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The term ''sore'' when used to describe a horse means that:
          1. an irritating or blistering agent has been applied, internally or externally, by a person to any limb of a
          2. any burn, cut, or laceration has been inflicted by a person on any limb of a horse,
          3. any tack, nail, screw, or chemical agent has been injected by a
person into or used by a person on any limb of a horse, or
          4. any other substance or device has been used by a person on any limb of a horse or a person has engaged in a practice involving a horse, and, as a result of such application, infliction, injection, use, or practice, such horse suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving, except that such term does not include such an application, infliction, injection, use, or practice in connection with the therapeutic treatment of a horse by or under the supervision of a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the State in which such treatment was given.

APHIS Evaluation of the DQP Program:

During the 2000 show season, the nine certified DQP programs monitored 562 horse shows, sales, auctions, and exhibitions. DQPs inspected 117,240 horse entries. (Note: A horse may be entered in several classes at a show and is inspected prior to each class.  Each inspection is counted separately.)  Overall, DQPs identified 428 HPA violations in 2000,for an average rate of 3.7 violations per 1,000 horses inspected.  APHIS personnel evaluated the DQPs at 59 affiliated events (10.5 percent of all such events), where 17,518 horse entries were presented for inspection. The number of violations identified in the presence of APHIS inspectors was 293,for an average rate of 16.7 violations per 1,000 horses inspected.  However, of the 99,722 horses examined by DQPs when APHIS was not present, only 139 violations were identified, for an average rate of 1.4 violations per 1,000 horses inspected.


Horse events (shows, sales, auctions, and exhibitions) monitored in 2000, with or without APHIS present:

(Violation rate is the number of violations detected per 1,000 horses inspected.)

APHIS PresentAPHIS Not Present:

Horse Industry Organization (HIO)   Events   Entries examined   Violations found   Violation rate

Heart of America
Walking Horse Association                     7 - 44        1,410 - 6,801                3815                    27.0 - 0.22

Horse Protection Commission               3 11          357 - 2,096                  16                          2.8 - 2.9

Humane Instruction
Technology, Inc.                                         214       1,034 - 3,300                 20                           1.9 - 0

Kentucky Walking Horse Association    995       1,969 - 15,612              4922                      24.9 - 1.4

Missouri Fox Trotting Horse
Breed Association                                    233           738 - 6,075                7380                         6.8 - 0

National Horse Show
Commission                                            27246    8,429 - 50,194              18080                     21.4 - 1.6

National Walking Horse
Association                                                 337       1,934 - 8,984                     06                            0 - 0.7

Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders
and Exhibitors Association                      434           999 - 6,120                   179                      17.0 - 1.5

Western International Walking
Horse Association                                     27             648 - 3,238                     14                         1.5 - 1.2

TOTAL                    59508   17,518 - 99,722              293139                   16.7 - 1.4


Unfortunately, efforts to enforce the HPA effectively have not been embraced by some individuals.  In 2000,APHIS had to request that U.S. Marshals and law enforcement agents from USDA ’s Office of the Inspector General accompany APHIS VMOs to numerous shows due to threats of violence against APHIS personnel.  Similar intimidation of DQPs may be among the factors that have contributed to the difference in the number of horses cited for HPA violations when APHIS was present versus when the agency was not present.

In some cases, reports of violations have been determined to be incomplete.  Last year,92 horses were disqualified from showing due to what were called “non-HPA violations.” Further review of these disqualifications showed the description of the DQPs ’ findings accurately depicted a sore horse.  An additional 165 horses were excused from showing because they were reported as “unacceptable ”;these cases are also considered a “non-HPA violation.” However, APHIS VMOs stated that some of these “unacceptable ” horses may actually have been sore horses.  Due to their unknown status, these 257 horses were not included in the total number of violations reported for 2000.Figure 6 shows the type of violations documented at affiliated shows broken out by APHIS presence and type of horse.

The table below shows the difference in the rate of violations between padded and flat-shod horses.   Padded horses are found in violation at a rate almost five times that of flat-shod horses.

Incidence of pathological abnormalities indicative of soring, by type of horse, at events attended by APHIS in 2000.


                                                        Random                                          Winning                             All horses

                                            Flat-shod - Padded     Flat-shod -  Padded    Flat-shod - Padded    Overall

Horses examined                      538 - 272                   1,391 - 976                    1,929 - 1,248          3,260

Percent with abnormalities         18 - 82                          17 - 79                            17 - 79                   42