Posted September 18, 2001
The National Horse Show Commission’s Designated Qualified Persons (DQP’s), inspected 3,420 entries during the 11 days of the 2001 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The total entries were comprised of 2,161 performance horses and 1,259 flat-shod horses. The overall turndown rate was 2.95% representing 101 horses in non-compliance. This compared favorably with last year, as the success rate was again 97%.

Lonnie Messick, Executive Vice President of the Commission, commended the DQP’s on the outstanding job they did during the Celebration.

“The communications between the DQP’s and the VMO’s were outstanding. The DQP’s were allowed to inspect the horses and there were no conflicts between the two at any sessions,” Messick said. “The VMO’s did not take any information on any horse and there were no Federal cases during the show. It was the smoothest inspection overall and certainly the smoothest and best working relationship with the VMO’s we have ever had.”

Messick was quick to give credit also to the trainers. “The horses were brought to the inspection station in good condition and it was evident that the trainers tried hard to present them well. They appeared to feel at ease while bringing their entries through. I want to commend them.”

This year eight DQP’s were entrusted with the challenging task of inspecting the entries thoroughly and in a timely manner. Their duties included identifying those horses not in compliance with the Operating Plan and the Horse Protection Act as well as the rules and guidelines of the NHSC. Those duties fell to Harry Chaffin, Bob Flynn, William Edwards, Iry Gladney, Andy Messick, Ricky Statham, Charles Thomas, and John Wilson. This year they were rotated with each session and this appeared to work well. “In general there were some violations, but the overall result was good...very good.,” Messick said.

According Messick, the USDA Veterinary Medical Officers (VMO’s) were present to inspect horses on six of the ten nights of the show. VMO’s Kurt Hammel, Sylvia Taylor, Bob Markman, Kent Perminter, and Steve Fuller assumed the duties on August 23, 24, and 25, 2001. VMO’s Jodie Kulpa, Lynn Bourgeois, Mary Geib, Paul Warren, and Carrol Ballard and Ralph Ayers inspected entries on August 30, 31, and September 1, 2001.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, USDA, was noticeably absent from this year’s Celebration. DeHaven stated that his absence was due to the consistency of the DQP’s and the VMO’s findings. In short, he could not have been happier with the results. “I kept waiting for the inevitable to happen”, he remarked, “but it just didn’t happen. There was no need for me to come.”

He added that the quality of the inspections from the DQP’s was excellent. During the fluoroscope examinations only three horses shoes were pulled. Two were in compliance.

DeHaven expressed the sentiment of the USDA and the NHSC, “This is the way a partnership between the walking horse industry and the VMO’s should work. I couldn’t be happier.”