July 2011
Featured Articles

An Exciting Equine Event Makes Its Debut In Alabama!!!!


The Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference is a coming together of equine organizations and individuals (both private and public) who share knowledge, experiences and resources to enhance the equine world. Attendees come not only from the Southeastern states, but from numerous state and federal offices. Started in 1999, the National Symposium on Horse Trails in Forest Ecosystems - a conference for those interested in building, maintaining and enjoying equestrian trails - was held at Clemson University. In the years that followed, annual conferences have been held throughout the Southeast and became known as the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference (SETC). Today, SETC stands as the education forum for bringing equestrian interests together to share current information and build coalitions to support the equine trail industry.

Alabama is honored to host the 2011 event thanks to a newly-formed partnership of equine associations: Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alfa, Alabama Horse Council, Alabama Quarter Horse Association, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn University Department of Animal Sciences, Backcountry Horsemen of Alabama, Judson College and the U.S. Forest Service.?These organizations realize the horse industry plays "a pivotal role in maintaining the state’s rural infrastructure and bolstering Alabama’s economy to the tune of $2.39 BILLION annually."

Alabama’s SETC will offer the opportunity to further develop the equine industry as an economic engine for Alabama. Building on 13 years of technical expertise and momentum provided by the regional SETC organization, our coalition has established specific objectives to bring an educational opportunity to Alabama’s equine community and to develop the foundation to organize and expand our state’s equine industry.

The theme for the 2011 Conference is "Creating, Coordinating and Conserving a Trail Friendly Environment" and will be held at the Auburn Conference Center on July 21–23, 2011. Our overarching goal is to develop Alabama’s equine community into an organized coalition of informed trail users with the skills to lead and affect change. Through this conference we will:

• Develop our next generation of trail riders by involving youth in all aspects of the conference.

• Provide a forum for dialog on important issues like tort claims, landowner incentives and public land policies.

• Serve as the catalyst to building a network sufficient to support Alabama’s equine tourism industry.

• Develop a trail-riders certification program to address sustainability issues with trails, horse care and rider protocols.

• Explore the concerns surrounding environmental sustainability so the Alabama’s Equestrian Trail Program may be long-lived.

Sponsorships are available at various levels and afford businesses and individuals the opportunity to not only promote their businesses, but to also be a part of this significant event. Watch our website at www.southeasternequestriantrails.com as details develop. This is a not-to-be-missed event!