Recommendations of the Veterinary Advisory Committee

To the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration
To be implemented at the 2015 Celebration held August 20 through August 30, 2015

The Veterinary Advisory Committee (hereinafter referred to as "V AC") sets forth the following recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (hereinafter referred to as "TWHNC") for implementation at the 2015 Celebration Walking Horse Show. These recommendations are supplemental to the HIO official rules and regulations as well as to the USDA rules and regulations and their related inspection protocols.

The TWHNC is committed to obtaining advice and implementing recommendations from the V AC and to adopt such testing, protocols and monitoring as recommended by the V AC to promote the welfare of all horses competing in the 2015 Celebration. The Celebration shall authorize the V AC to retain and select such highly qualified and professional veterinarians as necessary to implement the recommendations adopted. The committee has thoughtfully considered the recommendations and represents that if accepted, the committee will take all reasonable measures to ensure that testing and monitoring will be conducted by highly qualified non-conflicted equine veterinarians and necessary staff. The Celebration agrees to provide the necessary support personnel, equipment, secure areas, and other assistance as requested by the VAC to carry out their recommendations.

** For all horses either participating or on show grounds at any time during the 2015 Celebration, there is ZERO-TOLERANCE for the following:

  • Numbing or blocking of tails
  • Soring agents
  • Needles
  • Drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Caustic agents
  • Numbing agents
  • Pressure shoeing (either with devices or shoeing techniques)
  • Heel springs (or other foreign objects)
  • Screwdrivers/ band adjustments in the inspection area
  • Administration of medication of any type by any person without prior consent, obtained from the show veterinarian, and if show veterinarian deems appropriate, can only be performed in the presence of the show veterinarian
  • Possession of medication without prior consent from the show veterinarian
  • Failure to comply with all rules and regulations including:
    • Show Management rules
    • HIO rules and regulations
    • USDA rules and regulations
  • Any actions or training techniques deemed by the V AC or its designees, which could reasonably cause a horse to suffer pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness.
    * Note: Licensed private veterinarians may enter the show grounds with such equipment as they may reasonably require, but shall not administer any medication or treat any horse without obtaining prior approval from the Show Veterinarian, and if necessary, supervision of the Show Veterinarian.
  • Recommendations:
  • Registration papers, as well as a current (within 30 days) health certificate and negative coggins test must be presented for each horse to gain admittance into the show grounds.
  • Any horse competing in a championship class must be continuously stalled on the show grounds for no less than 48 consecutive hours prior to the scheduled start time of the performance in which the championship class is to be held.
  • The V AC shall in a timely manner, provide a list of prohibited medications and known clearance times of the said medications, which shall be sent to the Celebration for publication and dissemination. Appointment of Show Veterinarian
  • A Show Veterinarian shall be appointed who is a non-conflicted, non-biased, licensed veterinarian, who shall be responsible directly to carry-out his/her duties enumerated and such other duties as the V AC may direct and shall be appointed and responsible directly to the V AC. There shall be a Show Veterinarian available for each day of the Celebration. And the Celebration shall agree to provide at least two stewards per day (approved by the VAC) to assist the Show Veterinarian in the implementation of his/her duties.
  • The Show Veterinarian shall have the authority to require any horse on the show grounds to be presented for additional inspection and testing by the Show Veterinarian or other licensed veterinarians supervised by the V AC, including but not limited to digital x-rays, blood testing, examination of shoes and such other inspections as the Show Veterinarian, in their sole discretion, deems it necessary.
  • Digital X-rays. Digital x-rays shall be utilized and the VAC shall retain licensed veterinarians to conduct said tests and based upon the findings, shoes may be pulled under the supervision and direction of the veterinarian.
    • The veterinarian will take digital x-rays of both front feet, dorsal ventral, straight lateral, as well as any other views deemed necessary.
    • The horse shall also be inspected and tested as deemed appropriate by the said veterinarian to determine the presence of any improper shoeing or shoeing technique.
    • All results of digital x-rays shall remain in the custody and the property of the VAC.
    • The Celebration shall retain a qualified farrier to be on call in the event it is necessary for the V AC or its veterinarian designees to pull shoes as may be requested under the direct supervision of the Show Veterinarian or other licensed veterinarian supervised by the VAC. The custodian ofthe subject horse may have its own farrier promptly remove the shoes (the said farrier will have no more than 10 minutes to be prepared to remove the shoe, in the event that the requested farrier is not available within the said time, the Show Farrier will remove the said shoes), if so requested by the custodian, under the supervision of the veterinarian.
  • Blood Testing: The VAC shall designate a veterinarian to draw blood from horses in such manner as deemed necessary by the V AC.
    • The veterinarian and the V AC shall agree on a protocol for the chain of custody, storage, identification and testing of all blood drawn.
    • All findings will be returned to the V AC.


  • The VAC requires that its designated representative (G. Thomas Blankenship) shall have the sole authority to speak, coordinate, and implement these recommendations under the direct supervision and guidance of the V AC. Blankenship shall be available on-site at all reasonable times to coordinate and implement these recommendations. Blankenship shall also designate such reasonable times that he will be available to answer any public relations questions on behalf of the V AC.
  • The V AC shall issue a written report to the TWHNC of any inappropriate test results of any kind (i.e. blood tests or digital x-rays).
  • The V AC recommends that the TWHNC publish all proven violations.

Respectfully submitted this 18th day of July, 2015 Jerry H. Johnson D.V.M, Chair
Phillip D. Hammock D.V.M.
Jerry H. Johnson D.V.M, Chair