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Congressman Scott DesJarlais Visits Shelbyville



Today, Dr. Scott DesJarlais, Republican Congressman from the Fourth District, Tennessee, and cosponsor of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s bill, H.R. 4098 (which directly opposes the PAST Act, H.R. 1518), visited Dr. John Bennett’s Clinic in Shelbyville, Tenn. Dr. DesJarlais wanted to see firsthand the subjective inspection practices to which Tennessee Walking Horses are subjected at every show.

Dr. DesJarlais had been invited by Jill Derickson to come and see a three-year-old horse, Master Class, owned by customers of 4 The Glory Farm, Mr. and Mrs. Tim Brooks. This horse has been shown a total of 21 times in his career, passing inspection by the USDA on four occasions (two going in the ring and two coming out) at the recent National Trainers' Show. The horse has never received a violation of any kind until the Kick Off Classic this past Saturday night. The USDA wrote a post-show scar rule ticket on him as he exited the ring.


Herbert and Jill Derickson welcome Scott and Amy DesJarlais.

Immediately, trainer Herbert Derickson had the horse inspected by Dr. Jim Baum who pronounced him to be without a scar. The Dericksons then took the horse to Dr. Bennett’s clinic where he has been in quarantine since the show. Various other veterinarians including Dr. Steve Mullins came and inspected the horse and pronounced him clean. Dr. Mullins even stated, “I have never seen a horse this clean be turned down.”

Dr. DesJarlais first watched Dr. Bennett go through the inspection procedure on the horse and then he was given the opportunity to actually inspect the horse’s feet himself.


Dr. John Bennett walks Congressman DesJarlais through an inspection of Master Class.

After watching carefully while Dr. Bennett performed the inspection and then performing the inspection himself, Dr. DesJarlais was given the opportunity to look at x-rays, ultrasounds, videos and photographs that have been made of Master Class since his arrival at the clinic. He also had the opportunity to discuss the horse’s history with Herbert Derickson, and the history of the inspection process as it has evolved through the years since the HPA came into existence.

He listened to concerns voiced by Derickson, Bennett, and Mike Inman, Celebration CEO. He told the group that he felt if other legislators were given the opportunity to come and view the inspection process and actually lay hands on the horse in the manner the inspectors do they would have a clearer understanding of how subjective the inspection process is.

Dr. DesJarlais expressed his desire to help our industry in this troubling time.

A more in depth story will be forthcoming online and in the next issue of Walking Horse Report.











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