Skip to content

Celebration Meets with Office of Management and Budget

The Celebration met with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) division of the Office of Management and Budget on July 7, 2016. Board member Jeffrey Howard and Chief Executive Officer Mike Inman represented The Celebration. Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) Chairman Terry Dotson, lobbyist Jeff Speaks and attorney Joseph Wilson were also in attendance. Wilson works with Kelly Drye & Warren, the law firm representing The Celebration and the show horse industry in the rulemaking process.

The meeting focused on the issues surrounding the proposed rulemaking before OMB submitted by APHIS to change aspects of the Horse Protection Act. Based on comments by the Humane Society of the United States and the outline of the proposed rule in the Unified Agenda, The Celebration and industry has assumed all or parts of the PAST Act will be included as part of the proposed rule.

The Celebration stands firmly against the PAST Act and the devastating impacts it would have on the The Celebration, the Tennessee Walking Horse, the community of Shelbyville, state of Tennessee and the thousands of jobs it would take from those that participate in the Tennessee Walking Show Horse industry.

The Celebration and its representatives focused on the impacts the new rule would have as well as alternative solutions to the stated intent of the rule. First, The Celebration alerted OMB that no representative of APHIS engaged The Celebration, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, PSHA, the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association or show management to discuss the proposed rule or the impacts it would have, despite executive orders that require such action to take place.

The Celebration confirmed with OMB that the USDA’s own study, AAEP, AVMA and a recent study completed continue to scientifically prove that the current pad and action device used in the performance division do not cause soring nor any other harm to the horse. If the rule suggests the elimination of those items, OMB was warned that it would fall outside the authority of the USDA and thus be illegal.

The discussion also focused on the failure of the USDA in its responsibilities under the HPA and instead of working with the industry to develop independent oversight and objective, science-based inspections they have decided to eliminate the show horse. This action is opposite of their responsibility under law.

Representatives of the industry, along with their counsel, urged representatives in the meeting from OMB and USDA to consider the industry proposed solution that would utilize an independent HIO and inspectors to conduct scientifically proven objective tests to ensure the welfare of horses competing. In addition, this industry led solution would not impact the budget of APHIS, would be funded completely by the industry and allow all divisions of the Tennessee Walking Horse to continue to compete.

After the meeting, Kelly Drye & Warren drafted a letter recapping the stance of the industry and the issues with the potential rule, pointing out the legal and scientific reasons the rule, if drafted similarly to the PAST Act, is harmful and damaging to a significant part of the agricultural economy in Tennessee, Kentucky and other areas with significant numbers of Tennessee Walking Horses.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue March 19 18

    Read More
  • Throwback Thursday

    Check out this week's Throwback on ReporTV featuring Oh My Darlin' and Counti Green in the Youth 11 & Under class from the 2012 Tunica Fall Classic... Read More
  • SHOW to measure both ponies and 15.2 & Under horses

    The SHOW HIO will begin to measure horses in post-show inspections for compliance with class requirements in pony and 15.2 & under divisions. In previous years, show management could require horses to measure pre-show, however no post-show measurements were completed. Read More
  • Objective post show violations to carry increased penalty

    The SHOW HIO will retain its policy of reporting to show management its findings for disqualification on pre-show violations with no further penalty issued by SHOW. However, on clear, objective post-show violations that result in notices of disqualification, SHOW will issue a two-week suspension to the person responsible for the violation. Read More
  • Celebration adds Amateur Four & Under Park Performance

    The 80th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will add a world championship class for the Amateur Four & Under Park Performance division. Previously, the Celebration had an amateur park performance division but did not designate the four and under in the amateur division Read More
  • Winding Creek Stable to host clinic

    Winding Creek Stables and Terry Dotson will host an open clinic on April 4 in Kingston, Tennessee, at their facility. Dotson, chairman of the Performance Show Horse Association initiated the clinic as part of an ongoing effort to help inform all segments of the industry... Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Jose's Centerfold

    On Thursday, March 15, Jose’s Centerfold was humanely laid to rest following complications from colic... Read More
  • Obituary - Roger Nichols

    Mr. Roger Lewis Nichols, 82, of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, passed away Tuesday, March 13 on his 63rd wedding anniversary at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson. He was born in Surry County on Aug. 25, 1935 to the late Roger Nathan and Nell Gentry Nichols... Read More
  • Lynchburg Show relocates and selects judge

    The Lynchburg Horse Show, scheduled for July 21, at Wiseman Park will now be held at the Coffee County Show grounds in Manchester, Tennessee. Sam Sorrell will serve as the judge for this year's event... Read More
  • WHTA Riders’ Cup program expanded

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association has added three additional Riders’ Cup classes to their existing program: Triple M Farms Weanling, Bob Nelms Memorial Yearling and Main Gait Farm Two-Year-Old Trail Pleasure.  Read More