Below is a list of the legislative work that the Oregon Horse Council has been involved with the past few years. With the world we live in today, we expect this list to substantially grow in the next couple of years. Our way of life is going to be challenged and the Oregon Horse Council is prepared to lead the fight to defend it. We encourage all equestrians to sign up for our newsletter so you can stay alerted to the opportunities to also have a voice in the local, state, and federal processes. If you are aware of an issue in your community, please contact us so that we can get involved or join one of our legislative committees to help make our voice heard.
2023 Oregon P3 – The “Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act”
- OHC is actively representing the equine industry in Oregon on a animal agriculture coalition to fight this petition. We are leading an effort to educate and encourage equestrians statewide to advocate against this petition and spread the word about this horrific attempt to destroy animal ownership in Oregon. Learn more HERE
2023 Oregon SB754 – Provides that operator may require person who engages in sport, fitness or recreational activity in various ways to release operator from claims for ordinary negligence.
- OHC openly led the equine effort to support this bill. We were able to rally many events, businesses, organizations, and individuals to sign a letter of support. Unfortunately, this bill died and will need to be re-launched at a future session.
2023 Oregon HB3214 – Prohibits person from using specified types of animals in traveling animal act.
- OHC closely watched this bill that would have banned traveling animal acts, but had many in the Oregon equine industry concerned that an amendment could have potentially affected our lifestyle. The bill did not receive a vote in the House Judiciary Committee and will not advance this legislative session.
2023 Oregon HB2948 – Directs Oregon Department of Emergency Management to develop and implement program to award grants for fairgrounds used as emergency evacuation sites.
- OHC supported this bill as we understand how crucial fairgrounds across Oregon are to evacuation of large animals. Many fairgrounds are under funded and lack maintenance budgets to implement important elements needed to house animals and people in evacuations. This bill currently sits in Joint Committee on Ways and Means as of 4/10/2023.
2023 Oregon HB2510 – Removes requirement that amount of net proceeds from Oregon State Lottery allocated to County Fair Account not exceed $1.53 million annually.
- OHC actively led a statewide support by equestrians as we see the value the fairgrounds have on the equine industry. Without the 36 county fairgrounds, a significant number of equine clinics, shows, banquets, fundraisers, and events could not happen. Lifting this cap would allow most fairgrounds to receive 3x more state funding, which will be imperative for maintenance and upgrades to host events. This bill currently sits in Joint Committee on Ways and Means as of 4/10/2023.
2023 Oregon SB679 – Appropriates moneys from General Fund to State Parks and Recreation Department for planning and coordination to continue to develop, maintain or work toward completion of Oregon Coast Trail
- OHC supported the effort lead by the Oregon Trails Coalition to fill in the funding gaps to move this new trail forward, which will feature equestrian opportunities. This bill currently sits in Joint Committee on Ways and Means as of 4/10/2023.
2023 Federal – letter in support of FY24 federal funding for trails
- OHC is one of the only horse councils in the country to regularly support and back federal level initiatives to increase trail funding across the nation. More funding means more expansion and maintenance of all trails.
2021 Oregon IP13 – An initiative petition that would have criminalizes animal management by targeting the majority of exemptions from the animal crime statutes that ensure that the laws are not applied more broadly than intended. This petition would remove those the majority of those exemptions and add breeding animals to the list of activities that constitutes sexual assault of an animal.
- OHC consistently led an effort to discourage people from signing this petition without fully understanding it’s effect.
2021 Oregon HB2645 – Exempts dog training facilities from state structural specialty codes.
- OHC was concerned that expanding the number of untrained dogs being brought into rural areas will cause significant issues with equestrian facilities. We urged legislation to include in the bill the application of ORS 215.296 to HB 2645, Section 1. This bill died in committee.
2021 Oregon HB3173 – Removes requirement that amount of net proceeds from Oregon State Lottery allocated to County Fair Account not exceed $1.53 million annually.
- OHC supported this bill as without the 36 county fairgrounds, a significant number of equine clinics, shows, banquets, fundraisers, and events could not happen. Lifting this cap would allow most fairgrounds to receive 3x more state funding, which will be imperative for maintenance and upgrades to host events. This bill died in committee.
2021 Pegasus Support letter
- OHC wrote a letter to the Douglas County Planning Commission encouraging support of this new facility. We believe that this facility will be world-class, putting Oregon and Douglas County on the map for events from small lesson clinics to the top competitions in the nation. These events will increase tourism and overnight lodging considerably in your area and have a positive economic impact on the whole region. A development of this type and caliber will be nothing but successful for the local community.
2020 Additional Fairgrounds Funding during COVID
- OHC joined in with many other statewide agriculture organizations asking the 2020 Legislature for $900,000 in operations support ($25,000 per fair) will allow some fairgrounds to simply keep their doors open and $250,000 to conduct formal study on capital construction needs, economic impacts, and staffing and capacity will enable to legislature to make more informed decisions on these vital fairgrounds in future biennium. A comprehensive study and report of the physical condition of each fairgrounds is especially needed to highlight the deferred maintenance and outdated facilities fairgrounds operate with. Recent heavy snow has collapsed entire buildings on several fairgrounds.
2020 Farm II Project Letter
- OHC strongly supported funding for the new FARM II Project in Pendleton which would by a multipurpose educational and career technical facility and community event center. FARM II would enhance Blue Mountain Community College’s agricultural programs and, having an indoor arena, provide a venue for winter season events to promote tourism during its slower season. This funding was approved and work is expected to begin on the facility in late 2023.
2020 Bureau of Land Management RIN 1004-AE72 Letter
- OHC urged the BLM to stop current legislation and rethink all current plans to introduce motorized vehicles to non-motorized trails. We offered to meet with their leadership (along with OET and BCHO) and explore options for trails to be open and safe for all users.
2018 Oregon Parks & Recreation Testimony Opposing E-Bikes on Equine Trails
- OHC strongly urged OPR to not permit e-bikes from trails meant for equestrians, walkers, hikers, and wildlife viewers due to the fact that e-bikes are nearly silent and can travel at fast speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. They are a high danger to equestrians and pedestrians. OHC encouraged the OPR to look at other trails that already allow mountain bikes and motorized vehicles to be the best fit for e-bikes.
2014 Ochoco National Forest Letter RE: Non-Motorized Trails
- OHC urged the ONF to seek other options for additional non-motorized trails that would have less impact on the wild horse population (and other wildlife) living in that area.
2013 Hosted Meeting of Local/Regional Elected Leadership RE: Hunter Creek Events
- OHC brought together city and county leadership to learn about the difficulties being faced by the owners of the Hunter Creek events in Wilsonville, OR with stringent local codes. It was a very positive event that lead to working through the most difficult codes and enforcement for the continued success of these large economic impact events.
2013 Tyron Creek State Park
- OHC, along with many region equestrians, testified to the long historical connection of horses at the park and the equestrian need for larger parking spaces to accommodate trucks/trailers.
2011 SB262 Brand Inspection Changes
- OHC urged equestrians to research and provide feedback on a new bill which would allow the State Department of Agriculture to impose additional fees for horse ownership as well as expanded authority to inspect horse facilities.