"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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

NEWS and ARTICLES - Trademark Approval and More Updates As to What the Industry is Up To

I know it's been awhile since I posted, but since soring is really in the spotlight right now, I would rather post articles in one post than one at a time.  I highly, highly recommend visiting our Facebook group for the most updated information and our discussions about what's going on.  Click here for the For the Tennessee Walking Horse Facebook group.

But first, I want to announce that "For the Tennessee Walking Horse" is now officially a registered trademark!  It's taken a while to get it done, but that's the nature of getting paperwork like this done.  I want to thank everyone who helped me with the process of getting it off the ground.  The wait has been worth it!

Next, here's the letter from the USDA concerning who has and hasn't added the mandated penalties to their rulebooks.  It came to me as a pdf, so I've abbreviated some acronyms here.

Dear HIOs and Assoications:

On July 9, 2012, the final rule requiring horse industry organizations and associations (HIOs) to asses and enforce minimum penalties under the Horse Protection Act (HPA) became effective. APHIS notified HIOs on June 8, 2012 that they must adopt the minimum penalty protocol as well as the appeals process described in the final rule and submit evidence of their compliance no later than July 9, 2012.

As of today, the following HIOs have submitted rulebooks showing that they will be following the new regulations: WHOA, NWHA, FOSH, MFTHBA [Fox Trotter association], IWHA, Oklahoma Walking Horse Association (OKA), Western International Walking Horse Association (WIWHA).

APHIS has not received amended rulebooks for the following HIOs: SHOW, PRIDE, SSHBEA, Heart of America Walking Horse Association (HAWHA) [sometimes called HOA], KWHA. Until the deceritification process set forth in 9 CFR 11.7(g) is completed for the noncompliant HIOs, affiliation with them will not increase show management's liability. Please be advised, however, that USDA will continue its own efforts to enforce the HPA by conducting unannounced inspections at horse shows and focusing it's inspection resources at unaffiliated shows and oversight of HIO DQPs that pose an increased risk of noncompliance with the HPA.

I notice that the SSHBEA, Spotted Saddle Horse association, has not agreed to the rules.  You know, those horses that are a completely separate breed, but about 75% of the registered horses are also registered as TWHs.  (Remember that excuse as to why Davis was so quickly banned?  Yeah, me too.)

So at this point, this means the decertification process is being put together and the HIOs who didn't agree to the rules will most likely be shut down.  It's really only a matter of time now.

To wit, TWHBEA hired SHOW to be their HIO for the Celebration Futurity.  I guess we all know TWHBEA's stance concerning following the law, then.  Some breed registry we got going here.

Next, one of the new groups that exists out there since the release of the McConnell video, the Tennessee Walking Horse Show Organization (TWHSO), has been doing their own swabbing to test for chemicals on horses at shows.  In case you don't know or haven't heard of it, TWHSO was formed to protect the show horse...of course.  They are doing swabbing tests and have hired a PR firm to help the image of the TWH.  (Which, in my honest opinion, would be very easy to fix and they wouldn't even have to spend money on it if this industry would get their heads out of their asses.)  Click here for more info about TWHSO.  And do I need to point out that their board members are HPA violators?  Probably not at this point--I'm sure you my readers aren't stupid and saw that coming from a mile away.

From the What a Horse Forum:

SHOW HIO Initiates Swabbing – June 15, 2012

At the request of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association and the Tennessee Walking Horse Show Organization (TWHSO), the SHOW HIO will allow swabbing at all of its affiliated shows immediately.  Funding for the program will be provided by TWHSO and will be conducted by independent veterinarian technicians from Columbia State College. Shows to be swabbed this weekend include Liberty Lions Club Show in Shelbyville, TN, Celebration Versatility Show Series Show in Petersburg, TN and Marshall Evening Lions Club Horse Show in Marshall, Texas.

SHOW President Dr. Steve Mullins praised the action of the trainers and TWHSO and stated “I am in total agreement with this initiative and it will be a valuable tool in achieving our goal of eliminating the sore horse from the show ring.”

What really cracks me up here is they are using a state college instead of an accredited laboratory entity like the government did.  Veterinarian technicians are not trained to recognize substances generated from GC/MS technology.  So ridiculous.

So TWHSO did their swabs, and they of course found substances.  "Two trainers, Brad Beard and Marvin North, received two-week suspensions of their training licenses. A third, Knox Blackburn, received a four-week suspension."  Click here to read the article.

Now while this sounds great on the surface, the problem is that TWHSO is NOT an HIO.  This means that they could give someone 100 suspensions, but it doesn't mean squat.  There is no legal reason for someone to honor the suspensions.  And suspension from what?  They certainly won't say.  And OF COURSE, they didn't release any pertinent information: "The announcement didn’t include information about the substances found, how many total swabs were taken, where the swabs were taken or where the trainers operate."

And get this: on another FB page, the show manager for a show that went on this weekend (July 28) OPENLY INVITED KNOX BLACKBURN TO COME SHOW.  I quote: "I am only recognizing HPA suspensions Knox's is not HPA."  And that attitude, ladies and gentleman, is why soring continues.

Happily, Roy Exum continues to report on the abuse and do his own research into how deep the corruption goes.  He is helping us keep this nightmare public.  I don't think I can thank Roy enough for his support of the horse.

July 5, 2012 - Coca-Cola is Horsin' Around

July 16, 2012 - The Rage Over Horses Mounts

July 21, 2012 - Mike, Turn Back! Get Out!

July 22, 2012 - Horse CEO is Jumping Off (unfortunately some of this is inaccurate--Meadows announced he was leaving before the McConnell video came out.)

That's it for now...I'll keep posting as things develop!

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