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    November 01, 2018
    Oregon Horse Country (OHC) has had an evolving and quickly growing history. Starting in 2009 as a tourism initiative to promote horse shows in Wilsonville under the Wilsonville Chamber, to breaking away from the chamber and launching as an independent non-profit association in January of 2016, our organization has consistently filled an important purpose in Oregon’s equine community. 
    Recently however, the OHC board has recognized that the name ‘Oregon Horse Country’ does not clearly reflect the role that we play in Oregon and in the United States representing equestrians. OHC became Oregon’s representative with the American Horse Council in early 2018. The other 42 states represented are all councils, and we have had situations arise where OHC was not reached out for information and help because people did not understand that we were in fact Oregon’s horse council.
    Throughout the past few years, we have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of equestrians, helping them access resources, answer questions, and connect them with others. The main question we have always been asked is ‘What is an Oregon Horse Country’? The vagueness of our name caused people to guess, which typically meant they did not come around to the strong role we played.  Due to this confusion, people did not always take our role seriously and often thought we were just a riding program or a specific geographic area. 
    The reality is that we have been carrying the horse council role in our state for quite a while.  Our organization has been proud to serve a vital position with the following work:
    • Supporting and working in conjunction with Oregon Equestrian Trails and Back Country Horsemen on trail advocacy,
    • Providing timely and important information on state and federal legislative issues that affect equestrians and equine businesses,
    • Providing a statewide data base of equine businesses and equine events,
    • Hosting a resource library with important information on health, emergency rescue, and more,
    • Representing Oregon’s equestrians at the state and national level, including being involved in Travel Oregon tourism, the Oregon Sports Marketing Coalition, Oregon Sports Authority, the American Horse Council, and the State Coalition of Horse Councils,
    • Connecting equestrians with other like-minded individuals and equine businesses through events such as the High Desert, Pendleton, and Southern Oregon Horse Fests.
    • Making available educational programs and articles focused on topics that relate to the horse owner and the equine business person.
    • Being the ‘Go To’ resource for equestrians when they need something, considering relocating to Oregon, or have a question they need answered.
    As we continue to expand our services into a stronger legislative role, our board felt that it was time to strengthen our brand and have a name that better indicates the vast work that we do. We are proud to become your OREGON HORSE COUNCIL! Other than 3 little letters, not a lot is changing. We will continue the work highlighted above and remain being the conduit that unites, connects, strengthens, and supports Oregon’s equine industry.
    Throughout the next couple months, you will see our name begin to transition on our website, social media, print media, and more. Please feel free to contact our office at any time for more information or with questions. Brandi@OregonHorseCountry.com or 971-224-5879.
    Brandi Ebner, IOM, Executive Director
    (971) 224-5879

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