USDA Mandated Penalty Structure

The new USDA mandated penalty structure for 2012 will go into effect July 9, 2012. Click here to download this post as a PDF document.


Type First Offense Second Offense Third and Subsequent Offenses
Bi-lateral Sore 1 year 2 years 4 years
Unilateral Sore 60 days 120 days 1 year
Scar Rule 2 weeks 60 days 1 year
Foreign Substance Pre-Show Dismissed from show
Foreign Substance Post-Show 2 weeks and dismissed from show (except heel toe ratio - no 2 weeks)
Shoeing Violation Dismissed from show
Unruly/Fractious Dismissed from class but can return for inspection later in show
Suspension Violation 6 months additional suspension


For the violations listed in paragraph (c) of this section that require a suspension, any individuals who are responsible for showing the horse, exhibiting the horse, entering or allowing the entry of the horse in a show or exhibition, selling the horse, auctioning the horse, or offering the horse for sale or auction must be suspended. This may include, but may not be limited to, the manager, trainer, rider, custodian, or seller, as applicable. In addition, if the owner allowed any activity listed in this paragraph, the owner must be suspended as well.

HIO’s are required to have an approved appeal Process. For all appeals, the appeal would have to be granted and the case heard and decided by the HIO or the violator would have to begin serving the penalty within 60 days of the date of the violation. This would mean that an appeal would need to be filed and a decision made with respect to that appeal within 60 days. HIOs are required to submit decision of all appeals to the Department within 30 days after completion of appeal.