The Veterinarian Advisory Committee (VAC) to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the recommendations and implementation for the 2015 Celebration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. When will blood testing be conducted by the VAC?
    The VAC will conduct blood testing after the conclusion of each class in a location to be designated. Blood testing may also be done at the discretion of the VAC at any time, however, the VAC does not intend to draw blood immediately prior to the HIO and/or USDA inspection process.
  2. When will digital x-rays be used?
    Digital x-rays will be utilized after a performance or such other time as deemed appropriate by the VAC. The utilization of digital x-rays, and if deemed necessary the removal of shoes, shall not be done immediately prior to performance.
  3. Will the VAC review findings from the HIO and/or the USDA?
    The VAC is not involved in the established preshow and post-show inspection process by the HIO and USDA and will have no comment regarding same. The purpose of the VAC is to utilize its own testing and other procedures as outlined in the recommendations to enhance the welfare of the horse.
  4. Will the VAC be inspecting for the “scar rule”?
  5. What drugs will be tested in the blood testing?
    A list of drugs along with clearance times will be published as well as included on this website. The primary purpose of the blood testing is to ensure that there has been no medication(s) injected, applied or otherwise used that would affect the performance of the horse; numb, or otherwise mask any pain. Any specific questions regarding drugs, should be directed to your private veterinarian.
  6. Can private veterinarians be used?
    The VAC acknowledges that private veterinarians are a significant asset to the welfare of the horse. Private veterinarians may bring onto the grounds their normal and customary equipment and medications so long as the medications are in their original labeled containers. Private veterinarians are asked to check-in with the VAC office upon entering the grounds and shall not administer any medication or treatment without prior consent from the Show Veterinarian. Provided however, in the event of an emergency, a private veterinarian shall do all things necessary to protect the welfare of the horse and advise the VAC of such circumstances and treatment.
  7. Will the VAC have representatives available to answer questions during the Celebration?
    The VAC has retained the services of Dr. John O’Brien of Bowling Green, Kentucky, to serve as the Show Veterinarian and Mr. Tom Blankenship to be the sole official spokesman for the VAC to answer questions. One or both of these individuals will be available at all times, and if not present at the VAC office, contact information will be prominently displayed.
  8. What are the stabling requirements for horses in a World Grand Championship class?
    All entries for championship classes shall be on the show grounds and their location provided to the VAC at least 48 hours prior to the beginning of the evening performances in which they are to compete.

    Example: Horses competing in championship classes Thursday evening, August 28, at 6:30 pm, must be on the show grounds no later than Tuesday, August 26, at 6:30 pm.

    Exceptions from the 48 hour stalling requirements:
    • All Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association futurity classes (No World Grand Championship classes offered).
    • Class 168, lead line pony World Grand Championship class and is also exempt from the registration paper requirement.
    • Class 172, Walking Weanling World Grand Championship class.
  9. What is the check-in process for World Grand Championship entries?
    The VAC shall be notified of the location of all championship entries and the TWHNC will provide a copy of all the names and custodians of all the championship entries for verification. Any further procedures will be published and all participants properly notified.
  10. Can horses being worked on the show grounds utilize work carts?
  11. Are original registration certificates required?
    No. True and accurate copies will be deemed acceptable. Exception: lead line ponies.
  12. Will a farrier be made available for the removal of shoes under the supervision of the equine veterinarian taking digital x-rays or Show Veterinarian?
    A farrier or farriers will be named and approved by the VAC. As soon as the TWHNC makes its recommendations and the VAC makes its selection, the name of the individuals will be made available.

    Please note, the recommendations provide that the custodian may use the farrier of their choice in accordance with the recommendations.
  13. Can the Show Veterinarian request digital x-rays or blood testing of a horse?
    The Show Veterinarian or any member of the VAC has such authority at their sole discretion.
  14. Is it permissible for the custodian of horses to arrange for private security for their horses?
    Yes. The VAC supports all efforts to enhance the welfare of the horses competing in the 2014 Celebration.
  15. What is the relationship between the VAC and TWHNC?
    The VAC is completely independent of the TWHNC. The TWHNC has made significant financial commitments for the implementation of the VAC recommendations.

    The VAC is solely responsible for the implementation of the testing protocols and recommendations. Accordingly, the VAC shall retain personnel including monitors, farriers, veterinarians, spokesman and other personnel necessary to implement the protocols and recommendations. These personnel shall perform their responsibilities under the direct supervision and auspices of the VAC.
  16. Will the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) futurity classes be subject to the VAC recommendations?
    Yes. The qualifying classes are being held on Celebration grounds and will be subject to all recommendations and protocols.
  17. Can over-the-counter medications contain prohibited substances?
    Yes. The VAC recommends that you carefully review the ingredients of any ointment, application or substances which you intend to use with your private veterinarian in order to determine if any of the ingredients are on the prohibited substance list.
  18. When will the VAC issue formal reports to the TWHNC?
    The VAC shall report its findings to the TWHNC in a timely manner and as such time as they are able to present a complete and substantiated report.
  19. What parties will be allowed to be present during a VAC inspection?
    One custodian capable of handling, identifying the horse and verifying information shall be present, along with the VAC representative and staff. No other persons allowed.
  20. What are the document requirements for weanlings?
    The VAC has discussed this issue with the State Veterinarian Office, specifically the Animal Health Division, and the following are the requirements:
    • If a weanling is over six months of age, then it is required to have a negative Coggins test and health certificate.
    • If a weanling is under the age of six months and not traveling with its Dam, it is required to have a negative Coggins test and health certificate.
    • If a weanling is under six months of age and traveling with its Dam, the weanling shall not be required to have a negative Coggins test and health certificate, but the Dam shall be required to have a negative Coggins test and current health certificate.