SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® included random drug testing of animals in an overall plan to protect the health and safety of the horses, the integrity of the event, and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.  The results of the testing process were extremely good, according to the veterinarian that oversaw the testing procedure.

The test subjects were chosen randomly from entries each night.  According to Dr. John Bennett, a total of 28 horses were tested at The Celebration®.  Of those horses tested, only two showed very small amounts of phenybutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used in thoroughbred racing.

“Our tests were very thorough,” said Bennett.  “I’m very glad The Celebration® has been pro-active in this area.  This initial testing gives us a good baseline to work from.”

Bennett said he and other members of the veterinary community hope to sit down with Celebration officials to continue to refine this program and keep it up to date.

“I’m very happy with the testing procedure and the results,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas.  “We had no real suspicions of any problems in this area, but it is certainly nice to know for sure.”

Bennett worked in conjunction with Cornell University of Ithaca, New York to perform the laboratory analysis.