Bow-Wow-Wow! Summer is almost over and the start of a new school year is just around the corner! Lord Nelson is taking a much-needed summer vacation and asked me to fill in for him this week while he is away. My name is Andy, and I am a member of the Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club (RUSEPRC).

Boy, it sure has been hot and humid lately! This weather got me thinking that it would be a good time to remind everyone about a disease that can be a seasonal threat to horse health during hot summer months. Cases of Potomac Horse Fever can occur any time between late spring and early fall, but are more common as temperatures rise in July, August and September.

August 4th marks one of the biggest days in Standardbred Harness Racing: The Hambletonian Stakes! At the Hambletonian (aka the Hambo), horses race in one-mile heats with the purse being one million dollars! That would be a life time of strawberry frosted donuts if I had that kind of money! Harness racing involves only Standardbred horses that compete with a specific gait: either a trot or pace. This is unlike Thoroughbred racing which requires horses to gallop around the track. Harness racing also requires drivers who sit in a small two wheeled cart called a sulky, as opposed to having a jockey on their back like in Thoroughbred races. The Hambletonian Stakes is known as the Standardbred equivalent of the Kentucky Derby!

Do you know that there is another big equine event coming up? The Haskell Invitational is a major race for three-year-old thoroughbreds in between the Triple Crown series and the Breeders’ Cup. With a current purse of $1,000,000, and its location in NEW JERSEY at Monmouth Park racetrack, you want to be sure not to miss this exciting event!! This year it takes place on Saturday, July 29! In addition to the race, there will be other activities in the picnic area like face painting, live music, pony rides, and maybe even strawberry frosted donuts!

Guess what time of year it is?? It’s summer so that means the Equine Science Center’s annual Summer Showcase is coming up!! The event will take place on Wednesday, July 11th from 10:00am – 12:00pm. My gal-pals Randy and Jolee will be participating in the crowd favorite high-speed treadmill demonstration! In addition, my good pal RU Wishone, the full-size equine skeleton, will be used to teach anatomy. You will have to put your equine science knowledge to the test with our famous jeopardy game! And finally, we will be reviewing the new “Equine Science 4 Kids” Interactive dentition presentation. OH I forgot to mention the best part: the event is FREE.