Humane Society Says 75% Of Horses At Walking Horse Celebration Tested Positive For Foreign Substances


The Chattanoogan, May 9, 2013

images-1The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s testing revealed that at the 2012 National Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, 145 horses out of 190 tested, or 76 percent, were found positive for foreign substanes, the Humane Society of the United States said.

“That is In contrast to the two foreign substance violations reported by the Tennessee walking horse industry,” Humane Society officials said.

The HSUS has requested that Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. “open an investigation into the veracity of public statements made by officials connected to the Walking Horse Trainers Association Enforcement Initiative, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization about their initiative to detect unlawful horse soring at the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

“The HSUS maintains that this discrepancy raises a serious concern that participants and spectators at the Celebration were falsely assured that horses entered were compliant with the federal Horse Protection Act, when evidence of cruelty and cheating may have been concealed by the organizers of the event. The foreign substance testing is used to detect the presence of painful caustic chemicals that trainers apply to horses’ legs. Other cruel training methods – collectively referred to as ‘soring’ – are used to obtain the prized high-stepping gait of the walking horse.

images-2“Before the event, both the TWHNC and the TWSHO issued press releases assuring the public that every horse entered at the Celebration would be swabbed and tested for illegal foreign substances used to sore horses or to conceal that a horse was sore. They also promised to release test results promptly during the event and to immediately and severely punish any violators. However, it appears that the industry groups did not swab and test every horse, nor did they release the complete results of the testing, adding to suspicions that some positive test results may have been suppressed to protect the perpetrators.”

Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS, said, “The show organizations involved with the Celebration’s swabbing program failed to deliver on promises about protecting the welfare of horses and compliance with the law. We are urging Attorney General Cooper to fully investigate the industry’s deception.”

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Debbie Tracy

    Well, it is about frigg’en time, I mean what does it take for someone to step up to the plate, why does HSUS have to even have to issue the Attorney General to act, I mean it’s like you always have to push for anything to be done to help animal’s in this country…. Thank GOD for HSUS and ALL the Equine and Rescue workers & all ANIMALS who fight every day for them… WE THANK YOU ALL and you do a spectacular job so proud of you all>>>>>>

    May 9, 2013
  • Kudos to the USDA for following through! This is what is wrong with industries being allowed to regulate themselves! FAIL!

    May 9, 2013
  • Daryl

    They do this stuff to win? Can’t do it natural, has to be done to hurt these beautiful animals, WHY? WINNING MEANS SO MUCH YOU HAVE TO CHEAT TO WIN?
    Oh let me tell you, it’s bad to want to win so badly that you hurt the one who is to perform. Sad , sick SOB’s people.

    May 9, 2013
  • Arlene

    They lose sight of the original reason , they GET Greedy !!!! lose sense of Honor !!!! they become victim to themselves…………….

    May 10, 2013
  • karen

    It should be called Cruelebration. What any ugly event. How anyone still goes to it knowing of the suffering these horses endure is just beyond me.

    May 10, 2013
  • Susan Setzke

    Another example of all the up-standing individuals showing horses where winning and prestige are more important than doing the right thing. No wonder Big-Ag, the Farm Bureau, AQHA, racing and sport-horse industries, ranching and rodeo businesses, and the like want to create and pass Ag-Gag Laws. Then exposing the cruelties associated with those types of businesses and organizations could be silenced and kept as their dirty little secrets. We are at a cross-roads concerning so many unethical and immoral practices here in our country. It’s time to clean up our act, hold people who violate the ethic code accountable and prosecute them, and get our act together.

    May 10, 2013
  • Mary Anne Gardner

    These horses have suffered for years just to make these greedy people happy! They need to be sored around their neck and see how it feels… Stop going to horse shows until they change their ways!

    May 11, 2013
  • K Campbell

    Put me in charge of TWHNC and/or TWSHO. I would be more than happy to bust every single trainer that uses these methods. I don’t have Walkers, have no buddies in the business, so nobody can threaten me, and ‘m not afraid to stand up against anyone. Bring it on.

    May 11, 2013
  • Kim

    Shut down the Walking Horse shows entirely. It’s obvious the “Ethics Committee” of the Walking Horse Assoc won’t police themselves (one of the Ethics Committee members was just arrested for soring horses in Maryville, Tn). Such a vast majority of the exhibitors are breaking the rules, just shut all of them down by removing the shows indefinitely.

    May 11, 2013
  • Mary Ann Gardne

    Ever horse should be tested, don’t miss one! This is so important, this painful act has to be STOPPED!!

    May 14, 2013