"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, July 29, 2013


WOW!  JUST WOW!   Last week ended with a bang, and this week has started out with one!

One of the Lickers/Burners/Cheaters favorite things to do is to point fingers at the Saddlebred horses with the attitude of, "They use stacks and chains on their horses too!  LOOK OVER THERE!  Pay no attention to us!"  However, it seems their scapegoat has turned on them.

Last week, the United Professional Horseman's Association (UPHA) and the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) have both officially stated that they support HR 1518!  Below is from the ASHA's website.  Click here for the UPHA's website announcement.



The UPHA and the ASHA have announced that both organizations are in support of the ‘Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013’ proposed federal legislation that was introduced in April 2013 and has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  This legislation is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act, by increasing fees and penalties for the soring of horses.

The boards of directors of both organizations unanimously pledged their support for this legislation during board meetings held during the week of the Lexington Junior League Horse Show.  UPHA President, Gary Garone, noted that “none of the breeds represented by the UPHA, namely American Saddlebreds, Morgan horses, roadsters and Hackneys, have ever been cited for violations of the Horse Protection Act”.  ASHA President, Tandy Patrick, added that “the ASHA is opposed to any inhumane treatment of horses, including soring”.

The trigger for USDA’s enforcement of the Horse Protection Act is the showing, exhibition, auction or transport of a horse that has been sored.  If a breed, discipline, or activity is not soring its horses to exaggerate their gaits, then the HPA will not adversely affect them.  The new prohibitions do not apply to any breeds represented by the UPHA or the ASHA.

The UPHA and the ASHA join various other equine organizations in support of the proposed legislation, including the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Morgan Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Arabian Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the Maryland Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Horse Council.


This is a huge blow to the TWH industry.  They can no longer use the Saddlebred industry as their scapegoats.  It seems their power is getting weaker and weaker!


 Click here for the document.

Remember how SHOW, Contender Farms, and Mike McGartland tried to sue the USDA for coming up with the new mandated penalties, claiming it was against the HPA, the Administrative Protection Act (APA), and the U.S. Constitution?  Well, instead of going to court, they agreed to a summary judgment, which means a judge reviews the information and makes a decision on the case without going to court.  They also agreed that this judgment would settle the matter.  (See page 8, Paragraph E of the document.)

Seems that SHOW was way too cocky in their thinking that they would win this one.  The judge found that Congress already specifically stated that rules and regulations to the HPA can be added as needed as as long as the Secretary of the USDA signs off on them.  From page 25: "The new rule, in short, is a reasonable interpretation of the Department’s rulemaking authority under the HPA and is therefore entitled to deference from this Court."  They further decided that the new rules affect the HIO, not the plaintiffs specifically, nor specifically the entrants to the show.  They also compared the OIG report to the new rules as the plaintiffs suggested, and found that the new rules address the OIG's recommendations.

This is my favorite part concerning the Constitution.  From pages 31 and 33.

According to Plaintiffs, “[t]he new rule contravenes these constitutional provisions by attempting to sanction individuals with federally mandated penalties, in tribunals that are not congressionally created administrative courts or Article III courts, and whose decisions are not subject to review and final adjudication by administrative tribunals or Article III courts.” (Pls.’ Summ. J. Br. 38.) In the Court’s view, this is an inaccurate characterization of the new rule.  As noted above, the new rule does not directly impose any penalties on entrants.  See 9 CFR  § 11.25.  It requires HIOs, as a prerequisite to certification, to agree to enforce and include in their rulebooks certain minimum suspension penalties.  See id. § 11.25(a)-(c).  Consequently, no entrant will be subject to the minimum penalties set out in the new rule unless HIOs agree to enforce those penalties. See discussion supra Part III.A.1, at 20-22. And even then, it is to the HIO--not the United States--that the entrant is liable. In view of this, it is not entirely accurate, and certainly not precise, to say that HIOs have been charged with adjudicating federal law....In light of this, the Court concludes that neither the HPA’s delegation of rulemaking authority to the Department nor the new rule itself is unconstitutional.

And the conclusion:

Based on the foregoing, the Court concludes that the new rule, given due deference, is lawful under the HPA, the APA, and the United States Constitution and should, therefore, be upheld. The Department’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED, and Plaintiffs’ motion is DENIED. Accordingly, all claims in the above-styled and -numbered cause are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE*.
*Plaintiffs, in their briefing, also challenge the new rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This claim is not raised in their complaint, however, and is therefore not before the Court.

Now for our job!  We need to contract the USDA to ask them to decertify SHOW before the Celebration rolls around!  Let's get these bullies and Lickers/Burners/Cheaters away from the Celebration and bring in an HIO that did sign the mandated penalties!  Wonder how Howard's rule that people who don't show under SHOW will not be allowed to be at the Celebration will work?   Seems their great world is now crashing down around them, all due to their need to keep an abused horse in the ring.  May they lose all their money, and may the horses be free!

Contact the USDA at:

Kathleen Merrigan
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

Dr. Rachel Cezar
Head of HPA

Dr. Chester A. Gipson
Deputy Administrator of Animal Care

No comments:

Blog Archive