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AUGUST 2020 THE RIDER /19


Patron Determined to Help Equine Guelph “Survive and Thrive”


with a Generous Donation


Guelph, ON July, 29, 2020 - A generous donation of $100,000 to Equine Guelph has been made by the Kerr family to establish an equine education and community outreach endowment. A portion of the Kerr Fund for Equine Education and Community Outreach will support much needed ongoing operational funding for the Univer- sity of Guelph’s not-for-profit Centre for the horse owner. Sheryl Kerr was inspired to set up the fund through


her positive experience taking courses on TheHorsePor- tal.ca, Equine Guelph’s online learning platform. After taking the Horse Care and Welfare course, quoting from the National Equine Code of Practice came naturally for creating a Covid-19 response plan for her 150-acre farm and training facility. Kerr was impressed with the practi- cality of the Equine Guelph course and how lessons learned could be directly applied to daily operations. “Having learned so much myself from Equine


Guelph’s online courses, I know first-hand how much value they bring to the horse community, said Kerr. “Our horses deserve the very best, and Equine Guelph has ac- cess to the latest advice from experts across a range of top- ics that are essential for any horse owner – from beginners to barn owners.” Equine Guelph Director Gayle Ecker expressed grat-


itude and says, “the funding will help us to continue to build our practical and affordable educational programs and industry resources that help improve horse welfare.” The global reach of Equine Guelph’s programs was


recognized recently by Equestrian Canada as the 2019 re- cipient of their National Health and Welfare Award. Equine Guelph has been a pioneer in the development of evidence-based, award-winning online education since 2002.


Many student testimonials resonate with Kerr’s sen-


we will be posting results of a recent scientific research paper, and helping horse owners understand what the science could mean for those of us caring for horses.


Impact of Micronutrients on the Immune Response of Animals


By HERBS for HORSES The subject of today's blog is the impact of micronutrients (i.e., vitamins and minerals) on immunity in animals. The paper


(blow) is a very technical 30-page review¹ of scientific literature describing the effects of micronutrient deficiencies, imbalances, and supplementation on the very broad and complex profile of immune function in horses, humans, rodents, cats, dogs, and other livestock. The authors do a very thorough job of explaining how micronutrients are critical in immune regulation, and how deficiencies can impair the ability of immune cells to properly respond to an infectious disease or vaccination. Amongst the many compromised activities of these cells are impaired gut barrier function (which can lead to "leaky gut


syndrome"), disturbance of the gastrointestinal microbiome, inadequate production of antimicrobial proteins, delayed responses to pathogenic organisms, and weak responses to vaccination protocols. Supplementing the diet with properly formulated vitamins and minerals can help to prime the immune system. The authors also highlight the many differences in immune system responses between horses and other species, and caution


their regular diet, and this paper suggests that this may result in reduced immune competence in some cases. Furthermore, the authors suggest that micronutrient supplements are not a "one-size-fits-all-species" product. When choosing a vitamin-mineral supplement for your horses, chose one that supplies all the major micronutrients in the right ratio for horses. This will optimize your chances at reaping the immune benefits, and helping your horse put his or her best hoof forward for health!


readers that research in other species cannot always be easily extrapolated to the situation in horses. What does this mean for your horse? The majority of domestic horses do not receive a balanced supply of micronutrients in


¹Smith AD, Panickar KS, Urban JF Jr, Dawson HD. Impact of Micronutrients on the Immune Response of Animals. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2018 Feb 15;6:227-254. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-022516-022914.


MAIN PHOTO: Shutterstock / Osetrick


timents, extolling the merits of a wonderful online learning community, the quality of content and expertise of the in- structors and guest speakers. “My hope is that the Kerr Fund for Equine Education


and Community Outreach will bring greater awareness for the excellent programs and resources that Equine Guelph has to offer, as well as to inspire others in the horse com- munity to give,” said Kerr. “Any horse enthusiast can ben- efit from what Equine Guelph has to offer, and programs like this rely on donations to survive and thrive.”


About Equine Guelph: Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’


Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, in- dustry and government - for the good of the equine indus- try as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.


Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions


Photo: Sheryl Kerr Photo Caption: Sheryl Kerr made a generous donation to Equine Guelph. Funds will support Equine Education and Community Outreach


This is the second in a new Herbs for Horses blog series Translating Modern Research: Implications for horse health, where


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