Starting today, the Walking Horse Trainers' Association will institute new testing procedures at sanctioned horse shows to make sure the animals are not being abused.
According to a news release, the testing will be looking for "caustic agents and masking agents through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technology."
Tennessee walking horses are sometimes subjected to soring, an illegal technique that uses devices and chemicals to make a horse's legs tender and painful, causing them to increase their natural high-step gait.
Under the new testing, any positive results will result in the trainer receiving a two-week suspension of their license, according to the news release. All violations will be made public on the Walking Horse Trainers' Association website, the release said.
Testing will be done by independent veterinarians or technicians, the release said, and set to an independent lab. Testing and results will take seven to 10 days to receive.
Any trainer or entry that refuses the testing will not be allowed to enter the show and will receive a suspension of their license for two weeks, the release said.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.