Griffith and horse lovers looking to change soring laws

More sponsors needed for the bill

DUBLIN, Va. – A group of horse lovers is reaching out to lawmakers to support a new bill to protect horses from a practice known as soring.
The bill HR 1847 would close loopholes in legislation written almost 50 years ago.    
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA 9th District) is one of the sponsors.  

A previous 1970s law, Griffith says, has many flaws.

He toured Horizon Equestrian Center to look at their horses and operations. According to their Facebook page, Horizon Equestrian Center is a 30-acre horse boarding facility. 
They have 11 horses with normal strides -- running and walking without any pain.
That's why the important bill before Congress wants to stop the training practice of soring of Tennessee walking horses and similar breeds.

"It makes the horse's ankle sore and put their feet up more. Obviously that's cruel to the animals. It hurts them," said Griffith.

Video from the USDA shows the act of soring. It involves placing chains or other devices on the legs and hooves of Tennessee walking horses and similar breeds.  
It causes pain so that when the animals' hooves touch the ground, they kick up their feet higher and faster than normal, giving some horses an advantage in show competitions.
But Deborah Ring, a horse owner, wants the law to change.

"They cannot do the soring, the shoes, the chains. They have to have just a natural gait like what we saw over there," said Ring.

Ring is the owner of Chance's Awesome Gal who once was a victim of soring.
She was in so much pain, it was difficult to manage.
"Took me like four months on the ground just to able to get on her because she was so afraid," said Ring.

Griffith says he's hoping to get more sponsors for the bill. He wants more monitoring of horses directly before they to perform in the ring.