Opinion: Applause for Rep. Young for protecting iconic American horses

We appreciate Young’s bipartisan effort.

I write to thank U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his terrific work against the heinous practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses, a plague that has marred the breed for more than 60 years. Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to horses’ front limbs by applying caustic chemicals such as mustard oil, kerosene and diesel fuel, or inserting sharp objects into their hooves to achieve an artificial high-stepping gait known as the “big lick.”

As a former eight-time World Champion rider, and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association, I know first-hand how rampant this abuse is. Young has stepped up and done the right thing on this issue in every Congress since 2013, and I applaud him.

We appreciate Young’s bipartisan effort for the fourth Congress in a row, in co-sponsoring the U.S. Sen. Joseph D. Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 683, introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida, and named in honor of Senator Tydings, D-Maryland, who authored the Horse Protection Act of 1970 and recently passed away. The good people of Alaska should be proud of Young’s work to help our iconic American horses.

Marty Irby,

Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action in Washington, D.C.


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.