published Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Walking horse group accepts soring penalties

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The organization that sanctions the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has decided to adopt the minimum soring penalties proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Shelbyville-based SHOW HIO is a USDA-certified agency that show operators hire to inspect horses and punish trainers for signs of abuse.

The organization and at least two other parties sued USDA last year over the penalties, arguing the new regulations violated horse trainers' rights to due process.

But SHOW issued a statement this week saying it now supports the penalties and won't appeal the decision of a federal judge who recently ruled in favor of the government in the lawsuit.

The penalties will be enforced at the celebration, which starts Wednesday in Shelbyville.

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