We are busy preparing to attend the Caledon Dressage Silver show at the Orangeville Fairgrounds this weekend. Kelsey, Beverly, Dr. Terri O'Sullivan and I will be in attendance conducting a pilot study over the course of the weekend.
Horses are a highly mobile population. Many horses move frequently to participate in equestrian shows and events, and movement patterns are highly variable. The movement of horses is one of the most important factors determining the risk of the potential introduction and spread of an infectious disease within this population.
This pilot study will provide us with a snapshot of the nature and extent of horse movements and the network of potential contacts associated with a single equestrian show in southern Ontario. Our results will help us to further refine and develop our survey in order to initiate a larger version of this project in 2015.
Research results will help us to:
1. Design and target risk-based surveillance programs and control measures to prevent the spread of equine diseases among horses in Ontario.
2. Improve our ability to quickly detect and control potential outbreaks of equine disease in Ontario.
3. Minimize the economic and emotional impact that equine disease can have on the equine industry, and Ontario farm families.
. Improve the health and welfare of Ontario horses.