Federal veternarians harassed at 2006 walking horse show, papers say

Federal veterinarians working to protect Tennessee walking horses from unscrupulous trainers and owners have been cursed, yelled at and threatened in Kentucky.

The work is so dangerous that the veterinary medical officers who enforce the federal law against injuring walking horses to make them step higher — known as soring — come in with their own security. And in Kentucky they now request a state police escort.

Testimony about a 2006 show in Owingsville, which this July also was the subject of controversy, shows the hostility that prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to step up protection.

In sworn statements obtained by the Herald-Leader through a Freedom of Information Act request, vets and others described how the atmosphere at the 2006 Owingsville Lions Club Walking Horse Show became so threatening vets were afraid to leave the inspection area, even to go to the bathroom.

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