaken. Recently I hooked up my trailer to my truck (we call her Roxanne), and loaded up two of our geldings, Ty and Jack, for a clinic. I didn’t think anything of the three hour, all highway drive. There was light traffic, it was actually a very pleasant drive listening to my favorite CD and keeping an eye on my trailer. About an hour down the road traffic got a little heavier, so I was making sure to keep plenty of space between me and the car in front of me. I was being extra alert, thanks to a hands on defensive driving class I had taken through work. And of course, keeping the cardinal rules of hauling in mind: DO NOT slam your brakes and NEVER swerve. I was in the passing lane as a car passed me on the right aggressively, so I slowed to give them more space. Suddenly, I saw brake lights and heard tires screeching, all the cars in front of me had their brakes locked up. I broke the Rule. I locked up the brakes on Roxanne and my trailer, I heard them both squealing and knew I wasn’t going to be able to get stopped in time. I knew I had an empty space to my right. I broke the second Rule. I swerved. Hard. I missed the cars in front of me by a hair, while I felt the horses scramble, the trailer shake, and felt cold fear and dread in the pit of my stomach. There was plenty of space in the right lane, and whatever caused the slowdown was gone—traffic was back to normal speed. The shoulder was narrow, and an exit was only a mile up the road from me so I kept driving slowly with my flashers on. This was the longest moment of my life. Were the horses ok? What would I do if one of them had a broken leg? What about a heavily bleeding wound? I had very basic first aid supplies, but nothing like I feared I might need. I finally got to the exit and pulled in a truck stop. I ran back to the trailer, trying to keep from crying in fear until I knew… One of the worst moments of fear and dread in my life was followed by the greatest sense of relief. Ty had fallen down, but only had a small scrape on his hock and on his cannon bone. Jack didn’t have a single mark. They were both wide eyed and shaking—not as bad as I was, though. I fed them treats until I stopped shaking and was comfortable to drive again. The rest of our drive was uneventful, and would have been pleasant, save the sick feeling lingering in my stomach. I thought a 7 second following distance was enough. I was wrong. I will do everything in my power to keep a minimum of a 10 second following distance from now on, longer if possible. Always have a way out in mind, and use “what if” thinking (what if a car slams its brakes in front of me? Where do I go?)—it could save you lives and vet bills. You can bet I will be beefing up my equine first aid kit for my trailer! And a big take away for me: Not everyone will notice or care that you take longer to stop and have living creatures as your load, so plan accordingly. I am thankful that my employer values my safety enough to have put me through driving training that at very least saved me from having to replace my truck, and at most, saved the lives of myself, my horses, and the drivers around me. Trish Anderson


Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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46 Louisiana Equine Report •

December 2015 | January 2016

Continued from page 5.......... January 2nd & 3rd Southern Junior Rodeo Association Entry & Membership: SJRA, Attn: Welda Smith 8952 Mars Hill Rd., Bauxite, AR 72011 January 3rd

Western Louisiana Barrel Racers Assoc. Haughton Info: Pamela Stephenson 318-465-2352 or Email: January 8th – 10th Mississippi Hunter Jumper Assoc. Canton Multipurpose & Equine Center Info: Laurie McRee 601-927-4503 Canton, MS January 9th Southwest Arkansas High School Rodeo Assoc. Magnolia South Louisiana Team Sorting Assoc. Louis Mouch Multi Purpose Facility Info: | Port Allen, LA Cajun Little Britches Rodeo Beauregard Parish Covered Arena Info: Casey Richard 337-302-1365 or Email: or | DeRidder, LA January 9th & 10th MHSRA Cutting Horse Event Scott County Coliseum | Info:, Linda Clark @ 205-246-3798 or | Forest, MS Acadiana Youth Rodeo Association Acadia Rice Arena | Info: Tracia Hebert 337-654-2757 or Crowley, LA 70526 January 15th & 16th Ag Expo Ike Hamilton Expo Center Info: 318-355-2495 | West Monroe, LA January 16th Mississippi Junior High School Rodeo Assoc. Purvis Rode Club II | Info: or | Purvis, MS

Louisiana Stock Horse Association Info: Judy Weisgerber @ (H) 337-238-0193, (C) 337-208-2336 or 877-335-3072 or | DeRidder, LA January 15th & 16th Mississippi High School Rodeo Assoc. Purvis II HS Rodeo | Info: Purvis, MS January 15th – 17th 4th Annual Turn 3 For A Cure The Mac Info: Charles Dunn 318-447-7767 Bastrop, LA January 16th & 17th Southern Junior Rodeo Association Entry & Membership: SJRA, Attn: Welda Smith 8952 Mars Hill Rd., Bauxite, AR 72011

January 30th & 31st Southern Junior Rodeo Association Entry & Membership: SJRA, Attn: Welda Smith 8952 Mars Hill Rd., Bauxite, AR 72011 February 6th Baton Rouge Barrel Racing Association Info: or 225-281-0605 or | New Roads, LA Cajun Little Britches Rodeo Beauregard Parish Covered Arena Info: Casey Richard 337-302-1365 or Email: or | DeRidder, LA Louisiana Stock Horse Association Info: Judy Weisgerber @ (H) 337-238-0193, (C) 337-208-2336 or 877-335-3072 or | Baton Rouge, LA

January 22nd DeRidder Riding Club Friday Jackpot (Barrels and Poles) Beauregard Covered Arena | Info: DeRidder, LA

February 6th & 7th Southern Junior Rodeo Association Entry & Membership: SJRA, Attn: Welda Smith 8952 Mars Hill Rd., Bauxite, AR 72011

January 23rd & 24th DeRidder Riding Club Winter Funday Beauregard Covered Arena Info: DeRidder, LA

Mississippi Paint Horse Club | Dixie Nationals Paint-O-Rama | Kirk Fordice Equine Center Info: Carmen Lay 615-796-1572, Email: or | Jackson, MS

January 23rd Southwest Arkansas High School Rodeo Assoc. Magnolia Broke Down Custom Creation and Hedrick Quarter Horses Presents: 6th Annual $500 Added Open 4D Barrel Race w/ Open 3D Poles and Youth 4D Barrels Info: Laci Hadley 225-718-2325 or Dawn Hedrick 225-456-7754 New Roads, LA January 29th & 30th Madison County 4-H Canton Multipurpose & Equine Facility Info: Ty Jones 601-859-3846 | Canton, MS

February 7th Western Louisiana Barrel Racers Assoc. Vivian Info: Pamela Stephenson 318-465-2352 or Email:

February 17th – 21st Dixie National Equine Expo Trade Show Jackson, MS February 19th DeRidder Riding Club Friday Jackpot (Barrels and Poles) Beauregard Covered Arena Info: | DeRidder, LA February 19th & 20th Mississippi High School Rodeo Assoc. MC Rodeo Co. I Info: Vancleave, MS February 20th Baton Rouge Barrel Racing Association Info: or 225-281-0605 or | Plaquemine, LA South Louisiana Team Sorting Assoc. Louis Mouch Multi Purpose Facility Info: | Port Allen, LA West Kentucky Horse Sales Dixie National Classic Sale | Starts @ 10:00AM Info: Wayne Boyd @ 270-365-7272 or wkhs@ | Jackson, MS Mississippi Junior High School Rodeo Assoc. McBride Rodeo Info: or | Vancleave, MS February 20th & 21st Mississippi Reigning Horses Assoc. Canton Multipurpose & Equine Facility Info; Tim Allen 228-697-2120 Canton, MS

February 9th & 10th Dixie Nationals Equestrians with Disabilities Horse Show Info: Liz Turner 228-669-4517 or Mary Hopkins 601-638-1322 | Jackson, MS February 13th & 14th Acadiana Youth Rodeo Association Acadia Rice Arena Info: Tracia Hebert 337-654-2757 or Crowley, LA 70526

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Continued from page 43...

It’s a Gut Feeling : Gastric Ulcer Disease in Horses By Dr. Kelly Hudspeth, DVM

The clinical signs can be very nonspecific but there are some that are common. Horses that consume their food slowly and are “hard keepers” should be considered as candidates for ulcer disease. Colic after eating is a more evident clinical sign. Others that may or may not be related are rough hair coat, diarrhea, and a nervous/aggressive attitude. The most difficult to recognize is poor performance. Many times after treatment, performance drastically improves. Endoscopy offers a way to establish a diagnosis of gastric ulcer disease. Without endoscopy, response to empirical treatment can also be considered diagnostic. Reduction of gastric acidity is an effective treatment strategy. Antacids, H2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump blockers can be used. Antacids are helpful but usually require large volumes and frequent treatments as often as every two hours. H2 receptor antagonists are used every 8-12 hours. Cimetidine, one example, has a variable recommended dosage range of 60-100mg/kg divided and given 3-4 times daily. (1) The proton pump blockers can be given once daily which makes them more convenient to use. One example of this class are Gastrogard. The human form of omeprazole comes in 20mg capsules. 1mg/kg has been used in the successful treatment of gastric ulcers. (2) There are a huge number of horses in the performance horse industry in the United States. These horses need to be able to perform at the highest level. Gastric disease can cause decreased performance so horse owners and caretakers need to make themselves familiar with the disease. Preventive measures can be taken through improvements in the management of feeding, stress reduction, and housing. Recognizing clinical signs can lead to a diagnosis of gastric disease so an effective treatment can be started. Because of the increased availability and use of endoscopy, we now realize how important and widespread gastric ulcer disease is in performance horse industry.

References: 1. Hinchcliff, K.W., Kaneps, A.J., Geor, R.J. (2004) Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery. China: Saunders 2. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION SUMMARY NADA 141-227 ULCERGARD omeprazole FOIADrugSummaries/ucm118038.pdf

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


Continued from page 12.. The Copper Crowne Concept By Barbara Newtown I don’t see shortcuts here! Everything is first class. Yes! Breeding and training done right, right here. And LACER has always had that same principle and same core values. Sunny and I see the world the same way. Even though LACER has focused on different breeds and disciplines—particularly running quarter horses—and Copper Crowne has focused on Thoroughbreds, we are open to everything. We moved the stallions to Copper Crowne and now use the nice, big stallion stalls at LACER as foaling stalls. They tie in well to the office where we have overnight staff. It all fits really well. God is a smart guy! He does a lot when we are not looking.

small time window post ovulation, no more than three or four hours, it’s actually very effective. Cattle breeders have been using frozen semen successfully much longer than horse breeders. In general, equine reproduction is very different. The chemicals used to make extenders for bull semen really don’t work that well on the equine sperm cell. Cattle embryos can be frozen. But with horses we have to use cryoprotectants that basically change the freeze point of the fluid inside the cell. The fluid doesn’t actually freeze but turns into a glass-like state. It’s called vitrification, not freezing.

What’s so wonderful about the union of LACER, Acadiana, and Copper Crowne is that it is so amiable. The only way to be first class is to have people who are really good at what they do. You have to be able to put together a team. You capitalize on everyone’s strengths. We do really high end reproductive work, which is very near and dear to me, but, for instance, we have the full complement of surgery, particularly emergency surgery. There is a very limited number of practices in the state that offer emergency surgeries. Now we are one of those practices, and especially in this region that’s a big deal. And I think the development of a rehab facility is a huge deal. I am somewhat familiar with the use of frozen semen in the warmblood breeds. It seems that breeders are having more success these days. In the last five to seven years, generally speaking, the quality of frozen equine semen has improved dramatically. When you use high quality frozen semen with really wellmanaged mares, I can’t say I see a significant decrease in fertility. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have said that. A lot of the extender we use to freeze the semen does a much better job of protecting the cells through the preservation process. Is it hard to time insemination when you use frozen? In the literature it is claimed that you can be anywhere from 12 hours pre-ovulation to 6 hours post-ovulation. However, in my experience if you are on the edges of that time frame you will have very little success. What is the time frame for fresh semen? With fresh we talk about a 48 hour window prior to ovulation, so getting mares pregnant with fresh semen is a lot easier. It’s a lot less time and a lot less work. We have products that can induce ovulation, somewhere between 36 and 48 hours after injection. When we use frozen, when it is 36 hours post injection we check that mare hourly and then we breed her within an hour post ovulation. If you know you are in that very


a history of being abnormal. Some older mares tend to ovulate smaller follicles and tend not to show signs of estrus nearly as long. We have a mare of a client and the biggest her follicle has ever grown is 17 or 18 millimeters. She commonly ovulates multiple, very small follicles. She was out of our care for a while, and the stud farm she was at refused to breed her on small follicles. They had her for three heat cycles and never bred her because she ovulated early each time. She came back to the farm I was working at and we settled her back. You have to listen to the individual. Will a foal carried by a recipient mare be the same quality as a foal carried by its real mother? Absolutely no genetic material is passed from the recipient mare to the foal. But you get to the question of nurture versus nature. I would suggest that “nurture” starts immediately after conception. The uterine environment of the donor is very different from the uterine environment of the recipient. Unfortunately our ability to assess [uterine environment] is limited. Still, if you look at Thoroughbred produce records, there is certainly a correlation between younger mares and better offspring. I have no numbers to back this up, but logic would certainly support the idea that you would do an embryo a favor by removing from the uterus of an older mare and allowing it to be carried in the healthier uterus of a younger mare. You mentioned that repro work is very seasonal.

Cattle embryos are also much smaller than horse embryos. We have to flush mares a bit early to collect smaller embryos. The chemicals are damaging to the cells. If you have too large an embryo, the chemicals will not penetrate the center of the embryo quickly enough before the chemicals start killing the cells on the periphery. How early in the pregnancy can you flush an embryo? Six days post ovulation. That can’t be seen on ultrasound, can it? Oh, no. The earliest you can consistently find vesicles in a mare’s uterus on an ultrasound is about day 11 or 12. Every time we do a flush on a donor mare we are hoping there’s an embryo in there. After we collect the fluid, filter it, and look at it, we are either happy or sad. Conception occurs in the oviduct of the mare. It’s not until day 5 that the embryo enters the uterus. You can’t effectively flush the oviduct with the techniques we commonly use. So we are trying to hit a time frame where the embryo enters the uterus on day 5, and if we wait past day 6 the embryo is too big to vitrify. There are certainly times when you flush the mare on day 6 and you don’t recover an embryo. If she turns up pregnant…well, the embryo was probably still in the oviduct. Not every mare reads the book! You have to assume a mare is normal, unless she has

Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Sure. Around May or June repro slows down substantially and I can help out with other areas of the practice. I do anesthesia sometimes for our surgeon, Dr. Pete Baia. Come January, I won’t be doing much anesthesia! Thank you, Dr. Cramer! For more information, contact: Acadiana Equine Hospital | 5124 Hwy 182 Opelousas, LA 70570 | (337) 407-9555 For more information about the services offered by the Copper Crowne Equestrian Center, contact: Copper Crowne Equestrian Center 5180 Hwy 182 South | Opelousas, LA 70570 8 (337) 942-2401 • For more information about LACER, contact: Louisiana Center for Equine Reproduction 660 Montgomery Road | Opelousas, LA 70570 (337) 407-0708 •

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


The Lure of Louisiana – Triangle K Racing and Lanny Keith “I’ve been in the horse industry all my life,” says Lanny Keith of Triangle K Racing. For years his father and grandfather trained racing Quarter Horses near Leesburg, Texas, about 120 miles west of Shreveport. Lanny remembers being at the track when he was only two years old, and he remembers sitting on horses and hanging onto their manes while they were being shod. In his grandfather’s day, the racing was similar to what you might have seen at Louisiana’s free-wheeling bush tracks. But when Lanny was learning the business, the family was entering local jackpot races that required an entry fee. He feels fortunate to have been surrounded by great horsemen in the Leesburg area. “I just grew up with horses. Racing never really interested me when I was younger, because it was a job, and I had to clean a lot of stalls!” But as Lanny got a little older his interest was re-kindled, and he took up the family tradition of training racehorses. Lanny still lives in the Leesburg area. “We’re in a real nice part of Texas,” he says. “Sandy soil and pine trees.” His home is on 54 acres and he leases more land for running cattle. There is a training track about 30 minutes from his farm, but Lanny rarely takes horses there. Home is for horses who need some time off. The 25 to 30 horses that are active in the Triangle K racing program spend their time in Louisiana, travelling between Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, and the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. “Everybody has an RV,” Lanny says. “You go from track to track.” Lanny tries to go home to Leesburg at least a couple of days a week. When he first started chasing the purses in Louisiana he was only able to go home two or three days each month. Now he has more time to enjoy family life, thanks to his assistant trainer Kyle Clinton. Kyle started galloping part time for Lanny at Louisiana Downs last year and now works for him full time, galloping 95% of Lanny’s horses. Lanny says, “The only time I put a regular race rider on now is if we are going to go stand a horse at the gate. I like the horses to carry the rider that’s going to ride them. The only other time someone other than Kyle rides is when I’m trying to work two or three together. Kyle does a real good job and it’s been a blessing to have him.” Even with the help of Kyle, the demands of following


Quarter Horse racing around Louisiana are tough on family life, says Lanny. His wife teaches school, takes care of their two boys (aged 9 and almost 2), watches over the farm, and keeps track of the family’s construction business. Lanny says that he rarely has to step in and manage a construction job. “I’ve been in this business for 20 years. I had it really lined out before I ever started my race training. I hate to get out of construction, because it’s been my living for so long.” A fallback profession lends stability. He says that a trainer might have 30 horses today and 5 horses tomorrow. The racing business is highly competitive—not only do trainers compete for good horses, they also compete for good clients. Lanny enjoys the people side of the racing business. “I’ve got really good owners. I want to be successful for the people I train for, because everybody wants to win. Of course we don’t win every time, but we try to look good when we go up there. You just have to hope your horse is ready and performs the best it can. If it can’t—well, you just hope you can get it next time!” Right now all of Lanny’s owners live in Louisiana. He’s had several Texas owners in the past, but they all were racing Louisiana-bred horses. Despite the commuting hardship of living in Northeast Texas and racing all over Louisiana, Lanny is committed to the Louisiana racing scene. “I used to race in Texas and Oklahoma, but I started seeing articles in the magazines about the Louisiana-bred horses…I came down here, bought some yearlings, and went from there.” Good purses and support for horses bred instate make Louisiana a national draw. Lanny appreciates Louisiana Downs in the northwest corner of the state. He starts all his two-year-olds on that track because it’s the first track he can get them on and the surface is excellent. “I don’t have a lot of trouble keeping them sound up there. And there’s the Mardi Gras futurity.” It helps family life that Louisiana Downs is much closer to Leesburg than the tracks in south Louisiana.

Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Lanny has a tip for racegoers: Louisiana Downs started running 110-yard races a couple of years ago, and those races have proven to be real crowd-pleasers. The gates are “right there”—practically next to the finish line. “You’d better not blink because it’s over quick!” The 110-yard distance so far is only offered at Louisiana Downs, but Lanny thinks it’s going to catch on at other tracks. When asked about his training secrets, Lanny says he relies first of all on good feed. He has some special insight into what horses should eat: at East Texas State University at Commerce, Texas, he majored in Animal Science with minors in Reproduction and Nutrition. His first job after college was working for the agriculture company Archer Daniels Midland. In his racing stable, Lanny figures the feed rations specifically for each horse: grains, supplements, and protein percentages are fine-tuned, bucket by bucket. He admits that the guys who work for him don’t enjoy preparing all those “made-to-order” meals, “but that’s the way it is!” Lanny has been baling his own hay and transporting it from home ever since he started racing in Louisiana. It is inconvenient to haul hay all the time, but Lanny believes it’s worth it to know that the hay is baled and stored correctly and has consistent quality. He also swears by good shoeing. “They have to stand on good feet,” he says. “That’s where it starts.” Lanny estimates that 75% of his horses can wear nailed shoes. Continued on page 55..

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


CALL ME GEORGE TO ENTER STUD IN LOUISIANA Winner of the G2 New Orleans Handicap and earner of $444,121

Sunset, LA, October 22, 2015– Partners Matt Bond, Clint Joiner, and Jim Curry have agreed to stand the G2 winner Call Me George at Gulf Coast Equine for the 2016 season. Anna Paul of Gulf Coast is the stallion manager and farm owner with her father Ray. “I think he is an exceptional stallion prospect and will be a great addition to Louisiana’s breeding program. Call Me George comes from a great family and has excellent conformation. He has all the makings to be a great stallion.” – Anna Paul, Gulf Coast Equine Call Me George was campaigned by his owners and in addition to his victory in the G2 New Orleans H. he also placed in the G2 Hawthorne Gold Cup and Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs last fall. His trainer Grant Forster had this to say about “George.” “Call Me George was one of the neatest horses I’ve trained. He was a tough, rugged, durable individual. He’s the type of horse I wasn’t afraid to put into any situation because I knew he’d handle it. He more than held his own against many of the best of his generation. His win in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) was a perfect example of his tenacity as he fell back to last at the top of the stretch before mounting a gutsy, sustained run that would carry him to victory. A great looking individual, Call Me George was blessed with unlimited endurance and hopefully he will pass that air capacity on to his youngsters.” – Grant Forster, trainer Call Me George is one of the best sons of Horse of the Year Point Given who is also the sire of two Champions and earners of over $25 million. Out of the $113,580 stakes winning mare SASSY CHIMES, George’s family also includes Kentucky Oaks winner SILENT BEAUTY, the brilliant G1 winner HOLLYWOOD STORY ($1,171,105), and G2 Brooklyn H. winner SEATTLE FITZ ($594,371). Call Me George will stand for a fee of $1,500 LFSN. For further information: Grant Forster 253-951-3968 /       Anna Paul 352-342-5737 / /


Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

Continued from page 52..

maintains that everything follows from being a good gate horse. “If you teach them how to leave a gate, they’ve got a chance at winning or at least competing.”

The Lure of Louisiana – Triangle K Racing and Lanny Keith

Some bloodlines have such thin hoof walls that the horses have to wear glueon shoes. Lanny prefers nails when possible, because the hoof can expand and contract around the nails. Glue-ons hold the foot in one shape. There are other drawbacks to glue-ons: when it’s time to change, you have to pry the shoe off the foot; and hoof oil will deteriorate the glue and pop the shoe off too soon. Lanny wants his clients to purchase horses with good feet and good legs, of course. Leg conformation can’t be changed, but hoof shape and hoof angle can be fixed a little. Even so, Lanny would prefer that owners not spend their money on feet that are already a problem. He asks his owners to find some horses at a sale that they like, and then ask him his opinion. “If I find a flaw, I will point it out. I try to work with them.” There are bloodlines that Lanny likes more than others, but he believes that there is more quality now than in the past. “You can pretty much close your eyes and pick, because they are so well bred now. When my granddad was breeding, there were some good horses out there, but now there is a stud farm on every corner! I hardly ever look at the book until I look at the horse.” Another shopping hint from Lanny: at the sale, he looks for horses that finish their feed, lie down, and go to sleep. Most of his winners over the years haven’t wasted any energy. “Even on race day, they go lie down and sleep for three or four hours!”

A good gate horse will stand quietly, focus down the track, and explode forward when the gate opens. Lanny says that quality—the ability to go from standing still to zooming forward—is bred into the Quarter Horse. “Once they learn that concept,” he says, “and see that crack in the gate, it’s as natural as tying your shoe.” Although Quarter Horses can attain their top speed in just a few strides, some horses might have trouble learning to focus on what they are doing. And some might just have quicker reflexes. The smartest gate horses anticipate the sound of the pin opening the gate: when they hear it, they know the gate is about to spring open, and they are already leaving. “Winning is simple: you just have to leave the gate!” Happiness is the key to Lanny’s success. He says that he has claimed horses “real cheap” from time to time and has done really well with them. He finds a niche for the individual horse that makes the horse happy, and the horse then can come up to his potential. Finding a niche is more than deciding how long a race the horse should enter—220? 870? In between? Or even 110? Sometimes a horse needs to be turned out in a pasture for a while and merely enjoy being a horse, bucking and playing. Other horses might need longer intervals between races. As Lanny says, “I just want my horses to be happy. If horses are happy, they will perform for you. If not, you’d better figure out how to get them happy!”

Lanny believes in building up bones, muscles, and tendons at an early age. “Once you get them as stout as you can, you just have to maintain it.” He doesn’t carry horses to the track every day once they are in racing condition. At that point, they might be ponied as seldom as once a week. He adjusts the training to the horse. He says that he has a lot of horses that don’t want to have riders on their backs at all when they go to the track to train; they just get ponied. Another training task that happens early is gate training. Lanny wants to teach horses how to handle the gate when they are yearlings or coming 2-year-olds. He

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report



Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.


As 2015 flew into its final stages, veteran Quarter Horse jockey, Gilbert Ortiz, was nearing an iconic milestone of 3,000 career wins. For several months, the countdown was on with the momentum building over the last month at Evangeline Downs. “I felt the support, for sure, but no pressure,” said Ortiz, earlier in the week. “Since I began my career, I never thought about numbers. It’s always been just one win at a time.”

LQHBA Insider

He held sway at 2,999 for several days of racing, but finally, won his 3,000th race on Friday, November 27. The victory was aboard Raul Penaloza Canada’s Baby Separatista in the third race on the card, a 400-yard trial for the Evangeline Downs Futurity. With that under his belt, Ortiz joined an elite group of just six other Quarter Horse jockeys who have 3,000 wins: G.R. Carter, Alvin Brossette, Danny Cardoza, Eddie Garcia and John Creager. Born in Pleasanton, Texas, Ortiz, 52, Ortiz was inspired to take up his profession from his father, Alfredo, a horseman who rode in Laredo and Goliad. When weight became an issue for him, his dad, known as “Freddie”, began working for the Texas Highway Department. But for his son, there was no other path to pursue. Ortiz began his career in 1978 in Texas. The early years were challenging and he did not win a stakes race until 1991. However that decade was very successful for Ortiz with opportunities to ride some of the topranked Quarter Horses in the country. He piloted legendary runners including

AQHA world champion, Tailor Fit, Kool Kue Baby, Vals Fortune and War Colors. Ortiz surpassed the one million mark in earnings for the first time in 1997 and eclipsed the two million mark five times in his career. Strong Associations with Many Horsemen Ortiz has ridden over 20,000 races and credits many horsemen for having faith in him. Much of his early success was with the late Steve VanBebber. “I was riding at Trinity Meadows, and Steve told me to meet him at Sam Houston Race Park,” stated Ortiz. “Steve supported me 100% and one of my biggest seasons was in 1997 in Houston when I won 81 races.” Following Steve’s death, Ortiz remained loyal to VanBebber Racing, and Janet VanBebber summed up the qualities that both she and Steve admired. “My late husband Steve adored Gilbert,” said VanBebber. “He enjoyed having him on the team, and considered him family. In the 15 years since Steve’s passing, I have been blessed to enjoy the same bond with Gilbert. I am so proud of him for this accomplishment. An achievement of this nature is rare, and comes as a result of a lifelong dedication to his craft.” VanBebber cites the unsurpassed work ethic of Ortiz as one of his strongest attributes. “While VanBebber Racing Stables has always been associated with hard working riders, there is none in the jockey colony that out works Gilbert Ortiz,” she added. “Every single day, he is on the track when the outrider first opens the gates, and he stays until the work is complete. When you are entrusted with a large stable, having a team member with this work ethic is paramount.” Ortiz has ridden for many horsemen in Texas and Louisiana. Duane Hartsell, Salvador Flores, Rodolfo Sanchez, John Stinebaugh, Orlando Orozco, Edwin Ladner and Kenny Roberts are among the trainers who have given him a leg up. Win number 3,002 was charted on Saturday, November 28 when Ortiz piloted TM Ranch’s Heza Louisiana Dash to victory in the $267,171 LQHBA Breeders Derby. The son of Heza Fast Dash was the fastest in the three trials run on November 11 and clinched the championship in blazing fashion. Roberts, one of Texas’ top trainers and now prominent in Louisiana, was one of many horsemen

rooting for Ortiz to win his 3,000th career race. “Gilbert is a hard-working man with a ton of talent,” said Roberts. “He has always been one of the best in telling you a lot of useful information about the horses he rides.” Both Heath and Michael Taylor have high regard for Ortiz. “Gilbert and I have been friends for many years,” said trainer Michael Taylor. “He’s been more than a friend; he’s been part of our family. Gilbert’s done it the hard way with many ups and downs, but his heart is always in the right place. Of his 3,000 wins, 817 have been for Taylor Racing and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts.” The Injuries Like so many of his fellow riders, Ortiz has dealt with significant injuries throughout his career. In 1998, Ortiz broke his leg in a starting gate accident in Houston and underwent surgery where a rod and four screws were inserted. His surgeon told him he would not ride again, that there was no way the bone would regenerate. Ortiz sought other recommendations and began using a stimulator for twenty minutes a day to increase blood flow to the leg. Furthermore, he read that certain foods were high in calcium, which is essential for bone growth. So he loaded up on broccoli and blueberries. Nine months later, his surgeon was incredulous that he had solid bone in his badly shattered leg! In 1999, Ortiz was having an even better year and qualified two for the final of the Texas Classic Futurity at Lone Star Park: BK Runner and Gone Kool Man. However, just four days before the final, Ortiz broke his back. They ran first and second and Ortiz remembers the generosity of his fellow riders. “Joe Badilla won on BK Runner and gave me 7.5 %, which he did not have to do and Bubba (Brossette) ran second with Gone Kool Man and took care of me,” said Ortiz. “All these riders have been really good to me; they have been my brothers and supported me not only in my 3,000 wins, but when I was down with injuries.” Of course, poll the jockey colony and each and every rider will sing the praises of Ortiz. Continuing on page 61...

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


TWINSPIRES.COM PARTNERS WITH FAIR GROUNDS FOR MAJOR STAKES, LOUISIANA DERBY DAY NEW ORLEANS (December 9, 2015) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots today announced a partnership with to promote major stakes days at the New Orleans track that includes naming the official presenting partner of Louisiana Derby Day on March 26, 2016. “ is a key player in the Advance-Deposit Wagering market and has proven an integral partner in supporting the racing product at Fair Grounds through promoting our live racing meet to their users,” said Fair Grounds Track President Tim Bryant. “We look forward to building on our existing relationship with this added focus on our marquee stakes days.” The new partnership brings into the fold as a presenting partner for four major days: Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance featuring the Louisiana Champions Day Classic on December 12; Road to the Derby Kickoff Day presented by Hotel Monteleone featuring the Grade III Lecomte Stakes on January 16; Louisiana Derby Preview Day presented by Veterans Ford featuring the Grade II Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes and the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on February 20; and Louisiana Derby Day presented by featuring the Grade II Louisiana Derby and the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks. “As the official wagering partner of the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup, is proud to sponsor these important stakes races,” President Ted Gay said. “The Louisiana Derby is one of the final steps on the Road to the Derby and we’re looking forward to watching the nation’s top three-year-olds compete at Fair Grounds and under the Twin Spires in May.” About is the official wagering site of the Kentucky and Louisiana Derby’s as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Players who wager with receive free handicapping information from the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, For more information and to open an account, visit, call 1-877-SPIRES-1 (1-877-774-7371), or download the app from the Apple/ iTunes Store. About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Market: CHDN); it also operates a 620 slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 144th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 103rd running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby – will run from November 2015 through March 2016. More information can be found online at

58 Louisiana Equine Report • December 2015 | January 2016

EXAGGERATOR HOLDS ON TO WIN $1,000,000 DELTA DOWNS JACKPOT Winner Earns 10 points on Road to 2016 Kentucky Derby VINTON, La. (November 21, 2015) – Trainer Keith Desormeaux put his full trust in his younger brother  Kent, who rode  4-5 favorite Exaggerator in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot at Delta Downs Racetrack and  it paid off with a victory by a neck over Sunny Ridge. The victory by Exaggerator in the 1 1/16 mile race for 2-year-olds earned him 10 points towards a starting position in the 2016 Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Breaking from the ninth post position, Kent Desormeaux guided Exaggerator, a Kentucky bred son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, to the front around the first turn and up backstretch.  Sunny Ridge, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. stayed close to Exaggerator from the 3/8th pole to the wire but could not pass the winner.  Exaggerator ($3.80), owned by Matthew Bryan of Big Chief Racing, won his third race in five starts, and earned a $600,000 first prize for his connections and increased his career earnings to $938,000. It was his first start since a troubled fourth-place finish in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile three weeks ago. Exaggerator won the Saratoga Special in August and was second in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland prior to the Breeders’ Cup. Exaggerator completed the 1 1/16 mile Jackpot in 1:46.48 over a muddy track against nine rivals. Sunny Ridge, the 4.4-1 second choice, finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of 17-1 Harlan Punch. Found Money, Whitmore, Forevamo, Texas Jambalaya, Memories of Winter, Classic Cowboy and Iron Dome completed the order of finish.   Exaggerator now has 16 Derby points, and is second to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist l  who has 30 points. Sunny Ridge now has eight points; Harlan’s Punch earned two points and Found Money has one point. “I told him (Kent) to get him settled and the rest is up to him,” said Keith Desormeaux on pre-race instructions to his brother. “He made the decision to get Exaggeratior to the lead. He could easily have taken him back. That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame.   That was Kent’s judgment call. If he doesn’t take the lead he could be eight wide on a bullring track.” “It’s making the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile) more aggravating,” said Kent Desormeaux.” I am certainly happy to do it (win the race) in front of the Louisiana fans and all racing fans.  Today he was just allowed to be ridden, be himself and he could really run.” Keith Desormeaux said that Exaggerator will not race for the rest of the year and will prepare the colt for his 3-year-old campaign in California. Asked about his Kentucky Derby prospects, the trainer said, “He’s bred for it. He has the precociousness and the athleticism for it. The Derby is a long way off so we have time to recover and we had a fun trip today.”

Exaggerator Photo by Coady Photography

Saturday’s Jackpot also marked the return of jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who had not ridden since January of 2015. The 53-year-old jockey rode Memories of Winter. “It felt great to be back. It was the first time he (Memories of Winter) had dirt in the face, and he got jostled a bit in the first turn and it took a toll on him.”   Carl Moore’s Jet Black Magic scored a big upset in the $400,000 Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies, defeating 1-5 favorite La Appassionata by 4 ¼ lengths under jockey Roberto Morales.  Sent off at 9-1, Jet Black Magic, trained by Bret Calhoun, steadily advanced from sixth place up the backstretch and circled past the previously undefeated La Appassionata on the far turn and stretched out uncontested to the wire.  A dark bay or brown Louisiana-bred daughter of Hold Me Back out of Rhodelia by Silver Deputy, Jet Black Magic completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.14 over a muddy track.    In other stakes action Saturday, Giant Cruiser at 26-1 scored another major upset, sweeping the field from last to first to win the $150,000 Louisiana Jewel for 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies  by one length at 26-1 under Gerard Melancon. The bay filly by Giant Oak, is owned by Eldon Hill and trained by Steve Flint. She completed the 1 mile in 1:44.71 over a sloppy track. Mayla, the 8-5 favorite, won the $75,000 Orleans Stakes for 3-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies. Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden to victory by Colby Hernandez, Mayla, a bay daughter of Sharp Humor, covered the seven furlongs in 1:27.24 over a sloppy track. Sea Vow took the lead early on the backstretch and prevailed throughout to win the Louisiana Legacy for 2-year-old state-breds by two lengths under jockey Alexander Castillo. Trained by Joey Foster, Sea Vow won for the second time in four starts for owner Ronald Webb. She ran the one mile in 1:43.16 on a muddy track. Cougar Ridge, with Robby Albarado up, won his fourth consecutive race, holding off the favored Departing by three-quarters of a length to win the $250,000 Delta Mile for 3-year-olds and up. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of 2001 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Johannesburg, Cougar Ridge is owned by Richard Bahde and trained by Randy Morse. Cougar Ridge completed the 1 mile in 1:39.59 over a muddy track.   Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report




OPELOUSAS, LA – Julio Rios’ gelding Jess a Saint was the 10th-fastest qualifier for the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity (RG1) final on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs. He was the fastest horse when it mattered most though, winning the $445,000 first-place purse with a half-length victory over the fastest qualifier from the trials, Jet Black Rogue. First Corona Down, a 35-1 longshot, was another neck behind in third. Jockey Raul Ramirez, Jr. was able to get Jess a Saint out of the gate well and made steady progress from the far outside post position, rallying past Jet Black Rogue in deep stretch. It was the third victory on the Saturday program for Ramirez, Jr., who had won Jess Blue Intriguing Photo by Coady Photography two trials for the Evangeline Downs Derby earlier in the evening. Ramirez, Jr. knew going in he had a big shot to win the futurity with Jess a Saint, “It didn’t matter that he was the 10th-fastest qualifier in trials. We were happy with our horse; he pulled up sound and was doing well.” Jess a Saint covered the 400-yard distance over a fast track in 19.845 seconds, equaling a speed index of 92. The Miguel Rodriguez trainee now has three victories in seven lifetime starts and the $445,000 he earned for the win increases his lifetime earnings to $464,816.   Jess a Saint is a 2-year-old gelding by Jess Louisiana Blue out of the Vindication mare, Laughing Saint. He was bred in Louisiana by J E and Bunny Jumonville.      The wagering public sent Jess a Saint off at odds of 8-1 at post time and he returned $19.20 to win, $7.60 to place and $6.60 to show. Jet Black Rogue paid $5.60 to place and $4.00 to show, while First Corona Down paid $12.20 to show.   The $267,171 LQHBA Breeders Derby was also run on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs and was won by the fastest qualifier, Heza Louisiana Dash. Gilbert Ortiz piloted the Kenneth Roberts, Sr.-trained gelding to victory in a time of 19.893 seconds for a speed index of 91. The outcome was never in doubt as Heza Louisiana Dash won by a comfortable margin of  ¾-length over Louisiana Jambalaya, with Icanonlyemagine a further length back in third.   Heza Louisiana Dash is owned by T.M. Ranch and was bred in Louisiana by Jumonville Farms/Burnett Ranch. He is a 3-year-old gelding by Heza Fast Dash out of the Mr. Jess Perry mare, Eyejesslovelouisiana. Heza Louisiana Dash earned $118,891 for his victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $212,115.   Heza Louisiana Dash was the second choice in the wagering at 5-2, paying $7.60 to win, $4.80 to place and $3.40 to show. Louisiana Jambalaya paid $5.20 to place and $4.40 to show. Icanonlyemagine was 14-1 on the tote board and paid $8.00 to show.  

60 Louisiana Equine Report •

The $40,000 LQHBA Breeders Invitational also took place on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs with Jess Blue Intriguing scoring a maiden-breaking win under Luis Vivanco. The 2-yearold gelding covered the 400-yard distance in 20.011 seconds for a Heza Louisiana Dash Photo by speed index of 88. Coady Photography Jess Blue Intriguing is owned by Ezequiel Araiza and is trained by Rodolfo Sanchez. He was bred in Louisiana by Henry Melancon Sr. There were five trials for the $75,000-added Evangeline Downs Derby on Saturday night. The fastest qualifier was Bay Eagle Glory with a final time of 19.892 seconds for a speed index of 91.   Bay Eagle Glory was bred in Oklahoma by Johnny Trotter and is owned by Julio Rodriguez and trained by Eduardo Morales. He was ridden to victory on Saturday night by Manuel Gutierrez.

Jess a Saint Photo by Coady Photography

Listed below are the 10 fastest qualifiers for the Evangeline Downs Derby. The final will be run on Saturday, December 19. HORSE                               TIME          JOCKEY                      TRAINER 1. Bay Eagle Glory 19.892 Manuel Gutierrez  Eduardo Morales 2. Ww Showtime 19.904 Raul Ramirez, Jr. Homar Garza 3. Happie Happie Happie 19.934 David Alvarez Juan Carillo, Jr. 4.  McM Storm Catcher  19.979 Raul Ramirez, Jr. Eric Palacio 5. Exquisite Stride 19.983 Joe Badilla, Jr. Michael Taylor 6. Zoomin Baby 20.083 Francisco Ramirez, Jr. Michael Taylor 7. Executive Successor 20.098 Eddi Martinez  John Sharp, Jr. 8. Iconic Jess  20.106 Alfonso Lujan Kenneth Roberts, Sr. 9. Cobalt Creek  20.143 Gilbert Ortiz  John Stinebaugh 10.  Ncc Game On  20.222 Francisco Calderon        Alex Villareal

Live racing will resume on Wednesday night at Evangeline Downs with a ninerace program. Post time will be 5:35 pm Central Time. For more information on the American Quarter Horse season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at   About Evangeline Downs: Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Boyd Gaming press releases are available at www.prnewswire. com.  Additional news and information can be found at, or

December 2015 | January 2016

Continuing from page 57...


LQHBA Insider

“Gilbert is a true professional and hard-working guy,” said Raul Ramirez, Jr. “I remember when I first was starting out and was too green to switch sticks, and interfered with Gilbert’s horse. Instead of yelling at me, he watched the replay and calmly gave me some really good advice. I try to do the same with the young guys because of the way Gilbert treated me when I was just getting started.” Ortiz was honored in 2012 with the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, which is presented on All American weekend at Ruidoso Downs. The prestigious award is voted by jockeys for rider whose personal character on and off the track reflects positively on Quarter Horse racing. Family Man Ortiz and his wife, Priscilla, had three children and raised them in Floresville, Texas. Jessica, the oldest, is a registered nurse in San Antonio; Kourtney is a college student and a pastry chef and son, Andrew is in the Air Force, soon to ship off to Alaska for three years.

his three kids are, and always have been, the most important thing to him. Furthermore, his integrity in all circumstances make him the kind of fellow you know you can count on.” Jessica, Kourtney and Andrew surprised their dad on Saturday night, making the trip with Gilbert’s three sisters, Pauline, Angie and Annie. Big Celebration at Evangeline Downs Saturday, November 28 was the biggest racing night of the 2015 Quarter Horse meet at Evangeline Downs, with three stakes including the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity. Following the fifth race, Ortiz was asked to come to the winner’s circle for what he thought would be a interview and opportunity to give his thoughts on the notable milestone. As fast as a Quarter Horse sprint, the winner’s circle filled with the Evangeline jockey colony, horsemen, and his family to honor him for his achievement. A well organized group of supporters including Rhonda Cox, Dedria Watson, Cynthia Menard, Louisiana Downs Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk on behalf of the Winner’s Circle Church, Evangeline Downs Chaplain Dwight Brown and the Evangeline Downs Church presented Ortiz with an array of gifts. There was a trophy, banner, custom belt buckle and saddle, pens, wristbands and. koozies as well as a commemorative photo collage. Through it all, Ortiz sported an ear-to-ear grin, relishing each tribute, gift and heartfelt wish bestowed upon him.

“He was on the road a lot when we were growing up,” recalled Jessica. “We were able to be with him every summer, but even then, he would be up at 5:00 am and head to the track.”

He spoke with sincere admiration for the people who have supported him over the decades, his love for his family and his appreciation for everyone who made the occasion so special. “It was a big surprise,” admitted Ortiz. “I really appreciate my kids, sisters, Cynthia, all these wonderful friends of mine supporting me through my career. They have been behind me 100%.

Gilbert and Priscilla divorced several years ago, but both remained committed and caring parents to their three children.

God has been good to me and I appreciate Evangeline Downs for this. I am glad I earned my 3,000th win here.”

“My parents taught us manners and perseverance,” said Jessica. “I am honored to have a father who is so hard working and dedicated.”

Following the $1 million LQHBA Breeders Futurity, winning rider Raul Ramirez, Jr., presented Ortiz with a belt buckle commemorating his 3,000th win.

Janet VanBebber has seen the Ortiz kids grow up to be outstanding young adults.

“Gilbert is an inspiration,” stated Ramirez. “He has always been a true professional and shown respect to everyone. I gave him the buckle and told him what an honor it has been for me to see him ride and learn from his dedication.”

“It’s easy to discuss his attributes as a jockey; they are numerous and an important element in the factors that lead to his 3,000 wins,” said VanBebber. “But, even more important in my book, are his qualities as a person. Gilbert is a man of faith, and his actions reflect his Christian principles. As a father,

The celebration is over for now, but will always remain a very special memory, not only for Ortiz, but everyone in the winner’s circle and fans watching live and on television. Few people in the Quarter Horse industry deserve the accolades and attention more than Gilbert “the Man” Ortiz.

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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December 2015 | January 2016

December 2015 | January 2016 • Louisiana Equine Report


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