The United States Department of Agriculture proposed a rule on August 20, 2023 that would have devastating impacts to the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse. The rule would prohibit pads, action devices and bands while also eliminating all industry Horse Industry Organizations (HIO) and turning all enforcement over to the USDA. The burden and costs on horse shows will be significant and potentially force horse shows to cancel and shut down.

The industry, including all owners, trainers, state associations, breed associations, horse shows, breeders and other stakeholders, need to comment on the devastating impacts this rule would have to their interests in the Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse and Spotted Saddle Horse.

The industry has asked the USDA for an extension to the comment period that is currently set to end on October 20, 2023 but at this time the USDA has not answered that request. House of Representative members as well as Senators from Tennessee and Kentucky have both sent letters to USDA seeking an extension to the comment period.

All industry participants and stakeholders need to file their comments by October 20, 2023.

There are two ways for interested parties to file comments:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to Enter APHIS-2022-0004 in the search field.  Select the documents tab, then select the comment button in the list of documents
2. Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery:  Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS 2022-0004, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

For more information and to read the proposed rule in its entirety click here.