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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Conference on Walking Horses and Horse Protection Act Planned for Ohio in April

"The End of Soring" is the goal of the first Sound Horse Conference to be held in Columbus, Ohio, later this year.

The event is set for April 11-12 at the Hilton Garden Inn and is sponsored by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Horse Protection Association, Friends of Sound Horses and the Humane Society of the United States.

Described as two days of "stimulating conversation and action," the goal of the conference is to accelerate progress to end soring "by bringing all interested people together to share ideas, increase knowledge, resources and action plans."

Discussion will include the challenges to enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, technology for future enforcement, proposed research that is needed, detection of pressure shoeing, how to prevent soring and other related topics.

The Equine Affaire, an all-breed, all-sport horse expo, will also take place in Columbus during that week.

"Soring" refers to illegal methods used to exaggerate a Tennessee Walking Horse's natural high-stepping gait in the show ring. Under federal law, horses may be inspected for signs of soring prior to competition, and are disqualified if they are found to have been sored.

Disputes between trainers and federal officials over the inspection process plagued the industry during 2006, resulting in the cancellation of the World Grand Championship class at the Walking Horse Celebration, but the 2007 horse show season appeared to go much more smoothly

From more information about the conference, e-mail data@fosh.info or call (800) 651-7993.

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