Shelbyville, TN - The SHOW Horse Industry Organization (HIO) today announced they would adopt the minimum penalty protocol proposed in a rule last year by the USDA.  These penalties will be effective immediately and will be in force at this year’s Celebration starting Wednesday, August 21, 2013 and at all subsequent SHOW affiliated horse shows.

“SHOW agrees with penalties and since its inception in 2009 has had the harshest penalties in the industry.  We did however disagree with the rule because we believed it would have a negative impact on the reform movement now taking hold in the industry,” said a SHOW HIO spokesperson.

SHOW filed the lawsuit on June 26, 2012, along with two other parties.  After a year of court hearings and meetings, the judge ruled in favor of the USDA and the validity of its requirements of HIOs to adopt the minimum penalty protocol as part of their certification with the department.  SHOW had a very short amount of time to make a decision before The Celebration but has decided to begin implementing the minimum penalty protocol at the event.

After the judge’s July ruling, SHOW officials consulted with their legal counsel, advisors and the USDA prior to making their decision. “We were put in a real time crunch with the judge’s ruling taking a year and coming out less than a month before the Celebration.  In order to protect Celebration exhibitors, it was previously announced that anyone who had entered horses by the deadline of August 6 and who disagreed with the subsequent decision on the penalties could withdraw their entries and have their monies refunded prior to the show,” said Mike Inman, Celebration CEO.  “We would have liked to have had more time to alert our exhibitors but unfortunately were not able to do that.”

In addition, SHOW also informed USDA officials that they would not be appealing the judge’s decision.  SHOW representatives met with Dr. Chester Gipson, Dr. Rachel Cezar and Dr. Andrea Morgan on Friday August 16 for over two hours.  The discussion included a recap of this year and both organizations praised the cooperation between the USDA VMO’s and the SHOW DQP’s.  Logistics, procedures and planning were also discussed with no significant changes being anticipated.