Skip to content

USDA Continues To Contradict Earlier Inspections



By Jeffrey Howard

The United States Department of Agriculture arrived again in their motorcade of black SUVs with over 20 personnel to conduct inspections on 147 entries Saturday night and 134 entries on Sunday evening.  The trend of horses who have passed USDA VMO inspections all year failing VMO inspections at The Celebration continued at a record pace.

On Saturday evening, the USDA disqualified 17 horses that passed SHOW Designated Qualified Person (DQP) inspections.  Those 17 horses had previously passed inspection 69 times in 2015 with USDA VMOs in attendance for 34 of those previous inspections.  In 147 entries on Saturday evening, the USDA VMOs took information on 14 horses for potential scar rule violations.

On Sunday evening, VMOs disqualified 19 horses that passed DQP inspections.  Those 19 horses had passed inspection 88 times in 2015 with the USDA present for 27 of those inspections.  Of the 134 entries, USDA VMOs took information on 12 potential scar rule violations.

That brings the total of horses disqualified by VMOs that have passed DQP inspections to 73.  Those 73 horses have passed inspection 327 times in 2015 with the USDA present for 199 of those inspections.

Previously, Walking Horse Report found that in 2015 USDA VMOs had been present for 4,397 inspections prior to The Celebration and took information on a total of 52 horses for potential scar rule violations.  In four evening performances and 536 entries at The Celebration, USDA VMOs have taken information on 51 potential scar rule violations, a rate 10x that of the entire show season prior to The Celebration.

The motivation for the behavior of the VMOs is unknown but the pressure on the USDA by the Humane Society of the United States appears to be a possible link.  The relationship of HSUS and the USDA has grown stronger under the leadership of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, whose wife aided in her election campaign in Iowa of $750,000 spent by HSUS to attack Republican candidate Steve King.  

As is common with HSUS, the 8 television stations that took advertisements from HSUS removed those ads later when it was found that they contained false information.  King went on to beat Vilsack in the election.

A more recent link to HSUS’ influence on Secretary Vilsack is Vilsack’s recent appointment of HSUS Chief Veterinarian Officer Dr. Michael Blackwell to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health.  Dr. Blackwell was present at the teleconference HSUS conducted on the false and misleading undercover investigation of ThorSport farm last week.  All of the horses Blackwell commented on were found to be in perfect health and showed no signs of soring by an independent equine hospital.
 

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 9 23 19

    Read More
  • Yoder still shocked by Celebration of a lifetime

    “Yo … It don’t get much better” were words echoed by many friends and fans familiar with Dee Broom Yoder’s unbelievable Celebration. Really, there’s no other way to describe what she experienced at the 81st annual version of the event that will forever be remembered as the best one yet for Yoder... Read More
  • Baum delivers ride of a lifetime for Zeis

    The Celebration is always filled with storylines and standout moments that are Celebrated not only during the show, but for the days, weeks, months and years that follow. One of those moments happened in 2019 and it involved teamwork like no other that was rewarded with success that will forever remain deeply planted in two of the walking horse industry’s most well-loved ladies... Read More
  • SHOW HIO releases Celebration compliance Info

    The SHOW HIO was the affiliating Horse Industry Organization for the 81st Annual Celebration. The SHOW HIO conducted inspections across all 15 sessions of the show with the Veterinary Medical Officers from the United States Department of Agriculture present on Friday and Saturday of both weekends... Read More
  • A STRONG story roots back to the Smokies

    Sometimes there’s a story behind a name, or a story in general, that’s so special and unique you can’t help but take notice, and when you do take notice, you’re glad you did because it’s the type of story that will have its place in your memory forever... Read More
  • Celebration announces host resort for Tunica Fall Classic

    The Celebration is pleased to announce the host hotel for this years’ Tunica Fall Classic October 31st through November 2nd  will be the Gold Strike Casino and Resort. This MGM property is the premier destination facility in Tunica.  Read More
  • SHOW changes Park Performance shoeing standards

    The SHOW HIO has changed the shoeing regulations in the Park Performance division to a maximum of 1 ¼” instead of the current 1” maximum in the current rulebook. The change will be effective immediately and will be reflected in the new SHOW HIO rulebook when it is released... Read More
  • FAST seeks director of advancement

    Having celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2019, the Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) seeks to move the progress of the foundation forward by adding a full-time Director of Advancement to its organization. Read More
  • Obituary – James Hendrick

    James Donald Hendrick, 79, of Bowling Green went peacefully to meet his Heavenly Father on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at his residence... Read More
  • Reserve Your Table at WHTA Fall Classic

    Decorative round tables with center pieces, that seat 6 are available at the WHTA Fall Classic Show in White Pine, Tennessee this weekend. There are only 8 avaliable, so call now to reserve yours. The cost for both nights is $100. Food will not be provided. Call 931-684-5866 to place your reservation.  Read More