Pilot Club’s horse show postponed

Published 12:16 am Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Andalusia Pilot Club’s annual South Alabama Charity Horse Show has been postponed.

Originally scheduled for March 13 and 14, the show is the main fund-raiser for the local civic organization dedicated to educating the public and preventing brain-related illness and injuries.

Benny Jo Sasser of the Pilot Club said to say exactly what caused the rescheduling “would be premature.”

“We want people to know that the show hasn’t been cancelled, just postponed,” Sasser said. “And the decision was a national decision, not a local one, and (the club hasn’t) been given an exact reason why, so for me to say why would be premature.”

The National Horse Show Commission, an industry organization responsible for regulating horse shows, works both independently and in conjunction with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce the Horse Protection Act. The HPA prohibits horses subjected to a process called soring from participating in sales, shows or auctions.

The International Fund for Horses describes soring as a process in which owners irritate a horse’s forelegs through the injection or application of chemicals or mechanical irritants, causing the horse to snatch his feet up quickly. Horses can be trained to comfortably perform this crowd-pleasing gait.

According to web and news reports, the National Horse Show Commission is working to respond to a white paper issued by veterinarians in the American Association of Equine Practitioners calling for changes within the industry to prevent the use of soring. Several shows have been cancelled while the NHSC works to address the issued raised in the paper.

Sasser said the club is waiting on word from the NHSC before announcing the new horse show date.

Sasser said the club hopes to reschedule the show within the next few months and is working with the Covington Arena manager to determine a new date.