Skip to content

Rep. DesJarlais Questions USDA's Shea on Walking Horse Inspections



Earlier today, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) questioned Kevin Shea, Administrator with USDA, on the issues regarding the lack of objectivity in the inspection process of Tennessee Walking Horses.  Shea did admit during the questioning that the industry has improved and that the industry in its current form should be allowed to continue.

Shea was not informed of the statistics in inspection prior to the hearing so he was not able to explain fully why his inspectors found nearly 10 times the number of violations for scar rules at The Celebration versus earlier in the year.  Shea mentioned that soring and scarring could occur during the year and “would be more apparent and easier to see at The Celebration.”  Shea also mentioned that since the stakes are higher at the Celebration, it has been the USDA’s experience that owners and trainers are more willing to try and get a horse that has been sored through inspection.

When asked if a biopsy taken of a horse would be an objective measure of whether a horse has a scar or not, Shea agreed that if a biopsy showed no signs of a scar that is something the USDA should look at.  At last year’s Celebration, all of biopsies taken of the horses disqualified by USDA for scarring came back with no signs of any scar tissue.

Shea also admitted, despite claims from his VMOs and personnel at The Celebration to the contrary, that thermography is not a tool that can identify a scar.  Shea stated, “Thermography indicates where a scar may be.”  There has been no study or published peer-reviewed document that would validate Mr. Shea’s claim on thermography.

To view Rep. DesJarlais questioning Kevin Shea click here.
 

More Stories

  • Walking For Cancer coverage

    The Report will be providing live coverage from Walking For Cancer on ReporTV this weekend. Highlights from the show will be posted the following day. There will also be live results. Read More
  • Obituary – Emery "Rocky" Jones

    Emery “Rocky” Jones, age 64 of Columbia, TN passed away on April 19, 2019 at home with his family. Rocky was born in 1954 to the late Henry and Geraldine Woodside Jones. He worked at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, TN for 47 years and knew everything about each breed of horse at the farm.  Read More
  • Members of Congress Should Reject HSUS Award

    The Humane Society of the United States recently released its scorecard for Congress. There’s much irony to be found in the situation considering the organization receives a “D” from CharityWatch and was recently embroiled in a major sexual harassment scandal in which the board of directors tried to cover for the alleged sexual predator CEO. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 22 19

    Read More
  • Year In Walking Horses Dedication: Honey Badger

    Do you know what a honey badger is? If not, don’t worry about it … the honey badger really doesn’t care what you think because they know how awesome they are. A small, fierce mammal also known as a ratel, the honey badger was made famous after a video about it, narrated by Chuck Norris, went viral. Read More
  • Year In Walking Horses Dedication: Howard Hamilton

    Howard Hamilton has spent his entire life devoting himself to his family and the horse and he does it all for one very simple reason — love. He and his family literally love the horse with all of their hearts; Howard certainly plays his part in doing what he can to ensure the horse, the industry and the industry’s youth thrive. Read More
  • The Money Tree Classic selects Beard

    Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary is proud to announce that Rollie Beard will judge the 36th Annual Money Tree Classic on July 5, 2019. The show will be held in Champions Arena.  Read More
  • Bedford Cancer Foundation announces plans for spring show

    The Bedford Cancer Foundation has announced it will again be sponsoring its annual horse show, scheduled to take place Saturday, April 27 at the Champions Arena on the grounds of the Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The show will feature 30 exciting classes including both flat shod and padded performance classes.  Read More
  • Obituary – Keith Champion

    Walking Horse owner and exhibitor, Keith Champion, passed away April 11, 2019. Keith was known for his humble attitude and great personality. Keith owned and exhibited Go Boy on Parade, Collectors Director, and most notably The Real Deal, and Be Cool. Read More
  • Obituary – Frank Eichler

    Frank Martin Eichler "Fritz" 88, of Cincinnati, Ohio, father of popular Walking Horse owner, Frank Eichler, who owns Rising Star Ranch and whose wife Debbie is popular exhibitor, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Read More