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Trainers Show Delayed

Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

            About an hour before show time tonight, the announcement came over the PA system for all Walking Horse Trainers Association Board of Directors to come to the entry office.
            At that time there were approximately 10 USDA personnel at the horse show to inspect horses including Dr. Chester Gipson who had been at the show the previous night in an observatory role.
            The Report learned that USDA personnel made the claim that they intended to write federal cases on any horses turned down by the NHSC DQPs and any other horses that they deemed out of compliance in their own inspections.
            After the Board convened, Bill Hawks exited the meeting and returned with Dr. Chester Gipson. After approximately a half hour of meeting with the Board, Dr. Gipson exited the meeting and the Board continued their discussions.
            When the Board exited the meeting, Acting DQP Director David Finger addressed the large group of trainers, owners, and others that had gathered in the warm up area.
            “Their (USDA’s) scar rule interpretation has not changed,” said Finger. When asked whether he was referring to the recent clinic where the USDA had turned down a large number of horses on scar rule violations, Finger indicated that this was the interpretation he expected.
            “We need to show. We need to be as close to 100% compliance as we can be. Sensitivity was not an issue we discussed. The scar rule is our problem. You need to bring the best you got,” said Finger.
            “They gave a lot and we need to show them something,” said Finger referring to the USDA. “When we went in they were going to write every horse they thought was out a federal case. We came a long way in an hour,” continued Finger.
            “Bring them if you see fit,” he said encouraging trainers to show their horses; “but bring good ones,” he warned.     
            "We are working together with the USDA," said Bill Hawks. "There appears to be a cooperative effort between the WHTA and the USDA to resolve these issues."

            The show is scheduled to begin one hour late at 7:30. The Walking Horse Report will continue to update this story as it develops.

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