SHELBYVILLE, TN – Nothing much was going on in Center Ring, and you can say about the same for the Inspection area as far as numbers of horses. Conversely, there seems to be a lot going regarding the enforcement of the Federal Regulations known as the MANDATORY ‘MINIMUM PENALTIES” making a difference.
So far, it looks like USDA officials
Chester Gipson, DVM – ANIMAL WELFARE
Rachel Cezar, DVM – NATIONAL HORSE PROTECTION CO-ORDINATOR
mean business. In years past, inspections would start off strict, then the Celebration would use some political muscle, and the USDA folks would back off. Concerned parties are watching Dr.Gipson closely to see if that is going to happen this time.
The 2013 75th Diamond Anniversary Celebration reportedly got off to a rocky start with a couple of PSHA Chair Terry Dotson’s horses getting turned down at inspection on Thursday night. And from reports, there was some jaw boning going on following it. PSHA Chair Dotson will have some ‘splaining to do about this the next time he sees U. S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. But on the bright side, Terry’s possible apparent HPA history doesn’t approach that of his fellow traveller to DC in March 2012, WHTA President Mickey McCormick.
But I digress.
Friday night was shocking to long time Celebration patrons due to a number of classes not having enough horses to take up the 10 available ribbons. Apparently, the DQP and VMO inspectors were standing around in the Inspection Area due to the small number of horses being shown.
Class 47, Two Year Old Walking Geldings – Riders Cup – had 5 horses.
Class 49, Lite Shod Walking Horses – Riders Cup – had 6 horses.
Class 50A – Three Year Old Stallions – 8 horses.
Class 50B – Three Year Old Stallions – 12 horses.
Class 52 – Owner Amateur Youth Riders 6-14 Years On Walking Ponies – 8 horses.
Class 54, Elite Owner-Amateur Gentlemen Riders On Mares & Geldings – 9 horses.
Class 55, Four Year Old Walking Geldings – Riders Cup – had 2 horses.
T W O horses.
Not only were there not many horses, comparatively, there were even fewer people.
In an amusing approach, the Celebration has come up with an interesting marketing plan – they are now taping off boxes so common folks can’t sit in them. The idea is if you want to sit in the obviously empty box, you must first journey to the Celebration office and pay up.
THE CELEBRATION TAPE BOX MARKETING PLAN
THE CONFISCATED “TWHBEA” BUILDING
BEFORE – AUGUST 5, 2013
AFTER – AUGUST 23, 2013
And so it goes under the “Herr” Howard/Chef Mike Inman rendering of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.
Nephew Eugene did get a barn help job. Thanks to all of you who helped with this. He says he’s been hearing some interesting things and may have a report tomorrow.