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52/ JUNE 2010 THE RIDER Huron Firefighters Learn Large Animal Rescue Techniques

Clinton, ON – The Region- al Equine & Agriculture Centre of Huron Inc. (REACH Huron) hosted a workshop here today to introduce horse owners and emergency response per- sonnel to large animal res- cue.

Michelle Staples came to REACH Huron from the northern coast of California to introduce local horse owners and emergency rescue person- nel to the skills involved in

rescuing horses from vari- ous situations. Each partici- pant bought a stuffed ani- mal to learn how to use the special slings needed to remove a horse from an overturned trailer, a ditch and other difficult situa- tions. Michelle is a Horse Safety Specialist and trav- els around North America to present workshops. “I am very pleased with the turn-out of emer- gency responders. We have firefighters from Goderich,

Hensall and Strathroy here today” says Melanie Pross- er, Director of Program Services. “It is such an important piece in the equine industry, and to see these people taking time on a weekend to sit here with their stuffed toys and learn about saving horses is very encouraging.”

raise the funds to obtain the equipment, and send some

of the emergency respon- ders on the full LAR cours-

es that are available. REACH will be offering a Horse Awareness and Safe- ty course for Emergency personnel who are not familiar with horses in the near future.

As an added bonus, Michelle also provided an hour long presentation on disaster preparedness for horse owners. “Disasters are not just acts of nature” says Michelle, “We also have to consider technolo- gy and human error when we think of disasters. Any- thing which causes the cur- rent level of emergency services to be inadequate for the situation is consid- ered a disaster.”

REACH is located in Clinton, Ontario, with facilities that include a cli- mate controlled indoor and warm-up arenas, teaching barn and lab. The facilities are also home to a full edu- cational facility with high- tech classrooms, dorm rooms and a community kitchen. Future plans include stabling for shows and 40 RV hook-ups. For

further information, please visit The Regional Equine & Agricultural Centre of Huron Inc. (REACH) is a non-profit corporation functioning as a “motel for education”, offering inno- vative programming, as well as recreational activi- ties to support the equine, agricultural and other industries.

Two of the enthusias- tic participants at the Intro- duction to Large Animal Rescue (LAR) course held at REACH Huron on May 1.

Goderich Fire Department members learning how to tie slings for rescuing horses.

More work is needed, as the class learned about specific equipment that should be available for equine emergencies includ- ing a rescue slide and an equine face protector. Michelle encouraged the class to work together to

Michelle Staples and her dog LARry showing an emer- gency rescue sling.

Hamilton Police Mounted Police Unit

By Mallory Hendry. Photos by The Rider. The Hamilton police force has recently become a little more cowboy. A three year pilot project testing out a mounted patrol unit was

our of Const. James Bar- ron, who in 1903 was the first Hamilton police offi- cer killed in the line of duty. “Lincoln” is in recognition of Lincoln Alexander, honorary Hamilton Chief of Police

and good nature. These new officers - who stand 17 hands high and tip the scales between 1700 and 1900 pounds - have been in training since Novem- ber 2009, two months after the Hamilton Police

ston Gabriele took a course covering riding skills, formation drills, horse health, grooming and stable management. The mounted unit was created in the hopes of complementing exist- ing policing strategies, heightening crime pre- vention, managing enter- tainment districts, helping out with search and res- cue, and providing park and trail safety.

Starting in mid May the unit was deployed in a patrol capacity, working closely with Hamilton’s new ACTION team to help promote police visi- bility in certain areas such as the downtown core. The horses training

put in place last month. On May 12 the force wel- comed four new team members: black Percherons Griffin, Lin- coln, Trooper and Barron. The names of these hand- some boys were chosen with care. One name was picked by the officers themselves and a “Name the Horse” contest was held early this year, ask- ing grade 6, 7 and 8 Hamilton students to christen the remaining three. “Barron” is in hon-

and former Ontario Lieu- tenant Governor. “Grif- fin” is a tribute to Ancast- er’s Griffin House, which overlooks the Dundas Valley as a testament to those who sought free- dom by the Underground Railroad. Finally “Troop- er” was chosen because it suggests bravery and courage.

The breed of horse was also chosen carefully. A draft breed was settled on because of its willing- ness to work, intelligence

Vilika Zafirides with Lincoln

Services Board approved the idea. Human officers trained with the Toronto Police Service Mounted Unit for 15 weeks to become the first group of riders. Const. Vilika Zafirides, Sgt. Martin Schulenberg, Const. Brad Adams and Const. Pre-

included sensitization to urban disturbances such as traffic noise.

Members of the community are encour- aged to approach the mounted officers and chat with them about any con- cerns, questions or com- ments they may have.

Central Ontario Prince Philip Games Season Gets Underway

The Central Ontario Region of Pony Club held its first Prince Philip Games meet of the season on Sunday, May 16. Highlight results are shown below (complete order of finish in the internet version).

In the A division, a mixed Uxbridge-Scugog/Durham team placed first, followed by a Rising Star/Victoria team, the “Cuddly Bunnies”.

The Temiskaming “Sassy Sapphires” took first in the B division, with a mixed Temiskaming/Durham team, the “Pretty Ponies”, second and Rising Star third. A mixed Temiskaming/Toronto & North York team took the honours in the C division, with Maple second and a mixed Rising Star/Durham team, in third place. In the Masters Games, for players 15 and older, the Rising Star/Victoria “Oh My!” team claimed first place, with a mixed Uxbridge-Scugog/Toronto & North York team in second spot after winning a tie-breaker, and Uxbridge-Scugog third. The Prince Philip Cup Games are a team competition played by Pony Clubs around the world. Many of the Games require the riders and ponies to run a slalom course around a series of poles from one end of the playing field to the other, where they hand-off something to the next rider on their team. In some races, riders have to vault off of and onto their ponies.

July 4. Points accumulate over the three meets, and competition at all levels is very close. The Regional A level winners go on to play for the Eastern Canadian Champi- onship against teams from the Western Ontario and Saint Lawrence-Ottawa Valley Regions. The two top Eastern Canadian A level teams then play against Western Canada representatives for the national championship, to be held in the Western Ontario Region. There is also a national Masters championship, to be hosted by the British Columbia Lower Mainland Region this year. Both events are in August. For details please call Bob Inglis, Central Ontario Regional Communications Chair, at 416-493-1223 (office) or 416-491-4230 (home) or via e-mail at For general background on the Canadian Pony Club and its activities (including Prince Philip Games), or on Central Ontario Region and its Branches, or for this or previous press releases, check out the Canadian Pony Club website at and follow the appropriate links.

The next meet in the regular season will be June 13, with the Regional Finals on

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