Got Gait – Go FOSH
A Champion for All Gaited Horses

Press Releases

FOSH Sound Principles

FOSH is named as one of only 3 HIOs approved to carry out compliance inspections at shows where Kentucky Breeders' Incentive points are awarded, with about $750,000 potential being put in escrow for award in 2011. Click hereto read more about this story.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen
TBippen1957@yahoo.com      

FOSH Adds Second Level Dressage Tests to the IJA Manual for Gaited Dressage 
September 30, 2014

Friends of Sound Horses announces the addition of Second Level Dressage Tests for Gaited Horses to the IJA Manual for Gaited Dressage. The Second Level Tests join the 2 Gait Tests, Intro Tests, Training Level Tests, and First Level Tests. The addition of the Second Level Tests increases the number of tests specifically developed for gaited horses to 23 or 46 when Western tests are included. 

The IJA Manual for Gaited Dressage is comprehensive, covers all aspects of Dressage, and considers the unique characteristics of all gaited horse breeds. The Manual was originally published and copyrighted in 2008 and included 19 tests. In 2012, the number of tests was expanded to 38 with the addition of Western Dressage tests. The addition of Second Level Tests increases the number of Gaited Horse tests to 46. 

FOSH Dressage for Gaited Horses is included under the FOSH Gaited Sport Horse initiative. FOSH offers a reward program that is open to all breeds of gaited horses that are at least 48 months of age. Scores from gaited horse dressage tests judged by licensed judges are tracked for participants and recognized annually. Recognized gaited horse tests include those published by FOSH, International Judges’ Association, Western Dressage Association of America, National Walking Horse Association, North America Western Dressage Association and Cowboy Dressage. 

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. To become a member of FOSH and help in its efforts to fight soring or for more information about FOSH, please visit www.fosh.info. 




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen
TeresaBippen@outlook.com      

FOSH is Proud Sponsor of Walk on Washington
May 21, 2014 

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is proud to announce that it is a sponsor of the Walk on Washington on June 18, in Union Square, Washington, D.C.  Walk on Washington is a historical event supporting passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to end soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds.  Soring is the cruel and deliberate infliction of pain upon the front legs and hooves to create a high stepping gait for the show ring.  FOSH strongly endorses the PAST Act.

Walk On Washington will feature Tennessee Walking, Spotted Saddle and Racking Horses showcasing the natural ability, versatility and sound temperament of these exceptional U.S. developed and originated horse breeds.  Remarks supporting passage of the PAST Act will be delivered by various legislators cosponsoring the PAST Act.  Information is available at www.walkinghorsealliance.com.

The Walk’s organizer, All American Walking Horse Alliance (AAWHA) hopes to bring public attention and legislative action to this bipartisan legislation. The PAST Act is cosponsored by 279 members of the House of Representatives (H.R. 1518) and 54 Senators (S. 1406).  Such prestigious organizations as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, American Horse Council and every state veterinary medical association in the United States endorses the PAST Act. 

Sponsoring Walk on Washington is the most recent of many initiatives supported by FOSH during the last fifteen years to end soring.  FOSH has studied technology, created and maintained a database of 12,500+ Horse Protection Act (HPA) violations (www.hpadata.us), had numerous meetings with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), held four national Sound Horse Conferences, operated a USDA certified Horse Industry Organization (HIO), developed and maintained an online media database about soring with over 700 archived articles, met with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, created a humane show ring and rules for Tennessee Walking Horses, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and has come to one conclusion:  enactment of PAST is the only solution to end soring.  PAST amends the Horse Protection Act (1970) by (1) increasing penalties (2) abolishing the pads and chains used to enhance the soring process on the horse and (3) eliminating the conflict ridden HIO system.

The Walk’s organizer, All American Walking Horse Alliance (AAWHA) hopes to bring public attention and legislative action to this bipartisan legislation. The PAST Act is cosponsored by 279 members of the House of Representatives (H.R. 1518) and 54 Senators (S. 1406).  Such prestigious organizations as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, American Horse Council and every state veterinary medical association in the United States endorses the PAST Act. 

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH, or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or call 800-651-7993. 




Sound Horse Conference Press Release
January 31, 2014



WHEELON INDICTMENTS



Overwhelming Animal Abuse  Tennessee Walking Horse
Barney Davis sheds light on the truth behind an out of control industry 



Roy Exum: Horseman’s Leap Of Faith 



Donate in Memory of
Brenda Imus


Press Releases





Congress scrutinizes show-horse industry practice of 'soring'
November 13, 2013


WASHINGTON - A bill that would safeguard show horses from painful practices designed to heighten their crowd-pleasing high gaits sparked a lively debate Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel heard testimony on proposed amendments to the 1970 Horse Protection Act from Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., that would place substantial penalties on any show horse owner caught using a practice known as "soring." His measure also would add independent overseers to the largely self-policed industry.

Although the Horse Protection Act outlawed soring, Whitfield and more than 220 co-sponsors of his legislation claim that it's still widely practiced throughout the walking horse industry.

Soring dates to the beginnings of the famed Tennessee walking horse tradition, whose horses are renowned as some of the industry's most elite competitors because of their exaggerated gait. The tactics employed in the more-than-a-century-old practice include weighting a horse's hooves or inserting nails and sharp objects into the tender parts of the foot. The high-step gait is often the horse's pained response.

At the hearing before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, industry supporters and critics agreed that the high-step gait wasn't natural for the animals.

"I've seen horses' feet look like pizza with the cheese pulled off of it. That's how horrific this practice is," said Marty Irby, the international director of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association.

Though many witnesses agreed that soring should be outlawed, officials and critics sparred over how much the practice persists, with industry officials saying the walking horse community has largely eliminated soring on its own.

"The current compliance rates reported by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) indicate the welfare of the horse is being protected and the industry is achieving the goal of eliminating soring," said Dr. John Bennett, a veterinarian who testified on behalf of the Performance Show Horse Association. He said the compliance rates in recent years had been as high as 98 percent.

But critics charge that the numbers are skewed and that more advanced strategies of avoiding detection have allowed the practice to continue.

"This industry has had over 40 years to rid itself of this abuse, and for numerous reasons has not only resisted, but has refused reform at every turn," said Donna Benefield, the vice president of the International Walking Horse Association. "They have maintained, controlled and regulated soring through fear and intimidation for many years."

Whitfield's bill also faces resistance from those who say enforcement could have a substantial impact on the industry's jobs, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who said the loss could be in the thousands.

Whitfield denied that his bill would have a severe economic impact.

"Let me just say, Tennessee walking horses are being shown in other parts of the country. . . . They don't use the soring, and it's not destroying the industry," he said. "Everyone that I've talked to has indicated that there's no reason for these shows not to go on."

Among other things, his bill bans the use of chains, weights and any other device intended to alter a horse's natural gait that isn't "strictly protective or therapeutic." It would restrict a person from ordering a horse to undergo soring before competition or auction and would raise financial penalties as well, from $3,000 to $5,000, for owners caught using soring.

The bill also would raise the possible disqualification time from three years to five years.





Congressmen Whitfield and Cohen clarify language in the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) act,
H.R. 1518 and S. 1406.


Press Releases





Sound Horse Groups Announce Victory in Lawsuit 
July 31, 2013 

The American Horse Protection Association, along with Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) and two other compliant, certified Horse Industry Organizations (HIOs) are pleased with the recent decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has full rulemaking authority to carry out the provisions of the Horse Protection Act.

The Court’s decision upheld the authority of USDA to adopt a regulation requiring that HIOs that sponsor industry-based programs to identify and disqualify sore horses also have a system of minimum penalties to punish violators and deter soring practices.  The organizations had jointly filed a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in the lawsuit asking the court to uphold the much needed regulations issued by the USDA to strengthen enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and bring an end to the cruel practice of “soring.” 

Soring of horses is the cruel and deliberate infliction of chemical or mechanical pain upon a horse’s hooves and limbs to create an unnatural, exaggerated, high stepping gait for the show ring.  Soring is a major animal welfare issue that has been illegal for over forty years under the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) yet the practice is still widespread in show rings of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Racking Horses. 

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  To become a member of FOSH and help in its efforts to fight soring or for more information about FOSH, please visit www.fosh.info.




FOSH Meets with US Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack 
July 30, 2013 

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) met with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack along with other sound Tennessee Walking Horse representatives and veterinarian medical officials to provide current information on the cruel act of soring.

Soring of horses is the cruel and deliberate infliction of chemical or mechanical pain upon a horse’s hooves and limbs to create an unnatural, exaggerated, high stepping gait for the show ring.  Soring is a major animal welfare issue that has been illegal for over forty years under the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) yet the practice is still widespread in show rings of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Racking Horses. 

FOSH President, Teresa Bippen, Ron DeHaven, Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Nat White, DVM and Keith Kleine, both of American Association of Equine Practitioners, Donna Benefield of International Walking Horse Association and gaited horse clinician, Gary Lane, were invited to the meeting to discuss ideas for ending soring.  The productive meeting resulted in a good exchange of ideas with Secretary Vilsack.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  To become a member of FOSH and help in its efforts to fight soring or for more information about FOSH, please visit www.fosh.info.






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Dianne Little and Walter Moyer


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Pauline Stotsenberg and a curious visitor


IJA Judges Seminar for Dressage with Gaited Horses 

The second IJA Judging Seminar for Dressage with Gaited Horses was held in Chino Valley, Arizona on June 14 to June 16, 2013, and was organized and instructed by the Independent Judges Association, a subset of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH).

The clinic was based upon the FOSH Sound Principles as well as the Fundamentals of Dressage for Gaited Horses.  The IJA program is based on the premise that all gaited breeds and all gaited horses are capable of Dressage and will benefit from Dressage.  The IJA program respects the universality of Dressage and recognizes and reinforces the aspects of Dressage that are true for all horses.  The IJA Program adapts and applies the Principles of Classical Dressage to gaited horses while reinforcing the aspects of Dressage that are true for all horses.  

The IJA Program for Dressage with Gaited Horses began in 1998 when FOSH was founded.  The Program was expanded in 2009 with publication of the IJA Manual for Dressage with Gaited Horses.  This Manual is a comprehensive manual based upon the fundamentals of Dressage combined with the unique characteristics of the gaited horse.  Nineteen tests have been developed that can be ridden by any gaited horse.  The IJA tests consist of 2 Gait Tests, Intro Level Tests, Training Level Tests and First Level Tests.  In each of the tests, the transitions occur in locations that can be executed smoothly by all gaited horses whether long strided, or short strided. 

Every IJA clinic comprises 2 days of classroom learning and a day of practical application of the theory and skills presented during the prior 2 days.  This clinic was no exception.  The third day was a Dressage Schooling Show for Gaited Horses.  Fourteen tests were ridden and provided the applicant judges ample opportunity to apply the principles of Dressage, movement, judging and gait as each ride was evaluated.  Judging of any kind is a high level skill and judging Dressage for gaited horses combines knowledge of Dressage Fundamentals with knowledge of the unique intermediate gait of 20 gaited breeds.   Although all gaited breeds have a 4 beat intermediate gait, each of those intermediate gaits is unique to the breed.  The intermediate gait of the Missouri Fox trotting horse is not the same as the intermediate gait of the Mountain Horse even though both breeds may have a smooth and a four beat gait. 

As a special treat, James Shaw of Riding From Within introduced judges and riders to his unique approach to the human riding body utilizing the Eastern Modalities.  Rose Miller, author of The Horse that Wouldn’t Trot was a special guest at the clinic on Friday.  On Sunday, Dr. Richard Weary, a Tevis finisher on John Henry a Tennessee Walking Horse, communicated the excitement and hard work of riding Endurance.  Once again, the awesome cooperation, enthusiasm and openness of all rider and participants created an event that will be long remembered. 

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH, the only national organization that represents multiple gaited breeds, or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info.

The AHP Newsgroup is a benefit of membership and provides members with press releases and newsworthy items. On approval, submissions are sent from the AHP administrative office to the AHP-LIST of AHP member e-mail addresses. Submissions must contain information about an AHP member. Messages should be sent as text only in an e-mail message or Word doc. to ahorsepubs@aol.com. Attached files, such as PDF and images, will not be used. Messages may contain links, but please use the www or http:// that precedes the URL address. Images, logos or attached files will not be included or distributed. Members are urged to include contact information on image availability. Members are limited to two press releases per month. These news releases are also listed online at www.americanhorsepubs.org under AHP Newsgroup for easy reference.

AHP has not verified the factual statements in any message and AHP assumes no responsibility for the contents of, or any damage resulting from, any communication in the Newsgroup. Publication in the Newsgroup is not an endorsement by the organization of any product, person, or policy.
Members may unsubscribe to the AHP Newsgroup at any time by sending an e-mail message to Chris at ahorsepubs@aol.com requesting to remove your e-mail address from the list. By doing this you will remove your name from receiving all future messages sent to the AHP-LIST until you contact us to re-subscribe.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2013
Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen
Tbippen1957@yahoo.com

Got Gait? Go FOSH!

Whether you are seeking information on gaited horses, are interested in competing, or simply enjoying your horse, Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) offers it all when your passion is for the gaited horse. FOSH is a membership organization that welcomes participation by owners of every gaited horse breed to come together and support the gaited horse in all equine pleasures and disciplines. With a robust set of resources for the gaited horse enthusiast whose needs are often not addressed in mainstream media or clubs, going for a FOSH membership provides many rewards.

For those wanting to compete with their gaited horse, FOSH offers the Gaited Sport Horse program to recognize and honor the talents and abilities of every breed of gaited horse.  Launched in 2013, the program encompasses the first distance program to recognize and reward all gaited horse breeds.

Another discipline encompassed with the Gaited Sport Horse program is Gaited Dressage.  The FOSH Gaited Dressage program has been acknowledged by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) as a resource for gaited dressage judges and competitors, and the FOSH Dressage program is listed on the USDF website.  (www.FOSHGaitedSportHorse.com).

One of the fastest growing equine disciplines is equine agility.  The FOSH ambassador, Lady C, a double registered Tennessee Walking and Spotted Saddle horse, is winning over thousands of fans with her talent at performing tricks at liberty.  Lady C will be a featured performer at this year's BreyerFest in Lexington, KY, and has been honored by Breyer with a limited edition model horse, to be introduced at BreyerFest as well.

If your interest is the show ring, FOSH provides licensed judges and the Independent Judges Association (IJA) Rulebook covering 15 gaited breeds for use with all gaited breed horse shows or for shows offering gaited horse classes.  Do you ride a gaited horse and are unsure of that gait?  FOSH provides free gait analysis to those who submit a video.

Need gaited horse information and resources?  FOSH publishes the Sound Advocate, the only all gaited breed horse magazine in print.  The Sound Advocate is a bimonthly international publication providing breed profiles, gaited horse training and education and heartwarming stories of our members and their journeys with gaited horses.

So, if you enjoy the smooth ride of a gaited horse, then go FOSH because you got Gait!

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, visit  www.fosh.info or e-mail data@fosh.info.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2013

Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen

Tbippen1957@yahoo.com

FOSH Announces Its Support for AntiSoring Bill, HR 1518

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) announces its support of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) bill introduced by Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) which provides stronger measures to fight the abuse of soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. 

Soring of horses is the cruel and deliberate infliction of chemical or mechanical pain upon a horse’s hooves and limbs to create an unnatural, exaggerated, high stepping gait for the show ring.  Soring is a major animal welfare issue that has been illegal for over forty years under the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA) yet the practice is still widespread in show rings of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Racking Horses. 

Such relief cannot arrive too soon for Walking Horses.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released swabbing results for 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse shows, and the results are appalling.  Of 24 shows swabbed, the overall average for testing positive for foreign substances, including numbing agents, was 65% and some shows were at 100%.  Numbing agents are used on a horse’s front legs to ensure they pass inspection when checked by a designated qualified person (DQP) before entering the show ring.  The numbing agents wear off by the time the horse is exhibited so they still achieve their pain induced, high-stepping gait.

The percentage of foreign substances abuse is even higher for the Walking Horse industry’s most revered show, the National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN held in August each year.  In 2012, the USDA swabbed 190 horses and 145 tested positive (76%) for foreign substances including caustic agents and numbing substances.  It is highly possible horses that tested positive went onto win their classes and now hold titles of World Grand Champions on their registration papers.  Although swabbing has been ongoing by the USDA for several years, at this time there has been no effort by Celebration management or the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) to remove titles from horses that tested positive for foreign substances.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  To become a member of FOSH and help in its efforts to fight soring or for more information about FOSH, please visit www.fosh.info.

The AHP Newsgroup is a benefit of membership and provides members with press releases and newsworthy items. On approval, submissions are sent from the AHP administrative office to the AHP-LIST of AHP member e-mail addresses. Submissions must contain information about an AHP member. Messages should be sent as text only in an e-mail message or Word doc. to ahorsepubs@aol.com. Attached files, such as PDF and images, will not be used. Messages may contain links, but please use the www or http:// that precedes the URL address. Images, logos or attached files will not be included or distributed. Members are urged to include contact information on image availability. Members are limited to two press releases per month. These news releases are also listed online at  www.americanhorsepubs.org under AHP Newsgroup for easy reference.

AHP has not verified the factual statements in any message and AHP assumes no responsibility for the contents of, or any damage resulting from, any communication in the Newsgroup. Publication in the Newsgroup is not an endorsement by the organization of any product, person, or policy.

Members may unsubscribe to the AHP Newsgroup at any time by sending an e-mail message to Chris at ahorsepubs@aol.com requesting to remove your e-mail address from the list. By doing this you will remove your name from receiving all future messages sent to the AHP-LIST until you contact us to re-subscribe.




Independent Judges Association

IJA Judge Certification Clinic
  for Dressage with Gaited Horses
June 14, 15 and 16, 2013
Chino Valley, Arizona

The Second IJA Judge Certification Clinic for Dressage with Gaited Horses will be held June 14, 15, and 16, 2013.  FOSH supporter Kirsten Kuzmanic assisted by IJA Judge Pauline Stotsenberg will host the clinic in Chino Valley near Prescott, Arizona. 

This intense and comprehensive 3 day clinic combines classroom instruction; interactive discussion; detailed information on gait standards for gaited breeds; IJA Dressage standards and live judging.  This clinic will establish, explain and expand the discipline of Dressage for gaited horses, recognizing the uniqueness of each gaited breed, but reinforcing the aspects of Dressage (training) that are true for all horses.  The agenda parallels the traditional IJA Judges Clinic - instruction for two days and practical application through live judging on the third day.  

Philosophy:
Although the discipline of Dressage is universal, it was developed for horses where the intermediate gait is one with suspension.  In the gaited breeds, the intermediate gait is a gait without suspension.  Consequently there may be some differences between Classical Dressage and Dressage for Gaited Horses.  IJA believes all gaited breeds are capable of Dressage and that all gaited breeds will benefit from Dressage.  IJA respects the universality of Dressage and will adapt the Fundamentals for Dressage to gaited horses.  IJA recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each gaited breed as well as the similarity between gaited breeds. 

Purpose
The purpose of the clinic is to educate and certify dressage judges for gaited horses.   

 The clinic welcomes:

  • all licensed IJA judges and  IJA Apprentices;  
  • those interested in entering the IJA apprentice program  to pursue an IJA Dressage certification for gaited horses
  • any individual with an interest in the discipline of Dressage for gaited horses. 

Fees

  • 2013 Licensed IJA Judge or Apprentice $100.00
  • Apprentice entering the IJA Program $150.00
  • Auditors to the clinic $50.00
  • *Auditors participating with horses - $25.00

If you are planning to attend

  • contact the Director of Judges at ddlittle@telus.net for further information

The closest large airport to Chino Valley is Phoenix Arizona. FLY GREAT AIRLINE flies directly into Prescott from Los Angeles and Denver and there is a shuttle to the hotel.  

Prescott is about a one hour drive from Phoenix and Chino about 15 miles from Prescott so ground transportation is necessary.  

The Days Inn in Chino Valley is the host hotel for the clinic.  (928 636 0311)  To obtain the special rate mention FOSH Judges Horse Clinic.

For further information and to indicate attendance please contact

Dianne Little  403-271-7391 or 403-678-4452 or ddlittle@telus.net




Independent Judges Association Annual Judges Clinic

April 18, 19 and 20, 2013

Auditors are welcome and encouraged to attend

The Independent Judges Association (IJA), a subset of The Friends of Sound Horses, Inc. (FOSH) will hold its annual Judges Training Seminar April 18, 19 and 20, 2013 in Reno Nevada. It is organized by FOSH Board member Ed Ogg and generously hosted by the Northern Nevada Gaited Horse Club.  It will be in conjunction with a Horse show affording an apprentice opportunity.  The host hotel is the Airport Plaza across from the Reno Airport.  All meetings will be held in the hotel and transportation will be supplied to the arena.  

This is an intense and comprehensive clinic combining classroom instruction, active and lively discussion, video and detailed information on IJA standards for judging gaited horses.  The standards for many gaited breeds will be presented by a variety of IJA judges.   Discussion will be encouraged and promises to be lively.  Standards for the Gaited Curlies and MFT will be presented by High Desert Equine Breeders. 

If you want to further your knowledge of gaited horses, horse show rules, judging protocol and judging decisions you will find it beneficial to attend the IJA Annual Judges Training Seminar as an auditor.  Auditors are welcome to attend all sessions, but reservations are required.  The fee for auditors is $35 per person and includes a copy of the 2013 IJA Rule Book.   Auditors will be asked to refrain from comments during instructional sessions, but are encouraged to ask questions at the end of each session.

If you plan to attend as an auditor, for further information please contact 
Dianne Little 403-271-7391 or 403-678-4452 or ddlittle@telus.net





FOSH Ambassador, Lady C, to Perform at BreyerFest
January 8, 2013
Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is proud to announce that its ambassador, Lady C, a stunning double registered Tennessee Walking Horse/Spotted Saddle Horse, will perform at the 2013 24th Annual BreyerFest at the Kentucky Horse Park July 19-21.  Lady C was generously donated to FOSH by Grammy Award winning musician-singer, Sheryl Crow, and was trained and is cared for by Suzanne DeLaurentis of Imagine a Horse.

As an ambassador for FOSH, Lady C demonstrates how one area of the sound and gentle training principles promoted by FOSH can yield extraordinary results.  Lady C was trained through positive reinforcement to allow her agility and willing attitude to come shining through.  Lady C knows over two dozen moves, all performed at liberty, including the retrieval of her specially-made Frisbee!  The BreyerFest theme of Denim and Diamonds is the perfect venue for Lady C to sparkle this year.  A Breyer model of Lady C will be available later this year and can be viewed at the BreyerFest website.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and actively fights against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH, which is the only national organization that represents multiple gaited breeds, or to become a member, please visit  www.fosh.info.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Person: Cris Van Horn
Editor@fosh.info

FOSH Welcomes New President 
November 13, 2012

Friends of Sound Horses, FOSH, welcomes a new President, Teresa Bippen, as a result of the elections held at its annual FOSH Board of Directors meeting November 3 and 4. Teresa replaces Lori Northrup who served as FOSH President from 2005. Teresa has been a member of FOSH since 2002 and has been instrumental in guiding the organization in her roles over the years as Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations and HIO Coordination.

The annual elections resulted in other changes in Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Committee positions as well:

President: Teresa Bippen
Secretary-Treasurer: Alece Ellis
Vice President, Shows: Ed Ogg
Vice President, AntiSoring Initiatives: Lori Northrup
Vice President, Public Relations: Cris VanHorn
Vice President, IJA Judging: Dianne Little

Directors at Large: Nancy Harding and Maggie MacAllister

In addition to serving as President, Ms. Bippen will continue to serve as the HIO Coordinator for the FOSH DQP program.

Executive Advisory Committee:

Pam Brand
Bill Coon
Keith Dane
Anita Dunham
Beverly Foster
Ashley Frones
Nichole Hallum 
Gale Monahan
Vali Suddarth
Julie Tarnawski

FOSH Advisors:

HIO Administrator: Nya Bates
Equine Agility: Sue DeLaurentis

Moving off the EAC is Kelly Hewitt. FOSH sincerely thanks Kelly for her hard work and support of FOSH.

FOSH welcomes all to their new or renewed positions and looks forward to a vibrant year in 2013 as FOSH kicks off its Gaited Distance, Gaited Horse Dressage and Equine Agility Programs, initial components of the FOSH Gaited Sport Horse Program.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. For more information about FOSH, or soring or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or www.stopsoring.com.



Winners of FOSH EquiTheater Contest Announced


The first EquiTheater contest for FOSH members is over and the winners determined.  EquiTheater is a skit performed to music by exhibitors and their horses. Exhibitors may use props and other individuals in their submission, but the horses must be gaited and the submission must be by a FOSH member. The contest was conceived by FOSH lifetime member Laura Wyant, the originator of EquiTheater. The rules were developed by Laura and FOSH in accord with the FOSH Sound Principles. The $500 prize pool was sponsored by www.EquiTheater.com.

Each entry was an original routine not previously entered in an EquiTheater contest.  All entries were uploaded to a YouTube site.  Results were determined by popular vote - a viewer’s choice award determined by the number of likes for each routine.

The submission receiving the most “likes” was Old Hunk of Coal submitted by Chris Beasley. This submission highlighted the talents of Sweet Argentina a Spotted Saddle Horse who undergoes a transformation from a Hunk of Coal to a Diamond.  She is owned by Chris who receives $180 as the viewer’s choice winner.  

 A close second with one fewer likes was Beep Beep submitted by Gina Vehige.   This entry highlighted the performance of TWH Chance’s Magical Dust, TWH Via’s Honeysuckle Rose and SSH Sweetwater Argentina. Gina and friends receive $155 for second place.

In third place was Hot Rod Lincoln submitted by Darryl Vehige.  his performance highlighted TWH Hot Off the Press, THW Chance’s Magical Dust and SSH Sweetwater Argentina.  The entry received $105 for placing third.

In fourth place was Petey the Snake submitted by Gaylene Bartell.  This entry featured 
TWH  Ce Ce  ridden by Gaylene Bartel as Petey’s mom.  Assistance was provided by TWH  Oliver and Beth Lee as well as TWH Sassy and Laura Wyant. Gaylene received $60 for placing fourth.

EquiTheater and FOSH thanks everyone in front of and behind the camera who made it possible for others to enjoy the multiple talents of gaited horses and gaited horse owners.  Thanks Laura Wyant and EquiTheater for conceiving and sponsoring the contest.



Major Veterinary Groups Call for Ban on Action Devices, Performance Packages in
Tennessee Walking Horse Industry 



Stronger Federal Rule Announced to Impose Penalties against Horse Soring 



For the Tennessee Walking Horse Blog

Roy Exum: Guess Who Judges Horses? 

Roy Exum: Horse Owners Connect The Dots 

The Walking Horse Industry Is Laughable - And Response

Roy Exum: This Jerk Needs Stewarding 

Roy Exum: And Now, 'The Real Big Lick' 




FOSH Gaited
Distance Program 
July 31, 2012 

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is pleased to announce the first distance recognition program for gaited horses beginning in 2013.  The Gaited Distance Program promotes FOSH Sound Principles by recording mileage of the gaited distance horses competing in veterinarian sanctioned endurance, limited distance or competitive trail events and recognizes, honors and rewards the work of that horse.  Each year’s program will run from January 1 through December 31. 
 
The FOSH Gaited Distance Program (GDP) includes Competitive Trail Riding and Endurance Riding, Year-End High Mileage Awards, 1,000 Mile Awards, and the FOSH Commemorative Award Program.  Winners will be announced in the FOSH Sound Advocate magazine, on the FOSH website
and in press releases. 
 
Many gaited horse breeds have provided smooth comfortable rides for their riders while successfully competing in distance riding programs.  Some of these breeds include the Tennessee Walking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse, Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, Racking Horse, Paso Fino, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses, Rocky Mountain Horse and more. 
 
The FOSH Gaited Horse Distance program rules and forms are currently available at the website for individuals wishing to register their horses for 2013 competition.  The website is open in advance of the January 1, 2013 start date to allow visitors to view the site and offer comments. 
 
The FOSH Gaited Distance Program (GDP) is the first division under the FOSH Gaited Sport Horse initiative with the other divisions under development being Gaited Dressage and Gaited Equine Agility.  As awards, eligibility and rules are developed for these divisions, they will be posted at www.foshgaitedsporthorse.com FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visitwww.fosh.info or e-mail data@fosh.info


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen 
Tmbippen1957@yahoo.co 

FOSH Welcomes Two New Contributors to Sound Advocate Magazine 

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH), the leading, sound gaited horse organization, welcomes two new contributors to its Sound Advocate magazine—the educational magazine that sets the standard of excellence for all gaited horses.

ELIZABETH GRAVES is a dedicated advocate for the naturally gaited horse and has spent her lifetime in the horse industry, starting early under the influence of her mother, a successful trainer.  She is a gaited horse judge, clinician, trainer, gait inspector, competitor and pleasure rider.

She has over 30 years experience as a licensed judge with multiple gaited and non-gaited breeds throughout the United States and Canada and has developed judging education, testing and licensing programs for the gaited horse in both countries.  She has also written for numerous national publications.

Elizabeth focuses her professional time on training, conducting clinics, and exhibiting at expos nationally and internationally, completing over 500 to date. She specializes in biomechanics, conformation and locomotion of all breeds of horses with an emphasis on the gaited horse, teaching natural development without gimmicks or artificial manipulation.  

Her guiding mission is to educate horses and people on working together as a team peacefully and humanely.  She strives to bring a higher standard of horsemanship to all who have the desire to learn how to ride their horses in a sound and stress free manner. 

Elizabeth Graves Productions has produced well known videos such as “A Gathering of Gaits”, “Icelandic Horse Gathering”, “How Structure Relates to Gait”, and “A Bit About Bits”.

Liz can be reached at her Shades Of Oak Ranch in Spring Valley, Minnesota, where she still teaches horses and riders, conducts workshops and spends her personal time writing articles and painting.  For more information, please visit www.lizgraves.com

DODIE SABLE or the “Infamous” Dodie Sable is a horse trainer, certified farrier, boarding stable manager, endurance rider, and just plain crazy horse lady for over 30 years.   Dodie was instrumental in designing and setting up Distance Recognition Programs for the Appaloosa Horse Club and the Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association.

At the request of her friends and fan club, she started writing her adventures while riding in Endurance Competitions, and they turned into a book, To Finish is to Win.  

Currently, Dodie competes endurance on a Tennessee Walker mare.  She lives in Pennsylvania and owns Any Pet Groomed, a mobile pet grooming service. 

Dodies’s philosophy on life?  Perspective!  The glass isn't half full.  The glass isn't half empty.  "HEY!  I have a glass and there's something in it!"   Dodie’s key to success?  Perspiration, patience, perseverance!  "If it didn't make me sweat, then I didn't earn it." 

Dodie’s book, To Finish is to Win, One Woman’s Riding Adventuresis available for purchase on the FOSH website (www.FOSH.info).  Dodie is donating a portion of the sales proceeds to FOSH.  
FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to receive the Sound Advocate,please visit www.fosh.info.






Horse Owners Connect The Dots
By Roy Exum

There are approximately 500,000 registered Tennessee Walking Horses in the United States that are just like the sleek animals that a scurrilous trainer in Collierville, Tenn., was shown abusing and torturing in a revolting Humane Society video last week. The great majority of these ho...rses are gentle, majestic and gorgeous.

What’s more, they are owned, trained and loved by people who, ironically, are a whole like the horses that they laughingly claim “own” them. The overwhelming majority of owners, trainers and riders wouldn’t harm an animal for all the money in the world. Sadly, Jackie McConnell, who now is awaiting sentencing in Federal court in Chattanooga after pleading guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy charges, has shown he will do darn near anything for money.

McConnell has a filthy 30-year history of soring animals and much worse. His latest atrocities, coming after he has been a known scofflaw for three decades, have viciously branded the entire walking horse industry and it is paramount for the unlearned public to know his actions are, in fact, a poor and misleading view of a now-staggered horse industry.

As I have delved into the walking horse this week, since learning “Jackie the Jerk” was coming to Chattanooga for trial, literally hundreds of what I believe are decent and concerned people have written me. Their emails are unanimous in their cry for help, begging for more information to be brought forward that will hopefully educate politicians to stiffen both state and federal laws that will put those who abuse animals in jail.

On Thursday I got email from 23 different states where those who love Tennessee Walking Horses are more determined than ever to clean up soring and related misconduct that has historically been seen anytime big money gets involved with animals. Many who own and ride “walkers” are beginning to connect-the-dots and one from Kentucky even wrote, “You want to know who are the biggest cheaters? Follow the money!”

As a result, more and more fingers are being pointed at the walking horse elite who have turned a blind eye to the fact that there are currently 127 trainers and owners who are currently suspended for violating the federal Horse Protection Act and who have allowed Jackie McConnell – and other men like him – to have virtual free rein in walking-horse circles for four decades.

Seriously, the Celebration camp made a big show out of banning McConnell for life and booting him from the Hall of Fame after he pleaded guilty in Chattanooga but – please -- for 30 years he and others have piled up violations of the Horse Protection Act like meaningless candy wrappers and the industry has – admittedly -- done very little to police its scallywags.

A quick review of two big shows, including one this weekend in Shelbyville, showed that every judge involved has had what is called “a ticket,” or received a violation notice from USDA, and a closer look at those who control the walking-horse hierarchy is even more unnerving. As one federal prosecutor quipped, “It looks like the foxes are guarding the hen house!”

While this is not to accuse a single soul or cast aspersion on any official, let’s take a look at several of the industry’s board of directors in an effort to show you why today there is some question regarding the leadership in the clearly-tainted walking horse industry – this based on information gleaned from two Horse Protection Act websites:

WALKING HORSE TRAINER’S ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Jamie Hankins, Paris, Ky. – 1 Violation
1st Vice President Mickey McCormick, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 12 Violations
2nd Vice President David Landrum, Fraklin, Tenn. – 4 Violations

Directors:
Jamie Bradshaw, Franklin, Tenn. – 2 Violations
Wayne Dean, Lewisburg, Tenn. – 5 Violations
Philip Trimble, Pulaski, Tenn. -- 3 Violations
Dale Watts, Summit, Miss. – 5 Violations
Billy Gray, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 10 Violations
Brock Tillman, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 4 Violations
Link Webb, Lewisburg, Tenn. – 6 Violations
Larry Wheelon, Maryville, Tenn. – 12 Violations
Chris Bobo, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 0 Violations
Derek B. Bonner, Mooreboro, N.C. – 5 Violations
John Allen Callaway III, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 5 Violations
Bill Cantrell, Phenix, City, Ala. (Ex-Officio) – 2 Violations
Total– 76 Violations
* * *
WALKING HORSE OWNER’S ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vice President Tam Brogdon, Panama City, Fla. – 1 Violation
Treasurer Richard Greer, Lenoir, N.C. – 2 Violations
Jean Baum, Ixonia, Wisc. – 1 Violation
Betty Denton, Estill Springs, Tenn. – 2 Violations
Sally Fleck, Shelbyville, Tenn. -- 5 Violations
Darden Gladney, Homer, La. – 3 Violations
Don Hancock, Princeton, Ky. – 10 Violations
Phyllis Langley, Sandpoint, Idaho – 3 Violations
Peggy Moore, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 1 Violation
Andy Rippy, Greenbrier, Tenn. – 1 Violation
Iris Schuman, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 1 Violation
Beth Sims, Bell Buckle, Tenn. – 2 Violations
Gail Walling, Wartrace, Tenn. – 1 Violation
Total– 33 Violations
* * *
TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE BREEDERS & EXIBITORS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President Marty Irby, Murfreesboro, Tenn. – 1 Violation
Sr. Vice President Margo Urad, Rockwall, Texas – 1 Violation
Equine Welfare Vice President Dr. Linda Montgomery, Hurtsboro, Ala. – 1 Violation
Training Vice President Wayne Dean, Lewisburg, Tenn. – 5 Violations
Secretary Alie Napier, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 1 Violation

At-Large Directors:
Curtis Rosemann, Cave Creek, Ariz. – 2 Violations
David Mullins, Good Hope, Ga. – 1 Violations
Sam Sorrell, Lexington, Ky. – 1 Violations
Robert Stannard, Lebanon, Ky. – 1 Violations
Ronnie Vincent, Lexington, Ky. – 2 Violations
Darden Gladney, Homer, La. – 3 Violations
Tom Kakassy, Gastonia, N.C. – 4 Violations
Ronald Mosley, Mt. Airy, N.C. – 7 Violations
Sally Fleck, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 5 Violations
Ty Irby, Shelbyville, Tenn. – 6 Violations
Nancy Groover, Longview, Texas – 2 Violations
Ann King, Kaufman, Texas – 2 Violations
Sandra Hankins, Tazewell, Va. – 3 Violations
Total: 48 Violations
* * *
The Top 20 Trainers in the Rider Cup program have 164 Horse Protection Act violations in the past two years.
The SHOW (organization) has 140 certified judges who have a combined 312 HPA violations.
The PRIDE (organization) has 100 certified judges who have a combined 182 HPA violations.
* * *
Once again, how about them apples?
royexum@aol.com
















For any of you that didn’t get to stay up till 11:35PM last night, here’s a link to the ABC Nightline piece on horse soring.  It airs just after the Kennedy section:   Bravo, to the US Attorney Steve Neff for prosecuting, and Keith Dane of the HSUS for getting this extremely disturbing video footage.

Video Reveals Torture of Horses Trained to Win Championships


Press Releases

Undercover video caught trainer Jackie McConnell allegedly abusing Tennessee Walking Horses. (HSUS)
 
May 16, 2012 

Large numbers of the famed Tennessee Walking Horses have been tortured and beaten in order to make them produce the high-stepping gait that wins championships, an ABC News investigation has found.
"All too often, you have to cheat to win in this sport," said Keith Dane of the Humane Society of the United States.
In the most recent example, an undercover video made by an investigator for the Humane Society, documents the cruelty of one of the sport's leading trainers, Jackie McConnell of Collierville, Tennessee.
The video led to a federal grand jury indictment of McConnell and will be seen publicly for the first time tonight on the ABC News program "Nightline."
The tape shows McConnell and his stable hands beating horses with wooden sticks and using electric cattle prods on them as part of a training protocol to make them lift their feet in the pronounced gait judges like to see.
In another scene, McConnell oversees his hands as they apply caustic chemicals to the ankles of the horses and them wrap them with plastic wrap so the chemicals eat into the skin.
"That creates intense pain and then the ankles are wrapped with large metal chains so the horses flinch, or raise their feet even higher," said Dane of the Humane Society.
McConnell is expected to enter a guilty to plea to one count, according to his lawyers.
He declined to comment, or apologize for his acts, when approached by ABC News this week outside his home.
Leaders of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry maintain that such brutality is rare and that trainers do not have to cheat to win championships, which can add millions of dollars to the value of horses.
"They do not have to cheat to win," said Dr. Steve Mullins of the group called SHOW, which oversees inspections of horses before major events. "You don't have to do this kind of junk to win. ... And we are terribly against this stuff."
The industry group maintains that the vast majority of horses are not subjected to the cruel practice of "soring."
But a random inspection by the agents of the Department of Agriculture at last year's annual championship found that 52 of 52 horses tested positive for some sort of foreign substance around front hooves, either to cause pain or to hide it.
Dr. Mullins told ABC News there could be innocent explanations for some of the foreign substances found by the inspectors.





Press Releases

FOSH 2010 REGION 2 CHAMPION GREYBOYS DIXIE CHICK


Greyboy’s Dixie Chick
2010 FOSH Region 2 Hi-Point Champion
Owned by Mary Ellen Frantz

It was my goal to have a Missouri Foxtrotter (MFT) be a contender for the FOSH Region 2 Hi-Point Champion especially since Missouri is included in Region 2.  After all, the Missouri Fox Trotter is the State Horse of Missouri.  There are 18 States and 2 Canadian Provinces in the Region 2 designation.  So, Dixie and I set out on our quest in this multi-gaited breed community.  We showed and won many of the classes we entered. The most memorable class was at the Show-Me Especial Multi-Breed Gaited Horse Show held at the Kansas Coliseum.  After winning the breed specific championship, Dixie qualified to compete in the Best Gaited Horse of Show Championship.  What an honor to be the MFT competing with all the other gaited horses and win Reserve Champion.  Dixie also won the Grand Championship at the Dixieland show.  I set my goal for 2010 and Dixie came through!  I couldn’t be prouder of her.  Dixie is my equine partner and soul mate.  I hate to break the news to Dixie, but “we” are not done showing. I guess she’ll figure that out when she goes to a show and they call us in at a foxtrot! A special thank you goes out to Clifton and Nancy Matlock.  Ten years ago, they told me they had just the horse for me.  They were right on the money with that comment!  Nancy, no one can groom a horse better than you.  Thanks for getting Dixie to shine.  Clifton, what can I say?  Only you know how many long hours you worked to get Dixie to be the horse of my dreams.

The Missouri Fox trotter truly is fabulous!  As the saying goes, “To ride one is to own one!”  Visit our stables website: www.queenbeestables.com .com for more pictures of Dixie, her offspring and her sire.




FOX TROTTER NAMED HORSE OF THE YEAR BY
FRIENDS OF SOUND HORSES (FOSH)

 

Press Releases

 


2010 FOSH Competition

 

Press Releases

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen

tbippen@fosh.info  

FOSH Commends the USDA for Initiating the 2011 Penalty Protocol
November 30, 2010

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) announces praise for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s recent declaration to mandate minimum penalties for the soring of gaited horses with its release of the 2011 Penalty Protocol.  Soring is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step, most prevalent in Tennessee Walking Horses.  Soring has been illegal for over forty years yet continues to be widespread in some horse show venues.

For years, penalties were recommended to horse industry organizations (HIOs), yet HIOs were free to impose their own penalties that were much less stringent than those recommended by the USDA.  As of December 1, 2010, penalties are no longer recommended but are required by the USDA as set forth in the 2011 Protocol.  Consistent penalties in the Walking Horse industry must be applied to ensure that violators do not continually exhibit in show rings with lax enforcement, thus affording little protection to the Tennessee Walking Horse.

FOSH also commends the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services (APHIS) for its willingness to address the numerous areas of concerns raised by the Office of the Inspector General during its audit of inspection program for Walking Horses.  The auditors recommended an entire overhaul of the program, including abolishing the current DQP licensing system and instituting a system where the USDA licenses DQPs because of the numerous conflicts of interest. 

FOSH feels this change is vital to ensuring that conflicts of interest do not continue to plague the industry, and guarantee that violators of the HPA are penalized.  The positive response of APHIS to the report is a monumental step in the right direction to end soring and bring about stronger enforcement of the current program.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visitwww.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993. 



Third Sound Horse Conference Announced a Success
November 11, 2010

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) announced that attendees at the third Sound Horse Conference expressed enthusiastic praise for the conference held November 5 and 6 in Louisville, KY. 

The Sound Horse Conference was organized by FOSH to bring organizations and people together to end soring.  Soring is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step, most prevalent in Tennessee Walking Horses.  

Rick Lamb, host of the weekly television program “The Horse Show” on RFD-TV was the Master of Ceremoniesfor the Sound Horse Conference which consisted of two days of educational panel discussions on the Horse Protection Act, humane training practices, horse show judging, the latest hoof research, future United States Department of Agriculture enforcement, drug testing and much more.  Speakers included veterinarians, leaders of animal welfare organizations, researchers, attorneys, farriers, horse show judges, former trainers and individuals using former show horses for non-showing riding activities.

The Sound Horse Conference featured many internationally known horsemen and equine practitioners dedicated to the welfare of the gaited horse.  One of the speakers was well-known philanthropist and equine spokesperson, Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire, T. Boone Pickens.  Ms. Pickens has been instrumental in supporting animal welfare efforts throughout the years, and is especially known for her crusade to save the American Mustang.  

Another Keynote speaker was legendary natural hoof care pioneer Jaime Jackson.  Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, lecturer, author and researcher on wild and domestic horse hooves and how hoof care affects overall health.

Added this year were three, pre-Conference workshops for owners, trainers and judges to share ideas.  The trainers’ workshop was moderated by a business consultant who guided trainers in developing strategic business plans during changing times.

Evening entertainment incorporated demonstrations of several gaited horses trained using classical dressage methods and trick training.  The audience was wowed by the horses’ intelligence, athleticism and smooth gaits developed with humane training methods instead of soring, heavy shoes and pads, chains and gimmicks.

More details are currently available at www.soundhorseconference.com and a downloadable recording of the conference will soon be available.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about gaited horses, FOSH or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993




Contact Person:  Teresa Bippen

tbippen@fosh.info

 

Third Sound Horse Conference

Provides Timely Information

October 29, 2010

In light of the recent, sweeping changes announced on October 28 by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) to the inspection procedures under the Horse Protection Act for Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds, the Sound Horse Conference is the ideal venue for learning more about the future of the show world for Walking Horses.  Multiple panels and workshops include officials from the USDA, expert attorneys, veterinarians, horse industry organization (HIO) representatives and influential industry leaders.  Question and answer sessions from the audience take place following each panels’ discussion.

The Sound Horse Conference is being held November 5 and 6 in Louisville, KY.  The purpose of the Sound Horse Conference is to end soring.  Soring is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step, most prevalent in Tennessee Walking Horses.

Registration for the conference is required. Please visit www.soundhorseconference.com

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993





Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) Steps Up the Battle Against Soring

with Third Sound Horse Conference

October 5, 2010

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is stepping up its battle against soring by hosting the third Sound Horse Conference on November 5 & 6 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Soring is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step, most prevalent in Tennessee Walking Horses. 

The purpose of the Sound Horse Conference is to end soring.  The Conference encourages actions and educates stakeholders and the public on the issues surrounding ending soring.  Information is presented by veterinarians, trainers, government enforcement leaders, attorneys, professors, humane association professionals, and individual volunteers and horse people on topics from current soring observations, cultural objections to the practices, technologies and methods for enforcement, and initiatives in progress to end soring.

The Sound Horse Conference features many internationally known horsemen and equine practitioners dedicated to the welfare of the gaited horse.  One of the speakers is well-known philanthropist and equine spokesperson, Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire, T. Boone Pickens.  

Ms. Pickens has been instrumental in supporting animal welfare efforts throughout the years, and she is especially known for her crusade to save the American Mustang.  Following her marriage to Boone Pickens in 2005, the couple led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States. Their work resulted in the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act by the United States House of Representatives.

Ms. Pickens will be introduced by Senator Joseph Tydings, the "Father of the Horse Protection Act."  During the mid to late 1960s, the American Horse Protection Association and other humane organizations brought the issue of soring gaited horses to public attention. Widespread publicity and political pressure spurred Senator Tydings to sponsor a bill that became the Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970. The HPA made it a Federal offense to intentionally sore a horse to alter its gait and tasked the USDA with enforcing the HPA.

Another Keynote speaker will be legendary natural hoof care pioneer Jaime Jackson.  Jaime Jackson is a 35-year veteran hoof care professional, lecturer, author and researcher on wild and domestic horse hooves and how hoof care affects overall health. He is best known for the practice of natural hoof care first written about in The Natural Horse: Lessons from the Wild (1992).

Rick Lamb, host of the weekly television program “The Horse Show” on RFD-TV is the Master of Ceremonies for the Sound Horse Conference.  Lamb is a radio industry award winner and has been a popular radio and television host for years regarding equine issues. 

The Sound Horse Conference is Friday and Saturday, November 5 & 6, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky, and space is still available.  For more information and to register early, please visit www.soundhorseconference.com

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visitwww.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993. 





"FOSH Announces Complimentary Press Passes

for Sound Horse Conference

September 1, 2010"

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) has announced that the Sound Horse Conference will make a limited number of press passes available to the media. 

The purpose of the Sound Horse Conference is to end soring.  Soring is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step, most prevalent in Tennessee Walking Horses. The Conference encourages actions to put an end to soring and educates stakeholders and the public on the issues surrounding the fight to end soring. 

Information is presented by nationally renowned veterinarians, trainers, Federal enforcement leaders, attorneys, professors, humane association professionals, and individual volunteers and horse people on topics from current soring observations, cultural objections to the practices, technologies and methods for enforcement, and initiatives in progress to end soring.  The expertise of the speakers and panelists is renowned for their cutting edge research, methodology and knowledge.

The Sound Horse Conference is scheduled for November 5 & 6, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky, and a limited number of press passeshave been made available.  Contact the Sound Horse Conference immediately to reserve a Press Pass which will permit attendance to both days of the Conference.  To submit a request, please email info@SoundHorseConference.com.  Requests will be honored on a first come basis.

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.  For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visit www.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993



FOSH Honored by Donation of “Lady C” from

Award Winning Musician, Sheryl Crow

August 25, 2010

Press ReleasesFriends Of Sound Horses (FOSH) is honored to announce that it is the recipient of a very famous and talented Tennessee Walking Horse mare, Lady C,  from world renowned singer and entertainer, Sheryl Crow.  “Lady C” is a black and white tobiano, double registered as a Tennessee Walking Horse and a Spotted Saddle Horse.  Sheryl Crow graciously donated Lady C to FOSH to fill the position of Ambassador Horse. The mare will reside at Red Horse Ranch where she is cared for by Sue DeLaurentis, co–founder of Imagine a Horse, who will donate the lifetime care and continued training.

 

Sheryl Crow is universally known and has won nineGrammy Awards, performed with the Rolling Stones and has sung duets with Mick Jagger,  Michael JacksonEric ClaptonLuciano PavarottiJohn MellencampKid Rock, and Sting among others, She has sold 35 million albums worldwide. 

Lady C is known for numerous publicity events with coverage in magazines that include The Gaited Horse,Rolling StoneEquine Lifestyle, the Horse Gazette, Trail Blazer and The Voice, and Johba Life (Japan).  She is also the star in several trick horse training  DVDs produced by   Imagine A Horse. When Animal Planet filmed a segment called “Trail Mix” that featured pop stars and their horses, Sheryl Crow and Lady C were included.

Lady C's credits also include trick horse exhibitions and demonstrations at the National Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration clinic in August 2007, the Equine Affaire, Equine Extravaganza and many other equine expositions.   One of Lady C’s biggest accomplishments was when she carried  Sheryl Crow into the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Arena for her 2007 concert.  Lady C was undaunted by the  pyrotechnics, 55,000 wildly screaming fans, and pulsating  music that shook the bleachers!  She delivered Sheryl safely to the stage, reared on cue and then took a bow.   

Ms. Crow commented on Lady C’s new position with  FOSH:  "I donated my horse "Lady C" to FOSH because I believe in her new role as Ambassador horse and know that she will help to promote sound training principles that create an enduring relationship between the horse and the human.  The positive reinforcement methods that "Imagine a Horse" used in "Lady C's" education in exhibition trick training, and the sound principles that guide FOSH, are both so congruent with what I believe.  As I have come to know individual Tennessee Walking horses, I love their minds and their generous and willing nature.  I wish Lady C the best as she shares the next chapters of her life with FOSH and Sue DeLaurentis of "Imagine a Horse."

When asked about the generous donation of Lady C to FOSH, FOSH President, Lori Northrup said, “We are so thrilled with the amazing horse that Sheryl Crow donated to FOSH.  Having Lady C as a valuable resource to show the world how a sound, naturally-trained Tennessee Walking Horse can excel in versatile skills along with her learning ability will be a bonus for years to come for our nonprofit organization.”

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visitwww.fosh.info or call 1-800-651-7993. 



Animal Protection, Horse Industry Groups File Petition
Seeking New USDA Rules For Horses

WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United StatesAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Horse Protection Association, Friends of Sound Horses and former U.S. Sen. Joseph Tydingsfiled a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture' s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service seeking new regulations to strengthen its enforcement of the federal Horse Protection Act. Tydings was the original sponsor.

The Horse Protection Act was passed in 1970 to safeguard horses from the cruel practice of soring — the intentional infliction of pain to the limbs and hooves of Tennessee Walking show horses to create an artificial, animated show-ring gait known as the "big lick."

The petition asks APHIS to permanently disqualify from competition chronic, repeat violators of the law as well as horses scarred by soring. It further calls for the implementation of certain mandatory enforcement protocols — including minimum penalties for HPA violations — and the decertification of non-compliant industry groups certified by USDA to conduct inspections of show horses.

"Forty years after passage of the Horse Protection Act, soring is still a widespread problem in the performanceTennessee Walking horse show industry," said Keith Dane, director of Equine Protection for The Humane Society of the United States. "Federal law requires USDA to protect horses from the intentional cruelty inflicted by the practice of soring. This broad coalition of horse advocates has come together to help USDA in bringing a prompt end to this egregious and blatant abuse." 

Facts

  • The most common form of soring is performed by applying caustic chemicals to the pasterns (ankles) of show horses — sensitizing the area and forcing the horse to lift his front legs high off the ground in an attempt to avoid pain.  The horses are then ridden and shown with metal chains around their ankles, which further accentuate the high-stepping action with each painful stride. Soring often leaves telltale scars — including tissue change, calluses, bleeding, inflammation, and skin and hair loss  —all of which are evidence of this cruel and illegal practice.
  • For decades, horses found by federal and industry inspectors to have been sored (and scarred) in order to achieve the artificial "big lick" show-ring gait, have been allowed to continue to compete—forced to endure painful abuse for years throughout their show careers.
  • Many winning trainers in the Walking horse industry have repeatedly been found in violation of the HPA, yet these individuals continue to train — and sore — horses for customers while on suspension from showing. There is little concern for being caught soring, as the consequences are mild, and there are far greater monetary incentives to sore horses rather than abide by federal law and train horses naturally.
  • Several horse industry organizations that have been certified by USDA to conduct HPA inspections have consistently failed to detect and disqualify non-compliant horses at a rate comparable to that of the agency's own veterinary medical officers. Yet no such organization has ever been decertified for non-compliance, as authorized by the HPA and regulations.

The HSUS is represented in this matter pro bono by Latham & Watkins.

To learn more about soring abuse, visit humanesociety. org/horses.

FOSH Representatives Attend United States Department of Agriculture

FOSH announces Horse of the Year 

FOSH announces NEW! 
BREEDERS AWARD  ANDTRAINER OF THE YEAR 

Bob and Charlotte Blackwell  Press Releases

Bob had been ill for awhile and was in the process of downsizing and dispersing his herd of Missouri Fox Trotters.  His horses are advertised on page 12.
  
Bob gladly stepped up to the plate when FOSH was in need of a Director of its DQP and Inspection program.  He was a wonderful addition to the Board, and we all benefited greatly from his vast knowledge.  His zeal to protect the horse and untiring dedication to end soring will not be forgotten.  We will have a follow up article in the next Sound Advocate about Bob and his dedication to the sound horse.

Donations are being collected to assist Charlotte with Bob’s final medical bills and funeral expenses.  To make a donation directly to Bob’s wife, Charlotte, please mail to Charlotte Blackwell, 273 High Point Lane, Niangua, MO 65713.


Press Releases

Rick Lamb Visits FOSH Supporters,  Bucky and Nancy Sparks

Photos and article by Susan Noble 

Rick Lamb, host of the weekly television program “The Horse Show” on RFD-TV is scheduled to be the Master of Ceremonies at this year's Sound Horse Conference in November, so Lori Northrup (President of Friends of Sound Horses) thought he might enjoy meeting some sound horse advocates beforehand. When she learned that Lamb would be a headliner at the Four States Ag Expo in Cortez, Colorado in March, she arranged for him to visit with Nancy and Bucky Sparks at their Walkin' the Dog Ranch, just north of Cortez.
  
Rick decided that this would be a good opportunity to film an episode for his television show, so on March 23, he and camera man, Jay Casmirri, arrived at the Sparks' ranch. 
  
Jay set up his cameras for the interview in front of the Sparks' hundred-year-old stud barn. As Rick and Bucky sat down on a couple of bales of hay for the interview portion of the program, Lamb commented that the old barn was just the sort of classic structure he would want to build for a backdrop. Later he looked around and decided there wasn't a bad backdrop anywhere, surrounded as he was by the snow-capped Rocky Mountains on two sides and Mesa Verde National Park on another. 
  
Bucky later said he appreciated Lamb's approach during the interview. “Rick Lamb is just who you see on his TV show – decent, interested, intelligent and easy to be around. He knows how to put a person at ease. He makes an interview a pleasant process.” 
  
Following the interview, the action moved into the indoor arena where Nancy Sparks demonstrated what makes a gaited horse special. She then turned her mare, Rio, over to Rick for a test drive. 
  
“It was a joy to be able to introduce a horseman like Rick Lamb to our breed,” said Nancy. “He had never ridden a Tennessee Walking Horse, and when he stepped aboard and picked up the reins, he lit up like a Christmas tree! He was amazed at our horses' calm dispositions, the smoothness of their gaits, and how responsive they are to a rider’s cues.” 
  
Rick was treated to a demonstration of the gaits by two of the Sparks' youth riders, Hannah Truelsen and Emily McDonald, who were riding two of the Sparks' National and State Champion Tennessee Walkers. Then it was time for Rick to climb back in the saddle. Once he'd begun to get a feel for the gaits and had one of the horses moving along at a pretty good clip, Rick shouted to Bucky, “Is THIS a Running Walk?” 
  
“Naw, Rick,” Bucky grinned. “Why don't you actually try GOING somewhere?” 
  
With that, Rick got serious in inviting the mare forward. She moved up into a Running Walk, at which point Rick was whoopin' and grinnin'. 
  
When Rick rode over to talk to the camera man a few minutes later, Jay commented that he has seen a lot through the lens of his camera, and on this particular day, he couldn't believe the speed and the action the horse was giving while Rick just sat up there barely moving. 
  
For the final horse, Bucky brought out Eternal Flame, the ranch stud who is a two-time National Grand Champion Western Pleasure horse and two-time Reserve National Champion English Pleasure horse. Rick rode Flame English first, and then western, testing out his gaits (including his rocking chair canter,) turning on the forehand, turning on the haunches, and side-passing. When he finished, he rode over to Bucky, shook his hand and thanked him for the opportunity to learn about Tennessee Walkers. 
  
Throughout the filming process, Lamb asked cogent questions regarding the misconceptions about the training of Tennessee Walkers. In response, the Sparks showed him how they have combined the groundwork aspect of Natural Horsemanship along with Dressage and Reining to build a training program that results in versatile horses who are equally capable of winning championships, going on pleasant trail rides, or packing elk during hunting season. 
  
“Filming the show was an interesting experience,” said Bucky . “Nancy and I appreciated them coming to our ranch. We were grateful for the sincere interest they showed in our horses and our training methods and are looking forward to seeing the finished product when it is shown on RFD-TV in June.”

Press Releases


Dates: Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1st 2010
Location: MFTHBA Headquarters in Ava, Missouri


FOSH Unveils Database of Horse Protection Act Violators

Order The Horse that Wouldn't Trot
Press Releases


FOSH announced New Directors for 2010


Press ReleasesAnnouncement of 2010 Dates for Sound Horse Conference
6/24/09

Press ReleasesTori Blankenship and Playboy’s Sampson, of Sarasota, Florida, win 2008 FOSH Horse of the Year!

Press ReleasesChristine Holt winning the Lifetime Achievement Award from FOSH for her early work unifying the Sound Horse Movement and founding the magazine "The Walking Way."

Latest News: 

04/28/2009   Walking Horse Industry Insiders Expose Abuses
03/31/2009   FOSH Partners with Imagine a Horse to Train “Visten”, a Rescued Tennessee Walking Horse Colt
01/22/2009   FOSH DQPs Inspect First 2009 Show Using New USDA Protocols
01/22/2009   Proposed Kentucky Bill Aims to Curb Soring
01/16/2009   Connecticut Tennessee Walking Horse Farm Rescues Gaited Horses


2008 News:
10/31/2008   FOSH and Anti-Soring Public Relations Listing 2008
10/31/2008   FOSH Organizes Second Sound Horse Conference
10/23/2008   FOSH Provides Funding to Nationally Distribute Anti-Soring DVD
07/23/2008   Twenty Five Equine Welfare Groups Meet at the Homes for Horses Coalition Conference
07/22/2008   Soring to Win
07/16/2008   FOSH Holds First Judge's Certification Clinic for Gaited Dressage
02/12/2008   FOSH Announces IJA Judge Certification Clinic for Gaited Dressage
  

2007 News:
12/19/2007   FOSH to Present Gaited Horse Judging Clinic in Europe
11/30/2007   FOSH Announces Financial Support for Equine Expos
06/18/2007   FOSH Address Media Reports Regarding Use of Chains
06/18/2007   FOSH Announces Location of 2008 North American Championships
06/15/2007   Guidelines for North American Championship Provided by FOSH
06/07/2007   FOSH Creates US Map of Soring Violations



2006 News:

12/18/2006   Keith Dane Appointed to Position with The Humane Society of the United States
12/15/2006   FOSH Announces Financial Support for Equine Expos 
11/16/2006   FOSH Announces Changes to Board of Directors 
09/22/2006   TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE CELEBRATION & SORING NEWS
08/18/2006   FOSH Announces Appointment of Executive Director
08/16/2006  

FOSH Offers Stunning Poster of Gaited Horses 

05/31/2006  

FOSH Analyzes Soring Violations Data

04/11/2006  

FOSH Announces Several "Firsts" for its 2006 North American Championships 

01/16/2006   First FOSH 2006 Clinic Date Announced 
01/09/2006  

Naturally Gaited Judging Clinic and Show 

01/06/2006  

FOSH Announces Financial Support for Equine Expos

FOSH Expo Agreement 





2005 News:

FOSH Announces Change to its North American Championships 
(12/08/2005)

FOSH Announces Changes to Board of Directors
(12/08/2005)

FOSH To Host Listening Session On 
Horse Protection Program Operating Plan and Scar Rule 
(05/24/2005)

FOSH Publishes HIO Meeting Summaries (05/04/2005)

Second 2005 FOSH Clinic Date Announced (04/12/2005)

FOSH Makes HPA Violation Data Available (04/12/2005)

FIRST 2005 FOSH Clinic Date Announced (03/18/2005)

Timberline Saddle Company Sponsors FOSH Horse Dancing Championships (02/10/2005)

FOSH Works to Publicize Those Guilty of Soring Horses (01/27/2005)

FOSH Announces Annual IJA Clinic (01/26/2005)

Financial Incentives for FOSH Sanctioned Shows (01/24/2005)
USDA Announces Horse Protection Program Listening Session (1-19-2005)
North American Championship (01/11/2005)

FOSH partners with other organizations with similar goals of sound and natural

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