LEXINGTON, Ky (June 6, 2012 - Originally released May 18, 2012) The recent ABC Nightline segment on the abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses demonstrates once again why the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) was established and why NWHA continues to play a vital role in the TWH industry. We are committed to stop soring and abuse of our great horses. Abusive practices such as those highlighted on the Nightline segment are not tolerated in our organization. We fight daily to ensure that horses are treated kindly and with great respect. NWHA is the answer to this horrible tradition.Since 1998, the National Walking Horse Association has been promoting the general welfare of and serving as an advocate for the Walking Horse against abusive and inhumane treatment. As a USDA certified HIO, NWHA has adopted and enforced the highest level of penalties for HPA violators, adopted "no tolerance" for soring practices, and has a mandatory requirement that all DQP's, Judges, and Board of Directors members have no violations of the HPA.The NWHA's mission is to: • To promote the general welfare of the Walking Horse. • To serve as an advocate for the Walking Horse against abusive and inhumane treatment. • To provide an equitable affiliation program for Walking Horses to be exhibited, judged, and showcased in full compliance with the Horse Protection Act. • To increase public awareness of the natural abilities of the Walking Horse. • To generate growth of the National Walking Horse Association via the marketing, promotion, advertising, and publicity of the natural Walking Horse. • To increase the proficiency of the National Walking Horse Association members in all matters of horsemanship. • To serve as a communication hub for the Walking Horse Industry and other equine interest groups. • To carry out the purposes as set forth in the Corporation's Restated Articles of Incorporation. • To engage in any and all other lawful business allowed accomplishing the above purposes. The National Walking Horse Association strives to increase public awareness of the natural abilities of the flat shod Walking Horse and provide an equitable affiliation program at which they may be exhibited, judged, and showcased in full compliance with the HPA. Soon after its founding, NWHA prohibited pads, chains, and other action devices from the Association's competitions. Since that time, NWHA has worked diligently to promote the flat shod walking horse in all disciplines; from the show horse to Dressage, Reining, timed events, and trail horse programs. To learn more about NWHA and our National Grand Championship Show, being held this year in Wilmington, Ohio, October 1st thru the 6th, please visit our website at www.nwha.com. Note: If you have not yet viewed the Nightline Segment, here is the link to it: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/tennessee-walking-horses-abused/story?id=16360835. Please be warned that this video is graphic and difficult to watch.
Contact:Kathie Morrow National Walking Horse Association4059 Iron Works Pkwy, Suite 4Lexington, KY 40511(859) 252-6942
USDA NEWS RELEASE Hallie Zimmers National Stakeholder Liaison Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
202-720-0378 or 202-799-7029
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care Program will hold listening sessions throughout the United States [including the Kentucky Horse Park] to obtain public feedback on the Horse Protection Program. In particular, APHIS is interested in hearing feedback on the questions below: • Congress passed the Horse Protection Act in 1970 to eliminate the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses. How close are we to achieving the goal? • Can the industry achieve a consensus on how to carry out a self-regulatory program to enforce the Horse Protection Act in a consistent way? • What responsibilities should USDA-certified Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) have within the industry? • How can the industry reconcile its inherent competition aspect with ensuring compliance with the Horse Protection Act? • What can USDA do now (and in the future) to ensure compliance? • What responsibilities should USDA have within the industry with respect to enforcement and what hinders oversight of the HIOs and/or industry? • Should there be a prohibition of all action devices? • Should there be a prohibition of pads? • Currently the Horse Protection regulations have a shoe weight limit on yearlings. Should there now be a shoe weight limit for all aged horses? A listening session is planned on March 15, 9am to 1pm, Kentucky Horse Park (South Theatre), 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511 Speakers will be limited to 5 minutes in order to ensure everyone registered will have the opportunity to have their comments heard. If you have written comments, you may leave them with the USDA officials at the session. Online registration is available on the APHIS Animal Care website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/events_reg.shtml We look forward to your comments in order to ensure the success of the USDA APHIS Horse Protection Program. If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Rachel Cezar at (301)851-3746 or
Further information is also available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp