California Riding Magazine • November, 2008

The Gallop
Fires Contained;
Gina Miles Featured at AAEP Event.

by Kim F. Miller

The October fires were well contained as we went to press in the middle of the month. Most of the hundreds of Los Angeles area horses that had to be evacuated Oct. 13 and 14 were back in their own homes. With hot, dry weather predicted, however, nobody was breathing too easy, even after the nasty Santa Ana winds went away and smokey skies cleared.

Pierce College, Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, the Peter Pitchess Honor Farm (in Castaic) and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center were among those who took in equine evacuees, in some cases refilling their stalls with new arrivals as the Sesnon and Marek fires ebbed and flared throughout San Fernando Valley. Those facilities alone reportedly took in 300 horses, including some from Middle Ranch and Bell Canyon.

As was the case with last October’s more extensive blazes at both ends of California, preparedness and willingness to evacuate early carried the day. The Los Angeles Animal Care and Control and its volunteer Equine Response Team again received many kudos for effective action.

Olympian Gina Miles Highlights AAEP Workshop

Olympic silver medalist Gina Miles is set as a featured speaker during the Healthy Horses Workshop on Sat., Dec. 6 in San Diego. Geared for horse owners, this workshop is part of the American Assn. of Equine Practitioner’s 54th annual convention, which we are lucky to have in California this year.

This is the ninth year that the AAEP has hosted these horse-owner targeted workshops and they are great opportunities to learn, in layman’s terms, the latest in veterinary advances on several subjects.

The agenda begins with Eye Diseases for Horse Owners: No More Blind Horses!, by Dennis Brooks, DVM, Ph.D., DACVO; Pain-Free Saddle Fitting for You and Your Horse: Part I & II, by Joyce Harman, DVM; One-Step Horsemanship: Training and Control from the Ground, David Hayes, DVM; Nutrition: Unlock the Key to Horse Health, Lydia Gray, DVM, MA; Olympic Equine Medicine: Experiences as an Emergency Treating Veterinarian for Five Olympic Games, Sharon Spier, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM.

Gina Miles’ talk, What It Takes to Win Silver, may stray from purely veterinary matters, but it will no doubt be a highlight given what the Paso Robles-based eventer and her longtime mount, McKinlaigh have accomplished.

The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The pre-registration fee through Nov. 10 is $70; on-site registration will be $85. Lunch is included with the cost of registration.
To register, visit You also may register for this event by calling the AAEP office at 800-443-0177. Seating is limited and on-site registration will be offered based on space availability.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, KY, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than five million horse owners through its nearly 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.