Equine Herpes Warning

A Media Release from the State of Tennessee Department of Agriculture


NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has received reports of suspected cases of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection in horses that participated in a recent trail ride in Tennessee.

Six to 8 suspected cases of the neurological form of EHV -1 have been reported to the state veterinarian's office. Horses are being treated, isolated and monitored by their attending veterinarian.

The horses may have been exposed to EHV-1 during the Bucksnort Trail Ride held April23-30 in Humphreys County. The event drew approximately 100 horses from multiple states. The movement of horses that attended the event is being restricted on a case by case basis.

TDA animal health officials are working with event organizers, neighboring state veterinarians and private veterinarians to identify other horses that may have been exposed or are exhibiting symptoms.

As a precaution, State Veterinarian Charles Hatcher recommends that horse owners who participated in the Bucksnort event work with their veterinarian to restrict movement and to monitor their horses. Hatcher also recommends that isolation and monitoring continue for 28 days if any clinical signs of disease are observed. Veterinarians should report suspected neurological cases of EHV-1 to the State Veterinarian's office at 615-837-5120.

Equine Herpes Virus is highly contagious among horses but poses no threat to humans. The symptoms in horses may include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated. The virus can cause aborted foals and can be fatal in some cases.

The State Veterinarian also recommends that horse owners practice good biosecurity such as using your own trailer and equipment, not letting your horses touch other people's horses, disinfecting shoes and equipment, washing hands after helping others with their horses and limiting access to your farm. A downloadable brochure about horse biosecurity is available from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at http:// www.aphis.usda.gov /publications/ animal health/ content/printable version/HorseBi oSecurity final.pdf.

Additional Resources:

A Guide To Understanding the Neurologic Form of EHV Infection

USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Resources

American Association of Equine Practitioners Fact Sheet

Animal health updates and alerts are also available on the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's website.

Only Affiliated Shows Will Be Eligible for 2012 WHOA High Points

The Walking Horse Owners' Association has announced a decision to acknowledge only affiliated shows in the 2012 WHOA National High Point Program.  In years past all shows were eligible for high points. The WHOA Board discussed this issue at the April meeting and felt it was in the best interest of the industry to only accept results for affiliated shows from 2012 forward. WHOA would like all shows to be affiliated across the country and encourages non-affiliated shows to make a change toward affiliating with a USDA certified HIO.

All affiliated shows must send results to the Walking Horse Report within 30 days of the show to be included in the WHOA National High Points.  Current standings are available at www.walkinghorsereport.com .

Tennessee Walking Horses of Today Equine Conference

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012
Embassy Suites Hotel - Murfreesboro, TN

8:00 to 8:30 Registration

8:30 Carl Mays
- Opening Keynote Speaker, Master of Ceremonies, and Q&A Facilitator
- "Are We Communicating Yet?" - "It's not what you say, it's what they hear that counts." 

9:30 Monty Roberts
- A brief howdy & prelude to the afternoon clinic from the "Man Who Listens to Horses" 

Short Break

10:00 Owners Panel
- "What Is That Owner Thinking?" -  TWH owners from a variety of regions and divisions discuss industry issues and share viewpoints.

11:00 Dr. Tracy Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS
- "Are We Making Progress?" - Dr. Turner presents facts and statistics relevant to the TWH show horse industry

12:00 Past Presidents/Chairmen Luncheon

1:00 Julius Johnson, TN Commissioner of Agriculture
- "How Green is the TN Equine Industry $$$$?" 

2:00 USDA
- "Understanding the Horse Protection Act and Regulations"  - Conference Resumes at Miller Coliseum

4:00 Monty Roberts Training Clinic

6:00 Reception & Buffet - Miller Club

Embassy Suites Hotel - Murfreesboro, TN

8:30 "Hoof Care 101" & More!
- A distinguished veteranarian/farrier panel address issues relevant to the shoeing and hoof care of the TWH show horse

10:00 Ronee Griffith, Ph. D
- "How Your Inner Voice Influences Your Actions"  - Dr. Griffith discusses how principles and personality guide ethical behaviors

11:00 WHTA Enforcement Initiative/Equine Welfare

12:00 Tex-Mex Lunch Buffet

1:00 Joyce Moyer M.Ed, RTRP
- The Bottom Line in the Horse Business

2:00 Trainers Panel
- "Bitting & Squaning" - TWH trainers share successful tips and exchange ideas on failed attempts!

4:00 Miller Coliseum - Monty Roberts Expo & Trade Fair
The Tennessee Walking Horse Industry hosts Monty Roberts Expo
(a public event with invited quest from all horse breed farms and organizations) 


Owner’s Call to Action: TWEET

Ladies and Gentlemen, our industry and in fact our breed is at perhaps one of the most tumultuous points in its history.  The Tennessee Walking Show Horse has been under attack for some time.  They have plotted a course, set off on it in a very methodical manner and unless we cause them to detour, they will soon arrive at their destination.  The listening sessions being conducted this month address numerous items and could be the first step in further rulemaking to eliminate the padded performance Tennessee Walking Horse.

As an owner, you are the stakeholder.  You are the only one who can change the course of events that will follow.  As an owner you are the custodian of the breed and as such are responsible, and will be held accountable for, the treatment of your horse.  I urge you to reinforce the fact that you as an owner do not want any training methods used on your horse that would violate the HPA.   This has to be a very clear agreement between you and your trainer.  If you think there is any doubt that your trainer does not understand your desires concerning the treatment of your horse, you need to “TWEET”:

  1. TELL him or her that you expect complete compliance with the HPA

  2. WRITE a training contract detailing your expectations

  3. EXPLAIN that you will remove the horse from his barn if your instructions are not followed

  4. ENFORCE complete compliance by visiting his barn on a regular basis and inspecting your horse on a regular basis.  If you are unable to do this, ask a veterinarian to do the same and provide you with a written report.

  5. TAKE action immediately and secure a witness to your verbal and written instructions.

It is strongly recommended that even if you have already completed a training agreement or liability form with your trainer in the past that you reiterate your instructions both verbally and in writing immediately.


Kim Bennett
Walking Horse Owners Association

USDA APHIS Horse Protection Program Listening Sessions

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care Program will hold listening sessions throughout the United States to obtain public feedback on the Horse Protection Program.  In particular, APHIS is interested in hearing feedback on the questions below:

  • Congress passed the Horse Protection Act in 1970 to eliminate the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses. How close are we to achieving the goal?
  • Can the industry achieve a consensus on how to carry out a self-regulatory program to enforce the Horse Protection Act in a consistent way?
  • What responsibilities should USDA-certified Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) have within the industry?
  • How can the industry reconcile its inherent competition aspect with ensuring compliance with the Horse Protection Act?
  • What can USDA do now (and in the future) to ensure compliance?
  • What responsibilities should USDA have within the industry with respect to enforcement and what hinders oversight of the HIOs and/or industry?
  • Should there be a prohibition of all action devices?
  • Should there be a prohibition of pads?
  • Currently the Horse Protection regulations have a shoe weight limit on yearlings. Should there now be a shoe weight limit for all aged horses?

The listening sessions are planned for the following dates and locations:

  • March 7 – 9am to 1pm; Springhill Suites, 5800 High Point Drive, Irving, TX 75038
  • March 8 – 9am to 1pm; University Plaza Hotel, 333 John Q Hammons Parkway, Springfield, MO 65806
  • March 15 – 9am to 1pm; Kentucky Horse Park (South Theatre), 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511
  • March 22 – 9am to 1pm; Doubletree Ontario Airport, 222 N. Vineyard Avenue, Ontario, CA 91764
  • March 23 – 9am to 1pm; Phoenix Inn Suites, 3410 Spicer Road SE, Albany, OR 97322
  • March 27 – 9am to 1pm; Renaissance Asheville Hotel, 31 Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • March 29 – 9am to 1pm; Mississippi State University – College of Forest Resources/Forest and Wildlife Research Center Department of Forest Products Facilities, 100 Blackjack Road, Starkville, MS 39759
  • April 4 – 9am to 1pm; Doubletree Murfreesboro Hotel, 1850 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • April 10 – 9am to 1pm; USDA APHIS Headquarters, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737

Speakers will be limited to 5 minutes in order to ensure everyone registered will have the opportunity to have their comments heard.  If you have written comments, you may leave them with the USDA officials at the session.

Online registration is available on the APHIS Animal Care website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/events_reg.shtml

We look forward to your comments in order to ensure the success of the USDA APHIS Horse Protection Program.  If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Rachel Cezar at (301)851-3746 or rachel.cezar@aphis.usda.gov.

Further information is also available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp

Hallie Zimmers
National Stakeholder Liaison
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

FAST Continues Funding of Industry Education

The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) has recently announced that it issued grants to the SHOW HIO to fund their previously held Designated Qualified Person (DQP) Refresher Course and their upcoming Judges’ Clinic to be held on February 18- 19, 2011. FAST issued a grant for $1,500 to SHOW for the DQP Refresher Course and $2,500 for the Judges’ Clinic.

FAST has continued to support efforts to help in the promotion and preservation of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse which is line with the mission of the foundation. “We are happy to continue to help educate, promote and preserve our great breed as we move forward,” said President Mike Inman.

Don’t forget FAST Scholarship Applications are due by June 01, 2011. FAST gave out 22 Scholarships in 2010 totaling $12,500.00. Check out the FAST web site www.FASTwalkingshowhorse.org to see the 2010 recipients. The FAST Scholarship Committee consists of Brenda Carlon, Chairperson, Jo Ann Dempsey and Kathy Zeis.

FAST has donated over $135,000.00 to industry initiatives and continues to gain momentum as the industry’s only foundation that supports the show horse. All donations made to FAST are tax deductible and will be used to help promote and preserve the Tennessee Walking Show Horse. “We urge industry stakeholders to look at FAST as a tax deductible way to help fund our great horse, educate our children and promote our horse to the public,” concluded Inman.