Posted October 18, 2014
The group tells me they believe a form of painful abuse called soring is happening among the the Tennessee walking horse.
State fair officials are aware of these concerns and say they are monitoring it...even disqualifying two horses yesterday under suspicion of abuse.
<WE'RE TRYING TO CANCEL A CRUEL HORSE SHOW THAT'S GOING ON AND WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE SEND AN EMAIL AND MAKE A PHONE CALL TO THE FAIR MANAGER.>
Michelle Disney has no idea how many people will actually make the phone call...or how many of her fliers may end up on the ground.
But to her...the hours spent handing them out is worth it.
<IM CONCEREND ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES BECAUSE THEY ARE ABUSED.>
It's a serious a allegation...but one Disney believes to be true.
She believes the Tennessee Walking Horses are being subjected to soring.
A form of abuse that damages a horses hoof...and causes it to walk in a more exaggerated way.
<THEY WILL PUT HEAVY STACKS ON THE HORSES FOOT AND THESE STACK OFTEN HIDE SHARP METAL OBJECTS. >
The Horse Protection Act was passed in the 1970'S to prevent such abuse.
Brian Long, spokesperson for the state fair, told us he's aware of the law and that procedures are in place for the animal's protection.
<THE HORSES ARE INSPECTED BEFORE THEY SHOW. AND IF EVIDENCE OF SORING IS FOUND THEN THOSE HORSES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPETE.>
Long says two horses have already been disqualified...and officials will not hesitate to continue doing so if necessary.
<WE'RE CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL CATCH ANY ISSUES THAT MAY SHOW UP HERE AT THIS SHOW.>
Disney believes the inspections are useless because many of them are hired by the people abusing the horse.
But Long says they also have USDA inspectors come unannounced as an unbiased third party.
There is another bill being introduced that would put more restrictions on soring.
Friday’s attendance at the State Fair was 73,571. Last year, attendance on the first Friday was 72,794.