|MEMBER REPORT FROM ECUADOR|
REPORT AT THE 2011 WAHO CONFERENCE:
Nathalie Weemaels, Ecuador: Mr. President, distinguished members of the Executive Committee, delegates, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Nathalie Weemaels and I am the President of the Association of Arabian Horse Breeders of Ecuador, which is also in charge of the Arabian Studbook of Ecuador. It is a great honour to be here today, sharing this occasion with people who have dedicated their lives to Arabian horses. In that sense, I want to congratulate and thank His Excellency and Qatar's authorities as well as WAHO's Executive Committee and Executive Secretary for their invitation and commitment.
This is the first time that our Association has participated in a WAHO Conference. Maybe we are anticipating a little, as we are an Applying Member and not yet a full Registering Authority Member of the Organization, nevertheless we hope we will become one very soon. In Ecuador, the first registered Arabian horses were imported in the 1970's, while our Association and Studbook were created in the 1990s. Since that time we have registered more than 750 horses, of which 77% were born in our country. The main country from which horses have been imported is the USA, from where the majority of our horses are descending. In Ecuador, Arabian horses have mainly been used in shows. Nevertheless, in the last four years, the practice and development of endurance racing has opened a new market and brought us a number of new members, which is about 40, and the number of registered horses is now increasing dramatically. Indeed this year in 2011 we have already about 60 new foals registered. Next to these activities, Arabian horses are also appreciated to do long family rides in the mountains.
Until this year we were organizing only one national championship show per year, normally during the first weekend of June. But from now on we will be organizing three shows a year, one in the capital Quito, one in the city of Riobamba which is at the foot of the Chimborazo mountain which stands 6,300 metres high, and one in Cuenca in the southern part of Ecuador. During our show events we also promote the use of Arabian horses in sport competitions such as dressage, cross-country, and racing, and we also organize a category of morphology and movement for endurance. In 2011 about 10 endurance races have been organized, mostly in the Andes, in the mountains region. In that sense, one of the characteristics of our country is that most of our breeders are raising their horses at an altitude of at least 2,500 metres. It is also at this level that we are training and racing in endurance, which surely offers our horses a particular physical condition. In that sense it is in our plans to support scientific studies on the qualities of Arabian horses bred at high altitude.
As our Association is currently growing, we published the first issue of our ACCAE News magazine, which I have here, I have a few copies if some of you are interested in it. It is also in our plans to publish two more issues of this magazine next year, it is also in our plans of course to produce our first WAHO studbook. We did indeed already publish a studbook in the beginning of the year 2000 but that studbook was not agreed by WAHO. We are also planning to start an importation programme of frozen semen, in order to help our small breeders to improve their production. Finally, we will organize clinics for trainers and judges. To end this presentation, I would like to take advantage of my participation in this important meeting to tell you that we feel the need for more cooperation between Latin American Associations, in order to promote a normalization of the rules and organization of regional events and the sharing of information. Thank you very much for your attention, and I hope you will be visiting us in Ecuador, which is a wonderful country for nature and for cultural tourism, and of course for its Arabian horses. Thank you very much.
STASTISTICS FOR 2011:
Foals registered: Approximately 40 to 50 (some are still pending registration)
Horses imported: 15 from USA
The Asociacion de Criadores de Caballos Arabes del Ecuador (ACCAE) is an Applying Member of WAHO. In 2007 they reported 54 registered foals, and a total Arabian horse population estimated at 500. All foals are parent verified by DNA, at present microchipping is not yet used, and Passports are not yet issued. 5 horses were exported in 2007, and 8 were imported. The use of Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer are permitted. Showing and Endurance are the main activities for Arabians in Ecuador.
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