Speaking Up

New Merial spokeswoman is passionate about horse care.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Caring for and learning about horses has been Amie Allen’s passion since she was old enough to ride.

“Growing up riding horses of all disciplines, I would seek out as much information as I could to improve both my horses and myself,” she says.

A resident of Oakdale, California, Amie’s interest in equine health care led her to pursue a career as a veterinary technician. Now, in addition to working at Pioneer Equine Hospital, she co-owns Premier Equine Center, a rehabilitation and conditioning facility. In her dual equine health provider roles, she has become especially cognizant of how susceptible horses of all breeds and disciplines are to stomach ulcers.

“Whether a horse is at a veterinary hospital or a competition, the horse has been taken out of its normal environment and placed into a situation that may cause stress, which can be a contributing factor to stomach ulcers,” she says. As a way to help prevent stomach ulcers, Amie recommends that her clients use Ulcergard(omeprazole). “It is the only product approved by the FDA to help prevent equine stomach ulcers,” she says.

Amie’s positive experiences with Ulcergard began with her own barrel-racing horses. “I first used Ulcergard on a mare I was running. She would get a bit nervous at the gate and had a hard time keeping weight on and such, so I started her on Ulcergard and I saw a difference in her,” she says.

“Since then, I never haul her in the trailer without Ulcergard, and I put all my horses on it when they are competing.”

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Having seen firsthand the success of Ulcergard with her barrel-racing horses and the equine patients she works with daily, Amie was inspired to participate in the Merial Stay on Guard spokesperson contest.

She was selected as a finalist in the Veterinarian/Veterinary Technician category and then went on to win. Amie recently took part in a photo shoot at the renowned Alamo Pintado equine veterinary clinic in Los Olivos, California, where western photographer David Stoecklein photographed her for a future Stay on Guard advertisement.

Besides Amie, three other Stay on Guard spokeswomen were selected, including Kari Kemper Hickam in the western category, AQHA member Christina Zehender in the racehorse category and AQHA member Lyndsey Tait in the English division.

“All horse owners need to be on guard against the development of stomach ulcers,” says Dr. April Knudson equine specialist for Merial’s large animal veterinary services. “Horses are very sensitive to stress. Even events that many horse owners consider to be routine can be stressful enough to contribute to stomach ulcer development, sometimes in as few as five days.”2

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Besides stress potentially leading to stomach ulcers, horses are at risk because their stomachs produce gastric acid continuously. In a natural grazing environment, the high-roughage food helps provide a buffering effect.

“When we change what a horse was naturally meant to do, which is eat small meals frequently, the digestive system becomes challenged,” Dr. Knudson says. “Many horses are in stalls, eating high-quality food less frequently, which allows the acid to build up in their stomachs. This can lead to ulcers.3

“Owners like Amie and those who entrust her with the care of their horses can keep them from feeling the negative effects of stomach ulcers by using Ulcergard,” she says. “Just one daily dose during times of stress effectively helps prevent stomach ulcers in healthy horses.”*

More information about Ulcergard can be found at

Important Safety Information:
Ulcergard can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.