Skip to content

USDA Veterinarians demand extra security



Horse veterinarians and federal inspectors are not horsing around when it comes to security at horse shows. They are seeking protection from the private security industry.

You probably woudn’t think so, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s vets who visit horse races and shows to make sure animals are receiving the proper care are sometimes the target of threats.

“There is a lot of money involved with horses, and as a result of that, in prior years there have been situations where inspectors have been threatened physically and even received death threats,” said Grant Stewart, spokesman for USProtect, Silver Spring, Md., which was hired to provide security details for vets. “It has brought up the need for executive protection,” Grant said. He was quoted in the May 31 issue of the Corporate Security newsletter published by Strafford Publications Inc.

USProtect now has a contract to protect inspectors form the USDA’a animal and plant inspection services program at 30 horse races and shows across the country.

“Our guards are required to stay with them at all times,” Stewart said.

USDA vets conduct compliance inspections to ensure the animals are being cared for properly and aren’t being drugged or otherwise abused before big races and shows. The medical personnel “are there for the animal’s protection and on the animal’s behalf,” Stewart said.

“Horses in general are big-ticket items, so obviously (owners) like to see their investment moving forward.”

Some horse owners may view these vets as a threat because they could bring mistreatment allegations and disqualify a horse from major competition.

USProtect’s non-uniformed, armed guards accompany the vets and make sure they encounter no harassment or interference.

“They set up protection, secure areas for them, and then they act as executive protection on location,” Stewart said. “And they travel to each and every location with the USDA team.

USProtect will accompany USDA vets on inspections in 23 states in 2004.

More Stories

  • Walking For Angels adds class

    The Walking For Angels show, scheduled November 11, 2017, has added a class to their original schedule. Class 24A will be Amateur Canter.  Read More
  • The National results available online

    Complete results from The National are available for viewing online; however, they will not be printed in the October 23, 2017 edition of The Walking Horse Report. Read More
  • Regional Leaders Visit Horse Country

    Members of the Gattis Regional Leadership group, which represents 13 counties in South Central Tennessee, toured Bedford County Oct. 12 and 13. Gattis aims toward helping leaders of these counties learn from and work with each other, as well as further develop their skills as leaders... Read More
  • Obituary - Eula Mae Maack

    Long time walking horse enthusiast, Eula Mae Maack, age 77, passed away at her home in Goodson on October 16, 2017... Read More
  • Equine Obituary - Silverado Spirit

    World Grand Champion, Silverado Spirit was laid to rest earlier this week. The great show mare was most recently shown by Harper Grider of Columbia, Kentucky. She and Harper won the Youth 11 & Under Mare class in 2015 and were reserve world champions in 2016 in that division.  Read More
  • Obituary - Judith Anne "Judy" Rockhold

    Mrs. Judith Anne' "Judy" Rockhold, age 83, of Naples, Florida, (formerly, Shelbyville, Tennessee) passed from this life on Friday, September 22, 2017. Judy was avid Horsewoman and active in the Walking Horse Industry several years ago... Read More
  • Walking For Angels releases class schedule

    The Walking For Angels Show, scheduled for November 11, 2017, has released their class schedule. The show will be held in Calsonic arena with Johnny Puckett serving as the judge for this year's event.  Read More
  • Obituary - Sonny Holt

    Albert Price “Sonny” Holt, Jr., age 72, of Shelbyville, died Saturday, October 14, 2017, in a motor vehicle accident, following a horse show in Cullman, Alabama... Read More
  • Madison County selects Becknell

    The Madison County Horse Show, scheduled for October 28th in Richmond, Kentucky, has selected Keith Becknell to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at the Madison County Fairgrounds, beginning at 5 pm. Read More
  • Latest Issue Oct 16 17

    Read More