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




Roy Exum: ‘No’ To Schools Budget

When the Hamilton County Commissioners and officials of the Hamilton County Department of Education met for 3 ½ hours on Tuesday, they studied a proposed budget of roughly $385 million – this $24.2 million over an anticipated $361 million in revenues. Now let’s pretend it is a Tuesday night at your own kitchen table and your favorite son – after misbehaving in a somewhat stunning ... (click for more)

No More Money For Schools

Re: County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added No. No way. Really, NO! is not a big enough word to express my sentiments here. Even the exclamation point doesn’t add enough to do the job properly.  Mr. Coppinger said, “They are saying if you do this, we’re ... (click for more)

Teen Shot Multiple Times On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night; Injuries "Life-Threatening"

A teenager was shot multiple times on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was in the 1900 block around 6:30 p.m. The 911 caller said the victim was on her porch. The shooter was said to be in a silver vehicle. Chattanooga Police arrived on the scene, initiated first aid and attempted to locate a crime scene. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to ... (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Whip McMinn County, 9-1, In 5-3A Baseball

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Three times Jordan Gorman set the table. Nick Woods punched three hits to the outfield and drove Gorman home in the third, fifth and sixth innings, powering East Hamilton to a 9-1 victory over McMinn County in the opening game of the District 5-3A baseball tournament at Cleveland High School on Wednesday. “Our mission was to win this game,” Gorman said, ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Softball Tournament Plans Finalized By Coaches

District 5-3A softball coaches are now ready for the second season. They hope their teams are, too. At a luncheon to finalize plans for the district tournament on Wednesday, the opening pairings were set in stone and play will begin Friday with three games, each starting at 5 p.m. at the highest seeded team. Second-seeded Soddy-Daisy (24-7) will host No. 7 Bradley ... (click for more)