Skip to content

A Simple Thank You…

Copyright WHR 2006

By David L. Howard

This has been the most tumultuous and challenging time this industry has ever faced, at least in my lifetime. And we have some people who are willing to step forward and help…if only we will let them know that we need and appreciate their help.

Tennessee Senator Bill Frist, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, has been joined by Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and long-time supporter Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in attempting to get the United States Department of Agriculture to come up with a medically correct definition of a sore horse and relieve the wide open interpretation of the scar rule. It is important that exhibitors be judged according to the same standard in every state and at every show and that is not currently the case.

The proposal presented to the USDA has been termed an “industry proposal” by some but it was actually drafted by three of the top equine veterinarians in the country at the request of the National Horse Protection Society. None of these three experts have any connection to the walking horse industry. If the industry is willing to live with their judgment and opinion, so should the USDA.

There is no effort underway to weaken the Horse Protection Act - the industry simply wants a medically correct definition and uniform and correct inspections. Anyone who tells you that the scar rule was interpreted in August the same as in April did not go to the same horse shows I went to.

And importantly, this proposal will eliminate the subjectivity of the scar rule and thereby remove the major source of conflict between the industry and the USDA.

In my opinion, the interpretation of the scar rule this year has been a moving target with horses ticketed under the scar rule one night and approved to show the next. And how can a horse pass inspection prior to a class and be ticketed with a scar rule violation 15 minutes later when he comes out of the class.

I have had many calls asking “What can I do?” Well, you can start by thanking the three Senators named above because they are certainly hearing from the animal rights activists. You and I both appreciate their courage on this controversial issue but they need to hear a simple “Thank You' from all of us.

Also, you can contact your elected representatives in Washington and tell them what is going on. I would urge you to suggest they channel their efforts through the offices of Senator Frist so that every one is on the same page and working together for the betterment of this wonderful horse.

“The blow that doesn't kill me only makes me stronger”.

This industry has suffered a tremendous blow and it is up to each and every one of us to do our part to make sure we emerge even stronger. Please do your part.

More Stories

  • A Mighty Strong Finish

    Going into the coveted World Grand Championship class Saturday night, Sept. 1, the field was somewhat wide-open for contenders riding for the biggest prize of the show. The preliminaries had given several horses a chance to shine, a few surprises emerged, and the judges were spread out with their opinions throughout the week, as was the crowd, demonstrating stiff competition. Read More
  • Oxford, NC show rescheduled

    North Carolina's PPWHANC Show scheduled for Oxford,N.C. on September 15th has been rescheduled; the new show date is September 29th with the same class schedule as previously presented.  Read More
  • #900 never to return to Celebration competition

    At the 79th anniversary of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Bill Callaway and Gen’s Black Maverick rode into the ring on the last Saturday night to a roar of applause and cheering, and they exited the ring in the same fashion as they claimed the title of 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion... Read More
  • Obituary – Pat Kirk

    Pat Kirk, 89, of Purdy, Missouri entered into eternal rest on Tuesday September 11, 2018 while at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.  Read More
  • Obituary - Burt Dale

    The Report has recently learned of the sudden passing of Burl Dale on September 18, 2018. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 PM at Camp Yonahnoka in Linville, North Carolina. Read More
  • Allen honored with Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award

    The Celebration and the Adamson family are proud to announce the 2018 winner of the Evan Lloyd Adamson award, Connie Allen, director of office operations for The Celebration. Read More
  • Stalls available for hurricane Florence evacuees

    The Celebration will make grounds and stalls available at NO CHARGE for horses evacuating the Carolina’s due to Hurricane Florence. To make arrangements to stall your horses please call 931-684-5915. Read More
  • Nelms becomes first to win all three model titles

    It didn’t take long for Robert Nelms to get noticed at this year’s Celebration. Right out of the gate he was busy leading his winning model entries into the Calsonic for both the morning classes of the show as well as the National Futurity, which serves as the first set of evening classes during Celebration week. Read More
  • Obituary – Noble Stout

    Noble Hooper Stout, Jr., 69, passed away Friday, September 7, 2018 at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Noble was born in Jackson County on July 12, 1949 to the late Noble Hooper Stout and Mable Carter Stout... Read More
  • Celebration releases information on Tunica

    The Celebration has announced information about the fall edition of the popular Tunica show, to be held Nov. 1-3 at the Paul Battle Sr. Exposition Center, in particular, information about the horse show hotel and exhibitors’ party... Read More