Skip to content

USDA Animal Care Provides Update on Its Horse Protection Program



Managers at horse shows/exhibitions/sales/auctions regulated under the Horse Protection Act continue to help USDA strive toward our shared goals of ending the practice of soring horses and restoring fair competition.

To further this collaborative relationship, Bernadette Juarez has issued a letter to these managers updating them on the refinements APHIS has made to the USDA Horse Protection Program. The letter, summarized below, can be found in its entirety here.

Animal Care’s 5-year strategic plan emphasizes building trusted relationships with the regulated horse industry as a key to promoting animal welfare. To this end, Juarez has met with dozens of organizations, associations, managers, exhibitors, trainers and owners to begin the very real process of earning the trust of these valuable stakeholders. Her letter is a reflection of USDA’s commitment to delivering the change they desire. 

 First, Animal Care shifted the day-to-day oversight of Horse Protection Act inspections from its headquarters office to its field operations team. This will provide more direct oversight and leadership. 

 Second, USDA proposed changing the Horse Protection Act regulations to, among other things, strengthen the system for detecting soreness in horses, and refine the list of devices, equipment, substances, and practices that are prohibited to prevent the soring of horses.

 Third, we have diligently reminded horse show managers that the Horse Protection Act directs them – not USDA – to disqualify or prohibit sored horses from participating in their events. 

 Finally, Juarez has initiated a comprehensive review of Animal Care’s website, publications and correspondence to better provide information and eliminate out-of-date content. 

 “It is my strongest belief that our refinements will enable us to accomplish what we have been trying to do ever since the Horse Protection Act was created in 1970,” Juarez said. “With the continued assistance from the horse industry and the support of all our stakeholders, we are one step closer to ending the soring of horses and restoring fair competition at events covered by the Horse Protection Act.”

More Stories

  • Obituary - Buddy Dick

    Mr. Buddy Gene Dick, age 77, of passed away Saturday, September 23, 2017, under the care and comfort of his family. Memorial service will be 1:00 pm Saturday, September 30, 2017, at Feldhaus Memorial Chapel. Brother Steve Murphree will officiate. The family will receive visitors Saturday 11:00 am until service time. Read More
  • Celebration selects Tunica judging panel

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has selected Sam Sorrell, Robbie Spiller and Leigh Stuart to judge the Tunica Fall Classic. The show will be held Nov. 4-6, 2017 at Paul Battle, Jr. Arena in Tunica, Mississippi... Read More
  • It’s all about the future

    A staple part of the Celebration for many years, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association All Youth Day again this year drew great participation and positive attention to the breed Saturday, Aug. 26.  Read More
  • Disposition and versatility on display

    Four winners from the second annual Take A Ride on multi-World Champion Line Item Veto Facebook contest traveled to Midland Equestrian Center for an enjoyable visit and rides on Veto... Read More
  • Thomas earns Pleasure Horse Trainer of the Year award

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Board of Directors decided to add a well-overdue and deserved category to their list of awards last year. The Pleasure Horse Trainer of the Year is voted on by their peers and must demonstrate positive attitude, dedication, motivation, is a team player, and an ambassador to their breed. Read More
  • Deadline for Fall Stallion Issue

    The annual Walking Horse Report World Champion Sire Summary and Fall Stallion issue will be the October 2, 2017 issue. The advertising deadline for the issue will be Wednesday, September 27, 2017 and the issue will mail on Friday, September 29, 2017. Read More
  • Obituary - Howard Creed

    Howard C. Creed, 83, of Springfield, Missouri, passed away September 19, 2017. He was born July 29, 1934, in Springfield, Missouri, and graduated Sr. High School in 1952. He served in the Army where he learned his lifetime trade of horse shoeing, which he did for 57 years... Read More
  • Maverick fights his way to the top

    He’s had a solid, steadily upward moving career that’s landed him so close more than once. Finally, the nine-year-old stallion — with the help of his tenacious owners, a dedicated trainer, and a supporting staff of many — earned the roses. Read More
  • Obituary - James Robert "Bob" Nelms

    Mr. James Robert “Bob” Nelms, age 67, of College Grove, Tennessee, died Monday, September 18, 2017 at his home in College Grove.  Read More
  • Honors loves all

    A huge crowd met Honors and Larry Edwards at the Celebration Saturday evening, Sept. 2, 2017, at the meet and greet for 2016 WGC Honors in front of the Blue Ribbon Club on the final night of the Celebration. Read More