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Articles

Soring Still A Problem


2019/04/03

Compiled by Nancy Brannon, Ph.D.

Inspections under the Horse Protection Act (HPA) are still turning up violations, and an often utilized penalty for these violations is a legal mechanism called a consent decree with the USDA. In the consent decree, the violators do not admit guilt for their violations of the HPA, but they do admit the USDA’s allegations of the complaint and agree to the USDA’s decision and penalties for violations. The consent decisions read as follows:

“This proceeding was instituted under the Horse Protection Act (HPA or Act) (15 U.S.C. § 1821 et seq.) by a complaint filed by the Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture, on [date] alleging that the respondents violated the Act.”

“Respondent [name] admits the jurisdictional allegations in the complaint, specifically admits that the Secretary has jurisdiction in the matter, denies the remaining allegations, and waives oral hearing and further procedure. The parties consent and agree to the entry of this decision for the purpose of settling this proceeding as to respondent [name], and resolving any and all other alleged or potential violations of the Act by him occurring up to and including [specific date]…”

The consent agreements do not mention the specific violation of the HPA, only that the respondent violated the Act, when the violation occurred, and the horses that were affected. Also note the time delay between the occurrence of the violation, filing the consent decree, and when the penalty takes effect.

A list of 2019 consent decrees and those from past years are posted online at the USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ): https://oalj.oha.usda.gov/consent-current. Following are the most recently published 2019 consent decrees and their violators/violations. Many occurred at the 2016 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, which ran from Aug. 24- Sept. 3, 2016, although some occurred at earlier/multiple Celebrations and a few other shows. They are listed by the date entered, respondents, docket number(s), date of violation(s), horse(s) affected, and location of show.
 
3/1/2019: Respondents: Rick Compton, Kenny Compton, Jamie Hankins (VA) (docket # 17-0041, 17-0042, 17-0043). Violations: On Aug. 29, 2016 Compton allowed entry of a horse he owned (El Zorro Star) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. and on Sept. 3, 2016, allowed entry of a horse he owned (Jim Tom) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalties: Rick Compton and Kenny Compton are  disqualified for six months beginning January 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019, from showing, exhibiting,… or otherwise participating in any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction. Rick Compton is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100; Kenny Compton is assessed a civil penalty of $1,650…

2/14/ 2019: Violations: On Aug. 25, 2016 Jamie Hankins entered a horse (Night Listner) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 27, 2016 Hankins entered a horse (spirit on the Line) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Hankins is disqualified for one year beginning Oct. 1, 2019 and ending Sept. 30, 2020…

2/5/2019: Respondent: Bruce Vaughn (OH) (docket # 17-0045), along with Kenny Compton, Rick Compton, and Jamie Hankins (see above). Violations: On Aug. 25, 2016 Bruce Vaughn allowed the entry of a horse he owned (Night Listner) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 27, 2016 he allowed the entry of a horse he owned (Spirit on the Line) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Bruce Vaughn is disqualified for six months beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019… and is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100…
 
2/28/2019: Respondent: Kelly Peevy aka Kelly Carter (docket # 17-00258). Violation: On Aug. 25, 2016 Peevy entered horses she owned (That’s My Luck and Gehrig) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Kelly Peevy is disqualified for six months, beginning Sept. 1, 2019 and ending February 29, 2020 from showing, exhibiting, entering any horse…or otherwise participating in any horse show, horse exhibition, horse sale or auction… Peevy is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100.
 
2/21/2019: Respondents: Trainers Gary Edwards, Larry Edwards, King Moore aka Slim Moore (GA) (docket #s 17-0178, 17-0179, 17-0184). Violations: On Aug. 25, 2016 King Moore entered horses he owned (I’m Into Cash, Kudos for Cash, and Honors) for showing in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 25, 2016 Larry Edwards entered a horse (I’m Into Cash) for showing…On Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, 2016 he entered a horse (Honors) for showing… Penalties: King Moore is disqualified for eight months, beginning Sept. 1, 2019 and ending April 30, 2020…King is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100… Larry Edwards is disqualified for three years beginning Sept. 2, 2019 and ending Sept. 1, 2022…
Violations: On August 26, 2010 Gary Edwards showed a horse (Victoria’s Secret) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 29, 2012, Gary Edwards showed a horse (Generating the Command) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 25, 2016, Gary Edwards showed a horse (The World Cup) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 27, 2016, Gary Edwards showed a horse (Honors) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 31, 2016, Gary Edwards showed a horse (I’m Judge Roy Bean) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Sept. 3, 2016, Gary Edwards showed a horse (Honors) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
Penalties: Gary Edwards is disqualified for three years beginning Oct. 1, 2022 and ending Sept. 30, 2025…
 
2/14/2019 Respondent: Paige Edwards (docket # 14-011). This is a multi-person filing on Larry Edwards, Carl Edwards, Larry Edwards, Paige Edwards, and Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc., a Georgia corporation. Violation: On Aug. 25, 2012 Paige Edwards entered a horse (I’m Tex-Anna) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Paige Edwards is disqualified for four months beginning Sept. 2, 2018 and ending Jan. 1, 2019… and is assessed a civil penalty of $550…
 
2/14/2019: Respondents: same as above. Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc. was administratively dissolved on Dec. 31, 2015 and has not been reinstated, but was an “exhibitor”…
On Aug. 24, 2012 Larry Edwards (and Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc) showed a horse (He’s Unleashed” in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 26, 2010 Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc. showed a horse (A Victoria Secret) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 25, 2012 Larry Edwards entered a horse (I’m Tex-Anna) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
On Aug. 26, 2010 Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc. showed a horse (Generating the Command) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn.
Penalties: Larry Edwards and Carl Edwards & Sons Stables, Inc. are disqualified for eight months beginning Sept. 2, 2018 and ending May 1, 2019, and are assessed a civil penalty of $3,850…
 
2/21/2019: Respondent: Amelia Haselden (TN) (docket # 17-0127). Violation: On Aug. 26, 2016 Haselden allowed entry of a horse she owned (Famous and Andy) for showing in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Haselden is disqualified for four months beginning Nov. 15, 2018 and ending March 15, 2019…She is assessed a civil penalty of $550…
 
2/21/2019: Respondents: Patricia Kelly Sherman and Beverly Townes Sherman (TN) (docket #s 17-0115 and 17-0116). Violation: On Aug. 26, 2016 Particia Kelly Sherman and Beverly Townes Sherman entered a horse (She’s Sugarland) for showing… in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalties: Both are disqualified for four months beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and ending April 20, 2019, and both are assessed a civil penalty of $550.
 
2/8/2019: Respondents: Al Morgan,Keith Blackburn, Amy Blackburn (TN) (docket #s 17-0093, 17-0094, 17-0095). Violations: On Aug. 26, 2016 Al Morgan allowed entry of a horse he owned (Mastercard of Jazz) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Morgan is disqualified for four months beginning Dec. 1, 2018 and ending March 31, 2019…and is assessed a civil penalty of $550.
Violation: On Aug. 26, 2016 Keith Blackburn entered a horse he owned (Mastercard of Jazz) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Blackburn is disqualified for four months beginning Dec. 1, 2018 and ending March 31, 2019…and is assessed a civil penalty of $550.
Violation: On Aug. 26, 2016 Amy Blackburn allowed entry of a horse she owned (Mastercard of Jazz) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Amy Blackburn is disqualified for four months beginning Dec. 1, 2018 and ending March 31, 2019…and is assessed a civil penalty of $550.
 
2/6/2019: Respondents: Brandye Craig Mills, Tony Lowe, Wayne Putman, Timothy Lee Smith (docket #s 17-0189, 17-0190, 17-0193, 17-0194). Violations: On Aug. 25, 2016 Brandye Craig Mills entered a horse (Ritz’s Warrior) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 27, 2016 Brandye Craig Mills entered a horse (A Major Tsunami) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Mills is disqualified for one year beginning Sept. 1, 2019 and ending Aug. 31, 2020…and is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100…
 
2/5/2019: Respondents: Trainer J.S. Peebles aka Dick Peebles Stables, Sharon Peebles (docket #s 16-0028, 17-0048, 17-0049). Violations: On April 26, 2013 Dick Peebles showed a horse (Jose’s Night Train) in a horse show in Panama City Beach, Florida. On Nov. 6, 2015 Dick Peebles showed a horse (Crooked Line) in a horse show in Tunica, Miss. On April 2, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (Mason Dixie Line) in a horse show in Jackson, Miss. On May 27, 2016, Dick Peebles entered a horse (Hendrix) in a horse show in Shelbyville, TN. On June 17, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (On Probation) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On June 30, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (paroled in High Cotton) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 15, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (MP2) in a horse show in Cornersville, Tenn. On Aug. 25, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (Swish the Net) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 30, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (San Diego) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 30, 2016 Sharon Peebles entered a horse (San Diego) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Sept. 2, 2016 Dick Peebles entered a horse (Hendrix) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Sept. 2, 2016 Sharon Peebles entered a horse (Hendrix) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalties: Dick Peebles is disqualified for three years beginning Dec. 1, 2019 and ending Nov. 20, 2022. Sharon Peebles is disqualified for six months beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019…and is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100…
 
1/28/2019: Respondent: Ewin Cowley and Gwain Wilson (docket #s 17-0071, 17-0073). Violations: On Aug. 27, 2016 Ewin Cowley allowed the entry of a horse he owned (Willie Be Strong) for showing in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 30, 2016 Ewin Cowley allowed the entry of a horse he owned (Zipline) for showing in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Cowley is disqualified for six months beginning Jan. 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019… and is assessed a civil penalty of $1,100…
 
1/28/2019: Respondents: Trainer Herbert Derickson and Terry Alan Riddley (docket #s 14-0199, 16-0107, 17-0163, 17-0165). Violations: 27 counts! On May 18, 2012 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Le Patron) in a horse show in Petersburg, Tenn. On May 25, 2013 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (The Doc’s On Call) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On March 27, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Jose’s Cartel) in a horse show in Jackson, Miss. On July 3, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Keep Your Cash) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 3, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Gin Fusion) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 26, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Pushin’ the Cash) in a horse show in Pulaski, Tenn. On Aug. 21, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Bacardi and Me) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 23, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (The Iron Door) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 23, 2014 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Jose’s Cartel) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 24, 2014 Herbert Derickson showed a horse (Hot Texas Salsa) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Sept. 3, 2015 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (I’m Vin Diesel) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 31, 2015 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Jose’s High Score) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Nov. 14, 2015 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Keep Your Cash) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On April 21, 20167 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (She Loves Power) in a horse show in Panama City Beach, Fl. On May 7, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Bar Gin) in a horse show in Manchester, Tenn. On June 17, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Southern Elegance) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 1, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (She’s In Strong Demand) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 1, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Broadway Jazzman) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On July 2, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Carolina Con) in a horse show in Woodbury, Tenn. On July 22, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Jose’ Bueno) in a horse show in Cornersville, Tenn. On July 22, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered horses (Southern Elegance and Jose’ the Champ) in a horse show in Lewisburg, Tenn. On Aug. 27, 2016 Herbert Derickson showed a horse (Gin Toddy) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 27, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (Chips N Salsa) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On Aug. 31, 2016 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (The Crimson Sky) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. On March 24, 2017 Herbert Derickson entered a horse (I’m Just Kidding) in a horse show in Shelbyville, Tenn. Penalty: Herbert Derickson is disqualified for five years beginning Sept. 6, 2020 and ending Sept. 5, 2025…

Other ALJ decisions can be accessed here: https://oalj.oha.usda.gov/initial-current. The only one listed in 2019 (2/27/2019) is Jack Grisham Heffington (docket # 17-0188) who “showed a horse named I’m Famous at horse shows in Tenn.” He entered into a consent decision with APHIS, but showed this horse in Aug. 2014 while disqualified. In fact, he was fined a total of $12,900 for three instances of disobeying the disqualification order during Aug. 2014.

Further information on HPA violations – the Disqualification and Civil Penalty List (as of March 11, 2019) is online at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/ies/downloads/disqualification_list.pdf

Efforts are underway to update the Horse Protection Act of 1970, which bars exhibiting horses in shows if they have been subjected to soring. Veterinarians U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), have introduced the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings’ Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693 to upgrade the 50-year-old statute. The PAST Act would eliminate the use of large stacked shoes and ankle chains integral to the soring process, replacing the industry’s self-policing program with licensed USDA inspectors at no cost to the taxpayer, and increasing penalties for violators. The measure currently has 174 cosponsors in the House and garnered 290 in the previous Congress.  A Senate companion bill is expected to be introduced soon by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

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