Wartrace, TN – “Big Licker” pressure forces WARTRACE to go on with Saturday horse show while show management faces real possiblity of Federal Case, stiff fine and suspension of possible future horse shows. Belfast, Putnam County Fair (Cookeville), Russell County Jaycees (KY) and Stanly County Saddle Club (NC) have all cancelled or “postponed” their shows this weekend.
WARTRACE, TENNESSEE HORSE SHOW
When U. S. District Court Judge Terry Means “slam dunked” the Lickers with Summary Judgement upholding the USDA this week, it put things back in play on the USDA decertifying the Celebration’s SHOW HIO. USDA sent letter to SHOW HIO over a year ago on Decertification. SHOW HIO now appears to be NON COMPLIANT because it has not accepted the federal regulations known as “Mandatory Penalties” which is what the Licker lawsuit was about.
This means if you manage a horse show and you use SHOW HIO which is NONCOMPLIANT, and IF ANY violations are found by a USDA Vet(VMO) at Wartrace, the SHOW MANAGEMENT will be held directly liable for violating the Horse Protection Act which is a FEDERAL OFFENSE.
BGB’s sources have provided BGB with the communication from Horse Protection Coordinator Rachel Cezar, DVM to show managers which reads in part:
“Therefore, if show management affiliates with a HIO that is not following the penalty protocol they are putting the exhibitors at risk for receiving a federal case when USDA oversees the DQPs at the show because all violations will not only be penalized through the penalty protocol the HIO has chosen but also through the federal system. Regardless, if show management affiliates with a compliant or non-compliant HIO, they will only run the risk of receiving a federal penalty directly if they do not follow the requirements set forth in the HPA and regulations for the show management solely. Additionally, show management will run the risk of receiving a federal penalty if an exhibited horse has been found sore and they do not affiliate with a HIO to have DQPs inspect each horse pre-show and first place horses post-show.
Therefore, please keep in mind, show management does not lose all liability when affiliating with an HIO because there are requirements in the HPA and regulations that need to be met by show management solely.” Please refer show managers to this current factsheet: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/content/printable_version/hpa_horse_show_mgmt.
There have been prior instances of horse shows facing stiff fines and having their shows suspended for a number of years. One was Shenandoah Valley Horse Show in Virginia with a $10,000 fine and show suspensions.
There also “may” be the possibility of federal prosecution enforcing the Horse Protection Act by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, but that is not certain at this time.
RACHEL CEZAR, USDA HORSE PROTECTION COORDINATOR
Cezar further warns horse show managers:
“we are going through the decertification process with SHOW, PRIDE and HAWHA HIOs and we don’t know when this process will be completed. Show management may or may not be affected by the ending result of the decertification process of an HIO that they may be planning to affiliate with. Therefore, we are not able to advise show management to affiliate with one HIO or another, we can only advise them to enforce the HPA and regulations as written.”
The Wartrace Horse Show Secretary is Heather Beard who is the wife of Horse Trainer Brad Beard and the daughter of “Big Lick” owner Gail Walling, who has World Grand Champion caliber horses for many years.
This is an ongoing story so please check back for updates.