Supports of a bill that would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to ban performance packages sometimes used on Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited horses will gather in Washington, D.C., in June to show their support for the legislation.

The HPA bans soring, or the deliberate injury to a horse's feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated, high-stepping gait. Last year U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) introduced HR 1518 or the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to amend the HPA to forbid the use of action devices, including metal chains, stacks, and pads (also known as performance packages). The bill remains pending in the House, while a twin bill is pending in the Senate.

Diana Morehead of the All American Walking Horse Alliance—a group of Tennessee Walking Horse owners, trainers, judges, and others who are calling for passage of the PAST Act—said supporters of act have planned a rally for June 18 in Washington, D.C.

“Our goal is to call public attention and legislative attention to the PAST Act,” Morehead said.

In a written statement, Whitfield said the rally demonstrates grassroots support for his bill.

“This will be a good opportunity for Congress to see the amount of support this bill has from within the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and from those who present sound horses without stacks and chains,” he said. “We are exploring all options to move this legislation forward in the House of Representatives.”