Skip to content

A Column From Congressman Bart Gordon Keeping The Walking Horse Industry Strong



Over the years, I have worked closely with owners, trainers, and participants, as well as officials in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Horse Show Commission, to develop a fair way to regulate the industry. As you know, an agreement on a balanced, uniform three-year operating plan for the walking horse industry was reached.

I am pleased that a new three-year operating plan is being drawn up because the current plan expires at the end of this year. The operating plan, which represents a multi-year regulatory agreement between the USDA and the walking horse industry, establishes long-term procedures for protecting the horse while ensuring equity for the owners, trainers, and exhibitors.

I am also pleased that the “Follow-the-Horse” method for the Scar Rule has been agreed to by the USDA and the walking horse industry. For years, I have fought for fair application of rules and violations. Rather than risking the livelihood of owners and trainers, violations should “follow the horse.” This method will also serve to better protect the horse.

I have always believed that Department of Agriculture inspectors need to be held to the highest standards of conduct. I understand that the only way the operating plan can be successful is through a mutual trust. That is why I am encouraged by the ongoing discussions between the nine Horse Industry Organizations and the USDA and recent changes in the VMO corps. As you may know, Dr. Michael Guedron is no longer with the USDA.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are from the walking horse shows I attended in Middle Tennessee. These shows, while important to family and community, also provide an important outlet for charities and civic organizations. I will continue to work toward a consensus on the remaining unresolved regulatory issues and other matters so the walking horse industry will continue to thrive.

I hope all my friends in the Walking Horse family will continue to provide me with their ideas and concerns so I can remain their voice in Washington.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 3 1 31

    Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More