Editors note: This is a letter sent in by Bob Ramsbottom responding to the article published in the Knoxville's Weekly Voice Metro Pulse.

Letter to the Editor
RE: Sore Winners
I am very disgusted by the overall picture you have falsely presented in your cover story, Sore Winners! I was at the 2006 Celebration, as we showed two horses, in four different classes. Both horses placed in the top five, I did not have any trouble with the USDA. My trainer showed horses in forty two classes, again without any violations. The problems at this years Celebration were caused by the USDA wrongly interpreting and turning down horses because
of a NEW definition of a rule. (Scar Rule). The scar rule has been part and parcel to the Horse Protection Act since its inception forty years ago. I do not know your sources for the numbers of violations you quoted, but here is  the truth, according to the National Horse Show Commission, as published in the Walking Horse Report.
 Overall the horses had a compliance rate of 92.3% at the 2006 Celebration. Of the 3241 horses inspected, there were:
                                            10 violations for bilateral sore horses
                                            18 violations for foreign substances
                                            10 violations for unruly, unacceptable horses
                                            10 shoeing violations
                                            139 scar rule violations ( up 62% from 2005)
It does not take a rocket scientist to see where the problem exists! The largest area of debate between the walking horse owners and trainers and the USDA remains the interpretation of the Scar Rule. This in fact, is what caused all the problems at the 2005 Celebration. NOT all the negative, sensational, and false reporting that was contained in your article, Sore Winners. And by the way, the story about children being involved somehow in the soring of horses is the best example of sensational, off the wall, negative, journalism, I have ever read! My take on this would have been to write about the  700 children who showed their horses at the 2006 Celebration,(ages 6 to 17) and how wonderful it was to see them ride to be awarded  their ribbons. Ask the kids who won, how they felt about their Tennessee Walking Horse! I know, my daughter has been there!
Print the truth, print the positive, shame on you for doing the opposite!!
Bob Ramsbottom