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ThorSport Farm rejects misleading, false allegations by HSUS



MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Allegations made today against ThorSport Farm by the Humane Society of the United States contain broadly misleading and false information.

“ThorSport Farm has a well-earned reputation for operating ethically and legally, and we emphatically reject the HSUS’s charges of soring,” says owner Duke Thorson. “This farm operates within the rules. Our intolerance for unethical and illegal training is widely known to the point that people who want such an advantage no longer approach us. ThorSport Farm continues to work vigorously to end abuse and clean up the industry.”

HSUS’s report misleads the public by including video footage from an abuse that occurred on another farm in 2011, and not at ThorSport, and misrepresents horse activity that did occur at ThorSport. In the video, a horse that is lying down and assisted to stand is in what’s known as a “cast” condition – the horse rolled over in its sleep against a wall and required leverage assistance in order to stand. Cast is not a common occurrence, but on a farm the size of ThorSport, which houses about 60 horses at a time, is a condition that occasionally occurs. Another of our horses is asleep and makes normal sounds that you would hear from a sleeping horse. Equestrians will be familiar with both of these normal experiences. 

HSUS photos from our farm of ordinary and usual leg-care procedures are presented as though they reflect illegal activity. Specifically, photos show trainers wrapping horses’ legs, tightening shoe pads and wiping clean the legs of horses – all of which is every day, ethically recognized activity for performance horses. 

HSUS states that several ThorSport trainers have been cited for fielding sored horses, but in fact none of the trainers has ever had enforcement action against them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating the Horse Protection Act. Inspectors sometimes disqualify horses and cite trainers for issues not related to soring, a fact that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals referenced in a February 19, 2015 ruling, which stated, in part, “inspections are far more art than science. In many cases, inspectors, veterinarians and other professionals will disagree as to whether a horse is actually sore.”

“ThorSport stands by the quality and ethics of our operating standards,” said Thorson.
 

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