Walking Horse Trainers’ Association President Link Webb initially addressed the ad campaign being run by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at the general membership meeting on Monday, March 17. He had a copy of the ad that was placed in the Murfreesboro Post. Since that time Webb has had several conversations with his board of directors and the Walking Horse Report, the official publication of the WHTA.

“We have always supported sound horses and it is at the top of the priority list for the WHTA and National Horse Show Commission (NHSC),” said Webb. He continued, “We feel very strongly that we have made great strides with the USDA and look forward to continuing that progress in 2008 and beyond. Whereas we agree 100 percent with the goal of eliminating soring of horses, we don’t agree with the tactics being used by the HSUS and Keith Dane.

“Between the WHTA ethics committee and the NHSC and USDA inspection processes, we as an association feel comfortable with the processes we have in place to detect horses in violation of the HPA and would encourage anyone with any information about illegal practices to bring that evidence to the WHTA Ethics Committee,” said Webb.

Walking Horse Report Publisher Jeffrey Howard talked with Keith Dane after receiving a request from HSUS to run the ad in the Walking Horse Report. In that phone interview with Dane, he commented, “We know people in that area are concerned about the elimination of soring and we hope this ad will help in that process.” Also, Dane confirmed the HSUS had a full scale ad campaign planned but would not give the specifics when asked.

Howard did confirm that the Walking Horse Report also did not agree with the tactics being used by the HSUS and would not allow the ad to appear in the Walking Horse Report. “We support the WHTA as their official publication and know that they along with their owners are doing everything they can to present sound horses and don’t condone any illegal activity,” said Howard.