National Walking Horse Association Emphasizes Zero Tolerance for Soring at National Championship Show


Flat shod Tennessee Walking HorseThe National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) is showing its commitment to the 1970 Federal Horse Protection Act by inviting The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the USDA, and the ASPCA to its National Championship Horse Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, September 30 through October 4.

Donald Vizi, executive director of the NWHA, extended invitations to the top brass at the HSUS, the USDA and the ASPCA to show his ongoing support of the humane treatment of Tennessee Walking Horses. The NWHA was founded 10 years ago to advocate the natural abilities and versatility of the Tennessee Walking Horse. “We have invited all three organizations to attend Nationals and welcome their participation in the inspection of our sound, flat shod walking horses,” Vizi says. “NWHA is committed to preserving and fostering the natural abilities and welfare of the Walking Horse. We have a zero tolerance scar rule policy.”

The Horse Protection Act makes it illegal to sore horses. Soring is the practice of inflicting pain on a horse’s limbs in order to achieve an exaggerated gait. Unfortunately, soring continues to plague some Tennessee Walking Horse shows.

According to Vizi, horses will be inspected at the NWHA National Show for full compliance with the Horse Protection Act. Horses’ shoes will be inspected for compliance with NWHA’s rules as well. Shoes may be pulled and weighed to ascertain that they are formed only from conventional steel. Horses will also be observed for temporary visual impairment and may be required to submit a blood sample for drug testing.

Vizi’s invitation is timely. The annual Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration, which took place this year August 20-30 in Shelbyville, Tenn., made headlines when it was announced afterward that the event saw 187 soring violations. That’s an increase in violations over the 2007 Celebration when 104 soring violations were handed out.

For more information about the NWHA National Championship Horse Show, visit


  1. to thnnk that humans would be so cruel to an animal just for show and money is totally unacceptaqble. thank you to all the organizations that are stopping this horrible treatment.

  2. I like your article, but so far there is to much money graph being taken to stop the soring. I belong to FOSH and they try very hard to end this horrible thing. Why should the SPCA let soring cripple our horses? Tell you Congressman and Senators about soring. Lets end it NOW!!


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