Dr. Doyle Meadows, Chief Executive Officer of the SHOW HIO, brings a renewed determination to improve the care of Tennessee Walking Horses and further improve compliance with the Horse Protection Act. “We are going to do everything possible to keep the non-compliant or unsound horses out of the show ring and enforce the HPA.” Meadows said.

Dr. Meadows believes that a number of important steps have already been taken since SHOW was activated April 1, 2009:
• Trainers and owners have been removed from inspection and enforcement roles in the industry.
• SHOW intends to implement the AAEP White Paper in its entirety.
• SHOW intends to have an Independent Board in place by June 1, 2009 that will have all the necessary authority to do the job.
• An independent veterinarian will oversee the DQP program as soon as possible and an interim veterinarian will be named to work with SHOW until that person is named.
• A number of Task Forces will be named to assist SHOW in accomplishing its objectives.
• Research will be conducted into the training, breeding and showing of horses.
• A new rule book will be put into place in 2010 incorporating input from the industry, the USDA, AAEP veterinarians and responsible humane groups.
• SHOW will actively participate in the drafting of the new operating plan.

“There is no question there has been tremendous improvements in the care and training of the Tennessee Walking Horses since the passage of the Horse Protection Act but our goal is to take it to an even higher level,” Meadows said.  “We are committed to doing an even better job in the future and we need the support of all interested groups to reach that objective.”

SHOW is waiting a formal opinion on the scar rule from a select group of AAEP veterinarians.  The purpose of this outside opinion is to eliminate the subjective, inconsistent application of the scar rule and more importantly eliminate the unsound horse.

 “The USDA VMO’s and our DQP’s are doing the very best job they can in enforcing the scar rule but there is still too much inconsistency among and between them and the independent veterinarians who also check these horses.  There will never be a perfect system for detecting scar rule violations but the current system has to be improved.” said Meadows.

SHOW officials will continue to meet with all interested parties to further improve their program and welcome input from all groups.