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TWSHO Statement on Sentencing of Jackie McConnell



Industry Committed to Reform and Ridding Sport of Abusive Trainers

SHELBYVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization today reaffirmed their commitment to reform and the elimination of soring trainers in the walking horse industry in response to the sentencing of Jackie McConnell.  

“Those who abuse horses should be held accountable and we hope that today’s sentencing sends a message to those who hurt horses that this type of activity will not be tolerated,” said TWSHO spokesman Jane Lynch Crain.  “The vast majority of people in the walking horse industry are involved in the sport because they love the walking horse and it is unfortunate that a few soring trainers have tarnished the reputation of the industry and the deeds of those involved.  To rid the Industry of soring trainers TWSHO has been working to implement unprecedented horse safety reforms that include stricter inspections and harsher penalties. Industry reform efforts have resulted in a higher rate of compliance with the Horse Protection Act. Our goal is to ensure that all horses are healthy and sound and we are eager to work in partnership with all parties interested in putting horse safety first.”

The reforms being implemented by the Industry are having a real impact on ridding the sport of soring trainers and protecting the wellbeing of horses. This year’s Celebration had the most stringent inspection process in the history of the sport. For the first time ever swabbing results were expedited and made public during the event and violations were punished severely by suspending trainers’ licenses, disqualifying horses, removing ribbons, trophies and prize monies.

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