Vet College Matching Gift Program

Newsdate: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 - 08:00 am
Location: SASKATOON, Canada

Equine charity’s gift to Western Canadian veterinary college doubles in value through matching gift program: A $20,000 donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC) to support horse health at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine on the University of Saskatchewan campus has helped to raise another $20,000 through a matching gift program.

“The Equine Foundation of Canada’s dedicated efforts to support horse health at the WCVM and at other Canadian veterinary colleges are exceptional,” said WCVM Dean Dr. Douglas Freeman. “Year after year, members of the EFC have put the long-term health and welfare of horses first by investing in veterinary education, research and clinical services across the country. We admire their commitment and thank them for supporting our veterinary college.”

Established in 1983, the EFC is a charitable organization
dedicated to supporting the health and welfare of all breeds
of horses across Canada. Its latest donation qualifies for
the veterinary college’s matching gift program — an
initiative that was created by the Heather Ryan and L. David
Dubé Foundation in 2006. The Saskatoon foundation has
pledged to match any new or increased donations to the
WCVM’s equine research programs between 2006 and 2011.

With the EFC donation and the matched dollars, the WCVM has
purchased two pieces of equipment that will be used for
horse health research as well as for the clinical care of
patients in the college’s veterinary teaching hospital:

 • a Holter monitor that will allow veterinarians to
continuously monitor a horse’s heart activity for 24 hours
or longer. The equipment will help veterinarians diagnose
and investigate cardiac arrhythmias and other
cardiac-related symptoms that come and go without any

• an overground video endoscope that gives veterinarians the
ability to examine a horse’s upper airway during exercise.
Endoscopic evaluation of horses exercised on a high-speed
treadmill or on a track is the gold standard for identifying
dynamic abnormalities such as dorsal displacement of the
soft palate (DDSP), laryngeal hemiplegia or other upper
airway dysfunctions.

This is the second year that the EFC has qualified for the
matching gift program. The organization contributed $10,000
in 2009 to support the WCVM’s studies of equine sarcoids —
the most commonly diagnosed skin tumours in horses around
the world.

While the EFC generally rotates its annual donation among
Canada’s five veterinary colleges, its members decided to
make an exception. “We had donated to the WCVM in 2009, but
the chance to double the support for horse health programs
was just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” said EFC
President Eldon Bienert of Leduc, Alta.

Combined, the two EFC gifts and the matching dollars will
result in a $60,000 addition to the WCVM’s equine health
program. After more than four years, the matching gift
program has helped to increase funding for WCVM’s horse
health activities by more than $450,000.

 “I think the matching gift program is a wonderful motivator
for anyone who owns and works with horses. We rely on our
animals for so much, and this program inspires horse owners
and organizations like ours to dig deeper for the sake of
horse health care,” said Bienert.

Supporters of the EFC include members of all types of equine
breed organizations and sport groups across Canada. Through
fundraising trail rides, raffles and individual gifts, EFC
members have raised more than $200,000 in support for
scholarships, research grants and the purchase of medical
equipment over the past 28 years.

Located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon,
Sask., the WCVM is the centre for veterinary education,
clinical expertise and research for Western Canada. The
veterinary college’s Equine Health Research Fund annually
invests nearly $200,000 in equine health research grants,
equine fellowships and a summer research program for
undergraduate veterinary students at the WCVM. 

For more information, please contact:

Myrna MacDonald, Communications

WCVM, University of Saskatchewan

Tele: 306-225-4479 • Cell: 306-291-9950

Email: <>

Eldon Bienert, President

Equine Foundation of Canada

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..