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Unwanted Horse Coalition

More than 750 stallions are gelded, courtesy of the Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding program.

The American Quarter Horse Association
July 11, 2013

UHC logo

More than 750 stallions have been gelded since the inception of the Unwanted Horse Coalition's Operation Gelding program in 2010.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition Operation Gelding program continues to assist with the cost of castrating stallions across the country. More than 750 stallions have been castrated in more than 60 clinics in 26 different states since the program’s inception in August 2010.

Operation Gelding is able to continue thanks to the support and seed money provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Zoetis and the UHC. Proceeds from the sale of Dr. Jennifer Williams’ book “How to Start and Run a Rescue” also help fund the Operation Gelding program. Books can be purchased at www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org.  

Operation Gelding offers funding assistance to organizations, associations and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse, $1,000 maximum, to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.

Dr. Julie Settlage from VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine held the school’s first Operation Gelding clinic on April 13 in Blacksburg, Virginia, and was able to provide hands-on experience for 82 veterinary students and 14 faculty members, while castrating 15 stallions.

“This service-learning event not only helps the horse owner and horses, but also helps build technical skills in veterinary students and opens their eyes to the real world,” said Settlage. “By castrating these horses, we are reducing the number of unwanted horses being born in the future and creating geldings that are easier to house and maintain, thereby making them easier to adopt.”

The Santa Rosa County Horse Assistance Council is a seasoned castration clinic host. Under the guidance of Jennifer Boone, the organization hosted its third Operation Gelding clinic.

“Year after year, we can always count on the support of the Unwanted Horse Coalition! Thank you, as always, for your support,” said Boone. Throughout the year, SRCHAC offers low-cost gelding, vaccination and Coggins services to horse owners in the northwest Florida area.

The Minnesota Horse Council, a UHC member, is also a seasoned veteran when it comes to hosting castration clinics. With the help and skills of Dr. Tracy Turner, the Minnesota Horse Council’s gelding clinic castrated 22 horses in one day. In that state, the Minnesota Horse Council helped launch The Gelding Project, which is a grant program in Minnesota that offers vouchers to horse owners who cannot afford to geld their stallions.

Another UHC member, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, was able to conduct its first clinic under the tutelage of executive director Karen Gustin.

Upcoming clinics will be held in Iowa and New Mexico.

Operation Gelding currently has limited funding available for organizations that would like to host their own Operation Gelding clinic. For more information on how to host a clinic, contact Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@horsecouncil.org or (202) 296-4031.

AQHA is a founding member of the Unwanted Horse Coalition. The Unwanted Horse Coalition represents a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to educate the horse industry about the unwanted horse issue.

For more information on the Unwanted Horse Coalition, visit www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org.