Skip to content

AHC Work on Proposed Changes to HPA Continues



Editor's Note:  The following is a press release from the American Horse Council.

Many members of the horse industry know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently proposed changes to the regulations governing enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The HPA was passed in 1970 to stop the cruel practice of “soring” horses that was occurring in some parts of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse industry.

The proposed rule would make several changes to current HPA regulations with the goal of improving enforcement of the law and ending soring.  However, the proposed rule has prompted some questions about its potential impact on the wider industry, particularly on other gaited breeds.  The AHC has convened an HPA working group and has been engaging industry stake holders to answer some of these questions and draft formal comments regarding the proposed rule.  The AHC has been actively communicating with industry groups including the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the U.S Equestrian Federation, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the American Morgan Horse Association, and the Arabian Horse Association.

“The AHC has always opposed soring and supported the enforcement of the HPA. There is no question that soring is an abusive practice that should not be tolerated or allowed to continue.  Because soring continues to be a problem in the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse industry, improvements to the HPA enforcement program are clearly needed and justified, “said AHC President Julie Broadway.

“However, it is equally important that any new regulations are narrowly focused on the problem of soring and do not adversely impact or unnecessarily burden other segments of the horse show industry that are not soring horses and have no history of soring horses.”

The USDA has been holding public meetings around the country and will be accepting written comments until September 26, 2016.  USDA will then review all comments and make changes based on those comments before releasing a final rule. 

“Any time regulatory changes are proposed there is always a need to seek clarifications and make improvements. This is why federal agencies seek comments before any rule is made final,” said AHC Sr. VP, Policy & Legislative Affairs Ben Pendergrass. “The AHC’s HPA working group is drafting comprehensive comments on the proposed rule that will  hopefully help USDA improve the rule and address any concerns the horse industry has about the rule. “     

The AHC will continue to keep the horse industry updated as the rulemaking process continues. 

More Stories

  • Faces return after long absences

    This past show season saw the return of several new faces to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry — although, technically, they aren’t actually new. A few weeks back, the WHR reached out to horse enthusiasts via social media to hear the stories of any newcomers who decided to jump back in the saddle after a 10 or more-year absence... Read More
  • Latest Issue Dec 18 17

    Read More
  • Equine Obituary - The Land Shark

    World grand champion and multi world champion The Land Shark passed away on December 6, 2017. The five-year-old stallion was owned and loved by Larry and Pam Russell of Pontotoc, Mississippi... Read More
  • Walking For The Angels and WHTA give back

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association teamed up once again with Walking For The Angels and Christmas In July Horse Show to give back to those in need at Christmas time. Over 300 children across Bedford County received help this year... Read More
  • KWHA Ladies Auxiliary celebrate a great year

    The KWHA Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon was held on December 9, 2017. The event was held at Malone’s Event’s and Catering in Lexington, Kentucky. 18 members joined to celebrate a wonderful year in the horse industry and participation awards and ended the day with a dirt Santa gift exchange... Read More
  • Office Holiday Hours

    The office will be closed for Christmas holidays beginning Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. We hope you enjoy that time with your families as we will be... Read More
  • Walking For Cancer show announces date

    The 2018 Walking For Cancer show will be held April 21 at the Champions Arena in Shelbyville. The start time is still pending however organizers are aiming for 5 p.m. Further details will be announced as they become available... Read More
  • Youth Council awards

    New this year for the Youth Council, a point system was put into place to help encourage all youth members to participate in different events and horse shows. Throughout the year members earned points by helping to raise money for the FAST Legal Fund and for assisting at horse shows... Read More
  • Two new faces join TWHBEA Executive Committee

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association’s annual meetings were held last weekend in Lewisburg, Tennessee with two new faces joining the Executive Committee (EC) following the annual elections, held Saturday... Read More
  • Birth Announcement - Knox Lucas Robbins

    Paul and Jennifer Robbins welcomed their second son, Knox Lucas Robbins, on December 4, 2017. He weighed 8lbs., 6.5 oz and measured 20 inches in length. Read More