by Maggi Painter
SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - The United States Department of Agriculture held a Scar Rule Clinic in Shelbyville, Tenn. on Saturday April 4, 2006 at the Blue Ribbon Circle on the Celebration grounds. Dr. Rick Kirsten, Dr. Todd Behre, Dr. Chester Gipson and Dr. Rachel Cezar were the representatives from the USDA.

The clinic started at 9 am with Dr. Doyle Meadows Celebration CEO and representing the SHOW HIO greeting the packed room and introducing the USDA representatives.

Dr. Kirsten and Dr. Behre did the slide show presentation and question and answer session which lasted about two hours. Following a brief lunch break everyone returned to the arena for the inspection part of the presentation.

Twenty-eight horses were inspected, six of them passed. Another two horses, Dr. Kirsten and Dr. Behre could not agree on after examination, therefore they were passed and 20 were found to be out. Both of the VMO’s gave their reasons for passing them or calling them out following their examination. It was also made clear by both VMOs and Dr. Gipson that if they were out on one foot and in compliance on the other they would be allowed to show.

Following the VMO’s examinations Dr. Jim Baum of Shelbyville was asked to check the horses previously examined by the VMOs. “I think Dr. Kirsten and Dr. Behre were being very particular, I was a little more aggressive flattening the skin out,” said Baum.

Dr. Chester Gipson expressed his opinion following the clinic, “The scar rule clinic was a success.  I think the active involvement of participants in the discussion will result in a better understanding of the scar rule, the inspection process, and how we enforce the HPA.”

Click here to view the USDA Scar Rule Clinic Q & A Video.