The Performance Show Horse Association (PSHA) is aware of the indictment of Larry Wheelon.  We have not reviewed the charges against Mr. Wheelon and at this time feel it is only fair that we allow the judicial process to play out completely before commenting further.

At the same time, it’s important to note that PSHA was created to consolidate industry enforcement of the Horse Protection Act in a fair and consistent manner to protect the wellbeing of performance horses, while maintaining the integrity of the sport.  The charges against Mr. Wheelon are not violations of the HPA but rather state charges regarding animal cruelty.  It’s important for the public to understand this because of H.R. 1518. The headlines in this case have nothing to do with H.R. 1518, yet we fully expect supporters to cite this example.

PSHA supports the laws of the State of Tennessee and condemns any such action that violates those laws regarding animal cruelty.  The overwhelming majority of Tennessee Walking Horses are treated with the highest level of attention and care from owners, trainers, riders and those who love this breed—a breed along with a handful of others being targeted virtual competitive extinction by supporters of H.R 1518. The two issues are distinctly different and should be treated as such by the media, the public and our elected officials in Washington D.C.