Skip to content

NHSC Summary Report From 2006 Celebration

92% of Horses Found to be in Compliance

The National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) reports that the overwhelming majority of horses at the 2006 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration were in compliance and passed inspections of both NHSC inspectors (DQPs) and USDA inspectors (VMOs).  NHSC inspectors looked at 3,241 horses, a decrease of only 208, or 6%, from the previous year.
     The NHSC has stepped up their inspection procedures all year and had twice as many inspectors present at the Celebration than in past years.  “Our inspection procedures are based on the training we received during our joint session with the USDA held this past February,” says Lonnie Messick, executive vice-president of the NHSC.  Inspections at this year’s Celebration resulted in a 2% increase in violations over 2005.  Messick says there has been an increase at shows all year.  The increase is attributed to a stricter interpretation of the “scar rule,” which the USDA instructed NHSC inspectors to follow this year.  “Scar” refers to a tissue change on the rear pasterns of the horses front feet.  “We have actually seen fewer violations for sore horses, but more for the scar rule,” he says.  At this year’s Celebration there was a 1.5% drop in sensitvity violations, but a 2% increase in horses with unacceptable tissue change.
     The most significant difference between the 2005 and 2006 Celebration is the number of cases in conflict resolution.  Cases are referred to conflict resolution when the industry inspectors pass a horse and the USDA disqualifies it.  These cases tripled from seven last year to 21 this year.  The number of conflicts is what troubles David Pruett, chairman of the NHSC and president of the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA).  “As of July 31, 2006 USDA inspectors had attended 11 NHSC shows to oversee our inspectors and had agreed with us, and even complimented us, on our inspection procedures,” says Pruett.  For the first seven months of the year there were only two cases referred to conflict resolution.  However, in the past month 23 more cases have been sent to conflict resolution, including those from the Celebration.  “There was no indication from the USDA that the procedures we have used all year were not acceptable in their eyes.”
     Pruett says he is pleased with the quality of horses he saw at this year’s Celebration but is not pleased with the number of confilcts between NHSC inspectors and the USDA.  “We worked hard at the first of the year to set a standard that we could all enforce.  After seven months and over 200 horse shows the USDA should not be able to change those standards.”  Pruett feels the NHSC and the USDA should continue their joint training and resolve these differences so trainers and exhibitors will know what to expect from show to show.  “We owe the walking horse people inspections that are both fair and consistent.”

More Stories

  • Obituary – Sam Hartsell

    Sam “Shot” Hartsell, age 74, of Newport, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nan Hartsell and parents, Floyd and Viola McMahan Hartsell... Read More
  • WHOA announces International judging panel

    The Walking Horse Owners' is pleased to announce the three judges selected by current WHOA members. Charlie Brown, Shelli MeHaffey and Lonnie Messick will officiate the 40th Annual International Pleasure & Colt Championship.

    Read More
  • Savannah Lions Club adds classes

    The 52nd Annual Savannah Lions Club Show, scheduled for June 23 at 6:30 pm, has added two classes to their original schedule... Read More
  • Scrivner selected to judge Mid-South

    The Mid-South Walking Horse Association Show, scheduled for July 14, has selected Dickie Scrivner of Murfreesboro, Tennessee to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Pugh Bourne Park in Jackson, Tennessee.  Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Gen’s Armed & Dangerous

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Gen’s Armed and Dangerous. The beautiful stallion was the 1994 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion. Read More
  • Ohio Valley adds class

    Ohio Valley Walking Horse Association show, scheduled for June 23 in Stanford, Kentucky, has added a 4 and Under Trail Pleasure to their show.  Read More
  • Walking For Hope Show updates

    The Walking For Hope show, scheduled for June 16, has selected Chris Zahnd to judge this year’s event. Originally scheduled to start at 4:00, the show will start at 5:00 pm. Read More
  • WHOA Versatility revises class schedule

    The Walking Horse Owners Association has added 5 classes to its June 16 show scheduled at Tennessee Tech, Hyder-Burk Facility in Cookeville, TN. The show starts at 10 am and is a casual dress show (boots, long pants, shirts with a collar) and "Youth 11 and Under" are required to wear a safety helmet. Read More
  • Putnam Co. Fair selects judge

    The Putnam County Fair and Upper Cumberland Walking Horse Association are pleased to announce that Newton Parks of Murfreesboro, Tennessee will judge this year’s event... Read More
  • Wartrace selects judge

    The 112th Anniversary Wartrace Horse Show has selected John Fikes of Hamilton, Alabama to judge this year's event and has released their class schedule... Read More