COLUMBUS — In an attempt to overcome numerous industry challenges, members of Ohio’s horse community have formed the Ohio Equine Industry Coalition (OEIC).
The organization, designed to include all breeds and disciplines, was formed by a steering committee made up of representatives from the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, the Ohio Horsemen’s Council, the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and a representative from the draft horse community.
The coalition will represent an industry that accounts for an over $1.4 billion goods and services impact on Ohio.
“In today’s Ohio, more kids are growing up on concrete than on dirt, and kids are more likely to learn about computer programming than animal sciences,” said acting Steering Committee Chair Dr. John Mossbarger. “The OEIC is a critical step for the horse industry to tell its story to a wide audience.”
The coalition is ready to tackle issues such as increased environmental regulations, low sale prices, a lack of large-animal and equine veterinary practitioners, and development encroaching on riding trails. To do so, Mossbarger said, it will be critical for the equine industry to present a united front.
“This is a model that has worked successfully at a national level with the American Horse Council and regionally with the Kentucky Equine Education Project,” he said. “Bringing together an industry this large and diverse — there’s no limit to the positive effect it can have.”
The coalition is already involved in Ohio policy with a potential revival of an equine marketing program, introduced in prior sessions by Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland.
For more information on the OEIC, including membership and affiliate sponsorship, write to: P.O. Box 30320, Gahanna, OH 43230-9998; 614-598-4910; or visit www.ohioequineindustry.org.
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