"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

Friday, December 10, 2010

ARTICLES and NEWS - SHOW Refuses To Implement USDA Penalties and SHOW Show Managers Meeting

I knew I had this information somewhere, but I couldn't find it until now. Sorry for not posting this sooner.

The first article talks about SHOW's refusal to implement the USDA's new penalty structure. The following article concerns the SHOW management meeting and what they're doing to make changes to their shows. I'm not sure, but I think both the articles are from The Walking Horse Report. I could be wrong though--if you know if my source is incorrect please let me know. My comments are after each article.


SHOW Submits Rulebook To USDA
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Pursuant to a request from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services’ (APHIS) Deputy Administrator Dr. Chester A. Gipson, SHOW has submitted its rulebook for approval by the USDA. Dr. Gipson made the request to all HIOs in letters dated August 12, 2010 and October 15, 2010 to submit their rule books and that approval or denial would be given by January 1, 2011. Dr. Gipson required that all rulebooks contain the mandatory penalties set forth by the USDA.

Earlier today, November 30, 2010, SHOW submitted its rulebook along with the DQP inspection process, hearing process and penalty matrix. SHOW did not adopt the USDA mandatory penalties but made known in its letter accompanying the rulebook that it felt its entire process, including its current penalties, are appropriate and “effectuates the purposes of the HPA.”
SHOW stated that it believed there were numerous legal and practical problems with the USDA requiring private organizations or associations to adopt “mandatory penalties” and hearing processes. SHOW also pointed out that under the HPA or Regulations the Secretary does not have the right or ability to delegate enforcement of the HPA penalties to an HIO or its DQPs. And in fact it specifically states in the law in Section 6 that “No penalty shall be assessed unless such person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing before the Secretary with respect to such violation.”

SHOW also referenced all of the changes it has incorporated in its 18 months of existence and believes those changes meet or exceed all of the identified issues in the recent Office of Inspector General Audit. Finally SHOW respectfully requested the USDA reconsider its “mandatory penalties” or face decertification and litigate strategy and allow SHOW with its fully compliant, entire process, to continue its strategy to “find and eliminate the sore horse” and to continue to “effectuate the purposes of the HPA” with its current process, including its HIO penalties, which have proven to be more than appropriate.


FTTWH in: The letter from Dr. Mullins is extremely long and drawn out. I will go over it point by point in a future post. However, after reading it a few times, I guess this is how I see it. If SHOW were so determined to eliminate the sore horse, they are perfectly capable of doing it. They can choose to get rid of pads, chains, bands, stacks, and heavy shoes However, their rulebook has ADDED heavy Tungsten shoes to their allowed items in the show ring, AND they've added bands and chains to Trail Pleasure horses.* These are proven tools that help with the process of soring, so why not eliminate them? FOSH and NWHA have, and they have 100% sound shows on a regular basis.

*I still don't understand the need to add bands and chains to a TP horse. Tell me, gentle reader, whenever you ride a horse on the trail, do you use chains to make it step higher or bands to keep the shoe on? I thought the TP division was to judge TRAIL horses, not just another division of the show horse.

And again, if SHOW were so determined to end soring, they WOULD implement the USDA's new penalty structure without calling their lawyers and rushing back to the HPA and picking it apart to find flaws in what the USDA has determined. They would agree and move on. They would want to work with the USDA rather than continue to deny and fight against them.


SHOW Horse Show Managers Meeting
Friday, December 03, 2010

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The SHOW horse show managers meeting was held this morning in the Williamson room at the Cool Springs Marriott with SHOW Secretary Rachel Reed in charge. Dee Cantrell, Dr. Steve Mullins and Jeffrey Howard also made presentations throughout discussions. Representatives from notable shows such as the Gallatin Lions Club, West Tennessee Strawberry Festival, International Grand Championships, Petersburg Lions Club, Upper Cumberland Regional Futurity and several others were in attendance. The majority of show managers face the same issues in today's economic times: class schedule issues, date concerns and lack of participation. All have the same goal; save the horse shows, charities and organizations that benefit from the work they do.

Reed welcomed everyone and passed the torch to Cantrell. Cantrell presented the idea of paying back a percentage of winnings to ribbon getters rather than a set amount. "This is just another option for us to grasp at more funding. During the 2010 show season, 10 shows in Alabama and 5 shows in Georgia were cancelled," stated Cantrell. The way the process would be handled is to simply attach vouchers rather than checks to the ribbons. The voucher could be cashed in at the entry office for cash or one lump sum check at the end of the show. Cantrell assisted several shows in Georgia and Alabama with this process and were successful each time in increasing profit. Also, for Riders' Cup classes add an additional $10 to the entry, but pay out the same percentage as other classes.

Pat Stout of the Upper Cumberland Region said, "This process really does work. We started this at our PWHAT shows two years ago." The general consensus of the room seemed to be positive of the "new way" and were intrigued to run their numbers from horse shows past.

Reed then took over the duties of the meeting by stating that DQP fees and the SHOW affiliation process would stay the same as last year. Also staying the same as during 2010, the USDA will require that shows with typical 150 plus entries will be required to have two DQPs.

Reed went over small changes made to the SHOW horse card. People applying for a card at the horse show will now not be able to mark " bill me" on the form rather than paying at the show. Also, if you fill out a form at the show you must add the date and name of the show. Forms to apply for a SHOW Horse Card are available on SHOW's website at www.showhio.com. Reed also reiterated to the show managers that it is a USDA requirement to have complete addresses for owners, trainers and riders listed on entry forms.

The topic then changed to USDA in terms of funding and how they affect horse shows. Tommy Hall stated, "The USDA has been allotted $400,000. It is my understanding those funds will be used toward unaffiliated horse shows." "The DQPs protect show management", commented Reed.

The discussion then arose to create a show managers counsel compiled of all show managers and organizations to meet on a regular basis to discuss the pros and cons of the shows and the necessary changes that could help other shows. This could also prove to be beneficial to managers that are not involved with the industry througout the year.

Jeffrey Howard then gave an update on the Riders' Cup program. In 2010, there were 92 shows offering Riders' Cup classes with 85 trainers participating aboard 3,657 entries. "Tomorrow night there will be approximately $55,000 handed out," stated Howard. This is still less than the first five years of the program. Howard reminded managers show affiliations do not affect whether or not a show can offer Riders' Cup classes. Howard also noted, "Trainers will support Riders' Cup classes. Joe Cotten is a good example. He put a lot of miles out there this fall and ended up fifth in points."

The meeting was then adjourned.


FTTWH: Paybacks are a great incentive for people to show. I see them out here all the time and they work really well. Pretty smart for them to implement it to get their numbers up. Even just getting back your entry fee is enough incentive for people to show in this economy nowadays.

As to the comment about the USDA and DQPs: as far as I understand, the DQPs are NOT there to protect show management--they're there to protect the horse and uphold the HPA. If a DQP is protecting the show management then we can certainly assume he/she is allowing sore horses through so the show can go on. I'm sure no DQP who would be protecting show management would want to make the show look bad by ticketing a horse. WOW.

More news will be posted as it develops. Stay tuned!

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