Humane Society Asks Changes For Upcoming Walking Horse Celebration

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

With just weeks left before the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tn., The Humane Society of the United States said it is calling on industry organizers "to implement five key changes that would help protect horses and restore the credibility of the walking horse industry," officials said Tuesday.

Humane Society officials said, "The sport continues to be undermined by the illegal practice of 'soring'—the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated high-stepping gait to gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. In a letter to the Celebration’s board of directors, The HSUS offered to work alongside them to curb horse abuse and ensure that the show competition could continue in a way that dramatically improved the public transparency and the welfare of horses."

“The Celebration’s board has the authority to set appropriately high standards and policies to protect the welfare of the horses and turn the Tennessee walking horse competition into something worth celebrating,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States stands ready and willing to monitor and support the Celebration if the board implements changes. The public will not accept rampant cruelty to show horses, and it’s time for the show’s organizers and community to kick out the scofflaws and adopt meaningful reforms.”

Humane Society officials said, "The need for change, and for the Celebration to take an unequivocal stand against soring, has never been more urgent. The HSUS’ undercover investigation earlier this year of well-known trainer Jackie McConnell revealed that trainers can continue to sore horses and enter them into shows undetected, even though McConnell has been issued a federal disqualification. The HSUS investigator documented McConnell soring Moody Star, the winner of the 2010 Celebration Reserve World Grand Champion. The investigation drew national attention and led to public outrage over the continued practice of soring despite the practice being outlawed for more than 40 years by the federal Horse Protection Act."

 In its letter, The HSUS called for the following five reforms "which would return the reputation of this magnificent animal and this sport to one of reverence and respect":

  FOR THE HORSE:  Eliminate horses from competition, and from any property owned, leased or used by Celebration, Inc. if there is evidence of the application of one of several common soring techniques, including the use of all stacks, action devices or bands; the use of shoes weighing more than two pounds; the use of tail braces which require the tail to be cut; and the riding of two year olds under saddle.
  FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROCESS:  Exclude any show officials from participation (including judges, DQPs, veterinarians, farriers) who have personally been cited for an HPA violation within the past five years.
  FOR THE HONOR OF THE SPORT: Rescind the title, prizes and other awards of any entry that has been found to be in violation of the HPA (including the use of prohibited foreign substances) following his/her performance.
  FOR THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PUBLIC: In addition to the inspection procedures required by USDA regulations, randomly pull the shoes of at least 20 percent of all entries throughout the show, and of the top two placing horses in every championship class, examine the horses’ hooves for evidence of intentional soring. This examination should be overseen by a licensed veterinarian recommended by AAEP and a farrier recommended by the American Farriers Association, neither of whom have any ties to the Tennessee walking horse industry nor any history of HPA violations. In any case in which soring of the hoof is suspected, disqualify the horse, rider and trainer until such time as a final determination is made as to whether the HPA has been violated.
  FOR TRANSPARENCY of CHANGE: Prohibit the use of all stall drapes, or other materials designed to prevent visual inspection of property owned, leased or used by Celebration, Inc. on which horses or other personal property are held or kept during the event.

 The HSUS sent the list of "key needed reforms" in a letter to the Celebration’s board of directors nearly one month ago, and the board has not yet responded, it was stated.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, BRANDON MONTEZ  3216 GLEASON DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 37412  Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FELONY EVADING ARREST DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE SPEEDING --- BELL, TYRELL LOVELL  2115 12TH ST CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Portion Of Roof Of Building Next To First Tennessee Pavilion Collapses

A portion of a roof on an old brick building next to the First Tennessee Pavilion by Finley Stadium collapsed on Friday. City public works employees were clearing the rubble and seeking to temporarily stabilize the building. Officials said steps would be taken to have it completely demolished. It was part of an old factory once at the site. The building is jointly owned ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Readers Are Right

It is hardly a secret that since I have become intensely interested in public education in Chattanooga, I have tried to read, research and understand how our efforts have fallen horribly short in the last 15 years. We agree we have a crisis on many fronts and I hope it is equally obvious I am desperate for solutions. Much like school board member Karista Jones, I worry that we are ... (click for more)

Morgan, Smith, Parrott Pace Lady Pounders Past Bearettes 6-0

Maybe Central softball coach LeeAnne Shurette won’t nag her Lady Pounders so much in the coming days. Central collected eight hits, including two-run singles by Tatum Morgan and Janara Smith, on Friday to back Brooke Parrott’s three-hitter and the Lady Pounders defeated Bradley Central 6-0 in the East Hamilton tournament at The Summit. “Shurette has been nagging, maybe ... (click for more)

McCallie Earns 3-1 Soccer Win Over Rival Baylor

When his team needed him the most, McCallie senior Drew Viscomi did what he does best. Two minutes after the Blue Tornado allowed an equalizer to rival Baylor in the Division II Mid-East Region soccer match on the Red Raiders’ home field, Viscomi’s strike put his team back on top. Five minutes later, the All-American and school single-season scoring leader ... (click for more)