Skip to content

NAS hosts additional speakers



The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine hosted a fourth meeting to hear from speakers on April 2nd via Zoom. The first speaker NAS and its committee heard from was Dr. Alonso Guedes of the University of Minnesota.

Guedes is a DVM, MS, PhD and board certified veterinary anesthesiologist. He is currently an Associate Professor of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Guedes is interested in understanding how calcium and lipid signaling are involved in chronic disease biology, with major research interests centered on equine laminitis and osteoarthritis.

Guedes gave a presentation which was very well-received from the committee members that focused on the Equine Nociceptive System. Guedes stated that it can be tested objectively in the lab and the field, however it was uncertain how applicable that would be in the environment of a horse show.

The second presenters were from the United States Department of Agriculture and included Dr. Aaron Rhyner and Melissa Radel, who works within data collection and analysis with USDA and specifically with the swab testing in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Radel reviewed the protocols for collection in the field and alerted the committee to what prohibited substances were under the Horse Protection Act. Under the HPA, no substance can be found other than allowed lubricants provided at the horse show and only applied under the supervision of the Designated Qualified Person or Veterinary Medical Officers. This is a standard only found under the HPA and not followed in other breeds which allow certain levels of therapeutic and helpful substances.

Radel also stated that enforcement actions for foreign substance can be brought about by the DQP or VMO finding the substance during the physical exam or as a result of a positive lab analysis or both. Radel stated horses were selected on a risk based approach which is why they select more padded horses than flat shod horses. During the question and answer USDA stated certain horse shows are selected to test as well as certain entries or trainers are selected based on several criteria including data collected from previous years.

The USDA does have a targeted list of substances it checks for and in those cases the substances are listed in the report but the majority of findings fall under a category labeled “other.” 

The scope of NAS is to convene an ad hoc committee of equine veterinarians and experts with relevant experience and appropriate professional certifications or academic degrees to review the scientific and veterinary medical literature on hoof and pastern pain and skin/tissue changes on the pastern of horses, and evaluate methods used to identify soreness in horses (as defined in the Horse Protection Act* and the implementing regulations) for their scientific validity and reliability.

The committee consists of Dr. Jerry Black, chair, Dr. Bart Sutherland, Dr. Tracy Turner, Dr. Pamela Ginn, Dr. Sarah le Jeune, Dr. Susan White and Robin Foster.

Click here to view the presentation. 

Click here to watch the webinar. 

More Stories

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • 2021 WHOA Banquet plan

    The Walking Horse Owners Association would like to announce that due to restrictions for Covid-19 the WHOA Banquet scheduled in February of 2021 has been cancelled... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Mr. Trump

    The Walking Horse Report has recently learned of the death of Mr. Trump. The 2xWGC, WC and 2xRWGC passed away unexpectedly following a routine workout on October 15 coming as a shock to owners Molly and Taylor Walters as well as to trainer Edgar Abernathy. Read More
  • Online entry system available for Alabama Jubilee

    The Alabama Jubilee, scheduled for October 23-24, will take online entries up until noon on Friday, October 23 and 11:30 am on Saturday, October 24. Entries can be made at entermywalkinghorse.com.  Read More
  • Obituary – Christy Kakassy

    The Report recently learned of the passing of long-time walking horse owner and exhibitor, Christy Kakassy, on Monday, October 19, after a difficult battle with acute myeloid leukemia... Read More
  • Latest Issue 10 19 20

    Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Pride's Jubilee Encore

    Sometimes a horse is destined for greatness and with the right group of people and a lot of hard work and determination, that level is reached. This was the case for 2001 World Grand Champion Pride’s Jubilee Encore... Read More
  • Dix River Fall Classic update

    The Dix River Fall Classic, scheduled for October 23-24, at the Brodhead Indoor Facility in Brodhead, Kentucky will be a SHOW–HIO show. The entry fee for flat-shod classes will be reduced from $30 to $15.  Read More
  • Thomas Seymore injured

    Thomas Seymore was injured during the Saturday evening performance of the Trainers’ Show. He was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center with a broken ankle and other minor injuries... Read More
  • Larry Wheelon hospitalized

    Larry Wheelon is in the hospital in East Tennessee battling pneumonia and several other health issues. We extend our prayers to Larry and his family.  Read More