This is so wonderful! I found out this news the same week as Black Week, but I didn't want to post simultaneously so any information got lost.
The Racing Horse Commission has decided to allocate it's Breeders' Incentive Funds for non-racing horses to the three sound horse groups who were up for consideration: NWHA, FOSH, and the Horse Protection Commission. This means that if you live in KY, then you can earn money for showing your sound horse at any NWHA, FOSH or HPC group. So be sure to check with the RHC and the sound venue you show with to find out more. Click here for the link to their non-racing fund page.
hope the following articles make you as happy as they've made me. And be sure to take the time to thank the RHC for their choice. We have to let them know we fully support their decision.
PUBLIC PROTECTION CABINET
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Gov. Steven L. Beshear - Secretary Robert Vance
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jamie Eads, 859-246-2847, 859-351-0682 (cell)
KHRC Approves Recommendation to Allow Walking Horse Participation in Kentucky Horse Breeders’ Incentive Fund
Votes to recommend changes in fund program
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2009) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) voted today to approve the previously deferred Kentucky Walking Horse Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KWH-BIF) application based on recommendations presented by the KHRC Rules Committee.
The KWH-BIF was deferred at the Feb. 10, 2009 Commission meeting due to concerns over inadequate regulation and reporting of Horse Protection Act (HPA) violations, specifically the act of soring. The HPA, a federal law established in 1970, is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA trains and certifies the Horse Industry Organizations (HIO) and Walking Horse Shows will hire HIOs to enforce and uphold the HPA. The Commission noted in February the lack of enforcement at Walking Horse Shows when the USDA is not present and deferred the application back to the Rules Committee for further review.
The KHRC Rules Committee completed a full investigation of the KWH-BIF policies and procedures, Kentucky Walking Horse Industry Organization (KY-HIO) as well as other USDA-certified HIOs and Walking Horse Show management. Numerous discussions were held with KWH-BIF, American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and industry officials.
“As reform of the walking horse industry continues, the KHRC’s recommendations put the horse first,” said David L. Foley, AAEP executive director. “We believe these recommendations will help ensure humane treatment.”
Essentially, the recommendations will allow the Walking Horse members to participate in the incentive fund as well as reassure the Commission the Walking Horse shows are adequately regulated. Crucial to the recommendations is the list of approved HIOs. Any Walking Horse show in Kentucky that affiliates with one of the approved HIOs will be permitted to offer breeder incentive funds. This includes the Horse Protection Commission, the National Walking Horse Association, and Friends of Sound Horses. Additionally, the recommendations necessitate the need to escrow the 2009 funding and apply the 2009 funds to the 2010 show season.
“The safety and welfare of the horse is of great importance to the Commission and I applaud the Rules Committee for their complete investigation and subsequent recommendations,” said Lisa E. Underwood, executive director of the KHRC.
A full copy of the recommendations can be found on the KHRC website www.khrc.ky.gov or by contacting the KHRC office at 859.246.2847.
LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER - Tuesday, Sep. 08, 2009
Injured walking horses will not be eligible for breeders incentive fund
By Janet Patton
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday approved new standards designed to prevent injured walking horses from being eligible for the state's lucrative breeders incentive fund.
The new rules, approved unanimously, are "very significant" said commissioner Ned Bonnie. "It puts Kentucky in the leadership position with respect to how you treat horses and it has made the benefits contingent on treating horses fairly and taking care of them."
Bonnie said the move is designed to combat "soring," the outlawed practice of intentionally injuring Tennessee Walking Horses to achieve an exaggerated showy gait.
Under the new state rules, the Kentucky Walking Horse Association Breeders Incentive Fund will be reinstated next year, but the parent group will no longer be able to use its own inspectors at horse shows that award points.
To be eligible for incentives, the group will have to use inspectors from one of three "anti-soring" activist organizations — the Friends of Sound Horses, the National Walking Horse Association, or the Horse Protection Commission.
The Kentucky Walking Horse Association has operated the breed incentive fund since the state began the program in 2006, but it was suspended in February after concerns were raised about renewing the group's program.
Bonnie's committee "determined that prior actions of (the group) have not been consistent with the best interests of the walking horse industry or the (Kentucky Horse Racing Commission)," according to its findings.
Bonnie said Tuesday that the Kentucky Walking Horse Association's incentive fund also will be required to submit more financial information, including audits.
About $375,000 in state tax money that would have been available for horses competing in 2009 shows will go into an escrow fund to be added to the 2010 incentives. In 2007, the most recent year figures were available, more than $387,500 was set aside for walking horses from the sales tax on stud fees. Earl Rogers, head of the KWHA incentive fund, would not comment.
Last year, despite assurances from Rogers that no money had gone to participants with violations of the federal Horse Protection Act, Herald-Leader and state investigations found that more than a dozen fund recipients had been cited.
Last October, the racing commission approved rules specifically making HPA violators ineligible for incentive funds.
Donna Benefield, administrative director of the Horse Protection Council, hailed the changes. "I think it's going to be a huge, huge incentive to fix a very long problem," Benefield said afterward.
>"We want all the inspections done fairly and equally. ... I think this gives Kentucky the opportunity to become a leader in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry."
"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."
~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
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