Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor Jan. 22: Tennessee walking horses

Wonderful horse breed belongs at Horse Park

I am writing in defense of the beautiful Tennessee walking horse. I have owned and raised these horses for many of my 52 years and can no longer stand by when articles are written that harm our breed.

I have so much admiration for their gentle nature, smooth gait and proud character that it sickens me to see them portrayed only as an abused horse.

We who own these horses are proud of the heritage that they carry. They have a long history of serving farmers as work horses and transportation and then as entertainment at county fairs. They continue to serve their masters.

This proud tradition has been tarnished by the focus on the few who have abused them. We in the industry have applauded the reforms. We welcome inspections, objective measures to cast out and punish those who would harm our beautiful breed.

We want to show that the majority of walking horses are not sored. Like the police we can't control every person. Please look at the statistics. These animals are as cherished today as they were when they provided transportation, entertainment and companionship as a cherished family pet.

I, for one, will not apologize that I own and love these magnificent horses. We need to be protected from misinformation that is actually calling into question if this beautiful animal deserves to be at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Peggy Pennington

Crab Orchard

Few padded horses

A very close friend of mine purchased his trail horse at the walking horse sale in 2005. This registered Tennessee walking horse is not a padded show horse. He is, in fact, a very good trail horse that has been ridden in 12 to 14 states.

I also have several other friends who have purchased great flat-shod trail horses at this sale with much success.

The sale is well-managed and is also a wonderful opportunity to network about trail riding.

The sale is being maligned by some animal rights groups in a misguided effort since about 90 percent of the horses are not the padded show types.

All of us who ride gaited horses on the trails would like to ensure this sale stays at the Kentucky Horse Park.

This sale gives us the opportunity to better inform the general public and the animal rights groups about the real situation.

Edith H. Conyers

Mount Sterling

Journalism falls short

It's too bad the Herald-Leader didn't get all the facts before printing that derogatory story about Sen. Robin Webb and her horses.

If you had done real journalism research, you would have discovered that the inspection process for the Tennessee walking horse has been flawed by overzealous United States Department of Agriculture inspectors.

Yes, the walking horse industry has had issues with horse soring, but I believe that many of the equine industries have had their trials and tribulations.

What you should have done was go to a walking horse barn and observe what takes place with the training of these wonderful animals. That's true journalism.

Jan Lambert

Edinburg, Va.