The first major show of the year always comes with some uncertainty regarding inspections. This year was heightened with changes announced to the inspection protocol by the USDA in the February training.

Many different stories and figures have been thrown around regarding how inspections actually went. Numbers of entries were not where the Walking Horse Trainers’ Show would have liked but realities around what happened in inspection have been grossly exaggerated.

Below find a chart comparing the 2022 National Trainers’ Show with the 2021 horse show held last March.

*Of the 29 violations written by SHOW, eight of those were post show referrals from the USDA.
**Of the 44 violations written by SHOW in 2021, 19 of those were either horses returned pre-show or referred post-show to the DQP

The USDA will refer post-show horses since the VMO has inspected the horse first, but will not return a horse to the DQP when the DQP is the first to inspect the entry. That policy change is the reason for only 2 horses last year had information taken on them versus the 12 this year. In 2021, USDA’s policy was not to return bilateral sore horses but to return everything else.

In total, the USDA found 20 horses either pre-show or post-show, again eight of which were written by SHOW. That number was 21 found by USDA last year, with 19 of them being written by SHOW.