Copyright WHR 2007


Editor’s Note: The Celebration sent the following letter to the National Horse Show Commission Board of Director on  Thursday, June 21.


To:       NHSC Board of Directors

From:     David L. Howard, Chairman of the Board

Date:     June 21, 2007

Re:       USDA Operating Plan


            With two months remaining before the opening session of our 2007 world championship horse show, the decision on which Horse Industry Organization to affiliate with is before us. Our board of directors has acted to direct us to affiliate our event with an HIO that has signed the 2007-2009 USDA Operating Plan. Our board will not jeopardize the trainers, owners and exhibitors at our event by putting them at risk of federal prosecution.


            After thorough and direct communications with Dr. Ron Dehaven and Dr. Chester Gipson, we are fully aware of the USDA’s position in regards to HIO’s that have not signed the Operating Plan. We have learned and are convinced of the following:


·                    USDA is documenting, for purposes of pursing a federal case, all of the cases written by NHSC DQP’s when VMO’s are present.

·                    If proper legal sufficiency is present, USDA will move forward with the case in a very timely manner. They estimate 75-80% of the cases they document being prosecuted.

·                    USDA does not recognize any penalties that an HIO issues if the HIO is not a signatory to the Operating Plan. Therefore, our participants could receive “double jeopardy” on the same violation.

·                    Dr. DeHaven will be supportive of HIO’s that sign the Operation Plan with proposed amendments intact.

·                    Dr. Gipson remarked that if you want the benefits of the Operating Plan, you must sign it.


            With that in mind, The Celebration is forming it’s own HIO.


            While not preferred, it is an option The Celebration will have at its disposal. We currently have all of the appropriate paperwork and it is ready to file with the USDA, should the need arise. Once formed The Celebration HIO will sign the Operating Plan immediately.


            Our preference is to affiliate with an HIO that has signed the Operating Plan. The Celebration has affiliated with the NHSC since its inception and has no interest in affiliating with any other outside HIO at this time.

Our relationship with the NHSC has been long and productive. We urge you to allow us to continue that relationship.