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Good afternoon, State Horse Councils

At the recent AHC Annual Conference, AHC staff organized several meetings with Federal Agencies (USDA, EPA, FTC, NPS, etc.) and Congressional Offices.

We wanted to make you aware that during the USDA- APHIS meetings, specifically on the Horse Protection Act (HPA), USDA leadership reminded the attendees that HPA allows for the inspection of any horse show and/or event. Over the last few years, while they have focused on Tenn Walking Horse Shows, to detect soring – they have also inspected at several other breed shows including Missouri Fox Trotters, Saddlebreds, etc.  This year they have already inspected two Saddlebred shows (in TN & KY).

We bring this to your attention considering the results of a recent survey we conducted to collect data regarding if State Horse Councils host Expos, Clinics, Trail rides or other events that involved horses.  We only heard back from 6 states, and while a limited sample size – it appears many state horse councils do hold these types of events.

Therefore, we wanted to give you a heads up that USDA may randomly select one of your events to inspect.

We urge you to be polite, professional and address all their questions.  Use this as an opportunity to educate them on your policies and practices to ensure the welfare, health and safety of the horses and all persons involved.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to myself or Emily Stearns at AHC.

And feel free to share this with other state horse councils or horse groups in your state.

Julie M. Broadway, CAE®
President – American Horse Council & American Horse Council Foundation
1775 Tysons Blvd.
5th Floor, Suite 6110
McLean VA 22102

Hot off the press are the HPA updates in the Federal Register. Here’s the USDA link to read up: Horse Protection Act | Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (