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SHSF Files to Intervene In AHPA Suit



Posted February 15, 2001
The Show Horse Support Fund filed a “Motion For Leave To Intervene” in the lawsuit brought by the American Horse Protection Association against the USDA.

AHPA filed the suit to prevent the USDA from implementing the 2001-2003 operating plan. The basis of the suit is AHPA’s belief that the USDA cannot delegate enforcement authority to horse industry organizations or any outside party.

The Show Horse Support Fund filed their motion to intervene on Feb. 5, 2001. To be allowed to intervene, the fund must show “(i) an interest in the transaction, (ii) which the applicant may be impeded in protecting because of the action, (iii) that is not adequately represented by others.”

The fund argues that it should be allowed to stand with the USDA in the suit because those represented by the fund would be economically affected if the court finds for the AHPA. The brief states, “Plaintiff [AHPA] seeks to change the Department’s enforcement approach and to compel the Department to adopt more confrontational enforcement policies that would disrupt the show horse industry and increase the economic burdens upon participants represented by the Fund without improving detection and disqualification of sore horses.”

To demonstrate that its interests are not adequately represented by others in the case, the brief points out that the USDA would not suffer the economic consequences that horse show participants would suffer if the AHPA won the suit. It also states, “...with respect to conflicts between DQPs and Department personnel the views and interests represented by the Fund are not aligned with those of the Department.”

The Show Horse Support Fund is an organization established in 1993 to protect and preserve the showing of the Tennessee Walking Horse. The organization was formed as the successor to the Friends of the Show Horse, which successfully intervened in the 1988 litigation brought by the AHPA. The fund 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 Exhibitors’ Association, and the Show Horse Support Fund was established.

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