Tennessee Walking Horse Is The Most Inspected Breed In The U.S. - And Response (2)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The summer solstice brought with it something more than the longest day of the year. It also ushered in a summer of Tennessee Walking Horse shows throughout the United States culminating with the National Celebration in August. In the interim, thousands of horses, trainers, owners and riders will compete for local honors. Most horse enthusiasts know that. Even some critics know that. What they don't know, or tend to ignore, are the following facts: 

Every Tennessee Walking Horse that competes at a sanctioned show is inspected;

That inspection takes place every time the horse enters the show ring regardless of how many class competitions they enter; 

Each and every winner of individual classes inspected again after the winner is announced; and

This is all done without any cost to the taxpayers of the United States, unlike some proposed legislation in Congress that would put the burden for inspections-and some $20 million in bureaucracy-under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The Tennessee Walking Horse industry is the only breed that does this. Not Thoroughbreds, not Standardbreds, not American Saddlebreds, not even the different breeds that will compete in disciplines at the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.

As a result of our industry self-policing, we can boast a compliance rate of greater than 96 percent according to the USDA's own data and records. 

We are the only breed that does this. And yet that's not good enough for some people, including powerful Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield or his wife, Constance, who lobbies for the Humane Society of the United States, which is responsible for the edicts included in the so-called PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics).

The PAST Act sponsored by Whitfield, and a companion bill sponsored by Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, which is home to only 94 Tennessee Walking Horses, would jeopardize 85 percent of the equine athletes that support more than 20,000 jobs and a $3.2 billion economy.

That's why the Performance Show Horse Association supports alternative pieces of legislation introduce by Marsha Blackburn in the House and Lamar Alexander in the Senate. Both would also aggressively go after owners or trainers that promote soring. But just as important, the language of the bills would create one Horse Inspection Organization to provide consistency in training and inspections for Designated Qualified Persons. But even more important than that is that objectivity would be introduced in the inspection process. Believe it or not, under today's subjective testing, even some USDA inspectors disagree on whether a violation has taken place.

In fact, in 2012 a nationally renowned independent veterinarian inspected 30 horses after they were turned down and found an error rate in his opinion of 70 percent. Those 21 horses were unjustifiably not allowed to show because of subjective inspections. The objective inspections put forth in Blackburn/Alexander would rectify this type of injustice.

PSHA and the entire Tennessee Walking Horse industry and its thousands of participants, stand solidly in opposition to soring as a competition practice, but the Whitfield/Ayotte bills go too far. Let's introduce a measure of rational discussion and objective testing to our industry. Otherwise, it's an industry that will vanish right before our eyes. 

Phil Osborne

* * *
Thanks to Phil Osborne for his article on the inspection process used for Tennessee Walking Horses.

I had almost quit buying your paper on my trips through your area - due to Roy Exum's untruthful reporting on this issue.  Phil Osborne has renewed my interest in your paper.

Thanks again,
Debby Myers
Rockwall, Tex.

* * *

What a disgrace that you published an opinion by Mr Osborne without noting next to his name that he is a paid ($17,000 per month from PSHA) public relations director.

Truth should be told. The "opinion" was just a paid advertisement for the Sore Big Lickers in Shelbyville and the propaganda from the owners association called "the Performance Show Horse Association."

Margaret Gordon




Marty Haynes Can Change The Outdated Practices Of The Past

I’m writing this letter in support of electing County Commissioner Marty Haynes as our next assessor of property in Hamilton County.  I have worked on committees with Marty and have been involved in community projects. I have found that when Marty takes on a project, he takes it seriously. He cares about the community and the people he serves.  He also takes on projects ... (click for more)

Tom Greenholtz Places Service Before Self

It has been my privilege and honor to have known Tom Greenholtz for half of my life. I know no finer person, no superior intellect, and no greater generosity of one’s self than can be found in Tom Greenholtz.  Tom is humble, and he has never been one to seek publicity or prestige.  To the contrary, he has worked quietly in the community, trying to do his part to make ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Chickamauga Lock Construction Will Continue For 2nd Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander says the latest Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan includes great news for East Tennessee – and everyone who benefits from river traffic passing through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga. In addition to funding slated for the first three priority projects of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the Corps of Engineers’ plan includes $29.9 million to continue ... (click for more)

Couple Arrested After 373 Grams Of Ice Meth And Loaded Gun Found At Their Hickory Valley Road Apartment

Federal authorities have arrested a Chattanooga couple after finding them with 373.4 grams of Ice meth at an apartment in East Brainerd. Charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance are Sergio Lizaola and Amy Lee Ramos-Collazo. Lizaola is also charged on a firearm count. Agents said two small children were present along with the couple during a search of ... (click for more)

Bradley Early Favorite In Region 4-AAA Wrestling

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- We're getting down to the fun part of the high school wrestling season. All of the dual meets have been held and the State Duals are complete as well. Now it's time to see how many individuals each team can qualify for next week's traditional state tournament and that's the purpose of this weekend's regional action. The Bradley Bears, who breezed to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club Releases 2016 Schedule

Chattanooga Football Club has released the match dates and times of its 2016 schedule. Highlights include the league home opener against Nashville FC on  Saturday, May 21,  and a Fourth of July weekend regular season finale at home against rival New Orleans on  Saturday, July 2 . Chattanooga FC competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Chattanooga ... (click for more)