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

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Jean Baum: For the joy of the sport

    Of all the wonderful people in the Tennessee Walking Horse business, perhaps no one person has as much boundless enthusiasm, untiring devotion, and dedicated passion for our breed as Jean Baum. She has been involved with Tennessee Walking Horses most of her life, and she has loved and served this breed in every way imaginable.  Read More
  • Medical Professional Salute: Jackie Dean

    The Walking Horse Report would like to thank you for your service to our nation, our communities and our Walking Horse Industry as we all try and deal with this pandemic that our country is facing... Read More
  • Arab Summer Classic selects Smith

    The Arab Summer Classic, scheduled for June 20 in Arab, Alabama, has selected Kenny Smith to mark the cards for this year's event. Read More
  • Rodney Dick undergoes second surgery

    The Walking Horse Report has learned that walking horse trainer, Rodney Dick underwent another surgery to remove the cancer in his bladder on April 7. The surgery once again took place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville... Read More
  • ReporTV broadcast schedule

    The Report will be streaming Friday evening of the 2019 Columbia Spring Jubilee tonight, April 7, beginning at 6:00 pm, on ReporTV. In addition, we will be streaming Saturday evening from Columbia tomorrow evening, April 8, beginning at 6:00 pm. Read More
  • Medical Professional Salute: Ron Lawrence

    The Walking Horse Report would like to thank you for your service to our nation, our communities and our Walking Horse Industry as we all try and deal with this pandemic that our country is facing... Read More
  • NAS hosts additional speakers

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine hosted a fourth meeting to hear from speakers on April 2nd via Zoom. The first speaker NAS and its committee heard from was Dr. Alonso Guedes of the University of Minnesota... Read More
  • Alabama Ladies Auxiliary Horse Show postponed

    The 9th Annual Alabama Walking Horse Ladies Auxiliary Show, scheduled for May 2, will be postponed due to the fact of the Morgan County Celebration Arena not being available and to the current situation with COVID-19... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Collector's Mindy

    Collector’s Mindy passed away April 3, 2020 following severe health complications that could not be resolved. Foaled on June 1st, 1995 this 25-year-old mare was special right from the start, sharing her birthday with her owner/rider Amy Ann McCormick... Read More