4 indicted on horse soring charges | The Tennessean | tennessean.com
A federal grand jury in Chattanooga has handed down a 52-count indictment for charges involving "soring" of horses.
If convicted, the men face a maximum term of three years in prison for each felony count and up to one year in prison for each misdemeanor.
In the written copy of the Chattanooga Times Free press, but apparently not available online, a veterinarian who inspects the horses at shows, said they know the industry has problems, and they are working to resolve them.
It does appear the feds are getting serious about this, and during recent travel to the Shelbyville area I noticed many large horse farms for sale.
When I inquired with a local Spotted Saddle Horse breeder, they tell me the feds are running them out of business. Many local breeders are behind the effort, and while almost all want to maintain the tradition of the Celebration, they want to do it humanly.
As a kid I watched many of yesterdays walking horse legends perform at various shows around middle Tennessee and hope the industry can clean itself up and continue the tradition.
I'm still trying to figure out if soring has always been a part of it, or, when the inhuman treatment started. If I recall correctly, it was rumored that some horses were sored during the late 1960's. One of my friends dads was an amateur trainer during the 60's, and I don't recall it being discussed much back then.
The industry has to clean up it's act. If it can't then I guess the tradition needs to end.