With the show season upon us the SHOW HIO is already accepting affiliations again for the 2022 show season. The SHOW inspection fee will once again be $30, with $15 of the $30 being allocated to industry lobbying and/or legal efforts.

Recently, the USDA conducted HIO training where it was communicated moving forward the DQPs would no longer be trained by USDA but rather by the HIOs themselves. The SHOW HIO will conduct additional training with their DQPs at the start of the 2022 show season and plans to stay in line with previous standards and training curriculum conducted by the USDA.

In looking at the 2021 show season compliance numbers, the SHOW HIO conducted 14,003 inspections finding 300 horses non-compliant. The 98% compliance figure includes the referrals and returned horses from the USDA VMOs. There were 112 violations written by SHOW DQPs after a VMO inspection.

Of the 112, 34 of those were returned horses, meaning the horse was checked and passed by a DQP and then found in violation by VMO and returned to DQP who upon additional inspection found the horse non compliant. The remaining 78 were horses that were inspected first by a USDA VMO and then referred to a SHOW DQP who found the horse non-compliant.

These referred horses, meaning the initial inspection was done by a USDA VMO, consist primarily of horses that were inspected post-show. SHOW DQPs conduct the initial inspection of the winner post-show, however USDA VMOs conduct the initial inspection of any entry that wasn’t the first place entry.

Recently in a letter to the industry, Dr. Betty Goldentyer, APHIS Deputy Administrator cited an industry compliance rate of 99% (which includes all HIOs) and a USDA compliance rate of 69%. This stat and corresponding discrepancy requires some context to be accurately conveyed. At shows the USDA attends, they don’t look at all entries and use a risk-based approach in many cases to determine horses they do and don’t check. Given this criteria, it would be logical to conclude their compliance rate would be much lower than that of DQPs who are required to check all entries.