USDA Says Bad Actors Can Continue Showing Horses

The Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO) and its leaders are deeply troubled by the clarification issued by APHIS Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, Chester A. Gipson, on the USDA’s final rule (9 C.F.R 11.25 (b)(3). The rule would require Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) to be responsible for managing the legal process surrounding penalties.

The USDA’s clarification states that those who harm horses in one HIO, can still go to another organization and show. There are 13 HIOs in the walking show horse industry. The clarification also contradicts the USDA’s own rule.

“The USDA’s action just sent a message to those who harm horses that if they get caught, they can go somewhere else and keep showing. Not only does the USDA’s action today stall reform efforts to rid the industry of bad actors, more importantly, it puts the wellbeing of horses at risk.”

TWSHO was created by a group of concerned individuals committed to instituting reforms that will protect the wellbeing of walking horses, while maintaining the integrity of the sport. While strong advocates for the sport, the leaders of TWSHO are first and foremost horse lovers and will not tolerate in any way any practice that harms these beautiful and majestic animals. TWSHO is committed to working to reform the industry until every horse, in every class, in every show is sound and healthy.