Editor’s Note:  The following letter to the industry is from the Task Force Committees of the SHOW HIO.  The SHOW HIO was activated on April 1, 2009 after the dissolution of the National Horse Show Commission.

To:  The Walking Horse Industry
From:  SHOW Task Forces
Re:  An Open Letter to the Industry

Only a few short months ago, our industry began the show season in Jackson, Mississippi, with a new HIO named SHOW. To say the least, this show was unnerving for the industry as we experienced the challenges of a USDA team armed with new and advanced inspection procedures.

After the horse show was completed, SHOW CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows and his board reviewed the results and began the groundwork to build a team to insure our industry was provided the highest quality inspections based on the HPA. Dr. Meadows then traveled to
Panama City and studied the process, returned to Shelbyville, and continued to develop SHOW into an inspection organization to lead the industry.

Task Force Committees began to be formed to assist with the monumental task of creating an HIO which would perform strictly under the guidelines of the HPA and Regulations. As these groups began to focus on developing this concept, it became apparent the actual inspection process should be lead by veterinarians. After meeting with Dr. Meadows and the board of SHOW, Dr. John Bennett and Dr. Steve Mullins agreed to serve as Co-Compliance Officers for SHOW.

The addition of these two men provided the professional veterinarian guidance needed in the inspection area. As soon as they joined SHOW they began reviewing with the DQPs the inspection process required by the HPA and instituted changes. This provided the DQPs with even more confidence when working in the inspection areas. The veterinarians also established ring stewards to assist the industry in removing the bad image horse from the show ring. They are committed to open dialogue with the USDA to build cooperation.

The trainers should be commended for removing themselves from their regulatory role in the National Horse Show Commission and supporting SHOW.  The trainers are working diligently to present sound horses and the owners are to be commended for supporting their efforts. They each have made a commitment to SHOW to be a part of the solution and this is evident as we watched the shows this summer.

As we reflect on this show season and the progress of SHOW in only four short months, the industry now sees a promise of a bright future for this great breed. SHOW recognizes much work is still to be done and plans to continue to move the industry forward with the combined efforts of SHOW, the trainers and the owners. 

SHOW CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows, the SHOW Board of Directors, and the SHOW Task Force Committees sincerely appreciate the support of this industry.