As part of the USDA’s Minimum Penalty Protocol, Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) are required to issue violation notices, allow for appeals and complete the hearing process and issue suspensions within 60 days from the date of the violation.  This requirement places a tremendous burden on those HIOs that affiliate the majority of the affiliated shows.

The SHOW HIO has accepted the USDA Minimum Penalty Protocol and will submit its amended rulebook, which includes the new hearing process to the USDA in the coming days.  As part of the USDA requiring SHOW to accept the protocol the USDA waived having to approve of that new rulebook prior to implementation of the penalties.

Given the aggressive timeline required by the Minimum Penalty Protocol to issue penalties, SHOW will be required at times during the year to have multiple hearings each month.  SHOW will need to pay hearing panel members, a prosecuting attorney, expenses for witnesses, reporting services and other related fees.  Due to the increase in expenses per hearing date as well as an increase in the number of hearing dates required to comply with the new law SHOW will increase its appeal fee to $1000.

Previously this fee was $600 and the $600 fee will apply for any appeal of a violation received at the 2013 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  For all shows held after September 1, 2013 the new $1000 appeal fee will be in place.

In addition to the change in the appeal fee, SHOW has removed fines as part of any violation received under the Minimum Penalty Protocol.  The new protocol does not mandate any fine be charged and SHOW will not institute a fine as part of its penalties.