There has been mention of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act or Sports Act by other related breeds, primarily as a reason to exclude those related breeds.

The Ted Stevens Olympic & Amateur Sports Act can be found in its entirety at 36 USC 220501 et seq.

No where in the “Sports Act” does it mention horses, breeds of horses, the humane treatment of horses or soring of horses.  The Sports Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter to promote and coordinate amateur athletic activity in the United States (all amateur athletic activity, not just equine activities).  Prior to the adoption of the Sports Act, the Amateur Athletic Union represented the United States on international competition matters and regulated amateur sports.  The AAU had rules that prohibited women from participating in events such as running.  Included in the Sports Act are specific directives to (a) develop interest in amateur sports; (b) coordinate amateur sports throughout the US; (c) inform amateurs of policy matters and changes to policies; (d) encourage participation by women and disabled individuals; (e) encourage research on sport safety and sports medicine and (f) recruit for and make recommendations for participants in the Olympics.

Playing the Sports Act card does not and will not exclude related breeds from the proposed federal regulation.

Another card played by related breeds is the USEF card because they feel that if they show at a USEF sanctioned event, they should not be subject to the proposed regulation.  USEF is a proclaimed “National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport”.  USEF does train, select and fund the US Equestrian Team that competes in the Olympics.  Many breeds show under the USEF banner including Arabians, Friesians, Hackneys, Morgans, National Show Horses, Paso Finos, American Saddlebred and Shetland Ponies.  Each breed and discipline has their own breed specific rules.   You can be eliminated from competition if you fall off your horse, have illegal equipment or your horse is lame.   Having a horse that is “serviceably sound”  is the general rule that is followed in order to compete.  If your horse is lame, blind or it’s wind is broken, you are excused from competition.

While USEF has implemented some welfare initiatives, USEF is not trained nor licensed by the USDA to inspect horses for compliance with the Horse Protection Act.  Please be mindful that although selectively enforced, the Horse Protection Act does apply to ALL breeds of horses.  Unless and until USEF becomes licensed and trained by the USDA to inspect horses for compliance with the Horse Protection Act and/or hires a licensed group, there are NO safeguards in place to detect and eliminate sore horses from competition nor the prosecution of violators.

Playing the USEF card does not and will not exclude related breeds from the proposed federal regulation.

Other cards played by related breeds are ‘you cannot sore a trotting horse’ and ‘we have no history of soring’.  Obviously, Congress disagreed with the claim about trotting horses when they included  “walking, trotting or otherwise moving” to the language of the Horse Protection Act.  The claim of having no history of soring is actually a misnomer.  No one would expect a breed to have a history of soring when no one is inspecting horses for soring.

All of this is said not to cast stones at other related breeds, but to set forth the facts that these reasons are not valid reasons to be excluded from the proposed federal regulation.  In fact, there is no valid reason why any breed of horse should be excluded from amending a law that applies to all breeds of horses.

You never look good trying to make someone else look bad.

Beware of throwing someone under the bus.  Remember: the bus does shift into reverse.

Before throwing someone under the bus, make sure you know who’s driving the bus.