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Sound Horse Excused at FOSH Championships



The following letter was received by the Walking Horse Report from Richards Stables, Oak Grove, Mo.

Dear Editor,

"I'm a Rich Jazz Man," is a TWH Stallion owned by Jim and Shelley Richards of Oak Grove, Mo. The weekend of October 14, 2011, we allowed Anita Howe (Natural Trainer, clinician and author) of They Walk Farm to take him to Lake St. Louis for the FOSH national championships. She had been working with him to maximize headshake and backend and has been a sound horse supporter for many years. We figured this would be great breeding publicity and would be fun for Anita. BOY were we wrong!!  FOSH judges refused to tie him in a park pleasure 2-gait class after consulting together. Mind you, this horse is on a flat keg shoe with a four-inch toe in front and barefoot behind. They said he is considered "Too Extreme" in conformation to be a FOSH winner. Conformation? I didn’t know that we had put him in a model or halter class and am surprised to see FOSH wants to step across this line: always before, if your horse was sound and natural there was a place for him at a FOSH show. Now they want to claim that conformational variances "that do NOT result in lameness or unsoundness" be grounds for disqualification of a horse "in a rail class". Remember this is not a halter or breeding class, but a rail class based on movement. Here is a link to the YouTube video:

http://youtu.be/XdZI4UAA2Y4

FOSH Rules state: The Park Horse displays energetic, animated full body motion, which may include high front-end elevation (breaking near to level or above), deep head nod and a driving back end.
• Authentic walking horse gaits are paramount. Park horses
are consistent in all gaits, displaying correct timing, head nod,
reach, stride, and overstride.
• Horses with long strides behind will not be tied over horses.

I saw no driving back ends on the other two, but I hate to be an arm-chair quarterback. Don't know that I'd say politics. But I would say we were robbed and shame on those judges. He is one heckuva horse!

If that group of people is so for the sound horse, and against soring, then why wouldn’t they pick the horse that is very much natural, never sored and that most trainers would want in their barn? It was a mistake allowing him to be so scrutinized in front of unworthy FOSH judges, but I think they will lose some supporters over this.

Oh and by the way, the horse that won best of show was a half Tennessee Walking Horse and half Missouri Fox Trotter......WHAT A JOKE! They obviously don’t know what a real walking horse is.

Sincerely,
Jim and Shelley Richards
Richards Stables
Oak Grove, MO
Home of: I’m A Rich Jazz Man
 

 

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