Walking Horse Breeders' Kentucky Incentive Funds Tied to HPA Compliance

Tennessee Walking Horse breeders in Kentucky who are found to be noncompliant with Horse Protection Act (HPA) anti-soring rules will be unable to receive breeders' incentive funds under new Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) regulations. Soring is the deliberate injury to a horse's feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated gait.

The KHRC administers the state’s breeders’ incentive program that offers financial rewards to breeders who produce horses bred by Kentucky stallions and out of mares living in the state. Tennessee Walking Horses are among the nine non-racing breeds included in the program.

Last year, the commission launched an investigation after records revealed that Kentucky Walking Horse Breeders Incentive Fund members demonstrated a high HPA non-compliance rate.

Under the new regulations approved this week, breeders with HPA violations of any kind including tickets, suspensions, and warnings will be ineligible to earn awards or receive funding, said Commission Breeder Incentive Fund Director Jamie Eads.

New rules also dictate that Designated Qualified Persons from the Natural Walking Horse Association, Friends of Sound Horses, and the Horse Protection Commission carry out compliance inspections at shows where breeders' incentive points are awarded, and that Commission receive the names of noncompliant horse and their owners after each show.

Former Kentucky Walking Horse Association President Earl Rogers said he is unsure how the rules will affect breeders.

"We’ll have to live with (them)," Rogers said. "I hope it works out for us."

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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