The Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) National Celebration Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) said none of the horses examined by digital X ray at the event showed signs of improper pressure shoeing or the use of foreign objects in shoeing devices as banned by the Horse Protection Act (HPA).

In August Celebration administration announced the formation of a three-member VAC, which would establish new rules and testing protocols and supervise on-site blood draws and X rays of horses participating in the event.

On Sept. 8, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (https://www.thehorse.com/articles/34553/aphis-twh-celebration-soring-violations-rise) reported results of its inspections during the event, noting that the number of violations increased from the 2013 event.

In its Sept. 23 preliminary report, the VAC said that 131 digital X rays were performed on 131 horses, and that at least three veterinarians—including VAC Chairman Jerry H. Johnson, DVM, and Celebration veterinarian John O'Brien, DVM—reviewed those radiographs and found no use of foreign objects that would cause the horse pain.

“Additionally, there was no evidence of any pressure shoeing of horses examined utilizing objective testing procedures and additionally confirmed by removal of shoes of various participants,” the preliminary report said.

The preliminary report also said that during the event's championship weekend, all first and second place finishers had digital X rays performed after their performances. Shoes were also removed from horses competing in various divisions, including the World Grand Champion horse I Am Jose, as well