The SHOW Board of Directors has approved a final penalty structure for the remainder of the 2009 show season.  The penalty structure was released earlier this year by SHOW and the modifications were approved last week.

The initial modification is that all penalties are minimum penalties and can be strengthened by SHOW if deemed appropriate.  Another modification calls for all suspensions in the future to include a suspension from the show grounds of any SHOW affiliated event.  The previous suspensions did not include the suspension from the show grounds but did prohibit the transport or entry of horses as well as any contact with the preparation of the horse in the warm-up arena or show arena, including coaching of the exhibitor.

SHOW felt it was difficult to enforce the previous suspension stipulations and that the only fair penalty was a suspension from the show grounds.  SHOW has received several complaints and concerns about possible violations and felt it was only fair to all owners and trainers who are compliant with the rules of suspension.

“We thought long and hard about the penalties and what our suspended parties could and could not do.  All other major breeds have this requirement as part of their suspensions.  It is our intention to apply the rules fairly and equally across the industry.  In our penalty structure we have taken into account the subjective penalties and allowed for a certain number of violations not to include a suspension period, rather a monetary fine,” said SHOW CEO Dr. Doyle Meadows.

It should also be noted that all penalties under the SHOW penalty structure reset at the end of the calendar year.  This does not include bilateral sensitivity, horse swapping, pressure shoeing or other egregious acts against the horse. 

Minimum SHOW Penalties and Suspensions



First Offense

Second Offense

Third Offense

Fourth & Subsequent Offense

Pressure Shoeing

$1000 Fine and Lifetime Suspension




Bilateral Sore

$500 Fine and One (1) Year Suspension




Unilateral Sore

No Show and

$50 Fine

No Show and

$50  Fine

No Show and

$50 Fine

Two (2) week Suspension and

$50 Fine

Scar Rule –

Pre Show

No Show and        $50 Fine

No Show and        $50 Fine

No Show and

$50 Fine

Two(2) week Suspension and   $50 Fine

Scar Rule –

Post Show

Disqualification from Class and $50 Fine, Class Retied




Swapping Horses between Inspection and Showing

$1000 Fine and One (1) Year Suspension




Bad Image Horse


$100 Fine and     Two (2) Week Suspension

$100 Fine and     Two (2) Month Suspension

$100 Fine and        Six (6) Month Suspension


Illegal Shoeing

No Show and

$100 Fine





Six (6) Months for each occurrence

Other HPA Violations

Foreign Substance – Pre-Show

No Show and $50 Fine or Corrected and Re-inspected

Foreign Substance – Post Show

Two(2) week Suspension for Each Occurrence

Equipment Violations – Pre-Show


Correctable (Horse can show if it can be corrected to satisfactory conditions under supervision in inspection area.)

Equipment Violations – Post Show

Two(2) week Suspension for Each Occurrence

Unruly/Fractious Horse

No Show – Back to Barn

In addition to the above, if any other substance or device has been used by a person on any limb of a horse or a person has engaged in a practice involving a horse, and, as a result of such application, infliction, injection, use, or practice such horse suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving; or uses any other actions or paraphernalia to distract a horse during examination; or engages in any other act or behavior that assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person while engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties while conducting an inspection or reviewing any activity on the show grounds shall be subject to a suspension and penalty at the discretion of the SHOW Executive Committee up to and including a lifetime suspension.

Suspensions include not going to a show. The suspended trainer, owner or exhibitor is not allowed to be on the grounds of any SHOW affiliated event.  Prohibited actions include but are not limited to entering horses, being in the warm-up ring, coaching customers, or judging horse shows. Any violation will result in a minimum automatic 6 month additional suspension and penalty at the discretion of the SHOW Executive Committee.

This penalty protocol will also require the elimination of “ticket-takers”. All trainers in order to enter horses must show in at least 5 classes during the show season or be recognized/approved by SHOW officials. Spouses of trainers that show amateur are not included in the definition of “trainer eligible to enter horses.” Any trainer deemed a “ticket taker” must verify to SHOW that he/she showed in at least 5 classes to be classified as a non ticket taker. At the end of show season if there were any ticket-takers who received tickets and have not shown 5 times, those tickets will be added to the head trainer of the farm or stables that provides care, custody and control of the horse.

All fines go into the SHOW program to find and eliminate the sore horse.

In addition, the SHOW Executive Committee has announced the formation of a hearing panel replacing the previous hearing process employed by the now dissolved National Horse Show Commission.  The SHOW hearing panel will review and rule on “Notification Violations” appealed by the recipient.  The SHOW hearing process will begin immediately and SHOW will begin to hear violations appeals within 10 days.

In recently reported incidents, trainers Josh Wall and Chris Zahnd have appealed their violations and their cases will be heard by the SHOW hearing panel. Hal Newman has waived his right to a hearing and began his one year suspension on July 1, 2009.