Editor's Note:  The following release was made available on the USDA web site.  SHOW recently released its compliance numbers and showed a 98.4% compliance percentage.  The USDA Veterinary Medical Officers check two entries post-show that SHOW DQPs don't inspect.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to prohibit horses participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions from being subjected to soring. To facilitate enforcement of the HPA, USDA established the Designated Qualified Persons (DQP) program. Through this program, show or sale managers hire accredited veterinarians with equine experience or other knowledgeable horsemen who have been formally trained and licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations or associations to physically inspect every Tennessee walking horse before being shown. USDA also attends some horse shows unannounced to serve as a second line of defense in detecting sored horses. Working together, USDA and DQPs strive to ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows.

USDA was in attendance of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN from Aug 22-31, 2013. USDA and DQPs inspected 1,952 horses and 110 violations were found - an approximate 6% violation rate. At the 2012 Celebration, 1,849 horses were inspected and 166 violations found for a 9% violation rate. At the 2011 Celebration 2,143 horses were inspected and 203 violations were found for a 9.5% violation rate. We will continue to work jointly to end the inhumane practice of soring horses as well as to promote fair competition within the industry