WASHINGTON, DC – After a year of threatening to do so, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea filed a Complaint to decertify Show, Inc. a/k/a SHOW HIO, a subsidiary of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, on January 9, 2014.
The Walking Horse Report has been so busy pimping for the sore Big Lick PSHA and the sore Big Lick gang that hijacked TWHBEA on December 7, 2013 (anniversary of Pearl Harbor), that it forgot to mention that the Celebration’s SHOW HIO had been sued by the USDA, much less publish the Complaint seen exclusively here today.
And the Complaint brings the spotlight onto the Celebration SHOW HIO and USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea who signed it:
It should be noted that the USDA has never previously decertified a HIO.
So Kevin Shea is plowing new ground where all this is concerned.
Mr. Shea is a public official who has been entrusted with enforcing the Horse Protection Act. As such, he doesn’t have enough personnel or resources to inspect the horses so he has to rely on HIOs to do the work for him. His VMOs oversee the HIO DQPs.
The HIO system as stated in the Office of Inspector General Audit is corrupt and failed.
So in some ways that leaves Administrator Shea between a rock and a hard spot.
Kevin Shea met with Sound Horse Advocates on July 25, 2013, in the presence of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and again the following day. In that meeting, Kevin Shea said some things which disturbed the Sounders.
Administrator Shea gave these people the definite impression that he is more worried about Celebration “gate receipts” then he is in vigorously enforcing the Horse Protection Act? Some were concerned that Administrator Shea and Deputy Chester Gipson, DVM might be conflicted on either enforcing the law against soring or treading lightly so as to interfere with the “entertainment” aspect of the Celebration which might affect Celebration crowd attendance and possibly be detrimental to the local economy.
The Sound Horse advocates delivered a clear message to Kevin Shea that they expected Kevin Shea/Chester Gipson and Company to enforce the Horse Protection Act, and if they did not, litigation forcing them to do so was a certainty.
Two of the persons meeting with the USDA officials that day then returned to Washington on Nov. 13, 2013, to testify before Congress in support of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act.
Then suspicions regarding Shea’s intentions were aroused in December 2013 when Sound Horse advocates learned that a Deputy APHIS Administrator who works with Kevin Shea may have let the cat out of the bag on a possible deal with the sore Big Lick. It is reported that this person intimated that PSHA would be certified and take the place of SHOW HIO. Word got out among the Flatters, and the official’s area of responsibility was reportedly changed:
Billy Go Boy asked these questions on January 17, 2013:
* WHY HASN’T THE USDA ALREADY DECERTIFIED CELEBRATION’S SHOW HIO?
* WAS A DEAL CUT WITH DAVID L. HOWARD’S SORE BIG LICKERS TO HAVE PSHA TAKE THE PLACE OF SHOW HIO WHEN THE SHOW HIO ACCEPTED THE MANDATORY PENALTIES?
* WILL THE USDA ENFORCE THE LAW AND DECERTIFY CELEBRATION’S SHOW HIO?
Then it was learned today that Kevin Shea has overseen a program where SHOW HIO has essentially spit in his face. It appears that David L. Howard’s SHOW HIO, after making a big deal of announcing the Mandatory Minimum Penalties were in effect and would be enforced at the 2013 Celebration, hasn’t even respected the USDA and Horse Protection Act enough to turn in the violation reports from the 2013 Celebration so the Mandatory Minimum Penalties can be enforced.
It begs the question that if SHOW HIO is decertified, will the Mandatory Penalties and Suspensions just vanish into thin air like they never happened?
All of that is simply intolerable.
So what is really going on with APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea?
Here are the questions:
- Does Kevin Shea consider his role to be enforcing the Horse Protection Act and eliminate soring?
- Does Kevin Shea consider his role to be simply regulating soring? To accept a certain amount of it and not try to eradicate it?
- Does Kevin Shea think the tourism economy of a community which is based on institutionalized soring of the Tennessee Walking Horse which is a federal crime to be more important than enforcing the Horse Protection Act to ensure that soring is eliminated?
- What accommodation, if any, has Kevin Shea extended the sore Big Lick crowd led by David L. Howard and John T. Bobo?
- Is Kevin Shea concerned that there are not enough HIOs left to inspect the padded horses and he has no choice to continue to certify HPA violators?
Radar thinks that APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea, in order to maintain public confidence in the USDA, needs to:
- Suspend SHOW HIO while the Decertification proceeds
- Do not certify any HIO application which is connected in any way to SHOW HIO which includes all of David L. Howard’s organizations and acronyms:
* The Celebration
* SHOW HIO (Show, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Celebration, Inc.); TWSHO (Tennessee Walking Horse Show Organization – predecessor of PSHA); PSHA (Performance Show Horse Association); Independent Inspection Services, LLC HIO (former Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows in charge of SHOW HIO)
- Or any HIO which has anyone in any shape, form or fashion with previous Horse Protection Act violations.
Administrator Kevin Shea’s problem is that the USDA for over 40 years has essentially created a culture of institutionalized soring which was the norm, but now won’t be allowed.
Rightfully or wrongfully, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea is on the hot seat and in the bright light of public scrutiny, and if he errs, he needs to err on the side of enforcing the Horse Protection Act and bringing a new day to eliminate the sore Big Lick culture.
The public is going to focus intensely on these people in the days to come to see that the USDA enforces the law as Congress intended and THE horse, not the sorer, is protected:
- SHOW, INC (THE CELEBRATION) violated the Horse Protection Act.
- It tells about formulating the Mandatory Minimum Penalties which process started in March 2011.
- On June 7, 2012, USDA issued FINAL RULE on the Minimum Penalties which would put real teeth in the HPA enforcement. The FINAL RULE was to go into effect on July 9, 2012
- THE CELEBRATION SHOW HIO sued the USDA to STOP the Minimum Penalties and asked for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) to stop it.
- The U.S. District Court said No in July 2012.
- On July 19, 2012 – the USDA gave SHOW HIO five days to come into compliance.
- On August 2, 2012, USDA notified SHOW HIO its DQP program was not in compliance.
- On August 28, 2012, SHOW HIO filed an Appeal and asked for a Hearing.
- The 2012 Celebration was held.
- On July 29, 2013, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of USDA and granted its Motion For Summary Judgment and upheld the constitutionality of the Mandatory Minimum Penalties.
- On August 19, 2013, Celebration Chairman David L. Howard and attorney John T. Bobo went to Washington, DC and met with USDA and signed the Minimum Penalties and told the public they would be enforced at the 2013 Celebration.
- The 2013 Celebration was held.
- From July 14, 2012 – September 13, 2013 – there 139 occasions SHOW HIO failed to enforce the Minimum Penalties.
- The SHOW HIO inspections were lax compared to the USDA vets. SHOW HIO manufactured a bogus 98.4% compliance rate most of which related to flat shod horses. The “Saviour” horse Honors was turned down with scars on both feet and sore in one and border line in the other one. In one Saturday night stake class, only five horses made the gate call. The turndown for HPA violations were by USDA vets, not SHOW HIO.
- SHOW HIO was supposed to send in the reports of all Horse Protection Act violations from the 2013 Celebration, but has not done so.’
- USDA has asked an Administrative Law Judge to:
A. Revoke the SHOW HIO DQP certification program
B. Disqualify CELEBRATION’S SHOW HIO from applying for DQP Certification Program in the future.
Here is a synopsis of the Mandatory “Minimum Penalties”:
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 2 WEEK SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 60 DAYS SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH & SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
TWO FOOTER (BILATERAL SORE)
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 2 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 4 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH OFFENSE ““ 4 YEAR SUSPENSION ““ NO SHOW
ONE FOOTER (UNILATERAL SORE)
1. 1st OFFENSE ““ 60 DAYS ““ NO SHOW
2. 2nd OFFENSE ““ 120 DAYS ““ NO SHOW
3. 3RD OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR ““ NO SHOW
4. 4TH OFFENSE ““ 1 YEAR ““ NO SHOW
And something else noteworthy:
For any violation of the HPA which requires a suspension, the following persons will be suspended:
If the offense is bilateral sore ““ you can add the Transporter to the list.