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Trainers' implement new penalty structure

The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association has adopted a new penalty structure for the 2018 show season.  The unanimous decision of the WHTA board of directors will place additional penalties on trainers and training operations that exceed certain levels of noncompliance with the Horse Protection Act. The penalties imposed by the WHTA will apply to all trainers at the training facility and will be in addition to any penalties imposed by the Horse Industry Organization and/or United States Department of Agriculture.

“Our board felt it was important for us to step up and put an increased importance on compliance with the Horse Protection Act. We want the enforcement entities in our industry to know that our association is 100% against soring of any kind and we take the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care seriously,” said President Bill Cantrell.

The WHTA penalty matrix will focus on sensitivity violations and will take into account violations received by a training operation from any USDA certified HIO. After reaching a level of seven violations in a calendar year, the barn in question will begin to have their license suspended for a period of two weeks (on the eighth violation), with escalating timeframes with any additional violations. The suspension will apply to all licensed trainers in that operation and will prevent them from showing at any HIO affiliated event.

“The trainers continue to support the efforts in Washington to achieve a more objective, science-based inspection protocol. We understand that some of the violations are subjective in nature and we took that into account, along with the fact that each trainer remains subject to the penalties of the affiliating HIO on each violation they receive. We accounted for both of these factors in determining how and when the penalty structure would start,” continued Cantrell.

The new penalty matrix will go into effect on March 22, 2018, just prior to the start of the 50th Annual National Trainers’ Show. Click here to view the penalty structure.

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