The successful prosecution of Spotted Saddle Horse trainer Barney Davis is a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of the Walking Horse industry's commitment to enforcing the Horse Protection Act, according to a press release issued by the Sound Horses, Honest Judging, Objective Inspections and Winning Fairly (SHOW) organization.
SHOW is the inspection program funded and operated by the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce the Horse Protection Act.
"Although Davis shows another breed of horse, SHOW was hired to inspect horses at a Spotted Saddle Horse show," the release states.
Davis was found guilty in federal court of violating the Horse Protection Act and sen tenced to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine. He was guilty of violating the HPA at a Spotted Saddle Horse show that contracted with SHOW to inspect horses.
The United States Department of Agriculture sends Veterinary Medical Officers to many shows and oversees and works with the SHOW inspectors. They were not in attendance at the show where Davis violated the law.
SHOW caught Davis' violation and issued a lifetime suspension prior to turning their findings over to the USDA for further action. USDA subsequently turned the case over to the Department of Justice and they prosecuted the case.
"If not for the efforts of SHOW, this violation would have gone unpunished," the release states.
Davis does not train or show Tennessee Walking Horses and is not a member of any of the industry's organizations.
SHOW is under the direction of Dr. Steve Mullins, a licensed veterinarian and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. SHOW inspects in excess of 20,000 horses per year in cooperation with the USDA and has a compliance rate of 95 percent over the past three years.
At the 2011 Celebration, the breed's world championship horse show, SHOW reported a 98 percent compliance rate demonstrating the effectiveness of the industry's inspection protocol. The walking horse industry and all of its organizations totally support the humane treatment of horses and strict enforcement of the Horse Protection Act.