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August 14, 2012
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USRider supports UF to advance large-animal technical rescue

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2012) - USRider, national provider of roadside emergency assistance for horse owners, has long been involved in helping further the cause of improving large-animal emergency rescue training. Over the years, the philanthropic organization has contributed significant donations to the University of Florida College (UF) of Veterinary Medicine to support the college's large-animal rescue initiatives. USRider's latest donation is being used toward a rope and webbing testing project being undertaken by UF's College of Veterinary Medicine disaster response team, better known as "VETS".

The VETS team is a core component of the statewide animal and agriculture disaster response team, SART. The team is composed of college staff and faculty with an interest in disaster response. The team trains veterinary students, practitioners in the state reserve corps, other SART partner agencies, mounted police units, and local fire departments in large-animal technical rescue across the state of Florida. The funding for team equipment and training has been provided by the donations and grants.

"The VETS team is appreciative of the most recent, and ongoing support of the team's projects by the USRider Leg-Up Fund. Through our rope and webbing testing project, we will develop a comprehensive body of knowledge to assist responders in more safely rescuing horses and other livestock," said John Haven, UF veterinary college administrator.

"Since Florida is prone to an array of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, floods and wildfires, we are extremely pleased to support the research aspect of UF's mission to explore improved rescue techniques," said Bill Riss, managing member for USRider. "We believe the UF team has already made tremendous progress in Florida, and we encourage other horse owners and organizations to support their efforts as well."

Through its Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider offers a nationwide, member-based roadside assistance program designed especially for equestrians. Since its establishment in January 2002, the company has endeavored to raise awareness of the need for training in large-animal emergency rescue.

"USRider adopted large-animal rescue as our philanthropy when our organization was established in January 2002," said Riss. "At that time, the issue was barely on the radar screen. We found that emergency responders, while trained experts in human rescue and extrication, had no training in large-animal rescue. Moreover, in many accidents and disasters, animals without life-threatening injuries were being injured further or even killed by the use of incorrect rescue techniques."

For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit www.usrider.org or call (800) 844-1409.


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