"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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEWS - SHOW Receives Warning Letter from USDA

SHOW has received a warning from the USDA in the form of a letter. They are being required to include the new mandatory regulations in their rulebook or face decertification. They must comply with 30 days of the date of the letter. Below is the article text from SHOW's website under the News section. It is also available on Walking Horse Report. I've looked for the USDA letter on the APHIS HPA website, but they don't seem to have posted it yet. My comments after the article.


SHOW Receives USDA Letter

News Release dated Jan 21, 2011

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The SHOW HIO has received a letter from Dr. Chester Gipson, Deputy Administrator with USDA-APHIS outlining a request for SHOW to adopt the mandatory penalties within 30 days or face decertification of its DQP program. The letter specifically states, "if after 30 days the required changes are not made, SHOW's DQP program certification will be revoked."

SHOW has turned the letter from Gipson over to its attorneys and a response will be forthcoming in the near future. In the meantime, SHOW will continue affiliating horse shows, sales and events and will continue with the upcoming judges' school and farrier's clinic.

We realize that there continues to be confusion and concern about any possible decertification and the resulting impact to the show season. Under the Horse Protection Regulations it specifically states "Any horse industry organization or association whose DQP program certification has been revoked may appeal such revocation to the Administrator in writing within 30 days after the date of such revocation and, if requested, shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing."

As with any US agency and legal process, once the lawyers get involved, the due process system and associated appeals may take some time before any final determination. Until that time the horse industry should proceed as normal and continue to affiliate shows, bring up compliant horses, and have fun exhibiting this great animal. We will of course keep you apprised as this process unfolds.


As you can see, SHOW, of course, instead of doing the right thing, has turned this letter in to their attorneys. I'm sure we can assume they are looking for any loopholes and SHOW wants to prolong any decisions by the USDA. SHOW's attorneys sure are making money off of them--I hope they bankrupt SHOW because of it!

I don't know if any of the other HIOs who have refused to include the penalties in their rulebooks have received letters that are similar. But at least the big guns have.

As far as I understand, SHOW can appeal the decision. But I think that if the certification is revoked, then they can't run any shows, have a rulebook, judges, DQPs, or anything like that. If the appeal is approved, then they would be back in business again.

I also have some major inside news. I knew about this before the end of December, but I didn't want to say anything until I knew if it was true or not. After the USDA sent out the new rulebook requirements, SHOW officials tried to go to Washington to meet with the USDA in a "private" meeting to discuss the situation and most likely negotiate their way out of it. I was told that the USDA told them to go back home--we are not negotiating. This is a big deal, folks--in the past, the USDA has folded, the most prominent example being allowing the industry to self-regulate. Plus it would never have been fair to the other 11 HIOs (sore supporters or not) that SHOW got a secret meeting and they weren't invited.

Overall, I do appreciate that USDA is giving them another warning and refused the meeting--at least SHOW can't say they weren't fairly told of the necessary actions and consequences. Let's hope the USDA is serious and SHOW actually is shut down. Write your letters and let the USDA know we support SHOW's certification being revoked if they won't comply!

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