The 2012 American Equine Summit

Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary

March 31 & April 1

The 2012 American Equine Summit will be held at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary, Saturday, March 31 and Sunday. April 1 in Chatham, NY, 30 miles south of Albany. This invitation-only Summit was organized in response to the surprise amendment Congress passed at the end of 2011 that paved the way for the return of horse slaughter to the United States. This was a slap in the face for the more than 80% of Americans who are strongly opposed to horse slaughter. This occurrence orchestrated by a few Congressman beholden to the Agriculture Industry, the Cattlemen and the American Quarter Horse Association was a disgraceful demonstration of how special interests defied the will of the vast majority of the American people on the issue that now has millions crying “foul!”

The Summit has two main objectives:

1. To come up with a strategy to reverse the damage done by Congress and move toward a federal ban on horse slaughter

2. To empower the “80 percenters” who are against horse slaughter and give them the tools to be able to effectively make their voices heard and inspire change

The Summit has attracted a distinguished group of equine experts from all across the country — California, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Virginia — and the northeast.

Headlining the event is legendary concert promoter and horse lover, Ron Delsener who will deliver the Keynote Address.

Other speakers include:

Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, Texas, who successfully won the fight to shut down Dallas Crown, the horse slaughterhouse that operated in Kaufman for many years. Ms. Bacon will discuss the constant environmental violations during the time Dallas Crown was operating and how the Kaufman horse slaughterhouse demoralized the people who lived in that area. Read Vickery Eckhoff’s article in Forbes about Paula Bacon’s victory.

Dr. Caroline Betts, an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California will discuss the flaws and discrepancies in the 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the closing of horse slaughterhouses in the US. She will also discuss the economics of horse slaughter and the misconceptions being spread about it by those who want to bring horse slaughter back to the US. Dr. Betts will talk about her personal involvement with horse rescue and her role as the President of the Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, the non-profit organization which she founded in 2008.

Cathleen Doyle conceived and spearheaded the first state initiative in the nation to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption with California’s historic Save the Horses’ “Proposition 6.” Ms. Doyle will go through the history of the horse slaughter issue, the reasons why a federal ban has not yet passed and what needs to be done in order to make that happen.

John Holland is a writer and President of the Equine Welfare Alliance, representing over 200 organizations worldwide. Mr. Holland will define what a “slaughter horse” is and discuss the misconceptions and untruths being spread by the special interest groups that want the convenience of being able to sell horses to slaughter rather than take responsibility for them.

Dr. Kraig J. Kulikowski is a licensed equine veterinarian who operates his practice, Equine Sports Medicine, out of Saratoga Springs, NY and Wellington, FL. Dr. Kulikowski will discuss humane euthanasia as an alternative for slaughter, as well as the importance of responsible horse guardianship.

Katia Louise is an award-winning filmmaker whose most recent documentary, “Saving America’s Horses – A Nation Betrayed” will be shown at the Summit. Ms. Louise will talk about the experiences she had during the making of the film and her work on the horse slaughter issue.

Victoria McCullough is an equine protectionist and rescuer who was instrumental in the passage of Florida’s “Equine Protection Act of 2010.” Ms. McCullough will discuss the urgency of passing a federal ban on horse slaughter and the rescue of 163 horses from an Ohio slaughter auction in 2008.

Jo Anne Normile is the founder of both the Saving Baby Equine Charity and CANTER. She is also the principal of Normile Racehorse Protection Consulting. Ms. Normile will discuss the plight of the “used up” Thoroughbred.

John Sweeney is a former US Congressman who served New York State’s 20th Congressional District from January 1999 through January 2007. He will discuss his role as the primary sponsor of H.R. 503, the House version of The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and how he led the charge to its successful passage in 2006. Mr. Sweeney will also go into detail to identify the opponents of the bill, how they managed to block its passage in the Senate, what tactics the opposition used, what we can expect from them today and his advice going forward on passing strong and effective legislation that would completely ban the slaughter of American’s equines for human consumption in the US and their transport to other countries for the purpose of slaughter.

Susan Wagner, President and founder of Equine Advocates will host the Summit and discuss what inspired her to hold this event at this particular time. “It is truly an honor to be able to welcome these amazing guest speakers to Chatham, NY, most of whom will be traveling from far distances just to be a part of the 2012 American Equine Summit,” Ms. Wagner said. “All have made important contributions in their respective areas of equine protection. To be able to hold this Summit at our horse sanctuary where most of the equines have been rescued from slaughter is both fitting and appropriate.

Attendance to the Summit is by invitation only. A detailed report of what transpired will be announced and made available to the press and the public. For more information, please contact Susan Wagner at or call (518) 245-1599.