Denny Emerson Urges American Connemara Pony Society to Choose New Strategy

Legendary U.S. equestrian Denny Emerson, 76, posted advice to struggling breed societies, particularly Connemara and Morgan groups, on his Facebook page Sept. More


Blue-eyed cream Connemara stallions now OK because Irish say so

Irish Connemara officials have lifted the ban on registering blue-eyed cream stallions in Ireland, so the United States has followed suit, according to a post Jan. 22, 2016, by the American Connemara Pony Society. More


Beware of the "premium" label given to inspected Connemaras

The banner across the top of the American Connemara Pony Society website says: "Connemaras do it all!" More


Latest Connemara inspections measure thickness of leg, not quality of horse

On July 19, 2015, I watched several Connemara inspections in St. Louis, Mo., by the American Connemara Pony Society. More


Pretty Connemara lives matter

Once again, I return to the topic of hatred and bias, as the world continues to evolve quickly in accepting diversity, but the American Connemara Pony Society not so much. More


Horse therapy program opens hearts; Connemara inspections close them

I received a letter in May 2015 from an organization that helps troubled youth through its horse program. More


Ireland welcomes gay marriage; how about pretty Connemaras?

Ireland's overwhelming approval of gay marriage on May 23, 2015, seems a bit out of character for a country known for its rejection of diversity. More


America's race issue is the same as the Connemara type issue

America still has a pigmentation issue, according to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press on May 3, 2015. More


Watch video clips of Dundrum, famous son of Little Heaven

Two video clips of Dundrum posted below are a treat to watch. More


A test for prospective Connemara owners

So you want to buy a Connemara, and you're asking yourself if you should pay attention to the inspections program? More


Are inspections saving the Connemara?

Officials in the American Connemara Pony Society make many claims about their inspections program, but the only question that matters is: Is the program saving the Connemara? More


Breed standards force Connemaras to have undesirable conformation

Many people look at breeds as if they have always existed. More


Little Heaven may have contributed the famous big heart to Connemaras

Someone recently suggested that I use the term "grinch" to refer to Connemara inspectors who hate the Connemaras that look like Little Heaven. More


Can 4,539 words justify Connemara inspections? No

The American Connemara Pony Society's web page on inspections tries to justify the program with 4,539 words. More


It's time for Connemara discrimination to be ancient history

All indications are that horse discrimination based on appearance -- including inspections that fail Connemaras that aren't Connemara enough -- will die with the elderly generation that has tried so hard to keep diversity at bay. More


Connemara society should make 'profound shift' in way it regards animals

A new site dedicated to animals should serve notice to the American Connemara Pony Society that bullying behavior in the form of inspections to force horses to look a certain way will not stand the test of time. More


Connemara society should survey remaining members about inspections

Surveys appears to be gaining ground in the horse world, at least in many circles. Horse groups are ramping up their efforts to get feedback to improve and survive. More


Connemara breed standards encourage exaggerated conformation

Breed standards encourage exaggerated conformation, according to Wayne Cavanaugh, president of the United Kennel Club, who was interviewed by veterinarian Karen Becker on Aug. 5, 2013, for the website Healthy Pets. More


If Santa Claus can evolve, how about the Connemara breed?

An Associated Press story published on Dec. 20, 2013, looked at the changing appearance of today's Santa Claus. More


Breed standards encourage Connemaras that miss the mark to be treated as waste

In a CBS television show called "Lucky Dog," dog trainer Brandon McMillan tries to find a new home for shelter dogs by taking in one dog per week, working with it at his Lucky Dog Ranch and placing it in a home where it will do well. More


What Connemara time period are breed officials trying to preserve?

The most overlooked factor in the argument over what constitutes a Connemara is time. More


U.S. Connemara officials should not follow their Irish counterparts

The American Connemara Society is taking its lead on breed inspections from an Ireland that was, not the country that remains today. More


Young John F. Kennedy would have been discarded as a Connemara

As we mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, let's look at Ireland's treatment of Connemaras against the backdrop of its treatment of its favorite son, the former U.S. president. More


Invoking Redford and Kennedy: Time to pass the torch in the Connemara society

Robert Redford discussed the toxic environment in Washington in an interview with CNN on October 16, 2013, as he promoted a new movie. More


Don't fight for bullying in the Connemara society

I'm curious why officials in the American Connemara Pony Society are working so hard to keep breed inspections that have not proven to create better Connemaras or make the breed more popular. More


Do Connemara inspections teach kindness to children? No

In yet another sobering look at the life of kids today, CNN published an article October 11, 2013, describing the onslaught of bullying that children face on social media sites. More


Connemara society ignores USEF's welfare instruction and continues with Connemara inspections

The 2013 meeting of the American Connemara Pony Society has come and gone, and nothing appears to have changed with inspections. More


Connemara inspections teach kids the wrong lesson: bigotry

Horses have long provided a sanctuary for children at a fragile stage in life. More


Annual meeting is time for Connemara society to embrace USEF mission

The American Connemara Pony Society will gather once again on Sept. More


Connemara inspections appear to violate antitrust law

What should Connemara owners take away from the Texas cloning lawsuit, in which a jury ruled against a ban on cloned horses in the American Quarter Horse Association? More


Let's stream Connemara inspections live so everyone can watch!

It's only a matter of time until the courts strike down Connemara breed inspections for the same reason that a federal jury ruled against a cloning ban in the American Quarter Horse Association: It's an illegal, monopolistic practice. More


Cloning ruling should signal end for Connemara inspections

A jury in a federal court in Texas has ruled that the American Quarter Horse Association violated state and federal antitrust laws by banning cloned horses from its registry. More


Connemara inspections would not pass the Central Park test

Of all the posts I've written about Connemara inspections, this is the most important, because it looks at the practices of the American Connemara Pony Society against the backdrop of its national federation, the United States Equestrian Federation. More


Kennedy's words ring true for Connemaras being failed at inspections

The late President John F. Kennedy made his "Report to the American People on Civil Rights" on June 11, 1963. More


Young voters who call GOP 'closed-minded' and 'racist' unlikely to approve of Connemara bullying

The New York Times posted an article on June 3, 2013, under the headline "Why young people don't vote Republican." More


Is extinction the goal for Connemara society?

The Washington Post published an article June 1, 2013, on why the Boy Scouts of America finally voted to end its discrimination against gay scouts. More


Connemara inspections may require short horses to carry fat people

A recent study on how much weight horses can carry comfortably has illustrated yet again why Connemaras should not be forced to remain 14-2 hands and under. More


2013 commencement speeches decry divisiveness embraced by Connemara inspections

I listened to two college commencement speeches given on May 11, 2013 one by former President Bill Clinton and another by former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. More


Breed officials are trying to stop evolution of Connemaras

Charles Darwin was a British scientist in the 19th century whose research led him to theorize that survival and reproduction were the prime motivations for all species. More


Are breed standards immoral?

I wish Connemara inspectors could have been in the room in February 2013 when the chief scientist with the RSPCA in Australia asked a conference of horsemen if humans are justified in asking a horse to do something it doesn't want to do. More


Simple vote on voluntary Connemara inspections escalated into witch hunt

On the April 21, 2013, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," the conversation turned toward gun control in light of the Boston Marathon bombings. More


Why do women condone Connemara inspections?

In 2005, a Connemara inspector made some comments to me about my horse that would have been considered racially biased and bigoted if she were speaking about a human. More


Who will speak up for animals in opposing breed standards?

One of my many issues with breed inspections and breed standards has been the lack of people who have been willing to go public and say these practices are wrong. More


Connemara inspections require nothing but give the appearance of accomplishing something

I was discussing Connemara inspections with a family member recently, and we both wondered why Connemara inspections have become the No. More


Connemaras publish letter to American inspectors

To the inspectors of the American Connemara Pony Society: I am one of the many Connemaras you have failed at an inspection. More


Fear might be driving bias against pretty horses in Connemara breed inspections

In November 2012, I examined the motives behind Connemara breed inspections against the backdrop of research conducted by Yale's Baby Lab. The research suggested that infants are born with a built-in bias to connect with others they perceive as being like them. More


Can 'Rudolph' convince Connemara inspectors that discrimination is wrong?

CBS generously ran the classic Christmas special "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" twice in 2012, allowing me to do some much-needed fact-checking. More


It's time to revisit why America started Connemara inspections

In 2005, when I first raised huge concerns about how the Connemara inspections process was taking shape in America -- given that it seemed designed to eliminate certain bloodlines so inspectors' own bloodlines could do better in the marketplace -- ACPS board members pointed to Ireland as the reason for the creation of U.S. More


Evolved thinkers or bigots? Connemara officials should decide

One of the most contentious issues of our time has been gay rights. More


An invitation to Connemara officials to do some soul-searching

I often wonder how long it will be before Connemara officials in America are willing to admit they were wrong to create inspections that intentionally discriminate against horses that are Connemaras by blood and have every right to equal treatment and inclusion in the society? More


Do Connemara members approve of their dues paying for bullying?

Presidential candidates spent $6 billion campaigning for the 2012 election. More


Discrimination seen in Connemara world has roots in baby biases

The discrimination seen in today's American Connemara society is a relatively new thing. More


Current property laws make exploitation of Connemaras, other animals possible

One cannot debate whether breed standards for horses and dogs are ethical without looking at the bigger picture of how animals fit into society. More


Connemaras would be better off in Obama's America

The Connemara society reminds me of the Republican party: completely blind to the fact that its future base will be a diverse population that doesn't take kindly to discrimination. More


Connemara inspectors could learn something from "Sing for the Silent"

I find myself quoting people under the age of 20 more often than not when it comes to bullying. More


How long will we have to wait for an apology over breed inspections?

I believe in my lifetime that breed standards and inspections will be banned, because courts will outlaw the practice of forcing breeders to create animals that match a set of criteria written on paper by people who basically are just being bullies. More


Connemara inspections are the worst business strategy possible

Did Steve Jobs let Bill Gates tell him how to run his business? More


Let's see Connemara inspections for what they are: bullying

By now, anyone who follows the news has heard Wisconsin anchor Jennifer Livingston turn the tables on the viewer who called her fat in an email. More


If Connemaras could talk, what would they say about inspections?

A "Huffington Post" article captured the frustration of US gymnast Gabby Douglas hours after she won the individual gold medal in London in August 2012. More


Connemara inspectors' herds are full of Thoroughbred bloodlines, too

Allbreedpedigree.com is a beautiful thing, isn't it? More


Forum posts portray Connemara society as polarized over Little Heaven

"If you want to see a bunch of Connemara breeders almost come to blows, start a discussion about whether Little Heaven and Texas Hope were good or bad for the breed." More


Connemara breed hypocritical in rejecting Thoroughbred traits at inspections

A British study of Thoroughbred DNA suggests that the breed descends from Connemaras and Irish Draught horses more than horses from the Middle East and Asia, as originally thought. More


When did rejection based on appearance become OK?

I haven't been very shy about arguing that people should not put themselves above animals. More


Stigmatizing animals through breed standards has no place in the United States

I keep seeing the word stigma in news reports, and I think it's time to look at this word in relation to breed standards. More


Inspections defy age-old truism: You can't judge a horse by its cover

Famed horse writer Walter Farley wrote a children's book in 1961 called "Little Black, a Pony." More


Another battle brewing over breed standards and inspections

Frustration over breed standards appears to be building, based on feedback I'm getting from around the world, and I was sent an interesting article on the topic that was published in the June 2012 issue of Ireland's Horse Review, a monthly sport horse newspaper. More


How does Bo Obama stack up to his breed's standards?

There's been a lot of talk about fairness in the news lately in light of President Barack Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage in early May 2012. More


Should Ireland be leading the Connemara horse world?

In December 2010, The New York Times did a sobering story on the plight of horses in Ireland today. More


Breed standards motivated by pack mentality and need for esteem

A post on Psychology Today from December 2009 looks at human motivation. More


How much does peer pressure influence breed standards?

Peer pressure is a formidable force. More


Wording for breed standards, bullying is the same

I have started noticing a pattern between the language on websites that decry the use of bullying and those that herald the use of breed standards. More


Breed standards are based on flawed concept of "owning" animals

The debate over whether breed societies can set breed standards for animals really is a larger debate about where humans and animals fall in the universal pecking order and whether humans should "own" animals. More


Breed standards must evolve with beauty perceptions

America's perception of the ideal beauty has changed from a white woman such as Christie Brinkley in 1991 to a mixed race or darker woman such as Angelina Jolie today. More


Vet who failed dog breeds at Crufts talks about exaggerated conformation

Alison Skipper, one of the two vets who failed six of 15 Best of Breed winners at the Crufts dog show in Britain in March 2012, has aired her thoughts on the experience after coming under fire. More


What is the difference between health care mandates and breed standards?

The heart of the debate in the Supreme Court over the health care mandate has been whether the government can force citizens to purchase an insurance policy they don't want. More


Dr. Fox takes on breed standards in latest column

When Dr. More


Veterinarians target exaggerated conformation at British dog show

As victories go, this one is hollow. More


Connemaras and women face same bigoted world

CNN is running a series on beauty, and one of the reports centers on a documentary called "Miss Representation." More


Where is the research that says certain cannon bone measurements make a better horse?

I continue to search for scientific evidence that a thicker, shorter cannon bone makes for a better horse, because, otherwise, it would seem odd or irresponsible that Connemara societies the world over would be requiring cannon bones of a certain width and length for a Connemara to pass an inspection. More


Heavy cannon bones are detrimental to Connemara movement, science shows

The purpose of breed associations is to facilitate the work of breeders, rather than impede it, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said in an article I looked at in my last posting.

 So, I assumed that the breed standards set by the American Connemara Pony Society, which mirror Irish standards, were set to facilitate the movement of Connemaras.

 I went looking for evidence particularly that heavy cannon bones would improve the performance of the Connemara. More


Canadian veterinary association asks vets to help fix breed standards

An article titled "A New Direction for Kennel Club Regulations and Breed Standards" published in 2007 in the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association addresses veterinarians' role in the increasing "welfare predicament" of purebred dogs. More


Australia RSPCA advocates eliminating breed standards based on appearance

Once again, another highly respected group has come out against breed standards based on appearance. More


Law professor pushes for end to discrimination based on appearance

A Stanford law professor is finally laying the groundwork in the human world for what may lead to the end of appearance bias. More


The 'right' breed standards are all in your head

I was researching whether there actually was more than one way to peel a banana to fact-check an article I was copy editing, and I came across this article by J. More


Bullying and breed standards are same thing

Bullying means "to affect by means of force or coercion," according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. More


Breeding standards exposed

If you haven't seen the 2008 British documentary "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," whether you're a horse breeder, a dog breeder or just an animal lover in general, you should watch it. More


Connemara breed requirements

I know that, for the Connemaras to become their own recognized breed in Canada, owners had to prove that the horses had many characteristics that were different from other breeds in Canada. More


Discrimination must end

First posted on Facebook in February 2009: To all Connemara lovers in America: The last time I spoke out against Connemara inspections in 2005, I received two reactions: Those in favor of inspections criticized me outright or ostracized me. More

CONTACT: info@endbreedstandards.com

End breed
What would you do if a breed inspector told you your horse did not "fit the standard" of your breed, implying the horse would not pass an inspection, even if he seemed to have perfect conformation? It happened to me, and, from that day on, I have taken a close look at everything related to breed standards in an effort to correct what I felt was unfair and baseless discrimination. Thankfully, I am not alone. In 2008, the BBC did a scathing report on dog breeding, which seems to apply to horse breeding, as well. If you have the same contempt for breed standards as I do, join me on this journey to end them.