National Walking Horse Association National Championship is under way
The show promotes sound, flat-shod Tennessee Walking Horses in a variety of equestrian disciplines.
From: The Horse Channel
One month ago, the Tennessee Walking Horse show community was in the midst of its biggest annual event, the Celebration in Shelbyville, Tenn. Walking Horses are back in Shelbyville this week, but for a very different national show. The National Walking Horse Association (NWHA), a group dedicated to sound, flat-shod Tennessee Walking Horses is holding its own National at the Calsonic Arena through Saturday, Sept. 28.
The Tennessee Walking Horse is best-known for its signature running walk, a smooth, ground-covering gait enhanced through generations of selective breeding. In the mid-20th century, some trainers began using cruel methods, known as soring, to enhance their horses’ way of going. This practice has been a cloud over the Walking Horse show industry ever since.
Soring is illegal, but the controversial practice of using stacks of pads in a shoeing package and showing horses with chains around their front pasterns has not been outlawed. Nevertheless, many equestrians enjoy showing their Walking Horses, but don’t want to compete against sored horses or those wearing heavy shoes. For those exhibitors, the National provides an alternative.
Horses at the National must be barefoot, plain shod or “lite shod.” Horses are still subject to the same inspections as entries at traditional Walking Horse shows to prevent sored horses from competing.
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