Old People’s Riding Club (OPRC) of Oxford
February 4, 2011
For immediate release:
The OPRC of Oxford, PA chapter will host a session of the Technical Large Animal Emergency
Rescue (TLAER) Awareness class on April 2-3 at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Area in Elkton,
The following data is from the TLAER website (tlaer.org) and is used with permission:
TLAER is a "Specialty Form of Rescue." While this does not refer to “rescue” of neglected,
starving or abused animals, many of the techniques may be utilized on those types of scenes.
What does TLAER require that makes it different? Large animals are different – they do not
follow rules of physics or chemistry – but fight or flight under fear and stress. Innovation is
often required by rescuers as every incident will be different. Prevention and Education is a
huge theme of the courses because as animal owners and stakeholders learn to prevent the
common types of incidents, focus can be shifted to the unusual and highly technical ones. Over
the last two decades, large animal incidents have become more common, and the need for
specialized AWARENESS and OPERATIONAL training developed.
The TLAER Awareness training course is scheduled over 2 full days and brings together all of
the latest concepts, techniques, procedures and equipment being used today for large animal
rescue. Examples include, but are not limited to, trailer accidents, loose livestock in traffic areas,
and rescuing an animal from ice, trees, sinkholes, mud or flooded areas.
TLAER primary instructor Dr. Rebecca Gimenez:
Rebecca grew up on a farm in Sanford, Florida, where she learned to care for and ride horses.
Her leadership training started with JROTC in the Marine Corps in high school, and it continued
with an ROTC scholarship to Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC where she graduated with a
BS in Biology. Upon graduation in 1989, she became commissioned in the US Army Reserve
program as a Signal Corps lieutenant. In 1994 she pursued her PhD in Animal Physiology from
Clemson University and graduated in 1997 with several major research publications.
Meanwhile, she increased her focus into large animal behavior in emergency situations by
studying natural horsemanship with major clinicians including John Lyons and the Parelli’s. In
2000, she became a primary instructor with TLAER and has continued to grow the research and
development of new equipment and techniques internationally.
She has a wide variety of experiences that she combines in her teaching - she taught Biology,
Immunology and Microbiology as an adjunct professor at Newberry then Anderson College for
several years, and has written numerous articles for lay publications about horse behavior and
appropriate TLAER responses as a freelance journalist. She is a past member and Logistics
Officer for Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT -2), and currently serves as a Major in
the US Army Reserves. She returned in July 2007 from a one year combat tour in Kuwait and
Iraq where she served as a Communications Officer, and currently serves as the S1/Adjutant for
the 359th Signal Brigade, Augusta, GA.
Rebecca's current scientific research interests include a national survey of trailer accident
causality, a study of physiological responses to Technical Rescue procedures and equipment, and
an investigation into poor nutrition in horse neglect cases. Her first book on Technical Large
Animal Emergency Rescue was published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2008 with 6 chapter authors
besides herself and fellow primary TLAER instructor Tomas Gimenez as editors.
In addition to trail riding her 6 horses, she owns a dog, several cats, a llama, snakes, a couple of
pan-size ornamental fish. She is active in various Equine organizations - especially in disaster
preparedness, animal abuse/neglect and trail riding / green-space issues.
Together with fellow primary TLAER instructor, Tomas Gimenez she gives training in
Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue techniques across the US, using privately owned
animals which Rebecca trains for the hands-on demonstrations to perform without sedation.
Jointly Rebecca and Tomas have published numerous critiques, techniques and journal articles
on the subject of technical large animal emergency rescue, and she is an internationally
sought speaker and subject matter expert on these subjects.
Old People’s Riding Club:
Founded in 1998, The Old People’s Riding Club (OPRC) now has 26 chapters nationwide with
over 600 members. The group’s charter was to create a Club for the over-21 equestrian based
on the high standards of the United States Pony Club (USPC) and welcome all equestrian
disciplines (riding, driving, vaulting, etc). For more information on an OPRC chapter near you,
please visit http://oldpeoplesridingclub.org.
The OPRC of Oxford club raised money in 2010 via a regional dressage, jumping, and trail rally
to support this training. Organizer Patty Moshanko also submitted an entry for the OPRC
National Community Award, which won second place. These funds will help defray the cost of
the training: As a result, first responders can register and attend this class at a discounted price.
Typical attendees are fire fighters, police, rescue squad personnel, animal control officers, and
veterinarians. However, the class is beneficial for horse owners as well; in the event of an
emergency: “The horse you save could be your own.”
Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area:
Fair Hill is a 5633 acre parcel owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. A
former property of William du Pont, Jr., the site maintains its premier equestrian status with the
annual Fair Hill International 3-day event, as well as numerous horse trials, paper chases and
trail riding. In addition, the site maintains multi-use trails and a nature center.
Fair Hill has offered the use of the Ed Walls building to host the training, and the park rangers
will be able to attend the training at no charge. OPRC of Oxford has held several paper chases at
the Fair Hill location in recent years, as well as attending many of the cross country schooling
days. The chapter looks forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship with this
The pre-registration cost of the two day training is $100, which includes Awareness certification,
lunches, snacks and drinks for both days. First responders will receive a $25 discount.
The registration form can be found on the OPRC of Oxford’s website.
OPRC of Oxford chapter: oxford.oprc.us/OPRC_of_Oxford/Home.html
Questions can be directed to the event secretary, Jen Holmquest, at email@example.com or via
phone (610) 357-4038.