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Celebration Takes Measures To Ensure Sound Horses - Updated



 

 

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration® remains committed to having sound, clean horses in the show ring and will be taking several measures with the health and safety of the animals and participants as well as the integrity of the inspection process in mind.

In consultation with virtually every major group within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and outside organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Celebration board of directors has approved the following tenets of an overall plan to protect the animals on site, the integrity of the event, and the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the 2007-09 Operating Plan.

Drug Screening – Random entries will be selected for drug screening. Additionally, the use of syringes by anyone other than a licensed veterinarian will be strictly prohibited on the Celebration Grounds.

Improper Shoeing – Hoof testers will be used to detect evidence of improper shoeing. In addition, selected flat shod entries will be required to have their shoes removed, inspected, and weighed following competition in championship classes.

Event Integrity – The Celebration® has secured a sanctioning agreement with a Horse Industry Organization (HIO) that is a signatory to the 2007-09 Operating Plan. That HIO will be the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC). In addition, The Celebration® will only employ judges with no HPA violations. Following the event, the five judges, seven Designated Qualified Persons (DQP’s), and show management will submit to a polygraph test. The examination will take place on September 12, 2007. The judging panel was announced earlier in July.

Inspection Security – The Celebration® will implement an overall security plan for the inspection area that will include identification credentials for trainers, grooms and amateur exhibitors. Only horses that are eligible and scheduled to compete will be allowed into the inspection area. As part of this plan, third-party veterinarians providing inspection opinions will be prohibited from the area. In order to protect owners and exhibitors, a secure area outside inspection will be made available for this purpose.

HPA Enforcement – Several steps will be taken to enhance the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act under the rules set forth by the 2007-09 Operating Plan. These steps include allowing USDA Veterinary Medical Officers and NHSC Designated Qualified Persons to perform random inspections in the barn area and enforce the Tennessee Anti-Soring ordinance.

“Thousands of hours of study and work has gone into putting this plan together,” said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas. “Many of the items of this plan have already been in practice, while some are new for 2007. All of these items fall well within parameters of the S.H.O.W. initiative of Sound horses, Honest judging, Objective inspections, and Winning fairly.”

Support for these initiatives has been broad-based.

“USDA supports the actions initiated by The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration to ensure compliance with the Horse Protection Act, said Dr. Chester A. Gipson, USDA Deputy Administrator.

Here again is a listing of the items included in the plan:

· Institute an equine drug-screening program

· Use hoof testers on flat-shod entries

· Remove, inspect, and weigh shoes on random flat-shod entries after championship classes

· Prohibit use of syringes, except by licensed veterinarians

· Select judges with no HPA violations

· Sanction with an HIO that has signed the 2007-09 Operating Plan

· Judges to submit to polygraph test after the show

· DQP’s to submit to polygraph test after the show

· Show management to submit to polygraph test after the show

· Maintain a secure inspection area

· Allow eligible horses only in the inspection area

· DQP’s and VMO’s may perform random inspections in the barn area

· Enforce the Tennessee Anti-Soring ordinance

· Prohibit veterinarians from giving third-party opinions in the inspection area

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