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Rutgers to Hold One-Day Horse Management Seminar This Weekend

Press Release

With the summer show season only months away, recommendations for competition horses and important new information, research, and statistics about the impact of West Nile virus (WNV) on the equine population will be featured at the annual Rutgers Equine Science Center's Horse Management Seminar on Sunday, March 14, 2004 on the Cook College campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

The day-long seminar will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cook Campus Center, Biel and Dudley Roads, off Route 1 in New Brunswick.

Organizing the event is Carey Williams, PhD, the new extension equine specialist with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the Rutgers Department of Animal Sciences at Cook College and Rutgers Equine Science Center. Registration is being handled by the Office of Continuing Professional Education at Cook College, 732/932-9271.

According to Williams, "The seminar this year will be a 'warm-up' for the Athens Olympics, which will be held in August. We developed topics for owners, trainers, riders and others interested in competition, performance, and general equine exercise."

For example, Amy Ordakowski-Burk, PhD, of the University of Maryland will present on "Pre-Competition Nutritional Management," and Rebecca Splan, PhD, of Virginia Tech will discuss "Conformation of the Performance Horse."

In addition, James Kenney, PhD, will take audiences through the pros and cons of acupuncture, an increasingly popular treatment for equine athletes. And Jim Wolf, who is Director of Game Preparation and Athlete Services for the U.S. Equestrian Team, will brief attendees on the preparations for team members and horses heading to the Athens Olympics, and the special challenges that will face U.S. competitors at these games.

"One other topic that we think will be of very great interest to seminar participants is the update on West Nile virus," says Williams. "Jennifer Scigliano, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology at Cook College, has been studying exactly which type or types of mosquito infect horses. Armed with this information, monitoring and controlling disease-carrying mosquitoes will likely be much more effective."

The West Nile virus problem is increasingly worrisome for humans and animals in New Jersey and in virtually all states in the U.S., with more cases being reported each year. Rutgers and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers have been in the forefront of mosquito research since the turn of the century, and their research is recognized worldwide. The presentation will include present and future research that will lead to recommendations for mosquito control methods that can be adopted by horse owners.

The advance registration for the day-long seminar is $55 for adults and $35 for students. The registration fee at the door is $70 for adults and $50 for students. The fee includes continental breakfast, parking permit, handouts and access to vendor displays, door prizes and a lunchtime raffle. There will also be a lunch provided for an extra $9.

Further information about the seminar is posted on the Equine Science Center website at, which links to the Continuing Education online registration site: