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The Shows Will Go On

On July 26, 2016, the USDA issued a proposed rule that would have devastating impacts on horse shows across the country. Since that time, the industry has received a 30-day extension to the comment period and has been working diligently on an industry response with the firm Kelley Drye & Warren. That response is close to finalized as the deadline for comments ends on October 26, 2016.

So what happens on October 26
th? Actually, not much will happen that day as the USDA will be required to consider all the comments received prior to issuing any final rule, if they even choose to do so. The Walking Horse industry isn’t the only industry opposing all or parts of the rule issued by the USDA. Multiple breeds, the American Horse Council, the American Farriers’ Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation and many others have opposed or asked the USDA to consider changes to the proposed rule. The leadership council and attorneys anticipate that it will take the USDA some substantial time to review and consider all of information it has received.

The final shows on the calendar fall in the month of November which means none of those dates will be affected by any final decision that the USDA might take. The goal and expectation is that there will be no interruption in 2017 either, however until the USDA decides on whether to promulgate a final rule and if they do what is contained in that rule, the industry won’t know which next steps it will take.

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