GRAS Jumps to Support Equine Guelph’s Career and Educational Initiatives

GRAS is thrilled to be able to give a gift of $150,000, over three years, to Equine Guelph. Proudly initiating a partnership of a multi-year initiative to continue building and developing valuable programs dedicated to the development of the horse industry. 

This donation will directly support Equine Guelph’s programs for job training and educational pathways to careers in the horse industry, further developing and expanding their Equine JobTrack, the Large Animal Emergency Rescue program (LAER), and the EquiMania! youth program.

“Grand River has already been instrumental in the re-development of Equine Guelph’s widely used job board,” says Equine Guelph Director Gayle Ecker.  “The 20-year-old JobTrack was relaunched in the summer of 2021 as, a more powerful platform for connecting job seekers and employers with expanded search and sort functions.  The goal of Equine Job Track has always been to link jobs with training to support growth of the equine industry and rural development in Ontario and now thanks to ongoing generous support from GRAS, continued expansion nation-wide is planned!”

The LAER program expansion, which has provided training for hundreds of first responders in Ontario, is now in a hybrid micro-credential model.  The new models will feature a series of short online Awareness Level courses as well as offerings of a hands-on workshop for Operational Level. 

“The first foray into webinars for Equine Guelph’s Large Animal Emergency Rescue Awareness Level workshop proved hugely successful, with all four webinars launched in 2021 selling out quickly!” says Program Co-ordinator, Dr. Susan Raymond. 

LAER Course in action (Image provided by Equine Guelph)

There is a huge demand for this important knowledge in the equine community. It is especially important for first responders who want to provide the best outcomes when called out to rural emergencies.  The 90-minute online sessions introduce best practices for mitigating both handler and animal risk for successful rescues. It also provides a foundation for future hands-on practical training. This hybrid model allows a high number of participants access to introductory training material online while providing critical hands-on training at an advanced level to first responders.

Horse Behaviour Youth Course (Image provided by Equine Guelph)

Another initiative for Equine Guelph is to focus on youth who will represent the future of the equine industry. The highly interactive EquiMania! program is responsible for introducing kids to the incredible world of horses.  Whether seeing the exhibit at a fair, trade show, or using the online activities at, children will learn about how to care for horses and how to be an integral part of their world.  GRAS is pleased to be able to support the addition of new programs to engage the enthusiastic next generation of the equine industry.

GRAS is passionate about equine safety, education, and career development. We are excited to partner with Equine Guelph over the next few years. Their forward-thinking and resources are setting them and their participants apart in the horse industry. It is an honour to join forces with Equine Guelph and continue developing their resources for use within the horse industry.

“We at Grand River Agriculture Society are thrilled to once again partner with Equine Guelph in the launch of these latest initiatives,” share Garth Green, President of GRAS. “There is such a natural fit between our organizations through Grand River Raceway, but it goes further with our commitment to youth and education. JobTrack, the Large Animal Emergency Rescue program (LAER) and the EquiMania! youth program, are all such vital programs, supporting the development of these aligns with our desire as an organization to improve accessibility, and inspire innovation and leadership in the industry.”

Cheque presentation virtual meeting with GRAS and Equine Guelph!

Stay tuned to and for exciting new developments!

Learn more about GRAS philanthropic endeavours here:

About Equine Guelph

Equine Guelph is the Centre at the University of Guelph (not-for-profit) serving the horse and its industry through education, research, healthcare promotion, and industry development. Founded in 2003, they are supported and overseen by equine industry groups and are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of horses.

About GRAS

The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) is a not-for-profit agriculture society governed by a volunteer board of directors.  The GRAS mandate is to encourage awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community.  GRAS operates The Grand River Raceway and the GrandWay Events Centre, a dynamic hospitality, horse racing and gaming destination in Elora, Ontario.

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