WWHA Letter to Congress

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Congressman Whitfield,
                When the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act was created, it was clear that the Act had been written by those who supported a Sound and Natural Walking Horse Industry. For decades the Horse Protection Act has been treated as an unimportant piece of legislation; those who benefited financially from the soring and abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses turned a blind eye to the regulations imposed by the HPA, and those who made their livelihood by side stepping the law continued to show and compete with sored horses, despite multiple violations and tickets. Attempts by the USDA to regulate and eliminate soring were met with belligerence, subversion, and resistance. The PAST Act is clearly designed to help stop horse abusers, while allowing those who compete with their horses using sound and humane techniques to find success.
                  When it became obvious that some Tennessee Walking Horse organizations were motivated to maintain the status quo (soring for money) instead of embracing a future of sound prosperity and success for the Natural Walking Horse, a group of sound horse advocates formed a new breed association, the World Walking Horse Association, Inc. Soring, stacking, and chaining horses is unacceptable and unnecessary; there is no reason to treat these horses that way. The future success of the Walking Horse lies with those who prefer to show and ride and watch horses that are being treated humanely. Across the nation and the world, the voice of reason has been unequivocal—the best and most valuable Walking Horse rides sound, and rides natural. This is the future of our breed, and it is reflected in our motto: To Preserve, Protect, and Promote the Walking Horse.  Our mission statement also recognizes the value in the preservation of a breed that has too long been held hostage by artificiality and abuse. The World Walking Horse Association, Inc.’s mission is to record and preserve the pedigrees of the Walking Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed, its versatility, and most importantly, its inherently natural, evenly timed, four-beat walking gaits. We believe the Walking Horse deserves a level playing field in which to display its talents—a field free of cheaters, abusers, and those who prize artificiality at the expense of the horse. 
                The majority of horsemen, owners, and breeders in the Walking Horse Industry believe in a sound and natural horse; we need the PAST Act to help us reach that vision for the future. America is home to several important horse events that involve sound natural flatshod Walking Horses. Our economy will improve greatly with the removal of the unsightly image of Big Lick horses being sored and abused; such an unnatural image causes people to shy away from becoming involved in shows and events. The World Walking Horse Association, Inc. would like to thank you.We look forward to the passage of the PAST Act, and a glowing future for the Sound and Natural Walking Horse. Although soring is part of the Walking Horse history, it will not be what defines us as an industry!
Mindy Lightner
President, World Walking Horse Association, Inc. 
Click here to view the pdf version.