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☛ Federal Mandate to affect Horse Show industry in big way 12-1-17



Dec. 1, 2017

Even though most of us didn’t have any advance notice or knowledge that a mandate requiring an electronic logging device (ELD) be in your truck, would be hitting the horse and cattle transportation industry today, almost everyone who hauled horses to the NCHA Cutting Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas, or the NRHA Reining Futurity in Oklahoma City, Okla., had no advance warning.

According to an article from “Protect The Harvest,” The United States Congress enacted a bill called “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” that was introduced by President Obama in 2012. A part of the bill included a provision requiring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices on commercial vehicles.

Although most horse show participants wouldn’t think that a horse or cattle trailer was a commercial vehicle, horses are livestock and are specifically listed in the transportation bill language. Also families that show cattle, pigs and other livestock to stock shows and 4-H events, and travel long distances to show their animals will be impacted as well. In fact, any other type of activity or hobby that requires a large vehicle and trailer and where there is the potential to win money in competitions is included in this mandate.

There are some exemptions but you will have to look long and hard to find them. No longer will a “Not For Hire” sign on you rig protect you if it is determined that your truck and trailer fit into the commercial category or are being used for commercial purposes. Nor will it protect you if you are driving a vehicle and trailer that requires a commercial license.

This law mandates how long you can drive and how long your breaks need to be.  This means that those hauling horses will be required to stop their trip once a 14-hour threshold is reached and cannot resume travel until the mandatory 10-hour rest period has passed, If the threshold is breached, the ELD makes a record of it and you can be fined. If you haul horses owned by others, your truck and trailer are considered commercial vehicles.  If you have won money competing with your horse or a client’s horse, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA)  would consider money won at a horse show or event, a profit. They also consider hauling to an event with the intent or hopes of winning some money as pursuing a profit, which classifieds your truck and trailer as commercial. If you have sponsors (a sticker on your truck or trailer), those sponsorships qualify as “furtherance of a commercial enterprise,” putting them in the commercial category.

This new mandate was obviously created by someone who knew nothing about horses or cattle. What if you were in the middle of a snow storm in the midwest and had to stop on the road for 10 hours. You would arrive at your destination with a load of dead horses or cattle, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Or if you were driving through South Texas in mid-July during those over 100-degree days and your time was up at 10 am  and you had to park it for 10 hours. Your horses or cattle could easily die of the heat in a crowded trailer, with no water to drink. Add to that the liability concerns as animal abuse is now a felony!


There are many other mandates and mountains to climb in this new law and only those who know about this horrible mandate can protest this government overreach. Protect The Harvest as well as Lucas Oil, who add money to many  major horse events, have evidently known about this upcoming mandate and have been working hard to bring these issues to light by making trips to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers.

You can also help by letting others know about this government overreach and get your local clubs involved too. Everyone should contact their Congressional Representative and let them know your concerns.

How The ELD Mandate Will Impact The Horse Industry


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