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review of Animal Care’s website, publications and correspondence to better provide information and eliminate out-of-date content.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

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • Jean Baum: For the joy of the sport

    Of all the wonderful people in the Tennessee Walking Horse business, perhaps no one person has as much boundless enthusiasm, untiring devotion, and dedicated passion for our breed as Jean Baum. She has been involved with Tennessee Walking Horses most of her life, and she has loved and served this breed in every way imaginable.  Read More
  • Medical Professional Salute: Jackie Dean

    The Walking Horse Report would like to thank you for your service to our nation, our communities and our Walking Horse Industry as we all try and deal with this pandemic that our country is facing... Read More
  • Arab Summer Classic selects Smith

    The Arab Summer Classic, scheduled for June 20 in Arab, Alabama, has selected Kenny Smith to mark the cards for this year's event. Read More
  • Rodney Dick undergoes second surgery

    The Walking Horse Report has learned that walking horse trainer, Rodney Dick underwent another surgery to remove the cancer in his bladder on April 7. The surgery once again took place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville... Read More
  • ReporTV broadcast schedule

    The Report will be streaming Friday evening of the 2019 Columbia Spring Jubilee tonight, April 7, beginning at 6:00 pm, on ReporTV. In addition, we will be streaming Saturday evening from Columbia tomorrow evening, April 8, beginning at 6:00 pm. Read More
  • Medical Professional Salute: Ron Lawrence

    The Walking Horse Report would like to thank you for your service to our nation, our communities and our Walking Horse Industry as we all try and deal with this pandemic that our country is facing... Read More
  • NAS hosts additional speakers

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine hosted a fourth meeting to hear from speakers on April 2nd via Zoom. The first speaker NAS and its committee heard from was Dr. Alonso Guedes of the University of Minnesota... Read More
  • Alabama Ladies Auxiliary Horse Show postponed

    The 9th Annual Alabama Walking Horse Ladies Auxiliary Show, scheduled for May 2, will be postponed due to the fact of the Morgan County Celebration Arena not being available and to the current situation with COVID-19... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Collector's Mindy

    Collector’s Mindy passed away April 3, 2020 following severe health complications that could not be resolved. Foaled on June 1st, 1995 this 25-year-old mare was special right from the start, sharing her birthday with her owner/rider Amy Ann McCormick... Read More