Equine players join forces for safety’s sake

The new youth safety initiative, Play Safe. It’s HorseSense was announced as a partnership between Farm Safety Association (Country Kids Safety Network), Kubota Canada, and Equine Guelph. 

Play Safe. It’s HorseSense will be launched at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November as part of Equine Guelph’s EquiMania education Centre.

Between 1990 and 2005, 63% of animal-related injuries among youth in Ontario oc­cur­red in incidents involving hors­es.

For children aged 16 and under, machine runovers were the predominant cause of fatal injuries at 46%.  Between kids, horses, and tractors, a horse farm can be a very dangerous place.

“This is a partnership that makes sense,” said Dean Anderson, executive director of the Farm Safety Association.  “We can deliver a critical safety message in a fun, interactive way to kids through Equi­Mania’s high-profile educa­tion­al initiatives at equine events.”

This new safety initiative will teach kids how to stay safe around horses and tractors.   Play Safe. It’s HorseSense will be centre stage at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and involves:

– EquiMania’s safety game show, where 20 kids will com­pete daily in the categories of horse, tractor, and general farm safety trivia in the Spirit of the Horse Ring at the Royal (in partnership with the Ontario Equestrian Federation);  Kub­ota safety school at EquiMania

– Kids can test their knowledge of tractor safety through a quiz, upon comple­tion receiving Kubota Safety School Grad stickers;

– Horse Hats,  youth will be sporting horse hats with the safety message, Play Safe. It’s HorseSense; and

– the Hazard Hunt, back by popular demand, and in part­ner­ship with System Fencing, EquiMania’s Hazard Hunt has kids searching for safety haz­ards commonly found around the barn.

“Safety on a horse farm re­quires common sense combin­ed with a knowledge of horses and moving equipment,” said John Gilliland, marketing manager of Kubota Canada.  “This partnership gives us the opportunity to disseminate this knowledge to our youth.  If this initiative prevents one accident or saves one life, it is a wise investment.”

Equine Guelph’s award win­ning travelling youth edu­cation centre, EquiMania, is an interactive program that pro­motes horse health and safety. 

“The support of industry leaders like Kubota Canada and the Farm Safety Association allows us to bring safety around horses to the next level,” said Gayle Ecker, senior manager of Equine Guelph. 

“It will only improve safety aware­ness while kids enjoy their special relationship with these wonderful animals.”