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Veterinary Advisory Committee Makes Recommendation to TWHNC



Shelbyville, Tennessee (July 24, 2014) – Dr. Jerry H. Johnson, chairman of the Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC), announced today major rule enhancements for participants in the world’s foremost Tennessee Walking Horse competition. These rules will be implemented for the TWHNC held August 20 through August 30, 2014  in Shelbyville.

“These new rules are for the benefit of the breed and for those who love Tennessee Walking Horses,” said Dr. Johnson. “With these rule changes we are also sending notice to those who mistreat these beautiful animals that they have no place in the horse industry and will be exposed. Working together, we can ensure that the Tennessee Walking Horse breed gets the respect its power and grace deserve.”

“The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is taking an unprecedented action, said Mike Inman, CEO of the TWHNC. No other breed is incorporating protocols that go beyond the scope of the HIO and USDA inspection entities.  These protocols will be implemented as yet another positive, objective way to ensure the welfare of those equine athletes competing at the national championships.”

Among the new rules going to effect are:

• Horses must be stabled on the grounds of the TWHNC for 48 hours before championships,

• Registration papers, as well as a current (within 30 days) health certificate and negative Coggins test for each horse to gain admittance into the show grounds, and

• Digital x-rays and blood draws on-site conducted and supervised by VAC appointed licensed equine veterinarian specialists.

Dr. John L. O’Brien, DVM, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been appointed Show Veterinarian by the VAC.

In addition to these rules enhancements, the TWHNC will launch a website to better serve the public and breeders, providing detailed information on this historic initiative. The website is www.celebrationvac.com  and contains VAC recommendations, FAQ’s, a section to submit a question to the VAC and biographies of the veterinarians serving on the VAC.

To view a full report of the VAC rule changes for the TWHNC Click Here.

To speak with either a representative of the TWHNC or the VAC, please call or email Ken Whitehouse.

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