2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Results
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to prohibit horses participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions from being subjected to soring. To facilitate enforcement of the HPA, USDA established the Designated Qualified Persons (DQP) program. Through this program, show or sale managers hire accredited veterinarians with equine experience or other knowledgeable horsemen who have been formally trained and licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations or associations to physically inspect every Tennessee walking horse before being shown. USDA also attends some horse shows unannounced to serve as a second line of defense in detecting sored horses. Working together, USDA and DQPs strive to ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows.
Given the interest in the enforcement of the HPA at this year's Celebration, USDA wanted to post preliminary inspection results now, rather than at the end of the year. This year, USDA and DQPs inspected 1,849 horses and found 166 violations - an approximate 9% violation rate. This rate is slightly lower than the 9.5% violation rate from the 2011 Celebration, during which 2,143 horses were inspected and 203 violations were found.