Sunday, May 28, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trainers Entered Sore Horse In Show, Court Says

(CN) - A couple violated the Horse Protection Act when they entered a sore horse into the 2002 National Walking Horse Trainers Show in Shelbyville, Tenn., a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled.

A horse is considered "sore" if its front feet have been injected with chemicals that make it painful to walk, so that it lifts its feet quickly and reproduces the high-stepping gait that judges like.

After inspecting "Just American Magic" and finding scars suggesting injection, officials disqualified the horse. Jill Derickson admitted to paying an entry fee for the horst to compete in the show with an account from the Herbert Derickson Training Facility. The National Horse Show Commission then suspended Herbert for two years and fined him $700. It was his second violation. The Department of Agriculture filed suit in 2004.

In their petition for review, Herbert and Jill Derickson claim the judicial officer did not have substantial evidence to accuse them of violating the Horse Protection Act. The 6th Circuit denied the petition, finding that the Dericksons transported the sore horse through the partnership name and then used their business account to enter the horse.

The court also found that completing any one of the entry steps - paying the entry fee, registering the horse or presenting the horse for inspection - qualifies as entering the horse.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.