In a teleconference call on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, the HIO working group rejected a proposal submitted by SHOW that would alter the scar rule violation penalty structure for the current Operating Plan.  Under SHOW’s proposed scar rule structure violators, would be subject to a “NO SHOW” penalty for that show and a monetary fine.  Specifically, the proposal called for a No Show penalty for the first three violations (trainers and owners) with an escalating fine structure of $100, $200, $300 for the first, second  and third violations respectively.  The fourth accumulated violation for the trainer and/or owner would result in a one month suspension.

Twelve HIO’s voted on the proposal and the results are as follows:  Friends of the Sound Horse (Lori Northrup)-No; International Walking Horse Association (Mark Matson)-No; Missouri Fox Trotters (George Castle)-No; Horse Protection Commission (Donna Benefield)-No; National Walking Horse Association-(Martha Day)-No; Oklahoma Horse Association (Ann KuyKendall)-No; and United Mountain Horse (Keith Dane)-No.  Those in support of the proposal were SHOW (Charles McDonald); Heart of America Walking Horse Association (represented by Andy Messick); Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (Mack Motes), Kentucky Walking Horse Association (John Jackson), and Western International Horse Association (Terry Jerke).

Additional requests have been made to USDA officials and SHOW awaits their response.  Information will be provided to the industry as quickly as it becomes available.