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Show Goes On



Copyright 2006

By Christy Howard Parsons

Negotiations between USDA officials and WHTA officials have yielded a temporary reprieve in recent tensions over interpretations of the Horse Protection Act. Tonight's Celebration will go on as scheduled at 7:00 p.m.

USDA VMOs have agreed to not attend the Saturday night session in an effort to allow NHSC DQPs to implement their inspection program and to correct perceived inconsistencies within the inspection process.

USDA VMOs typically observe DQP inspections and only intervene when they see cause for further investigation. At Friday night's Celebration, VMOs were checking every horse that was presented for inspection, which is outside their normal procedure. The USDA agreed to allow the DQPs to inspect on their own on Saturday night and USDA officials met with Lonnie Messick and NHSC officials this afternoon to come to a common understanding of the problems in inspections that led to the conflict.

Professional trainers convened at their new WHTA building in Shelbyville at 1:00 p.m. where they were each verified to be current WHTA members in order to meet to discuss the negotiations with the USDA.

Although the matter did not come to a vote, it was decided that the trainers would show at tonight's Celebration.

“The Walking Horse Trainers Association and their Board agreed to show at tonight's Celebration,” explained WHTA President David Landrum. “We hope that the ongoing negotiations with the USDA will be fruitful and that we will continue the positive dialog to resolve this misunderstanding.”

The remaining classes which were postponed from Friday evening and Saturday morning's performances have not yet been rescheduled.

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