Registration for the American Horse Council (AHC) 2018 Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum, taking place June 10–13 in Washington, D.C., is now open.

Registration information, along with a tentative schedule, is available on the AHC website at horsecouncil.org/events/ahc-annual-meeting-national-issues-forum-2/.

The theme of this year’s National Issues Forum is “Let’s Capitalize On It!” The event will focus on ways the horse industry can learn and grow from both equine and outside industry segments as well as expanding technology that’s beneficial to both humans and equines.

“We are really looking forward to our National Issues Forum this year,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We have some exciting and engaging speakers lined up to talk about a variety of issues such as public perception of an industry, emerging technologies that benefit our industry and our horses, how other sports segments grew their youth pipeline, and of course a deeper dive into the results of our 2017 Economic Impact Study.”

National Issues Forum Features

The forum will kick off June 12 with speaker Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, who will give an overview of his roles and responsibilities and explain how other states could adopt a similar model. Following will be a panel titled “Survey Says” in which panelists will examine various data trends within the equine industry over the past several years.

The morning will also include a youth engagement panel, “Building the pipeline of future horse enthusiasts,” which will feature representatives from the Professional Golfers’ Association’s “First Tee” program and the Outdoor Industry Association’s “Outdoor Nation.”

The afternoon session will begin with Dan Ashe, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a nonprofit association dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. Author and journalist Fran Jurga will also be speaking on emerging technologies in the equine industry.

Additionally, Anne Poulson; Yuval Neria, PhD; and Prudence Fisher, PhD, from the Man ‘o War Project and Columbia University Medical Center will present findings from their clinical research on how equine-assisted activities and therapies impact military veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. The afternoon will also include panels with Congressional representatives, and one on equine aftercare, followed by round table discussion on topics of interests.

New this year, vendors will be set up to provide live demonstrations of emerging technologies including health monitoring sensors for horses and virtual reality demonstrations.

Meeting Schedule

Various AHC committees will meet Sunday and Monday. The Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum will take place on Tuesday and are open to both AHC members and nonmembers.

Individuals with questions can contact the AHC at info@horsecouncil.org or 202/296-4031.