Guelph, ON – 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 of 2008 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 sixteen 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,” says 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 – 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,” says 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 traveling youth education centre, EquiMania! is a fun and 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,” says Gayle Ecker, Senior Manager of Equine Guelph.  “It will only improve safety awareness while kids enjoy their special relationship with these wonderful animals.”