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Show Horse Fund To Join Law Suit

Posted January 29, 2001
The Show Horse Support Fund is an organization established in 1993 to protect and preserve the showing of the Tennessee Walking Horse. This organization was formed as the successor to the Friends of the Show Horse, which successfully intervened in the 1988 litigation and ultimately prevailed in that litigation. The Friends were then joined by the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the Walking Horse Trainers Association, and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitor's Association, and the Show Horse Support Fund was established.

A special meeting of the Show Horse Support Fund was held on the 24th day of January, 2001, for the purpose of discussing the litigation that has been filed by the American Horse Protection Association against the Department of Agriculture. The Plaintiff, the American Horse Protection Association, is the same Plaintiff which brought the litigation against the secretary of Agriculture in the 1980's.

In their Complaint, the American Horse Protection Association alleges that the Operating Plan as proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture is an unlawful delegation of enforcement authority and constitutes arbitrary and capricious agency action.

The Operating Plans that have been heretofore entered into, as well as the current proposed plan, were the result of a long, arduous series of meetings, public comments and investigation by the Department of Agriculture.

The Show Horse Support Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously that it was in the best interest of the show horse industry to hire counsel to intervene on behalf of the Show Horse Support Fund to assert the position that the Secretary of Agriculture has the legal authority to enter into such operating plans. The Show Horse Support Fund retained G. Thomas Blankenship, of Indianapolis, Indiana and Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, of Austin, Texas, the same attorneys which were involved in the 1988 litigation, to represent them in this effort.

The Show Horse Support Fund also invited representatives of the National Horse Show Commission, the Kentucky HIO, Heart of America, Western International and Spotted Saddle Horse Association to meet and discuss the issues presented by this lawsuit, and asked for their support and cooperation in the effort to protect each individual HIO's right to negotiate and enter into operating plans.

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