Kentucky Lawmakers Eye Soring Bill

Trainers and owners who cause injury to horses' feet or legs to achieve an exaggerated gait will face stiff penalties in Kentucky if a bill introduced into the state senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee becomes law. Sponsored by State Sen. Tom Buford, SB 176 prohibits soring Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses presented at Kentucky horse shows or sales.

Violators would face penalties between $1,000 and $2,500 for the first offense. Second offenders would face fines between $2,500 and $5,000 and a 1-year ban from exhibiting or selling horses in Kentucky. Third offenders would face a 2-year activity ban and between $5,000 and $10,000 in fines.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) would assume enforcement responsibility. Horse inspection fees and fines would cover enforcement costs. But spokesman Bill Clary said the KDA is concerned those revenues not cover actual enforcement costs.

Buford is retooling the bill to include more reliable funding options.

"We'll probably see another bill," he said.

Neither Kentucky Walking Horse Association President Joe Herald nor Vice President Spencer Benedict was available to comment on the measure.

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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