Over a hundred participants enjoy 2022 Healthy Horses Conference at UF

Equine treadmill demo

Conference-goers were able to view a demonstration of a horse running on a treadmill during afternoon activities.

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s 14th Annual Healthy Horses Conference, held July 15, was the first in-person meeting after two years of virtual programs, and was a big success, program organizers said.

“We welcomed over 100 horse owners from throughout the Southeast for a day of educational talks on horse health topics, including care for the older horse, common eye disorders, blood transfusions in horses, an update on equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, and what every horse owner needs to know about anesthesia,” said Dr. Sally Denotta, a clinical assistant professor of large animal medicine and UF’s equine veterinary extension specialist.

In the afternoon, attendees participated in hospital tours, equine performance treadmill demonstrations and a special session on equine technical rescue with Brandi Phillips of the UF Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service.

Several government veterinarians from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture attended the event for the first time, and gave a presentation on how regulations work to help keep Florida horses safe and disease-free on the farm and during travel.

“The program was made possible by industry partners and was also attended by several veterinary students and UF/IFAS extension agents,” DeNotta said. “It was a really wonderful program this year.”

Sponsors included Boehringer Ingelheim, Dechra Veterinary Products, Merck Animal Health, Platinum Performance, Purina, Seminole Wellness and Zoetis. This year, increased sponsor revenue and reduced catering costs allowed attendee registration fees to be reduced to $35 for regular registration and $25 for student registration, with UF/IFAS extension agents able to register at no cost.

“The conference was well-received, with overwhelmingly positive reviews from participants,” DeNotta said. “Post-conference surveys were completed by 44 attendees and found the program to be well-organized and the educational content to be of high quality with applicability to their needs as horse owners.”

Next year’s conference will be held July 14, 2023.

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