"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

Monday, June 28, 2010

UPDATE on Picture of Sored HOA Show Horse

I received very good news today from the USDA. They were kind enough to send me a personal letter regarding the email I sent about our new favorite photo, below:

TO ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THIS PHOTO IS FAKE: It most certainly is real, confirmed by the USDA. It seems that Heart of America Walking Horse Association also knows it's real, as the USDA has approached them and are taking action. Here's the quote direction from the letter the USDA sent me:

"Agency Horse Protection Program (HPP) officials are aware of the situation you refer to, which took lace at a Heart of America Walking Horse Association (HAWHA) show on the weekend of May 14, 2010. Our program officials are currently in discussions with HAWHA about actions to be taken against the designated qualified persons (DPQs) hired by HAWHA who were involved in this incident. Since this issue is currently unresolved, and could result in additional enforcement action, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."

While my immediate reaction is, of course, can those DQPs' asses, unfortunately the USDA does not have the authority to demand that. However, publicly displaying this photo and keeping the information out there will help all of us to remember not to trust anyone who says that soring is a thing of the past. No, this is not an isolated incident. No, this is not a photoshopped photo. No, this is not a photo from 20 years ago. This is a common and current practice happening everyday and needs to end.

Hopefully we will hear what happens to this HIO and the DQPs. Let's hope they are both punished accordingly and called out publicly by the USDA for their actions.


Valerie said...

Wow... poor horse. And on top of he fact..look at its upside down neck (obviously from riding with its head in the air fighting the bit)

It looks in so much pain :(

Definitely makes me enjoy the BAREFOOT gaited horse that I took on a ride yesterday. Moving naturally and not in pain

egrhorses said...

Not everybody that shows padded horses sores!!! You make it sound like we all do it and EVERYDAY. Shame on you for misleading people. Yes we see this happened, but to say “This is a common and current practice happening everyday and needs to end” is very misleading. Many people in the Walking Horse industry have worked very hard to change the “old way” of doing things. So take a look around the real world! You will see in EVERY event that involves humans, there will be someone that tries to cheat!

Anonymous said...


"You will see in EVERY event that involves humans, there will be someone that tries to cheat!"

Yes, there are. But that doesn't make soring okay. Soring is illegal, period. Athletes who are found using steroids are fined and stripped of their titles, horses that are found drugged in USEF or USDF events are fined ands tripped of their titles. The same needs to be done in the Walking Horse industry. Trying to point the finger at others doesn't make abusing animals okay.