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  • Support the VPA's Percheron Field Day on May 23rd The Virginia Percheron Association will be holding their annual Percheron Field Day on May 23rd in Weyer's Cave, VA.   This is a GREAT event that you won't want ...
    Posted May 19, 2015, 10:58 AM by Hope Graves
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Support the VPA's Percheron Field Day on May 23rd

posted May 19, 2015, 10:32 AM by Hope Graves   [ updated May 19, 2015, 10:58 AM ]

The Virginia Percheron Association will be holding their annual Percheron Field Day on May 23rd in Weyer's Cave, VA.   This is a GREAT event that you won't want to miss.  Load up the family and head to Weyer's Cave to learn more about the Percheron breed and see our Virginia teamsters show off their talent and skill with these fine horses.  

The Event starts at 10:00 am.  The Auction begins at 11:00 am, followed by the raffle at 2:00 pm.  VPA members will provide demonstrations throughout the day.  The event is open to the public.  Located on Route 257 in Weyers Cave across from the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.

For additional information contact:  Gary Kisamore at 540.290.0801.


posted May 19, 2015, 10:21 AM by Hope Graves   [ updated May 19, 2015, 10:23 AM ]

~ State Veterinarian’s Office Urges Horse Owners to Check with Their Veterinarians Now Regarding Vaccination Schedule ~

Mosquito season will begin soon in Virginia and has already begun in some areas. That means it’s time to start thinking about vaccinating your horses against mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and possibly against rabies as well. Unlike WNV and EEE, rabies is a three-year vaccine that does not need to be repeated annually.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) urges all horse owners to check with their veterinarians for vaccination recommendations for their animals. Virginia only had one confirmed case of WNV (Augusta County) and one of EEE (Suffolk) in 2014, although many other states had a much higher incidence of cases.

“Timely vaccination has been shown to decrease WNV and EEE disease incidence drastically,” said Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian at VDACS. “Without vaccination, we would expect to see many more infected horses, so we still urge horse owners to consider EEE and WNV vaccination. We believe that in most cases, private veterinarians will recommend them for their clients.”

Vaccines are effective for six to twelve months, so horses should be re-vaccinated at least annually. In areas where the disease occurs frequently, most veterinarians recommend vaccination every six months. For the vaccine to be effective it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus. Additionally, to stimulate full immunity, horses must be vaccinated twice, about 30 days apart, the first year they are vaccinated. Other prevention methods include destroying standing water breeding sites for mosquitoes, using insect repellents and removing animals from mosquito-infested areas during peak biting times, usually dusk to dawn.

Dr. Wilkes also suggests that owners check about rabies vaccinations for their horses. There were no cases of rabies in Virginia horses last year but four each in 2012 and 2013.

Rabies vaccines are also very effective and vaccinating horses annually can prevent rabies in both horses and humans. In addition to taking measures to decrease the likelihood that horses will be exposed to rabies, routine rabies vaccination is a very important aspect of disease prevention.

All three of these diseases – EEE, WNV and rabies – cause neurologic signs in horses, such as staggering, circling, depression, loss of appetite and sometimes fever and blindness. The diseases can kill anywhere from 30 percent (WNV) to 90 percent (EEE) to 100 percent (rabies) of the horses infected. There is no proven cure for these diseases, but veterinarians can provide supportive therapy to treat symptoms of EEE and WNV and keep horses from injuring themselves. Rabies is always fatal. Humans can become infected with rabies by handling a rabid horse but cannot become infected with EEE or WNV by handling an infected horse, nor can a horse acquire the virus from another infected horse. The presence of an infected horse in the area indicates that mosquitoes carrying EEE or WNV are present, however, and those insects pose a threat to both humans and horses.

For more information on WNV or EEE, contact the Office of Veterinary Services, Division of Animal Industry Services, VDACS, at 804.786.2483 or see Information about rabies and rabies exposures can be found on the Virginia Department of Health’s Rabies Control page at Horse owners should contact their veterinarians for further advice on prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Elaine Lidholm

Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219

Virginia Teamsters Receive Recognition

posted May 19, 2015, 9:59 AM by Hope Graves

In the latest issue (Winter 2015) of the DAPNet (Draft Animal-Power Network) Newsletter, several of our Virginia teamsters were acknowledged.  The article, which focused on the 2014 World Percheron Congress said "The Virginia folks are excellent teamsters and . . . deservingly took top honors in both plowing classes "   The article goes on to specifically acknowledge the much appreciated assistance of Gary Kisamore and friends (from the VPA) as well as the "poetry in motion" of the Redifer Family (Father and Son) Teamsters.  The article is attached below, Volume 5, Number 1, Winter 2015 of the DAPNet Newsletter.    


posted Feb 9, 2015, 9:41 AM by Hope Graves   [ updated May 19, 2015, 10:24 AM by Hope Graves ]


On Thursday, February 5, 2015, VDACS was notified of a positive result for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) on a horse displaying neurologic signs in western Albemarle County, Northwest of Charlottesville. The affected horse is located at a boarding stable with 14 other horses at the facility. VDACS contacted the stable manager and placed the facility under quarantine – no horses are allowed to exit or enter the premises until the quarantine is released.

The affected horse is a 14-year-old gelding that showed symptoms on Saturday, January 31, became recumbent on Sunday, February 1, but is now stable. Samples were taken by a private veterinarian and the result was reported to VDACS February 5. An epidemiologic investigation is underway; initial findings indicate that only one exposed horse from the facility has left the premises within the last 14 days, and that horse went out of state. VDACS will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates on our website – - and on Facebook and Twitter at and

More information on EHV-1 is available at

Elaine Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219


Virginia Draft Horse & Mule Association, Inc. By-Laws

posted Jan 21, 2015, 2:04 PM by Hope Graves

Attached please find the updated By-Laws for the VDHMA.  These revision addresses the changes voted on by the association membership in 2014.  If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.

VDHMA Annual Meeting

posted Jan 14, 2015, 8:23 PM by Hope Graves   [ updated Jan 27, 2015, 12:40 PM ]

Please join us for the 2015 VDHMA Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Traditions Family Restaurant, located at 625 Mount Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.  

If you have not already renewed your 2015 membership, please plan on renewing your membership at the Annual Meeting.

If you need directions to the Traditions Family restaurant, CLICK HERE.

Horse Feed Recall

posted Nov 3, 2014, 1:33 PM by Hope Graves   [ updated May 19, 2015, 10:25 AM by Hope Graves ]

Bartlett Milling Company recalls horse feeds
Two types of feed potentially contaminated with Rumensin

Release Date: 2014-11-03

Bartlett Milling Company has initiated a limited recall of certain horse feeds due to potential Rumensin contamination. The products were distributed to customers and retailers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Rumensin contamination can result in health problems, including mortality, in horses. The products and lot number involved in the recall are:

o 50 lb. bags of Bartlett Pasture Horse 10 Feed - Lot 288
o 50 lb. bags of Cleveland Carolina Champion Horse Feed - Lot 288

The recalled products were packaged in typical brand-specific feed bags. Lot numbers are printed on the front and back of each bag.

Retailers have been contacted and instructed to immediately withdraw from sale the recalled product and to notify customers who purchased the product. Customers should discontinue feeding the product immediately. Customers who purchased this product should return remaining bags to their retailer.

For more information on the product recall, contact Bartlett Milling at +1.800.438.6016 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact Bartlett at 1.336.655.1840 outside of regular business hours.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Ride & Drive and VDHMA Elections

posted Oct 14, 2014, 8:16 AM by Hope Graves   [ updated Oct 17, 2014, 1:28 PM ]

Mark Your Calendar!  The VDHMA elections will be held in conjunction with the Ride & Drive on Saturday, November 8th at 10:00 am in Churchville, VA.  Please see the flyer for additional details and directions to this great event.

Draft Horse & Mule Fun Show

posted Sep 5, 2014, 6:49 PM by Hope Graves   [ updated May 19, 2015, 10:04 AM by Hope Graves ]

The Draft Horse and Mule Fun Show will return to the State Fair of Virginia at The Meadow on Sunday, September 28th and Monday, September 29th.  

We are so excited to be offering a Draft Horse & Mule Show and a Draft Horse & Mule Pull, as well as Coon Mule Jumping at the State Fair of Virginia this year. After a number of requests, more mule classes and pull have been added.  We have great expectations for this show and the future of the draft horse and mule industry at the State Fair of Virginia and hope that you are able to be a part of our show.  

In addition to exhibitors and volunteers we need sponsors.  Please complete the Sponsorship Form if you are able to sponsor a class or more!

Classes will begin at 6:00 pm and are open to Drafts, SMALL Drafts and Mules (unless otherwise noted).

The Prize List, Show Entry Form, and Sponsorship Form is attached.

Rockbridge County Fair Amateur Horse Pulling Championship

posted Jul 12, 2014, 8:06 PM by Hope Graves

There will be an invitational amateur horse pull on Saturday, July 19th at the Virginia Horse Center, in Lexington, Va.  The event sponsored by Southern States Cooperative kicks off at 7:00 pm.

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