Equine Advocate Dane Facing TWHBEA Complaint

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Director of Equine Protection Keith Dane is the subject of a complaint filed recently with the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA). Dane represents Maryland on the TWHBEA Board of Directors.

Dane is a longtime advocate for stronger enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The act prohibits "soring," the practice of deliberately injuring a horse's feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated high-stepping gait. Dane was interviewed in the May 16 airing of ABC News' "Nightline" program which featured video images obtained by an HSUS investigator while undercover at a training farm owned and operated by trainer Jackie McConnell. In February, McConnell and three other individuals were indicted on charges of conspiring to violate the HPA. McConnell has pleaded guilty to one of those charges.

On May 28, TWHBEA President Marty Irby confirmed that a complaint had been filed with TWHBEA against Dane, but declined to disclose the contents of the complaint on grounds of confidentiality.

"Everything must remain confidential until the (closed) hearing is over," Irby said.

Dane also declined to disclose specifics of the complaint.

"As I understand it, it will be up to the hearing committee and TWHBEA Executive Committee to determine whether there is any merit to the complaint, and if so, what if any sanction they will impose," Dane said.

A closed hearing on the complaint is scheduled for June 28.

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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