Dear David,

As you know, because of regulatory disputes, the last several years have been filled with instability and uncertainty for the walking horse community. Like you, I believe we must have a clear, fair, and long term operating plan that protects the horses while ensuring equity for the owners, trainers, and exhibitors.

Last year, following a long and arduous process, an agreement was reached between the horse industry organizations, including the National Horse Show Commission, and the Department of Agriculture. This multi-year operating plan adds much needed certainty to walking horse shows and will help ensure the continued health of the walking horse industry. Now, there will only be one inspection manual for industry and the regulators. Industry and department inspectors will also be trained together.

However, in order for the new plan to be successful, the implementation must be fair. during discussions with the former Under Secretary of Agriculture, I expressed concerns about the actions of a few department inspectors and their impact on our walking horse shows. Unfortunately, the mere attendance of certain inspectors results in diminished entries and more citations. Again, the only way the operating plan can be successful is through mutual trust. That is why I have requested a thorough investigation into the actions of a handful of rogues inspectors. I am anxiously awaiting the Department’s response.

As in the past, I will be vigilant in my efforts to protect your interest. As always, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and concerns with me. Please do not hesitate to call me if I may ever be of service to you or your family.

Bart Gordon
Member of Congress