Skip to content

Celebration Clarifies Disqualification Procedure



The Celebration has received many calls regarding show management’s responsibility to disqualify horses that have passed inspection by the SHOW Designated Qualified Persons but found not in compliance by the USDA Veterinary Medical Officers. This decision in 2016 by show management is no different than the decision made last year and all preceding years.

The USDA, prior to the start of the horse show, did change their policy with regards to disqualification procedures.  In the past, show management delegated the responsibility to inform the participant of the disqualification to the HIO and USDA.  This year the USDA would not accept that delegation of responsibility and informed show management they would have to assign someone in inspection to inform the participant of their decision each time.

After receiving that letter from the USDA, the Celebration released a statement informing all participants of their decision again this year to disqualify all participants that the USDA VMOs, as a result of their inspection results, had “reason to believe the horse is sore”.  The same is true if the SHOW DQP finds the horse non-compliant.  This decision is consistent with our responsibility under the HPA.

Under the HPA, show management is responsible and the only party to disqualify a horse.  This is not a Celebration rule and is the same at all horse shows, not just the Celebration.  The process for how that is communicated to the participant is different at this year’s Celebration and we understand it has caused confusion.  Whether the USDA requires each show after the Celebration to communicate its decision on a case by case basis is unknown.  However, it will be show management’s responsibility under the HPA at every show moving forward just as it has been since the inception of the HPA.

The Celebration appreciates the concerns that have been expressed and apologizes for the confusion and inconvenience these changes may have caused.  

More Stories