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Local Breeder, Attorney and Candidate Advocates for Walking Horses-

The Tennessee Walking Horse is one of the most popular trail riding horses in Nevada County. According to local breeder Fran Cole, the horse has a naturally smooth gait and a pleasant disposition, but is being abused by one faction of trainers that show Walking Horses in competitions.
Click here to listen to Fran Cole

The abuse Cole is referring to involves using pain to alter the gait of the front legs to enhance show performances. The practice of “soring” involves the extremely painful practice of building up hooves and applying chemicals and nails to force a horse to lift its front legs higher than normal.
Click here to listen to Fran Cole

Because of the pain, the horse raises its leg high so it somewhat resembles a “praying mantis” as it walks. The physical response is called the “big lick” move.
Cole, a former member of The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders Association Board of Directors, says that the horses are also trained to not respond to pain during competition inspections.
Click here to listen to Fran Cole

In 1970, the United States Legislature passed the Horse Protection Act, which prohibited the practice of soring and other abusive practices and many members no longer support the  practice of “soring”.  But in Tennessee and isolated areas around the country it is still prevalent. The abusive practice was brought to the public eye when Nightline did an expose several years ago, and Cole says there is positive movement to eliminate soring.*
Click here to listen to Fran Cole

Cole is using her legal expertise to assist the fight against “soring” and support the legislation to eliminate the practice.
On a positive not, Cole says the proposed legislation is gaining strength in the Senate and if signed by the President this spring, will strengthen the regulations and enhance the fines when soring infractions are imposed.

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