Saw this on Facebook this morning and thought I would share, I think this is great news and a step in the right direction.
* Note I did not write this, just sharing*
"Do you show in the Arabian Halter ring? Get ready for some CHANGES! FOR THE BETTER!!!!!!!
USEF HEARING COMMITTEE RULING:
Well, folks, it was a long road. The Arabian Coalition set out to highlight the accepted abuse practices in the halter ring, and I would say, we were exceptionally successful. The Hearing Committee ruled in the most effective manner I could imagine.
The Hearing Committee recognized, fully, the goals of The Arabian Coalition and agreed. This is a quote directly from the ruling,
“Given the underlying posture of this case, the Hearing Committee Panel concluded that a global response is more appropriate to resolve these allegations, and that it is not necessary or particularly fair under these circumstances for (these trainers) to be the center of this ruling. Accordingly, in its discretion, the Hearing Committee Panel chose to give a wider resolution to what it clearly perceived to be a global issue, as opposed to framing this ruling around a narrower question of whether (these trainers) should be subject to penalty for alleged abuse. At the center of The Arabian Coalition’s target is the accepted practices in the Arabian Halter classes or competitions with regard to shanking and other corrections of horse behavior in the ring, and this ruling globally addresses those practices.”
The Hearing Committee goes on to say that these practices conflict with Federation rules “and from this date forward, must end.” There was much in the ruling concerning the appearance of shanking and threatening use of the whip to spectators.
Ultimately, the Federation has ruled shanking is not allowed in the ring unless it is an emergency situation. They have come forth clarifying the rules AR116.a .3 and AR115.1.
It was dually noted the Arabian Horse Association has misinterpreted rules and therefore, the Federation is clarifying. The Hearing Committee Panel stated, “From the date of this ruling forward, AR116.6.a.3 will allow shanking in Arabian Halter classes or competitions only in emergency situations where a horse becomes dangerously unruly and immediate shanking is required in order to regain control of the horse and prevent imminent harm to the horse or others. In conjunction with AR115.1, with the exception of emergency circumstances where the horse is physically out of control and creating imminent danger to itself or others, from the date of this ruling forward, the threatening use of a whip (or potentially other objects) as a visual cue while preparing or presenting a horse in Arabian Halter classes or competitions must be recognized as intimidating behavior that is disallowed under AR115 and the general provisions in GR839.”
This means it is classifiable as abuse to intimidate a horse. This is a major clarification of the rules as previously, the interpretation was as long as the whip never touched the horse, the rules were being followed. Intimidation is now abuse and shanking is not allowed, unless in an emergency situation.
In closing, the Hearing Committee Panel said, “Consistent with this ruling, the Hearing Committee Panel expects that judges, stewards, competition veterinarians and/or show committees shall uphold these interpretations of the rules in Arabian Halter classes or competitions by issuing the penalties outlined in the Federation General Rules and those specific to the Arabian breed.”
In talking with Emily Pratt, the USEF Regulations Director, I have been made aware that if AHA does not properly respond to this ruling it could face fines. I have been reassured AHA is in communications with USEF planning a dissemination of this ruling as USEF has already provided them with a proper statement. Stewards going to Arabian shows will be spoken to about enforcing the rules and the importance of the new expectations. I'm hopeful AHA will begin eliminating judges who are firm in the status quo as it will bring penalty to AHA from USEF to see these practices continue. According to Ms. Pratt, this is a case of precedent and now that the Emperor’s new clothes have been highlighted to be an illusion, this problem will be heavily tracked by USEF. I will say, I have not heard from AHA. However, according to USEF, this is being addressed appropriately thus far by AHA. I look forward to seeing how they choose to address this.
I will have more on this soon. For now, Congratulations to all who have joined forces with TAC. This was a win for our horses and our industry grassroots growth."