"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, September 26, 2011

NEWS - USDA DQP Show Report Statistics Are Online

This is so cool!  I love it when stuff like this happens!

A few days ago I found the USDA 2011 DQP Show Report.  Click here to see the link.  However, I thought it was incomplete.  The list was divided into the show date(s), the title of the show, the HIO, DQP Inspected, and DQP Violations.  However, I thought there also needed to be clarification between how many horses were inspected and how many inspections were conducted.  These numbers only represented how many inspections were conducted.  I came to this determination because my local yearly show affiliated with NWHA is on this list, and the number under DQP Inspected is higher than the number of horses that I knew at the time were actually at the show.  So obviously, the same horses were in multiple classes.  (But I am very proud to say that NO horses were found sore at my local show!  See, SHOW, PRIDE, KWHA, et. al.?  YOU CAN ELIMINATE SORING!)

So I sent an email to the USDA asking if we can get some more information to clear this up.  And they provided it!  I was really happy that they did this for us.  Thanks, USDA!

So, now the list shows a clear distinction between number of inspections versus number of horses actually at the show.  Now some of the information they didn't have yet, but they told me that they'll be getting it soon.  So I'm going to hold off on my calculations that I want to do on it until all the information is there.  However, I want to write about what is truly happening here.

Now, when I hear things like the industry is 95%, 97%, 98% compliant, I'm always wondering where this number comes from.  (And why it's so varied--can't they decide on an official number?)  A while back I did some calculations on just the Celebration, and unfortunately I can't find my blog post on it right now.  But overall, I learned that those percentages were coming from just the Celebration.  I also learned that the percentages were based on the number of times inspections were done, NOT the number of horses that were at the show.

Why does this matter?  Because it's easy for the industry to skew the numbers in their favor.  See, I think it would be more accurate to take a look at the number of horses rather than the number of inspections.  Obviously at a show, one horse might be shown in multiple classes.  Let's break it down so this makes things clear.

Lets say we have a show, and during the show five horses are going to be in a few different classes.  The horses are Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Ben Kenobi, and Chewbacca.  Here are the classes they showed in.  (And yes, I'm making all of this up on the fly.  The type of classes are just random choices.)

Luke Skywalker - English Pleasure 2 Gait Amateur, English Pleasure 2 Gait Open, English Pleasure 3 Gait Open
Han Solo - Western Pleasure 2 Gait Amateur, Western Pleasure 3 Gait Amateur, Western Pleasure TWHBEA Members Only, Western Pleasure
Leia Organa - Lite Shod 2 Gait, Lite Shod 3 Gait, Model
Ben Kenobi - English Pleasure 2 Gait Amateur, English Pleasure 3 Gait Amateur
Chewbacca - Model, English Pleasure Novice Riders, English Pleasure Novice Horse, English Pleasure TWHBEA Members Only

Since each horse must be inspected before each class, here's what our numbers look like.

DQP Inspected - 16
Horses Entered - 5

That's a big difference in numbers.  Wouldn't it stand to reason that if we were to find a percentage of HPA violations from these two different lists, than if we just went by the DQP Inspected number we'd have a much LOWER percentage of horses found in violation?

So let's take a look at the USDA list.  On page four at the bottom is the KWRHTA Derby Classic.  The information looks like this.

Start Date - 5/7/11
End Date - 5/7/11 (one day show)
Name and Location of Show - KWRHTA Derby Classic, Harrodsburg, KY
DQP Inspected - 96
Horses Entered - 69
Shoeing, Pads, Action - 8 (this usually means illegal equipment)
Unilateral Sore - 24
Foreign Substance - 4

Now, let's do the math.  First, 36 horses were found in violation.  This means the following.

DQP Inspected percentage of violations
36/96 = 37.5% violation

Horse Entered percentage of violations
36/69 = 52.1% violations

See what a big difference it makes?  And really, the thing is that we really are more accurate if we go with the amount of horses.  The first calculation makes it look like the show was 62.5% compliant.  But that just means that some of the same horses went in several different classes during the day.  If we actually look at the real number of horses, the show was only 47.9% in compliant.

Folks, that's over 50% of the horses at the KWHRTA Derby Classic show that were found in violation.  And the industry thinks there is no problem.

So I'm going to do some big calculations with this list once it's more thoroughly updated and we'll see some real statistics about what's going on in this industry.  Thanks again to the USDA for their help.  We're going to be able to continue to be able to expose the truth with this kind of data!

1 comment:

talkingMongo0se said...

That is great that there were no violations at your local show. And that the USDA responded to you!

I really hope the numbers of horses at the show start getting included more in the statistics. Shows how statistically scary things really are for the horses.

Also, Star Wars name examples = awesome.

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