Walking Horses Get WEG Participation Nod

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association will get a chance to show the world that their horses are versatile and sound now that officials with the World Equestrian Games Foundation have decided to allow them to perform in exhibitions at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, Ky.

WEG previously rejected a Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) application to exhibit horses at the games after some Kentucky trainers made headlines for violating federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) prohibitions against soring, the deliberate injury to horses' feet and legs in order to achieve an exaggerated gait. But WEG Chairman John Long reversed his decision after meeting with TWHBEA President David Pruett and Executive Director Stan Butt.

"The deciding factor was that these two guys drove up here to convinced us that they know they have a problem out there and are willing to do whatever it takes to solve it," Long said. "This is an opportunity for us to help rehabilitate the breed's image."

The horses will perform in jumping, reining, driving, and bitless riding demonstrations to showcase their natural ability and versatility.

"It's a very exciting opportunity for us," Butt said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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