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Equine Canada Breeders’ Round Table Bridging the Gap Between Breeding and Sport | Print |

Marnie Somers, president of the Canadian Quarter Horse AssociationDecember 14, 2007—The 2007 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair became the backdrop for Equine Canada to showcase the Canadian equestrian sport and breeding industry to an array of international guests. As Equine Canada prepared to host individuals from Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, US Virgin Islands and the United States, the countries that unite with Canada in the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Group IV, a last minute item was added to the agenda.

On November 8, the Equine Canada Breeders’ Round Table brought Canadian breeders together in a facilitated discussion with the Group IV delegates and representatives from Equine Canada’s sport committees and the sport community, including representatives from dressage, endurance, eventing, hunter/jumper, Pony Club, reining, para-equestrian, saddleseat, vaulting and driving. The goal was for breeders to further their understanding of consumers’ needs and to establish relationships for future business. 

Through quick planning by facilitator Barbara Daley of Equine Concepts, the Equine Canada Breeders’ Round Table was championed by the Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division and supported by the Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“The decision to include the guests from sport was simple,” stated Barbara Daley. “These guests are really our industry partners. They represent the leading trainers, riders and agents who do and can work with us to market Canadian-bred horses. The most successful breeding operations in Canada already have strong partnerships in place. It is important to not only acknowledge them but to ensure they are a big part of the process of increasing our successes.”

Factoring in the short timeframe to arrange for the session and the ongoing challenges that Canada's vast geography presents, theMarnie Somers, president of the Canadian Quarter Horse Association program was structured to support those breeders unable to attend. Participants were able to contribute questions or topics to the Discussion Document used to facilitate the session and a Networking Package was distributed to the participants in the weeks following.

The concept of a facilitated meeting amongst Canadian breeders and sport representatives from Canada and other countries was an important opportunity for everyone to meet with colleagues in shared industries in order to exchange best practices and determine how business can be expanded.

“The Equine Canada Breeders’ Round Table was a tool to bridge the gap between breeders and the sport community,” said Susan Stewart, Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division Coordinator, Export Market Development. “Finding solutions to the action items identified will take a commitment from all components of the industry. We have an opportunity to make a difference and develop the industry in a manner that supports its viability now and in the future.”

Equine Canada Breeders’ Round Table Action Items:

1.       International buyers would be interested in Canadian-bred horses if they could find them easily. The international participants agreed that if they were looking for horses in Canada they would first look at the national federation website (equinecanada.ca) for a list of breeders and sellers.

2.       Breeders in Canada and international buyers need centralized access to up-to-date information on health permits, quarantine regulations, inspection procedures and changing government regulations (both domestic and international) concerning import/export of blood stock, embryos and semen, and international transportation.

3.       Help is needed to connect Canadian breeders with Canadian riders, drivers and trainers. 

4.       Sport disciplines see a need to expand Canadian-bred equine futurities and young horse development programs. 

5.       Further development of a centralized database to link all equestrian sport results with pedigrees is needed.

6.       Horses’ bloodlines and breeders’ names need to be included in all Equine Canada communications (e.g. discipline media guides, press releases, etc.) and horseshows should require it on entries and publish it in prize lists and on the order-of-go sheets. 

7.       Equine sale prices should be published when possible.

8.       Commission rates on equine sales need to be regulated.

9.       Equine Canada should work with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association to promote a standardized pre-purchase veterinary exam.

10.    Dressage Canada requested to work with the Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division to encourage a better working relationship between the breeders and the disciplines that would leave us with a stronger "win-win” relationship. The goal is to achieve this or more within the next twelve months.

11.    Breeder of the Year awards need to be developed in Canada. 

If you have suggestions on how these Action Items can be addressed, share your ideas with Equine Canada. Send emails to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact Susan Stewart, Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division Coordinator, Export Market Development, tel: 613-826-1155. 

About Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division

Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division provides a structure for the more than 40 breed organizations operating in Canada to unite as a coalition under the national federation of Equine Canada. It provides a forum from which to seek and exchange information between Equine Canada, Canadian stakeholders, the Government of Canada and foreign entities. The Breeds & Industry Division works to promote and assist a vibrant equine industry and to affect policy in Canada. Breed organizations and industry partners share resources and expertise with unity of purpose to increase the long-term profitability of Canada's equine sector and ensure its future viability. Visit equinecanada.ca for complete information about the Equine Canada Breeds & Industry Division.