Golden Valley, MN – May 8, 2013. The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MNHWC) today announced the Minnesota Hay Bank has received a grant from the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund. The grant comes at a critical time – hay prices in 2013 continue at historically high levels and are well above the average of the past decade.
The Minnesota Hay Bank was awarded the grant by the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund at a time when financial and in-kind donations are more needed than ever. Data compiled by the University of Minnesota show that in April 2013 horse-quality hay (RFV 101-125) averaged almost $260/ton, which was 50% higher than last April. The average price for this hay quality from 2001-2006 was under $80/ton. These prices, coupled with a longer-than-anticipated winter in Minnesota, has put added pressure on horse owners everywhere, but especially those already struggling to feed their horses.
“This grant comes at the perfect time—we are grateful to Canterbury Park leadership for recognizing the need and being eager to help,” said Minnesota Hay Bank co-founder Stacy Bettison. “Feed assistance applications continue in earnest —the long winter delayed available pasture this spring, and horse owners who were struggling already because of high hay prices found themselves out of feed and out of money. These funds will go directly to horses who need hay now. ”
The grant will help defray the extra burden of high hay prices that are expected to continue throughout 2013. “The current prices could be the ‘new normal’ for hay prices going forward,” said Krishona Martinson, PhD, Equine Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota and MNHWC member. “Some areas of the state are still experiencing drought. We are finding that many hay fields throughout the state have some winter injury and many farmers are planning to plant less acres of hay. Combined, these factors paint a picture of continued high hay prices. The Minnesota Hay Bank will continue to be an important resource for horse owners who need a little extra help to keep horses well fed and healthy.”
Since its launch six (6) months ago in December 2012, the Minnesota Hay Bank has received 23 applications for assistance to feed over 200 horses. To date, it has distributed over $13,000 in feed assistance in the form of 49 round bales, 609 small squares, 200 units of alternative feed. The Minnesota Hay Bank seeks donations at all levels to reach its fundraising goal of $30,000 for 2013. With the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund grant, the Minnesota Hay Bank has raised $7,600 in 2013.
About the MNHWC
The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition is a group of organizations, attorneys, horse rescues, humane agents and individuals working to prevent equine neglect, abandonment and abuse. The Coalition’s work is focused on helping people needing assistance to provide for their equines and to save equines from neglect and abuse through direct support, foster care, emergency assistance and public education. The Coalition is comprised of teams dedicated to solving different aspects of the problem, including hay and feed assistance, temporary foster care, veterinary assistance, castration and euthanasia.
About Canterbury Park and Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund
Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino is Minnesota’s premier entertainment destination. Located in Shakopee, Minnesota, just 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis & St. Paul, Canterbury Park is home to Live Racing, Simulcast Racing and a 24/7 Card Casino featuring Texas Hold’em, Blackjack and more.
The Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund (CPMF) originated in 2003 to unite Canterbury Park, our employees, horsemen and vendors in a common goal to provide assistance for charities benefiting equine organizations, responsible gaming programs and local causes. The CPMF has grown into a successful grant program, awarding more than $750,000 in grants to Minnesota organizations since its inception.