"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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ARTICLES and PRESENTATIONS - FOSH Presents Data to Veterinarians

Over the weekend I received a press release that FOSH made an excellent presentation to a large group of veterinarians at the Veterinary Now Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania on April 3.  I've copied and pasted the press release below; click here for the article.

Note that the first few pictures are definitely old, from the 70s.  But starting at the USDA photos of scar rule violations, these are photos from 2009.  I have talked about those photos before in this post.

The presentation itself is full of excellent facts.  They really did a great job of showing how prevalent soring is and how the TWH industry actually PROMOTES soring by giving people accolades and high positions within the industry.  The thing is, you can't argue with facts.  This is black and white information that is available on the Internet from the government.  It's not faked, it's not bloated: these are FACTS.  I want to know how the industry answers to these facts, and why they aren't taking them seriously.

Here are some of the facts they pointed out.  Click here for the entire presentation.  Unfortunately the video links don't work, but I think we all know what a sored horse looks like.  AND THANK YOU to FOSH and the person in TN who interacts with the trainers who was kind enough to share information.  We need more brave people like you!

Of the 9,700 HPA violation records, 4,350 records are repeat violations.
•  Some have 12 or more violations.
•  These family names fill a single-spaced listing 146 pages long.

Celebration: over 55% of the exhibitors of first-place horses had past HPA violations.
•  Over 50% of these exhibitors had 2 or more past violations.
•  405 violations documented at the 2009 show.

Illegal Foreign Substances

-  In 2008, USDA checked 254 horses at 9 shows.
   • “sniffer” found positive for benzocaine, lidocaine, DMSO, methyl salicylate, elemental sulfur, fuel oil and more.
   • 52% of the samples were positive for illegal substances.

-  In 2009, USDA checked 647 horses at 18 shows.
   • 62% of the samples were positive for illegal substances.
   • 71% at the Trainers Show & the Celebration Show.
-  National Trainers Show: 90% tested horses positive for illegal foreign substances.
-  72nd Annual Celebration 2010: 86.4% tested positive for illegal foreign substances.
-  National Trainers Show 2011: 92.3% tested positive for illegal foreign substances.
-  73rd Annual Celebration 2011: 100% tested positive for illegal foreign substances.

The Largest Licensed HIO

In 2009, established oversight committees.
• Included 17 people who personally violated the HPA.
• These 17 people share 45 HPA suspensions.
• 3 members of their “Sound Horse Task Force” have scar rule and unilateral sore violations.

Walking Horse Trainers' Association (WHTA)

The Trainers’ award a “Trainer of the Year”.
• 100% of the past 10 recipients have HPA suspensions.
• These 10 trainers share 55 HPA violations.
• The 2009 Trainer of the Year had a 2009 unilateral sore, and 1-year bilateral sore suspension issued just after his award ceremony.

Riders' Cup Award for Points

The top 3 honorees shared a history of 26 HPA violations.
• The 46 individuals listed in standings shared a total of 204 HPA violations.
• Only 2 people on the list did not have any.

DQPs for Largest HIO

Three DQPs working for the largest organization had HPA violations.
One has been subject to 4 separate HPA suspensions.

Celebration Judges

One of the 2009 judges has judged 6 Celebrations:
• He has 5 documented HPA violations, one each for bilateral sore, unilateral sore, and three for scar rule.  One was issued at the 2007 Celebration!
• He was promoted as the Director of Judges.

Pressure soring carries major penalties: lifetime suspension
Out of the database of 9,719 violations…ONLY
• 5 from 1999 & 2001, when penalty was 1 year.
• 1 from 2006, when penalty was 2 years.
• 1 from 2010, led to criminal case & jail time (“Barney Davis” case: 1 year & 1 day jail sentence.)


AHP Newsgroup: FOSH Makes Anti-Soring Presentation to Veterinarians

April 27, 2012

Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) announced that its President, Lori Northrup, made an anti-soring presentation to a gathering of veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA earlier this month.

Soring of horses is the cruel and deliberate infliction of chemical or mechanical pain upon a horse’s hooves and limbs to create an unnatural, exaggerated, high stepping gait for the show ring.  Soring is a major animal welfare issue that has been illegal for over forty years under the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) yet the practice is still widespread in show rings of Tennessee Walking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.

The presentation provides graphic photos of sored horses, horses’ scarred pasterns, harmful shoeing practices, deformed hooves, and more.  Valuable information regarding the enormity of this animal welfare issue is made available with statistics on soring violations, trainer compliance histories, judging standards, and the alarming increase in the use of illegal chemical substances.

The veterinarian audience expressed its appreciation for bringing to their attention this equine welfare issue that continues despite governmental enforcement efforts.  The presentation may be viewed at www.stopsoring.com

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH, to arrange an anti-soring presentation to a veterinarian group or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or e-mail data@fosh.info .


Mazia said...

Why isn't a warrant automatically issued when a ticket for soring is written?

If a show dog ever turned up in the ring with fresh dog fight scars a warrant would be issued and law enforcement plus qualified investigators would hot-foot it out to the property where the dog was kenneled.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

That's interesting, Mazia. Is that specific to a certain breed, or just all dogs at a dog show? And is that through the AKC or something like that? That's something to look into and see if we can talk to the USDA about it. Thatnks for the information!

Blog Archive