Shelbyville, TN – On the heels of a government inspector unjustly disqualifying ten sound and Horse Protection Act (HPA) compliant horses yesterday an email was made public that reveals the USDA inspector’s motive for trying to ruin the 74th Annual Celebration by improperly administering the HPA. In the email obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Dr. Rachel Cezar, USDA APHIS National Horse Protection Program Coordinator, is reprimanding USDA Inspector Earnest Johnson. Cezar instructs Johnson to stop saying that he "hates horses" and is only doing this for the money while he is at horse shows in an official capacity. 

Click Here to view email.

The inspector in question, Earnest Johnson, unfairly disqualified 10 horses yesterday all of who were deemed to be sound and in compliance with the HPA by independent veterinarians.

On Sunday during a FOX 17 Television interview, Keith Dane, the Humane Society Director of Equine Protection defended the USDA for unjustly disqualifying a horse that was inspected by independent vets and found to be sound and HPA compliant. He said that the idea that the USDA inspectors would have a nefarious agenda was "absurd". Well now we know that he does have his own agenda and it is fueled by his hatred of horses and love of the overtime salary he is paid for inspecting horse shows.

As reported by the Tennessean, TWSHO has been communicating with Members of Congress. Members of Congress have in turn expressed concern to the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack prior to the Celebration that inspectors may be out to ruin the show and disqualify horses who are sound. Congressmen Hal Rogers (KY) and Scott DesJarlais (TN-4) have written letters to the Secretary.

The reformers within the Tennessee Walking Horse community are holding a press conference today to educate reporters on how USDA inspectors are using the most subjective portions of the inspection process to unjustly disqualify sound horses. WHTA, SHOW HIO, TWSHO and The Celebration have instituted the strictest standards and penalties in the Industry. All horses participating in the Celebration are swabbed for chemicals used to sore horses.